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PROJECTOR, MOTION-PICTURE

https://collections.galtmuseum.com/en/permalink/artifact13342
Other Name
MOTIOGRAPH AA PROJECTOR
Date Range From
1940
Date Range To
1950
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
STEEL, GLASS, PLASTIC
Catalogue Number
P20120038001
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
MOTIOGRAPH AA PROJECTOR
Date Range From
1940
Date Range To
1950
Materials
STEEL, GLASS, PLASTIC
No. Pieces
4
Height
202
Length
57
Description
A. PROJECTOR, FILM. GREY METAL BODY FIXED AT FRONT WITH MOTIOGRAPH AA PROJECTOR MECHANISM. BACK OF THE BODY HAS POWER (“ON/OFF”) AND IGNITE SWITCHES; BACK HAS GAUGES WITH GLASS COVERS MARKING HOURS (“16270”) AND 0-100 MV. BACK HAS SILVER LABEL WITH BLACK TEXT “STRONG X-16 TWO-SIDE LAMPHOUSE, D.C. VOLTS 28-32, D.C. AMPS. 60-95, TYPE NO. 76002-3, SERIAL NO. 65196, MFD. BY THE STRONG ELECTRIC CORP., TOLEDO, OHIO, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 76100” AND A BLUE STICKER ON LABEL “CSA SPECIAL TESTING LABORATORIES, S108124, ACCEPTANCE”. BACK HAS THREE BLACK DIALS MARKED “V”, “H”, “F”; FRONT HAS THREE BLACK DIALS MARKED “V”, “H”, “F” ON BLACK METAL PLATE WITH WHITE TEXT “VERT”, “HORTZ”, “FOCUS”. BASE HAS A WHITE SWITCH BENEATH THE MAIN LAMP HOUSE. LAMP HOUSE SIDE HAS HINGED COVER WITH SILVER AND RED PLATE FIXED TO COVER, “CAUTION, USE FACE MASK, OBSERVE SAFETY RULES, ALLOW LAMP TO COOL 10 MIN BEFORE OPENING DOORS”. FRONT HAS REEL MOUNTS FIXED TO TOP AND BOTTOM; TOP REEL MOUNT IS MARKED “A-675” AND HAS SILVER SHIPPING REEL WITH 35MM FILM ATTACHED (B); BOTTOM REEL MOUNT IS MARKED A-676 AND HAS EMPTY SILVER SHIPPING REEL ATTACHED (D). BENEATH REEL MOUNT IS MOUNTED ELECTRIC CHANGEOVER MECHANISM; UNFINISHED STEEL WITH SILVER SCREWS AND INSERTS; SILVER PLATE ON FRONT OF MECHANISM HAS RED TEXT READING “ZIPPER” AND BLACK TEXT READING “ELECTRIC CHANGEOVER, PATENT 1796970, OTHER PATS. PEND., MODEL 14-14, SERIAL 2537, VOLTS 117 A.C., AMPS 2, MFD. BY ESSANNAY ELECTRIC MFG., G.G., 1438 N. CLARK ST., CHICAGO 10, ILL.” MOTIOGRAPH AA PROJECTOR MECHANISM HAS LENS ATTACHED AT FRONT (C); MOTIOGRAPH AA PROJECTOR MECHANISM HAS RED DIAL BESIDE FRONT CHAMBER COVER WITH WHITE TEXT “FRAME”. MOTIOGRAPH AA PROJECTOR MECHANISM HAS HINGED CHAMBER COVER WITH FRONT FIXED SILVER PLATE WITH RED TEXT READING “MOTIOGRAPH” IN RED, AND YELLOW AND BLACK LABEL READING “SHARP’S THEATRE SUPPLIES LIMITED, FILM EXCHANGE BUILDING, PHONE M-4076—CALGARY, ALBERTA.” INSIDE HINGED CHAMBER COVER IS WHITE LABEL “UL, MODEL AA, FRAMING LAMP 120V 25W, MOTIOGRAPH INC., CHICAGO”. BENEATH IS LOWER CHAMBER WITH STEEL AND GLASS HINGED COVER. BASE OF LAMP HOUSE PEDESTAL IS SCRATCHED; INSIDE OF MOTIOGRAPH AA PROJECTOR MECHANISM TOP CHAMBER IS DETACHED BLACK METAL SLIDE WITH CENTER CUT OUT AND RED KNOB AT THE END. OVERALL PROJECTOR AND COMPONENTS IN GOOD CONDITION. B. FILM REEL, 37.2CM DIAMETER X 4.3CM DEEP, INCLUDES 35MM FILM. SHIPPING REEL; UNFINISHED PRESSED STEEL; FIXED WITH UNMARKED WHITE TAPE. REEL IS HANDMARKED WITH RED “T”. C. LENS, PROJECTOR, 41.7CM LONG X 11.5CM DIAMETER. CINEMASCOPE/ANAMORPHIC (LONG LENS) FORMAT. BRASS END COMPONENT IS STAMPED “SUPER SNAPLITE”, “KOLLMORGEN OPTICAL CORP”, “BX 241 F:1.9 3 ¼ IN.” SILVER LENS COMPONENT IS MARKED “MADE IN JAPAN, 19313, PROMINAR ANAMORPHIC”. LENS FRONT IS BLACK; LENS GOES TO 350 FEET. D. FILM REEL, 37CM DIAMETER X 5.3CM DEEP, SHIPPING. UNFINISHED PRESSED STEEL, EMPTY, HANDMARKED IN RED “2” AND ON MASKING TAPE IN BLACK “7”. FIXED TO LOWER REEL MOUNT ON PROJECTOR.
Subjects
VISUAL COMMUNICATION T&E
Historical Association
BUSINESS
LEISURE
History
ON APRIL 11, 2018, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED LARRY AND ANDREA BECKER, OWNERS OF THE FORMER WATERTON THEATRE IN SOUTHERN ALBERTA WHERE THE PROJECTION EQUIPMENT WAS USED. DURING THE INTERVIEW, THE BECKERS ELABORATED ON HOW THEIR THEATRE CLOSED, HOW THE EQUIPMENT WAS USED IN THEIR THEATRE, AND HOW AL ANCTIL CAME INTO POSSESSION OF THE THEATRE PROJECTION EQUIPMENT. LARRY BECKER SPOKE TO HOW ANCTIL BECAME THE OWNER AND DONOR OF THE EQUIPMENT, STATING, “THIS EQUIPMENT IS BUILT AND DESIGNED TO EXHIBIT 35 MM MOTION PICTURE FILM. IN 2011, WHEN WE DISPOSED OF THE EQUIPMENT, FILM WAS BECOMING OBSOLETE. IT WAS NO LONGER AVAILABLE TO US AS AN EXHIBITION MEDIUM, SO WE WERE FACED WITH THE CHALLENGE OF CONVERTING TO A DIGITAL PROJECTION, IF WE WANTED TO CONTINUE SHOWING MOTION PICTURES. WE HAD TO GET RID OF THIS, AND AL [ANCTIL] THOUGHT HE HAD A USE FOR IT. AT THE TIME, HE WAS SELLING US COFFEE. WE WERE RUNNING A COFFEE SHOP IN THE THEATRE, SO WE HAD THAT RELATIONSHIP WITH AL; AND I’M NOT SURE WHY AL WANTED IT…I DON’T KNOW IF HE EVER INTENDED TO USE IT. I THINK, UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES, IT MIGHT BE USEFUL, IF SOMEBODY COULD ACCESS SOME 35 MM FILM TO RUN THROUGH IT. WHEN WE HEARD THAT AL WANTED IT, WE SAID “SURE, YOU CAN HAVE IT AL. WE NO LONGER HAVE ANY USE FOR IT.”” “IT WAS THE COST OF THE CONVERSION [THAT INFLUENCED OUR DECISION TO CLOSE]. INITIALLY, WHEN ALL OF THE THEATRES WERE FACED WITH THE CONVERSION, WITHIN A VERY SHORT WINDOW, THE DEMAND FOR THE EQUIPMENT WAS VERY HIGH; COSTS WERE VERY HIGH, AND IT JUST WASN’T FINANCIALLY VIABLE IN A SEASONAL OPERATION, SO WE DECIDED NOT TO PROCEED, AT THAT TIME, WITH THE DIGITAL UPGRADING/CONVERSION. WE WERE WORKING QUITE HARD, BECAUSE WE