When Wilson and Lee first opened for business in OSHAWA, radio was barely a thing. The most popular car in the world was Ford’s Model T. And you needed a wind-up Victrolia to play fragile 78 RPM records. If in 1922 you wanted to buy one of those records, you could go to Wilson and Lee’s record store to find them among the musical instruments.Over the decades the firm survived depression, recessions, wars, technological changes (78s, LPs, 45s, 8-tracks, cassettes, CDs), and these days back to vinyl. It was an excellent run.After 97 years in business, Wilson and Lee is about to close. The property at 87 Simcoe Street North has been sold to the Holiday Inn and brothers Bill (who worked at the store for 67 years) & Dave (52 years) have decided to close up shop. It’s the end of an era.<PHOTO – Bill on the left; Dave on the right – by Durham Region News>
<1928 model year McLaughlin-Buick 496 Tourer> The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is, and has long been, a major automobile manufacturing region. From 1876, OSHAWA was home to the McLaughlin Carriage Company, which produced more than 25,000 carriages a year. By 1915, under the presidency of “Colonel” Sam McLaughlin, the company was turning out roughly one horseless carriage every ten minutes. The McLaughlin-Buick 496 Tourer (ABOVE) was one of only two built for a royal visit to Canada. Custom-built McLaughlin-Buicks, designed and detailed with elegance in mind, were used extensively by the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII), his brother the Duke of York (later King George VI) and shipped from province to province by train. Somehow they ended up in the United Kingdom.