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Tag: history

The Space-Time Continuum: How a small-town Saskatchewan boy launched science fiction’s Golden Age

My most recent Space-Time Continuum column for Freelance, the magazine of the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild.  The Golden Age of science fiction, many say, began with the publication of A.E. van Vogt’s story “Black Destroyer” in Astounding in 1939. Isaac Asimov’s first story for Astounding appears in that same issue; the next contained the first story by Robert …

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My Government House history book lauded as “a masterful work of art”

A very nice review of Government House, Regina, Saskatchewan: An Illustrated History (Your Nickel’s Worth Publishing) has appeared on the Saskatchewan Publishers’ Group’s SPG Book Reviews website. Keith Foster writes, in part: “Government House, Regina, Saskatchewan: An Illustrated History by Regina author Edward Willett is a masterful work of art in both narrative and illustration, solid in …

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Tickets on sale for my play As Time Goes By: A Love Story with Music and Ghosts

Tickets are now on sale for my play-with-music, As Time Goes By: A Love Story with Music and Ghosts, featuring music from the ’30s and 40s found in the old house where I live that used to belong to my wife’s grandparents, and then to her parents (and indeed, we are dedicating the show to …

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The science of calendars

(A slightly updated version of a New Year’s perennial of mine…) It’s almost 2013, which means it’s time to take down your old Harry Potter calendar and put up your new one (if you’re my 11-year-old daughter). Okay, so maybe you have a Teddy Bears calendar instead, or a Glee calendar. The point is, for …

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Retro Sunday: Ads from the 1930 Child’s Own Annual

As promised, some of the interesting (and, to modern eyes, occasionally odd/bewildering) ads from the 1930 (my best guess) Child’s Own Annual. What strikes me most is that, though the annual was clearly intended to be read by children, the ads are very clearly intended only for grown-ups: there’s very little here that’s going to …

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Retro Sunday: Ads from a 1930 children’s annual

A project I’ve had in the back of my mind for years is a book called Things I Found in My Mother-in-Law’s House, built around the many interesting mid-century knick-knacks, oddments, thingamobs and whatchamallits in this house where my wife’s family has lived since 1939 and which is now my home. I did do a …

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The curious case of a previous Edward Willett, and his letters to Mrs. Bellamy

“Edward Willett” isn’t a name you trip over everywhere you go, but it’s not exactly rare. Nor is it new: it crops up in genealogies and histories down through the past few centuries. It’s true that these days if you Google “Edward Willett” (and doesn’t everyone?) the majority of the links will relate to me, …

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From the vaults: Opening of Land Surveying in Saskatchewan

Commissioned by the Saskatchewan Land Surveyors Association, Land Surveying in Saskatchewan: Laying the Groundwork for Property Rights and Development talks about the work of surveyors past, present and future in the province. And here’s a good long chunk of Chapter 1, which (you should pardon the expression) lays the groundwork for the rest of the …

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Edison’s Battery

[podcast][/podcast] Thomas Edison gave us many wonderful inventions, mainstays of 20th century life. However, since he died in 1931, you might be forgiven for asking, “What has he done for us lately?” Him personally, not so much, what with being dead and all: but one of his inventions has just taken on new life, thanks …

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Boilers of the sternwheeler Northcote at Cumberland House, Saskatchewan

Saturday Special from the Vaults: A History of Cumberland House

I’ve done quite a bit of writing for various historical sites around the province. Here’s something I wrote for Cumberland House a few years ago. I’ve never been there to see how it was use! Oh, and in case anyone is wondering…yes, the science column will return. It’s been on hiatus while I experimented with …

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Saturday…oh, all right, Tuesday…Special from the Vaults: Introduction to Historic Walks of Regina and Moose Jaw

My 2007 book Historic Walks of Regina and Moose Jaw, published by Red Deer Press, is just what it says: a collection of 10 walking tours (eight in Regina, two in Moose Jaw) that take you past a number of homes and commercial buildings of historical or architectural interest, with a brief description of each. …

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Saturday Special from the Vaults: Andy Warhol: Everyone Will Be Famous for 15 Minutes

For this week’s Saturday Special, another opening to another biography written for Enslow Publishers, this one about artist Andy Warhol. Like my biographies of Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, it was for the series American Rebels. I actually studied a bit of art history and minored in art at university, and we make a point …

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