WERE RUNNING A COFFEE SHOP, AN ICE CREAM STORE, AND A MOVIE THEATRE. THE MOVIE THEATRE WAS THE FUN PART OF IT.” “WE WERE AT THE END OF OUR LAST SEASON IN 2011, AND WE HAD WORKED OUT AN ARRANGEMENT WITH THE TENANT, TO TAKE IT OVER, TO RUN IT AS A ‘STAGE AND GRILL’ KIND OF OPERATION. THEY WERE GOING TO PUT A KITCHEN IN, AND SERVE MEALS, AND PRESENT MUSIC ACTS ON STAGE.” ON THE PROJECTOR, LARRY BECKER INDICATED, “IT WAS OLD [IN 2011]. IT WAS VERY WELL-DESIGNED, AND BUILT EQUIPMENT, WHEN IT WAS NEW. THE PROJECTOR IS…THE HEART OF THE OPERATION, AND IT’S A MOTIOGRAPH PROJECTOR WITH THE MOTIOGRAPH SOUND HEAD…AND THAT WAS PROBABLY NEW IN THE LATE '40S OR EARLY ‘50S, WHEN THE MOTION PICTURE INDUSTRY WAS IN AN ABSOLUTE HEY-DAY. HUGE INVESTMENTS WERE MADE IN DEVELOPING HIGH QUALITY EQUIPMENT FOR THE MOTION PICTURE EXHIBITIONS. THIS PROJECTOR, EVEN THOUGH IT WAS VERY OLD, BENEFITTED FROM THAT DESIGN PERIOD, AND WAS STILL WORKING REASONABLY WELL.” “WE REPLACED THE LAMP HOUSE [FROM AN OLD CARBON ARC LAMP TO…A ZENON BULB AS A LIGHT SOURCE]. [WE PICKED UP BULBS AND EQUIPMENT] FROM ‘TEN STORIES’. “[THERE WOULD BE A] BELL HERE, BEFORE WE PUT THE PLATTER SYSTEM IN… [THE BELL] WAS ATTACHED TO THE PROJECTOR, AND THIS WAS WHEN THESE SMALL 20 MINUTE REELS WOULD BE LOADED ON TO THIS REEL LINE, AND WHEN THERE WAS ABOUT 2 OR 2 1/2 MINUTES FILM LEFT ON THE PAY-OUT REEL…[THE] BELL WOULD START TO RING; START TO TURN AT A SPEED, AND THAT WAS TO SIGNAL THE PROJECTIONIST TO GET READY, BECAUSE HE WAS GOING TO HAVE TO DO A CHANGE-OVER. WHEN THAT BELL RANG, THE PROJECTIONIST WOULD LOOK THROUGH A PORT IN THE PROJECTION ROOM, AND LOOK FOR A LITTLE DOT UP IN THE RIGHT HAND CORNER OF THE FILM. THERE WOULD BE TWO OF THEM. WHEN YOU HEARD THE BELL, YOU’D STRIKE THE LAMP WITH THE OLD CARBON ARCS; GET THE LAMP HOUSE RUNNING. THEN YOU’D SEE THE FIRST DOT, THAT WAS YOUR SIGNAL TO START THE PROJECTOR, THEN, WHEN YOU SAW THE SECOND DOT, THERE WAS A PEDAL ON THE FLOOR, OR A HAND SWITCH, THAT YOU WOULD ACTIVATE, AND THAT WOULD CLOSE THE SHUTTER ON ONE PROJECTOR, AND OPEN IT ON THE OTHER ONE. IF THE PROJECTIONIST WAS GOOD, IT WAS SEAMLESS. THE AUDIENCE WOULD NEVER KNOW THAT THERE WAS A REEL CHANGE.” “THERE WOULD BE TWO PROJECTORS RUNNING SIDE-BY-SIDE. I DID OPERATE IT FOR A WHILE, WITH THE CHANGE-OVERS, BUT THAT WAS ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I REALLY WANTED TO CHANGE ABOUT WATERTON. I WANTED JUST TO MAKE MY JOB A LOT EASIER. [THAT WAS] THE INTRODUCTION OF THE PLATTER SYSTEM, AND THE ZENON LAMP.” LARRY BECKER DISCUSSED THE PURPOSE OF THE LENS IN USE WITH PROJECTOR EQUIPMENT, STATING, “FILM WAS STILL AVAILABLE IN BOTH FORMATS, AND WHEN IT CAME IN, WE HAD TO KNOW WHICH FORMAT IT WAS, BECAUSE THEN WE WOULD USE THE APPROPRIATE LENS. [THE LENS] WAS STILL IN USE. PRODUCTION COSTS WERE PROBABLY…A LITTLE HIGHER IF THEY WERE SHOOTING IN THE CINEMASCOPE. I THINK THE FLAT LENS, THE 185 ASPECT RATIO WAS A BETTER RATIO FOR TELEVISION. I ALWAYS THOUGHT THAT, IF THEY THOUGHT THAT THE MOVIE WAS GOING TO HAVE A SHORT RUN IN THEATRES, AND THEN A BROADER AUDIENCE ON TELEVISION, THEN THAT FORMAT [185 ASPECT RATIO] WAS MORE SUITABLE. WE REPLACED [THE ORIGINAL LENSES].” THE BECKERS SPOKE ABOUT THEIR ARRIVAL IN WATERTON AND THEIR HISTORY WORKING IN THEATRES, WITH LARRY BEGINNING HIS CAREER WORKING IN THE PALACE THEATRE IN CALGARY, ALBERTA. IN 1975, THE BECKERS BECAME INTERESTED IN PURCHASING THE THEATRE IN WATERTON, AND BY 1976 THEY WERE RUNNING THE WATERTON THEATRE. LARRY NOTED HOW THE BECKERS BECAME INVOLVED WITH THE WATERTON THEATRE “I WAS TRAVELING TO WATERTON. I HAD NEVER BEEN TO WATERTON. I HAD AN OCCASION TO GO TO GREAT FALLS. IT WAS ON…A BUSINESS TRIP, AND IT WAS OVER A WEEKEND. I LOOKED AT THE MAP, AND I THOUGHT, “IF WE LEAVE AROUND DINNERTIME ON FRIDAY, WE CAN SPEND A NIGHT IN WATERTON…AND THEN WE CAN CONTINUE TO GREAT FALLS THE NEXT DAY.” GOT INTO WATERTON, AND, BY THIS TIME, THE SUN HAD SET, AND I STILL DIDN’T REALIZE I WAS IN THE MOUNTAINS. I SORT OF LOOKED AROUND. I DIDN’T HAVE A ROOM BOOKED, AND GOT A ROOM IN ALLEN’S LAKESHORE BUNGALOWS, WHICH WERE ON THE SHORE OF WATERTON LAKE, AT THAT TIME, AND WHEN I GOT UP IN THE MORNING, AND LOOKED AROUND, I COULDN’T BELIEVE WHERE I WAS. I MEAN, IT WAS JUST THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING…IT WAS STUNNINGLY, GORGEOUS! THEN I THOUGHT, “I’LL TAKE A STROLL AROUND TOWN”, AND THERE WAS A MOVIE THEATRE. OF COURSE, BEING IN THE BUSINESS, I’VE GOT TO STOP AND YOU…FIND OUT WHAT’S GOING ON THERE. I CHATTED WITH A YOUNG FAMILY THAT WERE LOOKING AFTER THE PLACE FOR LOTTIE BREWERTON. LOTTIE, AND HER HUSBAND, GORDON, HAD BUILT IT BACK IN ’35. LOTTIE WAS GORDON’S WIDOW. SHE WASN’T INVOLVED IN THE OPERATION, BUT SHE HAD SOME YOUNG FAMILY THAT WERE HELPING HER OUT, SO, IN THE CONVERSATION, THEY SAID, “YOU KNOW, I THINK LOTTIE WANTS TO SELL.” I WENT BACK TO CALGARY, AND NEVER REALLY THOUGHT TOO MUCH ABOUT IT UNTIL SEVERAL MONTHS LATER, AND IT WAS SORT OF ON MY MIND, AND I THOUGHT, “WELL, I’M GOING TO GET AHOLD OF LOTTIE AND SEE WHAT THE DEAL IS HERE?” “IT NEEDED WORK. IT’S NOT A BIG MONEY-MAKING OPERATION IN WATERTON, SO IT WAS…HARD TO DO THE THINGS THAT NEEDED TO BE DONE. OVER THE YEARS, WE KIND OF KEPT IT GOING…BUT IT WAS ALWAYS…AN EXPERIENTIAL THING. IT WAS KIND OF AN ANTIQUE IN ITSELF. IT WAS NEVER INTENDED TO BE LIKE THE CITY THEATRES – IT’S A MUCH MORE CASUAL