M930.50.5.409 | Pullan & Maltby

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Pullan & Maltby
John Henry Walker (1831-1899)
1850-1885, 19th century
Ink on paper on supporting paper - Wood engraving
10.2 x 11.2 cm
Gift of Mr. David Ross McCord
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Miscellaneous (671) , Print (10661)
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Keys to History

The designers and sponsors of advertising knew how to evoke patriotism to increase sales. But patriotism took a number of different forms in a country inhabited by two founding peoples, and where ties to the British Empire were still very strong. Trademarks often incorporated symbols of Great Britain-stout John Bull or warlike Britannia. Elements of the royal coat of arms were often used: the lion, the unicorn and the mottoes "Dieu et mon droit" (God and my right) and "Honni soit qui mal y pense" (shamed be he who thinks evil of it). Symbols of Canada were also very popular. The maple leaf and beaver were used on ads for products as diverse as shoe polish, sewing machines, saws and beer. Local loyalties were also played upon: manufacturers often incorporated their town's name, coat of arms or landmarks into their logos.

  • What

    This very busy label was designed to sell more pins. It features the copy "Ne (sic) plus ultra pins" and a couple of strong cultural references-the royal family's coat of arms and motto.

  • Where

    The images in this advertisement evoke two places: Great Britain and Montreal. The city is represented by its coat of arms, the motto "Concordia salus" and the emblems of its four ethnic communities.

  • When

    Pins are often associated with the industrial revolution. In his famous work, The Wealth of Nations, economist Adam Smith uses them as an example of the abundance that results from the division of labour and specialization of tasks.

  • Who

    Between 1869 and 1875, Pullan & Maltby had a pin factory on Des Seigneurs Street in Montreal.