Port Credit’s St. Lawrence Starch created NHL player cards
It is 40 years since St. Lawrence Starch of Port Credit stopped making the ”Bee Hives” hockey cards that children across the country loved to collect. Now, with hockey season underway, the Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives (PAMA) is showing some of its new collection of the famous cards in its Moving Forward museum exhibit.
St. Lawrence offered the cards, which collectors called “Bee Hives”, from 1934 to 1967. They featured black and white photos of posed National Hockey League players, which were mounted on coloured mats. St. Lawrence sent the cards to anyone who mailed in proof that he or she bought any St. Lawrence products, including Bee Hive Golden Corn Syrup, Durham Corn Starch, Ivory Laundry Starch and St. Lawrence Corn Oil.
PAMA’s Bee Hives cards
Last year, one of PAMA’s long-time volunteers donated his six “Bee Hives” to PAMA. The collection includes the Gordie Howe and Bobby Hull cards. The volunteer received them in 1963 when, as a boy, he sent enough box tops to the company.
St. Lawrence Starch was a corn-milling plant, which John Gray founded in 1889. The factory was located near Lakeshore and Hurontario in Port Credit. It started producing corn starch and laundry starch in 1891, and the popular Bee Hive Golden Corn Syrup in 1898. The company closed its Port Credit operations in 1990, 100 years after it produced its first product. The property, on the edge of Lake Ontario, now is the site of upscale Mississauga condominiums.
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