ENVIRONMENT.” “I LIKE THE STYLE OF THE BUILDING. IT’S A GORGEOUS OLD BUILDING – TUDOR-REVIVAL. IT’S GOT AN INTERESTING HISTORY. BACK IN THE MID-‘30S, PARKS CANADA WAS ENCOURAGING DEVELOPMENT IN WATERTON, AND WAS GIVING OUT THE COMMERCIAL LEASES, BUT THEY ALSO WANTED SORT OF AN ARCHITECTURAL THEME TO THE TOWNSITE. THEY HAD AN ARCHITECTURAL DIVISION, AND THEY HAD ARCHITECTS ON STAFF, AND IT WAS THAT BRANCH OF PARKS CANADA, THAT DESIGNED THAT BUILDING, AND MANY OF THE OTHER BUILDINGS IN WATERTON. IT’S GOT SOME CHARM. IT’S NICE THAT WAY.” ANDREA BECKER ADDED, “IT’S…A PRIVILEGE TO BE A WATERTON BUSINESS OWNER. IT’S A VERY SMALL COMMUNITY, AND IT’S A LIFESTYLE KIND OF ENVIRONMENT, AS WELL, FOR THE BUSINESS PEOPLE THERE. WE…FEEL THAT IT IS A SPECIAL THING TO DO…” LARRY BECKER SPOKE TO HIS TRAINING WORKING IN THEATRES AND HIS EARLY START IN THE WATERTON THEATRE, “WHEN I STARTED DOING PROJECTION WORK, IT WAS A LICENSED TRADE IN THE PROVINCE OF ALBERTA, AND, IN THE EARLY DAYS OF MOTION PICTURE EXHIBITION, THE FILM STOCK WAS A SILVER NITRATE FILM STOCK WHICH WAS, LITERALLY, EXPLOSIVE. PROJECTION ROOMS, INCLUDING THE ONE IN WATERTON, WERE BUILT LIKE A BUNKER. THEY WERE CEMENT ROOMS, WITH FIRE SHUTTERS, THAT WOULD SLAM SHUT IF SOMETHING WENT WRONG IN THE PROJECTION ROOM. THE APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM TO BECOME A PROJECTIONIST WAS A 3 YEAR PROGRAM, AND THERE WAS DIFFERENT CATEGORIES OF LICENSING. WHEN I STARTED IN [1977] I OWNED THE THEATRE IN FORT MACLEOD AND I HAD TO DO AN APPRENTICESHIP, IN MY OWN THEATRE, BEFORE I WAS ALLOWED TO OPERATE THE EQUIPMENT. I BECAME A CERTIFIED PROJECTIONIST. I MENTION THE EARLY DAYS WITH THE SILVER NITRATE FILM, WHICH WAS HIGHLY FLAMMABLE, AND DANGEROUS. THAT HAD BEEN REPLACED BY ACETATE FILM, LONG BEFORE I BECAME INVOLVED, AND SO THE FILM STOCK WAS NO LONGER…COMBUSTIBLE, AND SO IT WAS A MUCH SAFER ENVIRONMENT. NONETHELESS, SOME OF THE OLD REGULATIONS SORT OF CARRIED FORWARD, AND SLOWLY CHANGED.” I WAS NEVER A PROJECTIONIST IN MEDICINE HAT AND CALGARY. I WAS JUST IN MANAGEMENT, SO I WASN’T THAT FAMILIAR WITH ALL OF THIS [WHEN WE BOUGHT THE WATERTON THEATRE]. IT WAS A BIT OF A LEARNING PROCESS FOR ME. I ENDED UP DOING AN APPRENTICESHIP IN MY OWN THEATRE IN FORT MACLEOD. I HIRED A PROJECTIONIST THE FIRST COUPLE OF YEARS IN WATERTON, AND I HAD TO BRING SOMEBODY DOWN FROM CALGARY TO RUN THE PROJECTOR. WHEN I GOT INTO FORT MACLEOD, I WANTED TO DO MY OWN PROJECTION WORK, AND THAT’S WHEN I DID THE APPRENTICESHIP.” [THE PROJECTIONIST WE BROUGHT TO WATERTON] WAS A FELLOW BY THE NAME OF DOUG COOPER…HE WAS FAMILIAR WITH THIS EQUIPMENT. THE CHANGES HAD STARTED IN THE CITY, BUT HE WAS FAMILIAR WITH DOING THIS KIND OF WORK. HE HAD LEARNED ON IT TOO, SO IT WASN’T A MYSTERY TO HIM. HE WAS ABLE TO MANAGE IT QUITE WELL. [WE HIRED] A DIFFERENT GUY EACH YEAR. DOUG WAS THE FIRST YEAR.” “ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WAS INTERESTING ABOUT THE THEATRE WHEN I TOOK IT OVER IS THAT, FOR LIGHT SOURCES IN THE PROJECTION ROOM, THE LAMPS THAT ILLUMINATED THE SCREEN WERE BURNING CARBON ARCS. CARBON ARCS CAME IN A BOX; YOU INSTALLED THEM IN THE LAMP HOUSE. WHEN YOU STARTED THE MOVIE, YOU’D STRIKE THEM TOGETHER, AND THEY WOULD CREATE AN ARC AND FLAME BETWEEN THESE CARBON RODS. THAT WAS WHAT PRODUCED THE LIGHT. IT WAS MAGNIFIED BY A MIRROR DOWN THROUGH THE LENS, AND WITH THE SCREEN. WITH THAT KIND OF A LIGHT SOURCE, YOU HAD TO BE IN THE PROJECTION ROOM…ALL THE TIME. YOU COULDN’T LEAVE THE PROJECTION ROOM WHILE THE MOVIE WAS RUNNING. AS A MATTER OF FACT, PROJECTION ROOMS HAD TOILETS IN THEM DURING THAT PERIOD. CHANGING THAT OUT WAS ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS THAT I DID, BECAUSE IT MADE IT A LOT EASIER TO GET OUT OF THE PROJECTION ROOM. THE OTHER THING – THE FILM WAS RUN OFF OF 18 20-MINUTE REELS AT THAT TIME, SO THERE WERE 2 PROJECTORS. WE WERE CONSTANTLY CHANGING BACK AND FORTH, FROM ONE PROJECTOR TO THE OTHER. GETTING RID OF THE CARBON ARC LAMP HOUSES, AND INSTALLING A PLATTER SYSTEM, WHICH ALLOWED…THE PROGRAM TO BE SPLICED TOGETHER ON THE SINGLE REELS.” FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT AND HISTORIES OF THE WATERTON THEATRE, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20120038001-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20120038001
Acquisition Date
2012-10
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
STREET SIGN; "3RD AVENUE S."
Date Range From
1910
Date Range To
1952
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
PORCELIN, ENAMEL, PAINT
Catalogue Number
P20160039002
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
STREET SIGN; "3RD AVENUE S."
Date Range From
1910
Date Range To
1952
Materials
PORCELIN, ENAMEL, PAINT
No. Pieces
1
Height
11.5
Length
53.5
Description
BLUE SIGN WITH ENAMEL BASE COVERED IN PORCELAIN THAT HAS BEEN BAKED TO THE SURFACE. "3RD AVENUE S. PAINTED IN WHITE BLOCK LETTERS OVER BLUE. 3 HOLES PUNCHED AT EACH THE TOP AND BOTTOM EDGES. EACH HOLE HAS A METAL RIVET. THE SIGN IS CURVED OUTWARDS TO THE FACE. THE BACK SIDE OF SIGN IS UNFINISHED AND LIGHT GREY IN COLOUR WITH THE BLUE GLAZE AROUND THE EDGES WHERE IT HAS RUN OVER FROM THE FRONT SIDE. CONDITION: THERE ARE IMPERFECTIONS IN OVERALL GLAZE ON THE SIGN AND A SIGNIFICANT LOSS OF THAT GLAZE AROUND THE EDGES.SLIGHT CHIPPING ALONG TOP. SURFACE SLIGHTLY SCUFFED OVERALL. GENERAL WEAR AROUND RIVETS.
