100 Years Ago: Melbourne Sprague on Way Home, Gift of AutoStrop Safety Razor, “The Battle of the Somme” Poster

The Intelligencer December 15, 1916 (page 7)

“Melbourne Sprague. Dear Mr. Editor:—Our townsman, Melbourne Sprague, a young man of noble character, who has been fighting for us in France with two other brothers, all sons of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Sprague, North Front St., is on his way home with the Eighteen Hundred disabled soldiers being returned to Canada. …

I address this letter with the hope of enthusing our citizens towards the giving of this young man a grand reception upon his return. Nice receptions have been given those returning and all credit to our enthusiastic Mayor but he must in this matter have abundant assistance of both men and women, everybody should turn out, crowd the main streets and not watch the procession pass as they would a funeral, although we could all remove our hats with good grace.

The reception at the stations have been fine but the people on the street fall down. More cheering and enthusiasm is needed and still more. I have found it an awkward trial to alone commence a rousing cheer, one feels so conspicuous, particularly when so few join and I would suggest that some officially appointed committees be placed in two or three at 100 yard intervals along the Main street for the very purpose of creating enthusiastic enthusiasm by just mingling with the crowd and inciting them to cheering and so arrange that one group pick up the cheering from the next and thus follow the procession.

Furthermore if the ladies who are always doing so much to help, would organize to be at certain positions along the route of procession and hand the hero as he passes a bunch of flowers, I fancy it would be very pretty and much appreciated, in fact organization would not be necessary, the more the better, if ladies would only feel free enough to do this and why should they not?

Surely it is not necessary for a lady to have met the hero to inspire this act of courtesy to one who has been fighting for us and who returns a cripple for life, crippled for the sake of others.

This or some similar programme should be arranged for every returning soldier, it seems to me, for every man who enlists virtually gives up his life for you and I and we never can repay the debt. I also think a hearty demonstration on such lines would greatly aid recruiting.

We may have recognized our returned soldiers quite equal with other cities. I believe we have, but let us put other cities to shame in the future, let us give our boys each and all a grand reception such as they will ever appreciate and never forget. Respectfully, C. B. Scantlebury.”

The Intelligencer December 15, 1916 (page 10)


“Your Gift to one in KHAKI should be a practical article. An AutoStrop Safety Razor is the most practical gift for him. Why? For the following reasons:

It is the Only Razor which Sharpens its own blades.

It is the Only Razor that permits stropping, shaving and cleaning without being taken apart, without even removing the blade, and like a perfectly stropped ordinary razor, the blade improves with use and is always in perfect condition. …  Obtainable from all dealers in various styles from $5.00 up.”

The Intelligencer December 15, 1916 (page 11)


“The Battle of the Somme. ‘The Greatest Moving Picture in the World.’ Under the Auspices of Belleville Daily Intelligencer.

Matinee and Night—Children 15c, Adults 25c.

Griffin’s Theatre Dec. 18th & 19th.”