Malak Karsh Captures Christmas (1947)

The way down to the Steinberg's inside of Freiman's on Rideau, June 9, 1954. Image: City of Ottawa Archives CA004548.
The way down to the Steinberg’s inside of Freiman’s on Rideau, June 9, 1954. Image: City of Ottawa Archives CA004548.

In December of 1947, A.J. Freiman hired Malak Karsh (his regular commercial photographer) to shoot the Christmas rush, chiefly in the store’s new basement grocery section. Operated in partnership with Montréal’s Steinberg, it was opened for business on the 14th.1Ottawa Journal, November 12, 1947, p. 7; Ottawa Journal, December 11, 1947, p. 7; Ottawa Journal, December 15, 1947, p. 25; “A.J. Freiman Store Becoming Self-Contained Miniature City,” Ottawa Journal, December 17, 1947, p. 12; “$150,000 Building Permit For Ottawa Store,” Ottawa Journal, December 19, 1947, p. 16. Interestingly, advertisements highlighted the fact that the Steinberg-operated department was fully self-serve. By 1947, this would not have been unknown and even expected. Loblaws, after all, had entered the Ottawa market 20 years previous and expanded rapidly. This is to say nothing of the individual Ottawa grocers that had adopted the supermarket concept. That the Steinberg-in-Freiman’s operated in the Byward Market, with its more traditional forms of grocery retailing, is what made it a selling point.

Notes   [ + ]

1. Ottawa Journal, November 12, 1947, p. 7; Ottawa Journal, December 11, 1947, p. 7; Ottawa Journal, December 15, 1947, p. 25; “A.J. Freiman Store Becoming Self-Contained Miniature City,” Ottawa Journal, December 17, 1947, p. 12; “$150,000 Building Permit For Ottawa Store,” Ottawa Journal, December 19, 1947, p. 16.

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