Subjects
VISUAL COMMUNICATION T&E
Historical Association
TRANSPORTATION
History
IN 2016, THE GALT MUSEUM APPROVED A PURCHASE OF TWO FORMER LETHBRIDGE STREET SIGNS – ONE FROM 5TH STREET SOUTH AND THE OTHER FROM 3RD AVENUE SOUTH. THEY WERE COLLECTED FROM AN ESTATE DISPERSAL AGENT, BRENT CUMMINS, WHO BOUGHT AND DISPERSED THE ESTATE OF THE LATE MR. MICHEAL VARZARI. AS STATED IN HIS OBITUARY, “[VAZARI] WAS A GREAT COLLECTOR OF RELICS FROM DAYS GONE BY…” THE ESTIMATED DATE OF ORIGIN FOR THE SIGNS IS 1910-11. AT THE TIME OF DONATION, THERE ARE IDENTICAL VERSIONS OF THESE SIGNS STILL INSTALLED ON THE CORNERS OF THE RESIDENCES AT 1505 - 4TH AVENUE SOUTH AND 920 – 9TH AVENUE SOUTH. THROUGH LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARCHIVAL RESEARCH IT WAS DETERMINED THAT THE ISSUE OF LETHBRIDGE’S USE OF STREET NAMES OVER STREET NUMBERS WAS RAISED AS EARLY AS 1907. STREETS ASSIGNED WITH NUMBERS OPPOSED TO NAMES WERE SEEN TO BE AN INDICATOR OF A MORE MODERN CITY. AN EDITORIAL IN THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD PUBLISHED ON 11 APRIL 1908 SHEDS LIGHT INTO THE STREET SIGN SENTIMENTS OF THE EARLY DAYS OF THE CITY: “TWO OR THREE YEARS AGO THEY ORDERED STREET SIGNS. THEY CAME AND REPOSED PEACEFULLY IN THE DUSTY CORNERS OF THE FIRE HALL UNTIL IT DAWNED UPON THE MIND OF [AN] ALDERMAN… THAT IT WAS TIME THAT THE CITY STARTED USING THEM. ‘TWAS ORDERED THIS, AND NOW THEY ARE UP. NOW THE ALDERMEN ARE FEELING THE HUNCH THAT SOME PEOPLE HAVE HAD FOR A LONG TIME THAT THE STREETS SHOULD BE NUMBERED AND DIVIDED SYSTEMATICALLY INTO STREETS AND AVENUES… BUT IT WOULD BE A SHAME TO WASTE THE PRICE OF THOSE STREET SIGNS. SO I SUPPOSE THAT THE PRESENT AWKWARD SYSTEM WILL HOLD GOOD UNTIL THE SIGNS WEAR OUT... THE CHANGE SHOULD BE MADE BEFORE THE CITY PUTS IN ITS PERMANENT SIDEWALKS AND THEN THE NAMES COULD BE PUT IN THE CEMENT IN NICE COLORED CEMENT ALMOST AS PRETTY AS THE BEAUTIFUL BLUE AND WHITE SIGNS THAT ARE STUCK UP ALL OVER THE CITY WHERE THERE IS A CORNER BUILDING TO STICK THEM ON.” ON 18 JULY 1908, THE HERALD PUBLISHED AN ARTICLE THAT STATED, “THE WALKS ARE GOING AND ON THEM ARE BEING PLACED IN LARGE LETTERS THE NAMES OF THE STREETS NOT THE NUMBERS… NINETEEN OUT OF EVERY TWENTY PEOPLE IN THE CITY ARE IN FAVOR OF THE CHANGE [TO A NUMBER SYSTEM]… IF ANYONE IS NOT IN FAVOR OF IT LET HIM GO TO CALGARY AND SEE HOW EASY IT IS FOR HIM TO GO ANYWHERE HE WANTS WITHOUT POKING QUESTIONS AT EVERY ONE HE MEETS… IT’S A REGULAR SNAP.” THE DEBATE CONTINUED UNRESOLVED AND WAS REFERENCED AGAIN IN 1909 AS AN OBSTACLE TO THE CITY SECURING STREET MAIL DELIVERY. ON 8 FEBRUARY 1910, THE HERALD SAID: “… IS IT NOT ABOUT TIME THE CITY COUNCIL WERE ADOPTING THE METHOD IN HAVING THE STREETS AND AVENUES NUMBERED SYSTEMATICALLY? THE HERALD HAS ADVOCATED THIS CHANGE IN SEASON AND OUT OF SEASON ALMOST TO WEARINESS. SUPT. ROSS OF THE POSTAL SERVICE NOW ADVOCATES A MORE MODERN SYSTEM AND SAYS IT WOULD AID VERY MATERIALLY IN THE SUCCESSFUL WORKING OF THE SERVICE.” AND ON 4 OCTOBER 1910, IT IS PUBLISHED THAT “THE HERALD HAS SEEN ONE MORE OF THE THINGS IT HAS ADVOCATED BROUGHT TO PASS. THE STREETS AND AVENUES ARE NUMBERED.” BY THE LATE 40S, STREET SIGNS WERE IN THE NEWS ONCE MORE, SPECIFICALLY THE NEED FOR MORE OF THEM, AS THE CITY GRAPPLED WITH ITS EXPANDING URBAN FOOTPRINT. BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT THE COLLECTOR COMES FROM HIS OBITUARY, WHICH STATES MICHAEL ARTHUR “COUTTSO” VARZARI WAS BORN IN LETHBRIDGE ON 17 NOVEMBER 1929 AND “WAS RAISED ‘DOWN NUMBER THREE.’” THE OBITUARY GOES ON SAYING, “HE ALWAYS ATTRIBUTED HIS STRONG AND SOLID WORK ETHIC AND HIS APPRECIATION FOR THE SIMPLE THINGS IN LIFE TO HIS UPBRINGING ‘DOWN NUMBER THREE’.” HE WORKED FROM THE GROUND UP IN THE CITY OF LETHBRIDGE’S ELECTRIC DEPARTMENT, FIRST AS AN APPRENTICE, THEN AS A “FULL-FLEDGED ELECTRICIAN,” AND HE RETIRED AS SUPERINTENDENT OF CONSTRUCTION. VARZARI’S BROTHER WAS GEORGE VARZARI WHO WAS THE OWNER AND PRESIDENT OF NATIONAL SALVAGE, A BUSINESS HE STARTED AROUND 1951. PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION, INCLUDING IN-DEPTH LETHBRIDGE HERALD RESEARCH REGARDING THE CITY’S STREET SIGNS.
Catalogue Number
P20160039002
Acquisition Date
2016-11
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
STREET SIGN; "5TH STREET S."
Date Range From
1910
Date Range To
1952
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
ENAMEL, PORCELAIN, PAINT
Catalogue Number
P20160039001
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
STREET SIGN; "5TH STREET S."
Date Range From
1910
Date Range To
1952
Materials
ENAMEL, PORCELAIN, PAINT
No. Pieces
1
Height
11.5
Length
53.5
Description
BLUE SIGN WITH ENAMEL BASE COVERED IN PORCELAIN THAT HAS BEEN BAKED TO THE SURFACE. "5TH STREET S" PAINTED IN WHITE BLOCK LETTERS OVER BLUE. 3 HOLES PUNCHED AT EACH THE TOP AND BOTTOM EDGES. EACH HOLE HAS A METAL RIVET. THE SIGN IS CURVED OUTWARDS TO THE FACE. THE BACK SIDE OF SIGN IS UNFINISHED AND LIGHT GREY IN COLOUR WITH THE BLUE GLAZE AROUND THE EDGES WHERE IT HAS RUN OVER FROM THE FRONT SIDE. CONDITION: TOP CENTER RIVET IS MISSING. AROUND THAT CENTER HOLE THERE IS A LOSS OF THE PORCELAIN INTO THE "TR" OF "STREET". THERE ARE IMPERFECTIONS IN OVERALL GLAZE ON THE SIGN AND A SIGNIFICANT LOSS OF THAT GLAZE AROUND THE EDGES. WHITE PAINT ON TOP OF FINISHED PAINT ON THE UPPER RIGHT SECTION OF SIGN. SLIGHT CHIPPING ALONG TOP. GENERAL WEAR AROUND RIVETS. BACK SIDE HAS LOSS OF THE PORCELAIN OVERALL AND A DUST/ROUGH MATERIAL STUCK TO THE SURFACE.
