Saturday, November 17, 2018

Algeria and Canada

I decided to share some photos from beyond the borders of the U.S. today. Who knows, maybe it will be fun!

This first scan is from a small batch of slides that are from around the WWII era. I believe this particular image is from the post-war years. The building featured here is the "La Grande Poste D'Alger" ("The Great Post of Algiers"). Built in 1910, it is located in the heart of Algiers (on the the northern coast of Algeria). 

I am fascinated by that giant map of France hanging over the arched entrance (Algeria was a French colony until 1962).

Does anybody have some idea of what this map might depict? I'm wondering if it has anything to do with Germany’s occupation in WWII - although, as I said before, I believe that the photo is really post-war, so I suppose that doesn't make much sense. If you have a clue, please chime in!

The building must have been brand-new when this postcard was printed.

Here's a beautiful contemporary photo from Wikipedia.

Next comes this undated (but probably 1960's) photo of a store in Canada - Windsor, Ontario to be exact. Note the Union Jack as well as the pre-maple leaf Canadian flags. The store is "C.H. Smith and Company", although it looks like they were attempting to be more hip and groovy, going by the name "Smith's", with a charming font.

From the interwebs: The C. H. Smith Company Limited Store for dry goods was located on the east side of Ouellette Avenue between Sandwich Street (now Riverside Drive) and Pitt Street; the main entrance was on Ouellette Avenue, with a side entrance in Pitt Street East; founded in 1914, the Smith store moved from the original Pitt Street location to Ouellette Avenue in 1919; for many years the Smith store was the largest department store in Windsor; the building was demolished in the 1970s after the Smith store moved to the Devonshire Mall.

Here's a very old photo featuring Smith's - 1930's?

I hope you have enjoyed your trip abroad. Please do not bring any plants or fruit back into the U.S.!


Nanook said...


These are lovely buildings - especially La Grande Poste D'Alger. It's quite the beauty - just as they build buildings in these times-! (As if...)

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

"Come with me to the Casbah......"

Budblade said...

I think the France map depicts the areas that produce wine. Maybe they were having some sort of wine festival.

JC Shannon said...

It's former colony day at GDB. That is one big honkin' map of France. I have no idea however, what its purpose was. I bet there aren't 8 people in the US that have a picture of Smiths. We get alot of Canadian tourists in Montana and they are very friendly and proud of their country. Also, I have partied with the Canadian Air Force and they know how to have a good time! We were lost in the Black Forest, I was driving this big ol' station wagon filled with Canadians that had had more than a few beers, and they kept saying "I'm an Amrican and I'm lost, but I'm making good time!" Fond memories, thanks Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I really expected that building in Algeria to be hundreds of years old, I was surprised that it had been built in 1910. It’s pretty cool!

TokyoMagic!, I see you are a fan of Pepe Le Pew too.

Budblade, hmmm, a wine festival? I suppose anything’s possible, but I was sure hoping for something a little sexier than that!

Jonathan, I thought for sure that one of the GDB readers would figure that map out! But… today’s photos don’t seem to be very provocative. Ah well, ya win some, ya lose some. I can’t believe you survived all that time with those Canadians! Good thing you didn’t accidentally say anything negative about Lorne Green, or you wouldn’t be here today. (PS, Canadians like beer?).

Chuck said...

Major, that map does look a lot like it shows the progress of the Liberation of France in the late summer of 1944. Note the Free French logo in the lower left corner. But who knows - it could be a map of the spread of phylloxera across the wine-producing regions of France in the 19th Century.

Anonymous said...

Major, I am with Chuck on the map.

I believe the gray areas to the upper left denote the areas liberated in the Normandy invasion, while the beige areas to the southeast denote the Vichy territory. The green areas in the center correspond to German-occupied areas that were bypassed by the Allied forces and left to be mopped up after the conquest of Germany. The Rhone Valley and the Mediterranean coast are also shown gray, since these areas were cleared by the Allied forces landed in Operation Dragoon (Anvil), while the Colmar/Alsace region shown in green was also largely bypassed by that assault line.

I support this thesis by the arrows pointing southwestward into the green central regions, and the arrows aimed to the upper right in the direction of Belgium which indicate troop movements south down the coast of Brittany to cut off the interior and secure port facilities at Brest/St. Nazaire, and respectively the main Allied assault toward Holland and the Ardenne, eventually aimed at the Siegfried Line (or West Wall to the Germans).

These are wonderfully interesting pictures. Thanks for posting them.