Ken Elder
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Historic Articles and Books

My Dad, Ken Elder, is an avid postcard collector and amateur historian.  He is a retired restoration architect from the Canadian federal government.  He is currently actively researching and writing articles on a variety of topics.  Recently he has focused on historical businesses and buildings in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.  Below are some of his articles:

The Local Department Stores of Ottawa

No comprehensive history of the local department stores of Ottawa has been written. As a consequence it is difficult to either agree or disagree with the often heard remark that the success of Ottawa's local department stores, such as Ogilvy's, Freimans, Murphy-Gamble and Caplan's discouraged the expansion of national chains (including Eaton's, Simpson's, Simpsons-Sears and The Bay) into the National Capital Region until the 1950s (Simpsons-Sears opened its Carlingwood outlet in 1955). Attached are short histories of four representative businesses: Charles Ogilvy (1887-1984), Bryson, Graham & Co. (1870-1953), Murphy-Gamble, Limited (1881- 1972) and C. Ross Company of Ottawa, Limited (1876-1913). All located on either of Ottawa’s two major commercial arteries, Rideau Street in lower town or Sparks Street in upper town. All began in the 19th Century in small store fronts and rapidly expanded as their trade increased. In spite of business downturns, fires and increasing competition, they succeeded.

  • Charles Oglivy Limited: Department store history, 1887-1996. article
  • Bryson, Graham & Co., 1880-1953. article

A History and Directory of Yukon Postcards 1897-1942

This is my Dads first book, just published in 2012.  Details can be found here: book