Subjects
VISUAL COMMUNICATION T&E
Historical Association
TRANSPORTATION
History
IN 2016, THE GALT MUSEUM APPROVED A PURCHASE OF TWO FORMER LETHBRIDGE STREET SIGNS – ONE FROM 5TH STREET SOUTH AND THE OTHER FROM 3RD AVENUE SOUTH. THEY WERE COLLECTED FROM AN ESTATE DISPERSAL AGENT, BRENT CUMMINS, WHO BOUGHT AND DISPERSED THE ESTATE OF THE LATE MR. MICHEAL VARZARI. AS STATED IN HIS OBITUARY, “[VAZARI] WAS A GREAT COLLECTOR OF RELICS FROM DAYS GONE BY…” THE ESTIMATED DATE OF ORIGIN FOR THE SIGNS IS 1910-11. AT THE TIME OF DONATION, THERE ARE IDENTICAL VERSIONS OF THESE SIGNS STILL INSTALLED ON THE CORNERS OF THE RESIDENCES AT 1505 - 4TH AVENUE SOUTH AND 920 – 9TH AVENUE SOUTH. THROUGH LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARCHIVAL RESEARCH IT WAS DETERMINED THAT THE ISSUE OF LETHBRIDGE’S USE OF STREET NAMES OVER STREET NUMBERS WAS RAISED AS EARLY AS 1907. STREETS ASSIGNED WITH NUMBERS OPPOSED TO NAMES WERE SEEN TO BE AN INDICATOR OF A MORE MODERN CITY. AN EDITORIAL IN THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD PUBLISHED ON 11 APRIL 1908 SHEDS LIGHT INTO THE STREET SIGN SENTIMENTS OF THE EARLY DAYS OF THE CITY: “TWO OR THREE YEARS AGO THEY ORDERED STREET SIGNS. THEY CAME AND REPOSED PEACEFULLY IN THE DUSTY CORNERS OF THE FIRE HALL UNTIL IT DAWNED UPON THE MIND OF [AN] ALDERMAN… THAT IT WAS TIME THAT THE CITY STARTED USING THEM. ‘TWAS ORDERED THIS, AND NOW THEY ARE UP. NOW THE ALDERMEN ARE FEELING THE HUNCH THAT SOME PEOPLE HAVE HAD FOR A LONG TIME THAT THE STREETS SHOULD BE NUMBERED AND DIVIDED SYSTEMATICALLY INTO STREETS AND AVENUES… BUT IT WOULD BE A SHAME TO WASTE THE PRICE OF THOSE STREET SIGNS. SO I SUPPOSE THAT THE PRESENT AWKWARD SYSTEM WILL HOLD GOOD UNTIL THE SIGNS WEAR OUT... THE CHANGE SHOULD BE MADE BEFORE THE CITY PUTS IN ITS PERMANENT SIDEWALKS AND THEN THE NAMES COULD BE PUT IN THE CEMENT IN NICE COLORED CEMENT ALMOST AS PRETTY AS THE BEAUTIFUL BLUE AND WHITE SIGNS THAT ARE STUCK UP ALL OVER THE CITY WHERE THERE IS A CORNER BUILDING TO STICK THEM ON.” ON 18 JULY 1908, THE HERALD PUBLISHED AN ARTICLE THAT STATED, “THE WALKS ARE GOING AND ON THEM ARE BEING PLACED IN LARGE LETTERS THE NAMES OF THE STREETS NOT THE NUMBERS… NINETEEN OUT OF EVERY TWENTY PEOPLE IN THE CITY ARE IN FAVOR OF THE CHANGE [TO A NUMBER SYSTEM]… IF ANYONE IS NOT IN FAVOR OF IT LET HIM GO TO CALGARY AND SEE HOW EASY IT IS FOR HIM TO GO ANYWHERE HE WANTS WITHOUT POKING QUESTIONS AT EVERY ONE HE MEETS… IT’S A REGULAR SNAP.” THE DEBATE CONTINUED UNRESOLVED AND WAS REFERENCED AGAIN IN 1909 AS AN OBSTACLE TO THE CITY SECURING STREET MAIL DELIVERY. ON 8 FEBRUARY 1910, THE HERALD SAID: “… IS IT NOT ABOUT TIME THE CITY COUNCIL WERE ADOPTING THE METHOD IN HAVING THE STREETS AND AVENUES NUMBERED SYSTEMATICALLY? THE HERALD HAS ADVOCATED THIS CHANGE IN SEASON AND OUT OF SEASON ALMOST TO WEARINESS. SUPT. ROSS OF THE POSTAL SERVICE NOW ADVOCATES A MORE MODERN SYSTEM AND SAYS IT WOULD AID VERY MATERIALLY IN THE SUCCESSFUL WORKING OF THE SERVICE.” AND ON 4 OCTOBER 1910, IT IS PUBLISHED THAT “THE HERALD HAS SEEN ONE MORE OF THE THINGS IT HAS ADVOCATED BROUGHT TO PASS. THE STREETS AND AVENUES ARE NUMBERED.” BY THE LATE 40S, STREET SIGNS WERE IN THE NEWS ONCE MORE, SPECIFICALLY THE NEED FOR MORE OF THEM, AS THE CITY GRAPPLED WITH ITS EXPANDING URBAN FOOTPRINT. BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT THE COLLECTOR COMES FROM HIS OBITUARY, WHICH STATES MICHAEL ARTHUR “COUTTSO” VARZARI WAS BORN IN LETHBRIDGE ON 17 NOVEMBER 1929 AND “WAS RAISED ‘DOWN NUMBER THREE.’” THE OBITUARY GOES ON SAYING, “HE ALWAYS ATTRIBUTED HIS STRONG AND SOLID WORK ETHIC AND HIS APPRECIATION FOR THE SIMPLE THINGS IN LIFE TO HIS UPBRINGING ‘DOWN NUMBER THREE’.” HE WORKED FROM THE GROUND UP IN THE CITY OF LETHBRIDGE’S ELECTRIC DEPARTMENT, FIRST AS AN APPRENTICE, THEN AS A “FULL-FLEDGED ELECTRICIAN,” AND HE RETIRED AS SUPERINTENDENT OF CONSTRUCTION. VARZARI’S BROTHER WAS GEORGE VARZARI WHO WAS THE OWNER AND PRESIDENT OF NATIONAL SALVAGE, A BUSINESS HE STARTED AROUND 1951. PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION, INCLUDING IN-DEPTH LETHBRIDGE HERALD RESEARCH REGARDING THE CITY’S STREET SIGNS.
