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A look at Calgary 'firsts' and the legacy they left

“Once upon a time, for a few short weeks, downtown Calgary saw so much cash changing hands at a feverish clip, that it had to be stuffed into wastepaper baskets and carried to the banks on Eighth Avenue.” This is Jack Peach's Calgary.

From our archives: Jack Peach's Calgary

Investors waiting to buy oil stocks in Calgary in 1914. (Glenbow Archives)

Calgary — a city of "firsts."

Time to wander back in time with legendary historian Jack Peach. To when early venture capitalists were making so much money in our city, they could hardly carry it all. To when our mayors were busy building the buildings and roads we still know today. And when gentlemen were not permitted in the lady's lounge at our grand "movie palaces."

Jack Peach recorded these segments for the the CBC back in the late 1970s. His memories of our city.

1912. Calgary's first oil boom

Calgary investors on visit to Discovery Well in Turner Valley in 1913. (Glenbow Archives)

"Once upon a time, for a few short weeks, downtown Calgary saw so much cash changing hands at a feverish clip that it had to be stuffed into wastepaper baskets and carried to the banks on Eighth Avenue."

For a few short weeks, oil man had so much cash they had to stuff it into wastepaper baskets to carry it to the banks on 8th Avenue. 3:05

Calgary's first mayors

George Murdoch was the first mayor of Calgary, and served from 1884-1886. (Glenbow Archives)

A colourful cast of characters who lent their names to many of the roads and buildings that still stand in our city today. 

A colourful cast of characters who lent there names to many of the roads and buildings that still stand in our city today. 2:52

Calgary first 'movie palaces'

A look a the Stage of Capitol Theatre in 1921. (Glenbow Archives)

Vaulted ceilings, marble, crystal chandeliers and tapestries.

When going to the movies was a classy experience and the cinemas were "shaking with the majesty of it all."

Vaulted ceilings, marble, crystal chandeliers, and tapestries; Calgary's earliest movie halls. 3:11

Calgary at a Crossroads is CBC Calgary's special focus on life in our city during the downturn. A look at Calgary's culture, identity and what it means to be Calgarian. Read more stories from the series at Calgary at a Crossroads.

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