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Have you ever wanted to dance with royalty?  Today the Museum is highlighting an invitation to a Royal Ball that was held on September 13, 1860 in London, Canada West (since this was pre-Confederation the province of Ontario did not exist).

Edward VII, the Prince of Wales went on a two month tour of North America in 1860 performing royal duties in each city that he visited.  In Ottawa he laid the cornerstone for the Peace Tower, in Quebec he dedicated the Victoria bridge, in Niagara Falls he met veterans of the War of 1812 battle at Queenston Heights, dedicated the new monument to Brock and met with Laura Secord.

While in London he stayed at Tecumseh House, and this is where the Ball took place.

“People, as well as places, were transformed by attending a ball where the Prince of Wales was both guest of honour and life of the party.  In London, Canada West, for example, the prince danced with such “great vigour,” reported the Montreal Pilot, that his ‘example seemed to inspirit afresh the already gratified dancers.’  When the prince requested that a lady dance with him, she forgot her nervousness and danced better than usual.” 

(Taken from From Royal Spectacle: the 1860 Visit of the Prince of Wales to Canada and The United States by Ian Walter Radforth)

For more information on the 1860 Royal Visit see:

THE VISIT OF HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCE OF WALES TO AMERICA REPRINTED FROM THE LOWER CANADA JOURNAL OF EDUCATION, With an Appendix containing  POEMS, ADDRESSES, LETTERS, &c.  

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The Lady Sunbeam Hair and Nail Dryer is one of the items in our collection that most children would not know to look at nowadays.  Hair dryers back in the ’50s and ’60s were not only meant to dry ladies’ hair but “set” it as well.  This meant that as hair was dried, it was also styled.  The heat applied to the hair style made the hair stay in place for longer.

It took over 20 minutes to dry your hair back in the 1960’s.  In 1965, a similar product to the one the Museum holds was released.  Take a look at the YouTube video, Lady Sunbeam Classic 1965 Hair Dryer Commercial – it was the new portable way to dry your hair!  Ladies loved this model as they could multitask as their hair was being dried.

The long tube and the drying cap are what set this hair dryer apart from the modern versions we use today to essentially accomplish the same task.

Lady Sunbeam Hair and Nail Dryer

About the Museum

Museum Strathroy-Caradoc opened to the public in 1972. As a community museum we strive to preserve and tell the story of Strathroy-Caradoc, and inspire residents to explore and understand the community around them.

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