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R. T. Holman Ltd.
| R. T. Holman |
Holman's was one of Summerside's oldest firms, having been established in 1857. In the 1940s it was run by H.T. Holman and J. L. Holman, sons of the founder Robert Tinson Holman. Practically everyone in western Prince Edward Island shopped at Holman's. It offered a wide range of goods and services in its huge department store. It sold groceries, clothing, yard goods, household items, furniture, appliances, and hardware. It had a lunch counter called the Nickle Bar. It also had a construction division and it ran the local radio station CHGS (Call Holman's - Guaranteed Satisfaction). The company had its own wharf with a railway siding, plus numerous outbuildings.

Holman's Ltd was one of the fortunate local firms who secured contracts from the RCAF Station. In 1941, they supplied bottled drinks, fish and coal. Also that year, the firm was awarded a Dept of Munitions and Supply contract of $23,250 for gasoline, oil, and fuel.

Holman's did considerable business not only as a result of contracts, but also through its retail sales, which greatly increased during the war. H. T. Holman, in his diary of 1941, often referred to the amount of sales and the large number of customers. Saturday was particularly busy with open hours until 10 p.m. For Saturday, 29 October 1941, the sales were more than $9000, equivalent in 2004 to $107,742.

R. T. Holman Ltd. prided itself not only on keeping in touch with customers needs, but also in its contribution to the war effort. As early as December 1941, J. L. Holman gave a special address over the company's radio station praising the employees that had enlisted. In March 1943 the company along with two other large firms began to sponsor a full-page ad titled "Their Sacrifice - Your Response" to advise householders about wartime measures.

Holman's provided window space for many wartime endeavours. One of the most significant was the Service Roll Gallery for the fourth Victory Loan campaign. In May 1943 the company displayed war posters. The firm made many substantial subscriptions to war loan drives as well as monetary gifts to organizations such as the Red Cross.

A special New Years ad in the Journal on 1 January 1945 recognized employees for their hard work and thanked customers for their patience and understanding. Also in 1945 the firm began a series of ads to show its community spirit in war circumstances. Another newspaper feature started that year. From July 1945 to September 1946 it sponsored special notices welcoming veterans home to Prince County.