Catalogue Number
P20160039001
Acquisition Date
2016-11
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
BATHROOM SIGN
Date Range From
1940
Date Range To
1950
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
BAKELITE, PAPER
Catalogue Number
P20150022001
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
BATHROOM SIGN
Date Range From
1940
Date Range To
1950
Materials
BAKELITE, PAPER
No. Pieces
1
Length
25.4
Width
18
Description
WHITE BAKELITE WOMEN'S BATHROOM SIGN. WHITE BACKGROUND, BLACK BORDER 1.7CM FROM EDGE OF SIGN. PINK FIGURE OF A WOMAN, IN A DRESS, IN CENTRE OF SIGN. FIGURE IS OUTLINED IN BLACK. REVERSE OF SIGN IS A NEON-GREEN PIECE OF PAPER THAT READS "WASHROOM CLOSED". TWO SCREW HOLES, CENTRE TOP AND CENTRE BOTTOM, TO AFFIX SIGN TO DOOR. OVERALL IN VERY GOOD CONDITION. SLIGHT WATER STAINING ON PAPER AT BOTTOM. SLIGHT DISCOLOURATION AROUND EDGES OF PAPER. BAKELITE SURFACE IN VERY GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
VISUAL COMMUNICATION T&E
Historical Association
PERSONAL CARE
History
THIS BATHROOM SIGN WAS SALVAGED FROM THE SOUTHERN ALBERTA ART GALLERY (SAAG – HOUSED IN THE CARNEIGE LIBRARY BUILDING) IN 1992 WHEN THE BUILDING UNDERWENT RENOVATIONS FOR THE REMOVAL OF ASBESTOS. IN AN ORAL INTERVIEW WITH THE DONOR, ANINE VONKEMAN, CONDUCTED BY KEVIN MACLEAN IN JUNE 2015, ANINE CLAIMED THAT THE SIGN WAS “IN THE HALLWAY FROM THE MAIN ENTRANCE DOWN TOWARDS WHERE THE CHILDREN’S LIBRARY WAS. AND MY OFFICE WAS RIGHT ACROSS THE HALL FROM IT. AND SO THIS HAD BEEN PUT IN THE GARBAGE AONG WITH THE ‘MENS’ SIGN. AND THE ‘MENS’ SIGN HAD BROKEN, SO I DIDN’T TAKE IT.” SHE CONTINUED SAYING THAT “I REALLY LIKED THIS ‘CAUSE IT’S AN ARTIFACT FROM, I DON’T KNOW, 40S, 50S – BAKELITE, WITH AN ICON OF A FEMALE ON IT. SO ANYWAY, I TOOK IT AND IT SAT IN MY OFFICE AND THEN WHEN I WAS DONE AT SAAG, I WAS ABLE TO TAKE IT WITH ME AND I PUT IT ON THE BATHROOM DOOR IN MY HOUSE, WHICH WAS BUILT IN 1945.” ANINE EXPLAINED HER REASONING FOR SALVAGING THE SIGN BY SAYING “I DON’T KNOW, LIKE RETRO THINGS TO ME HAVE VALUE AND VISUAL INTEREST. SO I THINK THAT IS WHY AND ALSO IT’S PART OF THIS BUILDING; IT’S LIVED IN THIS BUILDING FOR I DON’T KNOW HOW MANY YEARS, INDICATING THIS IS WHERE FEMALES GO TO THE WASHROOM AND HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE OPENED THAT DOOR, YOU KNOW, AND USED THAT BATHROOM. SO, I MEAN IT’S MORE THAN JUST A SIGN, IT’S PART OF THAT BUILDING.” ANINE WOULD HAVE LIKED TO KEEP THE SIGN WITH HER WHEN SHE MOVED TO BRITISH COLUMBIA, BUT DONATED IT TO THE MUSEUM BECAUSE OF ITS CONNECTION TO LETHBRIDGE. SHE EXPLAINED, SAYING “IT’S A BIT OF A STRUGGLE [TO GIVE THE SIGN UP], BUT IT’S ABOUT A BUILDING, A HISTORIC BUILDING IN LETHBRIDGE, AND I’M LEAVING LETHBRIDGE AND I THINK IT SHOULD STAY HERE.” ANINE WAS BORN IN HOLLAND IN 1967 AND EMIGRATED TO CANADA WITH HER PARENTS (WIM AND TRUDY) AND TWO BROTHERS (ALWIN AND HERWIN) IN NOVEMBER 1981, FOLLOWING A FAMILY VACATION TO CANADA IN 1979. HER FAMILY SETTLED IN THE PICTURE BUTTE AREA TO FARM. HER FATHER HELPED TO ESTABLISH THE DUTCH-CANADIAN CLUB AND THE GALT 8 MINE SOCIETY. ANINE CAME TO LETHBRIDGE IN 1986 TO ATTEND THE UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE (U OF L) AND STARTED WORKING AT SAAG IN 1992, TWO WEEKS AFTER GRADUATING FROM THE U OF L. SHE BEGAN AS THE PUBLIC PROGRAMS COORDINATOR AND “WAS DOING MEDIA STUFF, VOLUNTEER COORDINATION, SPECIAL EVENTS COORDINATION AND STARTED THE ART AUCTION.” BY 2004 ANINE WAS WORKING AT THE GALT AS MARKETING/COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER. SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS AND SEE P20150005000 FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THE VONKEMAN FAMILY.
Catalogue Number
P20150022001
Acquisition Date
2015-06
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1960
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
WOOD, METAL
Catalogue Number
P20160008001
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1960
Materials
WOOD, METAL
No. Pieces
1
Height
38.3
Length
121.5
Width
4.6
Description
SIGN. WOOD AND METAL. BORDER OF SIGN IS PAINTED MEDIUM/DARK BROWN. MAIN PORTION OF SIGN IS GOLDEN ROD YELLOW, WITH BLACK LETTERING. TEXT READS: “A SAFE WORKER IS A VALUABLE EMPLOYEE”. TWO METAL BRACKETS FOR HANGING ATTACH TO BACK OF SIGN. EACH BRACKET ATTACHES TO THE BACK WITH TWO FLAT HEADED BOLTS, WHICH ARE VISIBLE ON THE YELLOW SIDE OF THE SIGN. NUTS HOLD THE BOLTS ON THE BACK. HANDWRITTEN IN BLUE INK ON BOTTOM LEFT SIDE “317-9353”. REVERSE OF SIGN IS UNFINISHED DARK, ROUGH PINE BORDER. OVERALL IN GOOD TO VERY GOOD CONDITION. SIGN IS VERY DIRTY. SOME OF BROWN PAINT AROUND BORDER HAS SCRATCHED OFF, REVEALING BLACK PAINT UNDERNEATH.
Subjects
VISUAL COMMUNICATION T&E
Historical Association
INDUSTRY
SAFETY SERVICES
TRANSPORTATION
History
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION COMES FROM A SERIES OF LETHBRIDGE HERALD NEWSPAPER ARTICLES AND AN INTERVIEW WITH THE DONOR CONDUCTED BY KEVIN MACLEAN. FROM JOHN’S INTERVIEW: JOHN STARTED WORKING AT THE FROG SHOP IN KIPP, AB IN 1992. HE DESCRIBED HOW IT WAS THAT HE CAME TO WORK THERE: “I WAS WORKING AS A SEASONAL MACHINE OPERATOR ON THE PACIFIC REGION, WHICH MEANT THAT IN THE SPRINGTIME EVERY YEAR, I GENERALLY START OUT SOMEWHERE NEAR THE FRASER CANYON AND OVER THE COURSE OF THE YEAR I’D WORK ANYWHERE FROM THERE TO SWIFT CURRENT AND FROM THE U.S. BORDER AS FAR NORTH AS [THE CPR HAD TRACKS, TO ROUGHLY ST. PAUL, AB]. THE LENGTH OF MY YEAR’S EMPLOYMENT WOULD BE DETERMINED IN MY SENIORITY AND THE AMOUNT OF WORK THAT WAS AVAILABLE. I WAS REAL TIRED OF BEING ON THE ROAD. THE YEAR PREVIOUSLY, THERE’D BEEN A TEMPORARY JOB – A COUPLE OF TEMPORARY JOBS THAT WERE BULLETINED AT THE FROG SHOP IN THE FALL, PROCESSING SOME SCRAP MATERIAL THAT WAS THERE. A FRIEND AND MINE BID THOSE JOBS AND GOT THEM. THAT MEANT WE WERE ON THE SHOP’S SENIORITY LIST AND WHEN THE OPPORTUNITY AROSE, THERE WAS A POSITION THERE BULLETINED – ACTUALLY A COUPLE OF POSITIONS BULLETINED THERE – MY FRIEND AND I BID THEM TO BE ABLE TO BE AT HOME AND HAVE A YEAR ROUND JOB. MIGHT NOT HAVE BEEN THE BEST IDEA EVER, BUT IT WAS GOOD TO BE HOME AND SLEEP IN MY OWN BED AT NIGHT AND WAKE UP AND SEE MY HORSES IN THE MORNING.” JOHN REMOVED THIS SIGN FROM HIS WORKPLACE WHEN THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY ELECTED TO CLOSE THE FROG SHOP IN KIPP IN THE SPRING OF 2002. JOHN’S SUPERVISOR, GUY MITCHELL, KNEW THAT HE HAD AN INTEREST IN HISTORY AND OLD THINGS AND ALLOWED JOHN TO TAKE SOME ITEMS HOME. JOHN RECOUNTED THE EXPERIENCE: “WHEN I ASKED [GUY] WHAT WAS TO BECOME OF THE [SAFE WORKER] SIGN HE SAID, ‘YOU CAN HAVE IT, JOHN. THEY’LL JUST THROW IT AWAY. IT’S JUST JUNK AS FAR AS ANYONE ELSE CONCERNED.’ I ASKED HIM, ‘GEE, COULD I HAVE THE LITTLE PLAQUE OFF THE DOOR?’ AND HE SAID, ‘OF COURSE, YEAH, TAKE IT. IT’S GOING TO GET – SOMEONE ELSE WILL KNOCK IT OFF AND IT’LL GET BROKEN. SO MUCH THE BETTER. YOU WANNA SEE IT HANG IN THERE, GO FOR IT. IT’S ALL YOURS.’” JOHN EXPLAINED THAT THIS SIGN HUNG ON THE WALL: “IT WAS HANGING ON THE WALL WELL ABOVE THE DOORWAY, AND [I] PUT A LADDER UP AND TOOK THE TWO BIG SCREWS OUT OF THE WALL THAT HELD IT IN PLACE, AND TOOK THE TWO LITTLE TINY SCREWS OUT OF THE DOORWAY THAT HELD THE FROG SHOP SIGN IN PLACE. THAT WAS ONE OF THE LAST DAY – I THINK IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN EVEN THE LAST DAY THAT WE WERE THERE – AS I RECALL THAT’S THE CASE.” JOHN EXPLAINED WHY HE WAS SO INTERESTED IN THIS PARTICULAR SIGN: “BUT THE SIGN WAS SIGNIFICANT TO ME IN IT OF ITSELF GIVEN THAT WE SOMETIMES JOKED THAT THAT WAS THE ENTIRETY FOR A LONG TIME OF THE RAILWAY’S SAFETY PROGRAM – WAS A SIGN LIKE THIS. ON ALL THE MIRRORS IN ALL OF THE EMPLOYEES’ BATHROOMS, GOING BACK AT LEAST WHEN I FIRST WORKED FOR THE RAILWAY THE SUMMER OUT OF THE UNIVERSITY IN 1975, THE MIRRORS WERE ALL PAINTED WITH A SIGN ABOVE - AT THE TOP AND THE BOTTOM OF THE MIRROR THAT SAID, “YOU’RE LOOKING AT THE MAN MOST RESPONSIBLE YOUR SAFETY.” THOSE WERE QUITE OFTEN CHANGED BY EMPLOYEES TO SAY SOMETHING QUITE DIFFERENT, BUT YEAH, IT WAS SOMETHING OF A JOKE.” HE WENT ON FURTHER, SAYING THAT IN 1978 HE AND A FRIEND LOOKED INTO THE OLD ROUNDHOUSE AT THE RAIL YARD IN LETHBRIDGE AND “WAS MORTIFIED” TO SEE THE WORKING CONDITIONS: “WE PULLED UP BEHIND THE OLD ROUNDHOUSE IN THE OLD YARD HERE IN LETHBRIDGE, AND LOOKED IN THE DOORWAY. THAT’S AS MUCH AS I KNOW OF THE OLD ROUNDHOUSE, AND I WAS MORTIFIED TO SEE MEN WORKING IN A POORLY VENTILATED, ANCIENT, REALLY FALLING APART BUILDING. MORE PIGEONS THAN PEOPLE INSIDE, IN A CLOUD OF DUST AND WELDING SMOKE THAT YOU COULD NOT SEE THROUGH. THAT’S WHERE THIS SIGN CAME FROM.” IN COMPARISON, THE WORKING CONDITIONS IN THE KIPP FROG SHOP WERE MUCH BETTER, BUT JOHN EXPLAINS THAT THERE WERE STILL PROBLEMS: “WHEN I WENT TO WORK AT THE FROG SHOP IN KIPP IN EARLY ’92, A GREAT NUMBER OF PEOPLE WORKING THERE, AND THEN THERE WERE ONLY 12 EMPLOYEES THERE AND A SUPERVISOR, HAD WORKED THERE. CONSEQUENTLY, THAT FACILITY WAS LIGHT YEARS BEYOND WHERE THEY WORKED PREVIOUSLY, AND THEY’RE PRETTY COMFORTABLE IN THEIR ENVIRONMENT. THEY FELT THAT, YOU KNOW, THEY WERE DOING PRETTY WELL. THERE WERE A NUMBER OF US OVER THE COURSE OF THE NEXT COUPLE OF YEARS THAT CAME TO WORK THERE THAT HAD PREVIOUSLY WORKED ON THE SEASONAL WORK CREWS, AS MACHINE OPERATORS, WERE HAPPY TO HAVE A FULL TIME, YEAR-ROUND JOB. IT WASN’T A VERY PLEASANT PLACE TO WORK. IT WAS VERY DUSTY, VERY NOISY, AND DESPITE A RELATIVELY DECENT WELDING FUME VENTILATION SYSTEM, IT WASN’T A GOOD PLACE TO BE. AND WE LOOKED AT THE SIGN EVERY DAY AS YOU WALKED OUT. IN THE COURSE OF READING THE MSDS ON THE WELDING WIRE AND THE WELDING ROD WE USED, AFTER I WORKED THERE FOR MAYBE A YEAR OR SO – MAYBE A COUPLE YEARS – I SAW THAT THE WELDING WIRE MANUFACTURER – WELL THE WELDING ROD MANUFACTURER – SUGGESTED THAT PEOPLE HAVE AT LEAST ANNUAL BLOOD TESTS TO DETERMINE THEIR BLOOD LEVELS OF HEAVY METALS, IN PARTICULAR MANGANESE.” JOHN EXPLAINED THAT TOO MUCH MAGNESIUM IN THE HUMAN BODY CAN MIMIC PARKINSON’S DISEASE, A CONDITION CALLED PARKINSONISM. SUMPTION PUSHED FOR BLOOD TESTING TO BE DONE IN THE 1990S: “THAT STARTED US DOWN THE ROAD THAT RESULTED IN A STUDY BEING DONE BY A GROUP OF INDUSTRIAL MEDICINE SPECIALISTS FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY, INCLUDING OF THE FOREMOST – THE WORLD’S MOST FOREMOST – MOVEMENT DISORDER SPECIALIST … . CONSEQUENTLY, WE ALL SPENT TWO DAYS IN CALGARY, GOT MRI, GOT BLOOD TESTS, AND THEREAFTER WERE REGULARLY SUBJECTED TO URINE TESTS.” THE RESULTS OF ALL OF THIS TESTING: “CONSEQUENTLY, THE VENTILATION SYSTEM WAS IMPROVED, THE DUST CAPTURE SYSTEM WAS IMPROVED FOR THE GRINDING PROCEDURES, AND ALL EMPLOYEES WORE POWER PURIFIED AIR RESPIRATORS THEREAFTER. SO WE HAD A MUCH SAFER WORK ENVIRONMENT.” JOHN NEVER SAW THIS SIGN HANGING IN THE ROUNDHOUSE AND HAD THE FOLLOWING TO SAY: “IT’S FAR TOO OLD TO HAVE BEEN MADE FOR THE FROG SHOP IN 1982. WHEN YOU LOOK AT THESE … BOLTS – HAVEN’T SEEN THEM DO LIKE THAT IN AN AWFUL LONG TIME. THIS IS HAND-PUNCHED – THIS IS HAND-CUT AND HAND-PUNCHED. LOOT AT THE WIDTH OF THE PINE PLANK THAT IT’S ON. IT’S NOT REGULAR, OLD CPR RED. THEY DIDN’T BUY THINGS. THEY ARE NOTORIOUSLY CHEAP. I REMEMBER THIS YELLOW PAINT. THIS IS THE SAME YELLOW PAINT THAT THEY PAINTED THEIR MOTOR CARS WITH – THE LITTLE, FREEZE-YOUR-ASS-OFF TRACK MOBILES WE USED TO TRAVEL ON WHEN WE’RE WORKING ON THE TRACK. YEAH, I WAS TOLD THAT. BUT I KNOW THEY WOULDN’T HAVE A SIGN PAINTED. I KNOW THEY WOULDN’T BUY ONE FROM ANYONE. AND THAT WAS WHAT I WAS TOLD BY ALL THE PEOPLE THAT I WORKED WITH THERE; SOME OF WHOM HAD A GREAT MANY YEARS. AND THERE WERE A COUPLE OLD GUYS THAT I WORKED WITH THAT RETIRED AT 35 YEARS, SHORTLY AFTER I ARRIVED IN THE FROG SHOP THERE IN ’92.” JOHN DESCRIBED WHERE THE SIGN HUNG IN THE FROG SHOP IN KIPP: “IT HUNG IN THE DOORWAY THAT LEAD OUT OF THE SHOP INTO THE HALLWAY INTO OUR CHANGE ROOM. I LOOKED AT IT EVERY DAY, AT LUNCHTIME, COFFEE TIME.” JOHN ADDED THE FOLLOWING ABOUT WORKER SAFETY: “I JUST THINK THAT THIS