Video: See 99 years into the past to historic Brampton agricultural expo and plowing match

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Published September 25, 2023 at 3:18 pm

This photo from the Peel Archives shows the 1924 International Plowing Match held at R.H. Bull & Sons Farm in Brampton on Oct. 17, 1924. (Photo: Peel Archives)

The Region of Peel Archives has another blast from the past with a video snapshot of Brampton’s agricultural roots nearly 100 years ago.

The video is the latest in a series from the archives giving residents a “then-and-now” look at how Brampton and the Region of Peel have changed over the years.

Previous archive videos include a look back at the opening of Bramalea City Centre some 50 years ago, and a flashback to the development of the Bramalea Civic Centre in the ’70s, but the most recent addition gives a glimpse even further back to when Brampton was a little more than a new dot on the map.

Made up of archival photographs, the video shows the International Plowing Match  held at R.H. Bull & Sons Farm in Brampton on Oct. 17, 1924.

The annual competition got its start in 1913 and has been held in municipalities across Ontario, but the 1924 outing was the first time the contest has been held in Peel. The region again hosted the contest in Claedon at Conn Smythe Farms in 1963.

The video paints a very different picture of Brampton than what we know today, with guests taking in the match as well as perusing some breakthrough inventions of the day like electric-powered washing machines, a 1/2 horsepower single-phase motor and electric dairy farm equipment.

While the event might be a plowing match the attendees are dressed in their best, with men dressed in full suits and women dressed in large, furry overcoats and fancy hats.

The International Plowing Match & Rural Expo is still going strong 110 years since it first launched at Sunnybrook Farm in York County back in 1913. The annual event is organized by the Ontario Plowmen’s Association.

For more on Brampton’s history you can visit the Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives (PAMA) at 9 Wellington St E in Brampton or visit www.pama.peelregion.ca.

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