Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver


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Collingwood Corner: Home Delivery in the 1960s

BY LORETTA HOUBEN

Once upon a time there weren’t online stores like Amazon. There weren’t personal computers, tablets or cell phones. Apparently, humanity was cut off from one another, living in a vast void.

Dairyland-Home-Delivery-1965-List

Home delivery price list from 1965. The prices are simply astounding. Image from the collection of Loretta Houben’s parents

Not quite. Growing up in Collingwood over 50 years ago, homemakers had access to home delivery options. One of them my parents subscribed to was Dairyland Home Delivery.

Please study the prices of the attached 1965 price list. For a growing family, usually consisting of two parents and four or more children, you had the option of an eight-quart family milk pack for $2.23. This was in the days before metric conversion. A quart of milk was 29 cents.

Along with a variety of milk products you could indulge in cream, whipped cream, apple and orange juice, yogurt, cottage cheese and butter. Butter was 66 cents for one pound.

The prices were comparable to a working man’s wage. My dad earned $150 per month working for the Glidden Paint Company as a forklift driver, yet he could indulge in home milk delivery.

I remember the pale yellow truck rumbling down our street early in the morning, and the bottles clanking as they were set on our front porch. Of course, the dairy products were all in glass containers, which my mom washed and set out the next week.

Another wonderful sound of a truck stopping outside our home quite often was the Simpson Sears truck from the warehouse in Richmond. Each season every home in Vancouver would receive a thick free Simpsons catalogue to dream over, filled with useful and exotic items for the home or your wardrobe.

Your order was placed by telephone one day, and your goods were delivered without charge the very next afternoon.

Once, age three, I remember a large brown paper covered box arriving at the front door. My mom paid the delivery man, and quickly hid the package in her closet. I begged her to see what it was, and so she emptied the box and gave it to me to play with.

I could smell that there had been a new doll in it! I cried and cried until my mom relented (for reasons unknown) and gave me the doll, which was meant to be a Christmas gift!

Woodward’s and Eaton’s also had home delivery, but Simpson Sears was my parent’s first choice.

Do you have memories of those long-ago days, and free delivery to your door?

Loretta Houben is a long-time resident of Collingwood and coordinates the Seniors Connection section of the Renfrew-Collingwood Community News.

Copyright (c) 2017 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

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