IS TO ME ILLUSTRATIVE OF HOW FAR WE’VE COME WHEN IT COMES TO WORKERS’ SAFETY. AND WHEN YOU TAKE A LOOK AROUND TODAY OF HOW HORRIFYINGLY FAR WE HAVE TO GO. TO THINK THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE, WHAT LESS THAN TWO WEEKS AGO, STANDING IN FRONT OF THE LEGISLATURE IN EDMONTON FIGHTING THE NOTION THAT FARM WORKERS IN ALBERTA SHOULD HAVE THE SAME PROTECTION THAT THEY DO EVERYWHERE ELSE IN THE COUNTRY AND HAVE FOR YEARS AND YEARS. TOO MANY PEOPLE DIE GOING TO WORK. IT’S TOO EASY TO HAPPEN AND IT’S EVEN EASIER NOW. IT’S SCARY TO THINK OF YOUNG PEOPLE. I’VE WORKED WITH LOTS OF YOUNG PEOPLE AS THE YEARS HAVE GONE ON. I’M OLD. I KNOW OLD PEOPLE - OLDER PEOPLE - LOOKED OUT FOR ME AND HELPED ME; AND I’M REALLY FORTUNATE FOR THAT. BUT IN THIS HURRY-UP WORLD, NOW AND PARTICULARLY AS YOU SEE UNION MEMBERSHIP DECLINING AND IT BECOMING MORE AND MORE DIFFICULT TO OBTAIN A UNION CONTRACT, TO RATIFY A UNION VOTE, GEE I DON’T WANT TO SEE ANYONE - ANYBODY ELSE GET HURT. AND I HOPE THAT THAT GETS BETTER. BECAUSE I’VE SEEN REALLY BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO PEOPLE AND IT WASN’T BECAUSE THEY WERE DUMB AND IT WASN’T BECAUSE THEY WERE CARELESS. FAR TOO OFTEN IT WAS BECAUSE THEY JUST DIDN’T KNOW AND SOMEBODY WHO SHOULD KNOW BETTER DIDN’T GET IN LINE.” RELOCATING THE RAIL YARDS TO KIPP IS COVERED IN DETAIL IN SEVERAL LETHBRIDGE HERALD NEWSPAPER ARTICLES, ESPECIALLY IN THE PERIOD OF 1980 TO 1982. THESE ARTICLES TEND TO FOCUS ON THE BENEFIT FOR THE CITY OF LETHBRIDGE AND THE ABILITY TO REDEVELOP THE YARDS. FOR EXAMPLE, AN OCTOBER 10, 1980 ARTICLE DISCUSSES REDEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES: “THERE MUST BE A GOOD CORRIDOR WITH A DIVIDED HIGHWAY THROUGH THE CITY TO ACCOMMODATE BOTH TRAFFIC THAT DOESN’T WANT TO STOP AND TRAFFIC THAT WANTS TO GET OFF AT DOWNTOWN LETHBRIDGE. RAILWAY RELOCATION GIVES ROOM FOR SUCH A CORRIDOR FROM THE RAILWAY BRIDGE THROUGH TO 13TH ST.” FOR MORE DETAILS, PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE. FOR COPIES OF NEWSPAPER ARTICLES AND FOR A TRANSCRIPT OF THE INTERVIEW, PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE.
Catalogue Number
P20160008001
Acquisition Date
2016-03
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Date Range From
1940
Date Range To
1950
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
COTTON
Catalogue Number
P20150013006
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1940
Date Range To
1950
Materials
COTTON
No. Pieces
1
Height
53.5
Length
33.2
Width
25.5
Description
CREAM AND BLUE PLAID, TERRY CLOTH BIB. BOTTOM HALF OF BIB HAS A 9.5CM BLUE STRIPE. IN THE CENTRE OF THE STRIPE ARE THE WORDS "GOOD BOY" WITH FLOWERS ON EITHER SIDE. BIB TIES AROUND NECK WITH TWO ATTACHED CREAM COLOURED TIES. MEASUREMENTS OF BIB FROM TIE TIP TO BOTTOM IS 53.5CM, WHILE BIB ITSELF IS ONLY 33.2CM. SOME STAINING ON BIB, ESPECIALLY IN THE CENTRE, ABOVE 'GOOD BOY'.
Subjects
CLOTHING-ACCESSORY
Historical Association
PERSONAL CARE
History
THIS BIB BELONGED TO ROBERT ALLAN SMITH (THE DONOR) AS A CHILD AND WAS SAVED FOR DONATION TO THE MUSEUM BY HIS MOTHER, PHYLLIS SMITH. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ON THE SMITH FAMILY WAS PROVIDED BY THE DONOR AT THE TIME OF DONATION. BEGINNING IN THE 1940S, THE SMITH FAMILY RESIDED AT 1254 7 AVENUE SOUTH. PHYLLIS REMAINED IN THE HOUSE UNTIL HER DEATH AT 104 YEARS OF AGE, ON SEPTEMBER 26, 2009. WHILE CLEANING UP HIS MOTHER’S HOUSE, THE DONOR CAME ACROSS SEVERAL BAGS MARKED ‘FOR MUSEUM’. THE ITEMS WERE USED BY THE DONOR FROM AN INFANT UNTIL THE AGE OF APPROXIMATELY 9 YEARS OLD. IN THE INTERVIEW, KEVIN ASKS IF ROBERT FELT HIS CHILDHOOD WAS IDYLLIC. ROBERT RESPONDS, SAYING: “FOR ME IT WAS. I MEAN, I WAS BORN IN WARTIME STILL AND MAYBE IT WASN’T IDYLLIC FOR MY PARENTS, BUT IT WAS FOR ME. AND THE NEIGHBOURHOODS WERE DIFFERENT THEN. YOU WERE JUST LET OUT THE DOOR AND YOU WENT OUT TO PLAY WITH THE NEIGHBOURHOOD KIDS AND THERE WERE NO CONCERNS THAT THE PARENTS HAVE TODAY. YES, A VERY HAPPY TIME, I WOULD SAY.” ROBERT WAS BORN IN OCTOBER 1940 TO PHYLLIS (NEE GROSS) AND ALLAN F. SMITH, AT ST. MICHAEL’S HOSPITAL. PHYLLIS WAS BORN TO FELIX AND MAGDALENA (NEE FETTIG) GROSS IN HARVEY, ND AND MOVED WITH HER FAMILY TO A FARM IN THE GRASSY LAKE AREA. SHE MOVED INTO LETHBRIDGE AND ATTENDED ST. BASIL’S SCHOOL IN THE 1910s. ALLAN WAS BORN IN ECHO BAY, ON, TO REV D.B. AND MRS. SMITH. HIS FATHER WAS A UNITED CHURCH MINISTER AND MOVED THE FAMILY TO EDMONTON. ALLAN WAS OFFERED A JOB AT WESTERN GROCERS IN LETHBRIDGE AND MET PHYLLIS WHILE IN THE CITY. THEY WERE MARRIED ON SEPTEMBER 2, 1939. ROBERT IS AN ONLY CHILD AND SUFFERED FROM RHEUMATIC FEVER AS A CHILD. HE BELIEVES THIS MAY BE PART OF THE REASON HIS MOTHER SAVED THESE ITEMS. HE EXPLAINS, SAYING: “I’M AN ONLY CHILD AND THEY WOULD BE MORE MEANINGFUL AND I WENT THROUGH A CHILDHOOD ILLNESS. I HAD RHEUMATIC FEVER. I MIGHT NOT HAVE SURVIVED. SOME OTHER KIDS DIDN’T SURVIVE, BUT I DID.” HE ALSO DESCRIBES HIS MOTHER AS BEING “A SAVER OF THINGS. HAVING GONE THROUGH THE DEPRESSION … THEY SAVED LOTS OF STUFF … ANYTHING THEY THINK THEY MIGHT USE IN THE FUTURE WAS SAVED.” PHYLLIS WAS ALSO A MEMBER OF THE LETHBRIDGE HISTORICAL SOCIETY IN THE 1970s AND WORKED AT THE GALT MUSEUM AS PART OF THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY. ACCORDING TO THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD, ROBERT RECEIVED MANY AWARDS WHILE IN HIGH SCHOOL AND UNIVERSITY, INCLUDING THE SCHLUMBERGER OF CANADA SCHOLARSHIP FOR PROFICIENCY IN ENGINEERING, A GOLD MEDAL FROM THE ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS OF ALBERTA, AND RECEIVED THE HIGHEST GENERAL AVERAGE IN GRADUATION IN ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA. SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS AND COPIES OF LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES.
Catalogue Number
P20150013006
Acquisition Date
2015-03
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail

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