Manitoba Historical Society
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News: 1870s Winnipeg Luggage Tag Found

During the summer of 2009, a brass luggage tag, believed to have been issued in the late 1870s by the North West Omnibus Company of Winnipeg, was discovered by a collector near Anaconda, Montana. It is thought to be the only existing tag of its kind. The collector wants to see the tag returned to Canada so he invites collectors and museums who may be interested in purchasing it to contact him:

Mel Skoglund
Anaconda, Montana
Telephone: (406) 560-1029

The North West Omnibus Company was established on 9 December 1878 by a group of Winnipeg businessmen, with Hamilton G. McMicken as manager, using equipment purchased from W. F. Alloway. [1] The business was “to run busses in connection with the trains at St. Boniface, calling for an depositing travellers at any place in town. An office has also been established in the Morris block.” [2] Its purpose was to connect the growing City of Winnipeg with the terminus of the Pembina Branch of the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba Railway (later a part of the Canadian Pacific Railway), located across the river in St. Boniface, Manitoba.

By the Spring of 1880, the company acquired “two fine busses from Nienah, Wisconsin, and a baggage wagon, to meet the increasing business” [3] and it ran a coach between Winnipeg and Selkirk three times a week. [4] By 1882, however, McMicken offered to sell the plant “owing to the press of other business” at a sale price of $5,500. [5]


1. Advertisement, Manitoba Free Press, 25 February 1879, page 2.

2. Manitoba Free Press, 9 December 1878, page 1.

3. Manitoba Free Press, 2 May 1879, page 1.

4. Manitoba Free Press, 8 September 1879, page 1.

5. “Omnibus line for sale”, Manitoba Free Press, 1 September 1882, page 8.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

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Page revised: 20 February 2010

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