A ‘Grave’ Situation in Boston

Death was all around meĀ  in Boston as I stumbled along Tremont St.'s narrow red strip. No one died of course, and it wasn't because I was barely functioning on one hour's sleep. It was hundreds of souls who have passed on decades before me, lying beneath my feet. My friends and I began our…

Big Bands and Baseball: The Good Old Days at the D.I.L. Recreation Centre

    Leisure time was a luxury when you had to work eight-hour shifts on your feet per day. Even weekends would be often spent catching up on some sleep or doing your laundry. On occasion, the Ajax D.I.L. workers had some leisure time and perhaps the energy, and would enjoy a dance or a…

Something fishy used to go on down by the lake…

When you think of Ajax's history you think factory, bombs, warship, wartime homes and fish? During the postwar period, fishing for smelt was one of the most popular pastimes, and there were hundreds of them! Many of those who grew up in Ajax between the 1950s to the 70s remember going to the lake in…

The Ajax Bomb Girls At Work

The video below is exclusive footage of Defence Industries Limited, provided by YouTube as well as the official Town of Ajax website (www.ajax.ca). The video explains how Ajax ultimately became the ideal spot for DIL to operate, and an overview of the experience of its workers, who were predominately women. As you watch this video,…

On Methodology: Ottawa’s Central Experimental Farm

As I am currently based in Ottawa for my research, this blog will sometimes consist of assignments, pictures, or just instructive thoughts about my current city. Ottawa is also filled with many lieux de memoires to explore! This post is an assignment for my Public History course, in which I have to imagine myself as…

Objects and History

Material culture can tell complex stories about a person or community's history. Below is an object that gives a window to the history of Ajax and Defence Industries Limited. A daily routine for Ajax Bomb Girls was filling cordite shells, a task which was often dangerous and laborious. It is crucial to remember the relationship…