Topic: Grandfather's Alberta Prosperity Certificate story  (Read 4180 times)
  • Very Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 935
« on: August 18, 2018, 12:40:33 am »

I was going through some family history documents when I came across this handwritten tale from my grandfather. He was in his early 20s and had been in business in his little northern Alberta village for about a year. I hope you enjoy.


In the fall of 1936 we started getting a few Prosperity Certificates in our store.

At first I was hesitant in receiving them because I did not know much about them and was not sure if it was a legal bona fide currency. We had to purchase a special issue of 1¢ stamps which were approx. 1/4" x 1/4" and the said stamps had to be placed on the back of the Prosperity Certificates at the end of every week.

The reason for that was the Gov. of the Prov. of Alta at the time was Social Credit. They wanted prosperity and wanted the money to circulate to stimulate more business.

On a Thursday, a business day, I got a few more Prosperity Certificates from my customers and by the close of the day and with the previous Certificates I had on hand, I had 119 altogether, so that meant I had to put 119 1¢ stamps on by the week end.

One dollar and nineteen cents was a lot of money in those days, when some people were getting 50¢ or 75¢ a day working hard all day and I was not going to lose $1.19 worth of stamps so I decided to take the certificates to town.

I started out early Friday morning with a sandwich in my pocket, walked along the railway tracks to town to see Mr. Hamilton who owned and operated a large store there.

I had an open account at his store, buying things such as salt by the bags, block salt, large and small flour, etc etc. Mr. Hamilton used to get his supplies by the carload and his prices were lower than what I had to pay wholesale. At that time I was just starting in my business and could not afford to buy in large quantities.

I am 77 years old now and I'll never forget that walk to town and back to the village. I had sore feet and blisters for weeks after but I was happy that I was able to pass on the Prosperity Certificates and pay on my account and save one dollar and nineteen cents.

Mr. Hamilton was glad to get paid and I was happy to have saved $1.19 and that's what we called "Prosperity"


Track your Canadian currency online!
  • Very Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 859
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2018, 10:05:20 pm »

I hope you enjoy.

Vow! Wonderful! How fortunate to be part of this legacy in such a way.

Thank you for sharing.

Wonder what paper money would say if it could talk?

Login with username, password and session length