Skip header and navigation

6 records – page 1 of 1.

Date Range From
1960
Date Range To
2018
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
METAL, PLASTIC
Catalogue Number
P20180016001
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1960
Date Range To
2018
Materials
METAL, PLASTIC
No. Pieces
1
Height
127
Length
40.8
Width
11.5
Description
SINGLE-SPACE DUPLEX PARKING METER WITH AN ELECTRONIC MECHANISM. THE METER CASING IS GREY FEATURING TWO GREEN DOMES IN THE SHAPE OF MICKEY MOUSE EARS. THE METERS ARE LABELED “30-61” AND “30-62” ON THE FRONT AND ATTACH TO A HOLLOW, METAL POLE. A STICKER NEAR THE BOTTOM OF THE CASING READS “THIS CAR – INSERT VALID COINS ONLY – DISPLAY INDICATES TIME PURCHASED – CITY OF LETHBRIDGE – THIS CAR.” BOTH METERS HAVE A COIN SLOT AND A LABEL WHICH SAYS “FREE PARKING – WEEKDAYS AFTER 5:30 PM – ALL DAY WEEKENDS AND HOLIDAYS.” THE DIGITAL METERS ARE VISIBLE AT THE TOP OF THE HOUSING, BEHIND SEMI-TRANSPARENT PLASTIC. ON EITHER SIDE OF THE METER'S TIME DISPLAY, THE WORDS “MACKAY" AND "GUARDIAN” ARE INSCRIBED VERTICALLY. A METAL PLATE FASTENS TO THE REAR, AND TWO KEYHOLES PROTRUDE ABOVE IT. THROUGHOUT, THERE ARE MANY SCRATCHES AND PAINT CHIPS. OVERALL GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
REGULATIVE & PROTECTIVE T&E
Historical Association
TRANSPORTATION
History
ON JULY 4TH, 2018, THE CITY OF LETHBRIDGE REMOVED THIS PARKING METER FROM THE 300 BLOCK OF 3RD STREET SOUTH AND DONATED IT TO THE GALT MUSEUM AND ARCHIVES. ALL OF THE COIN-OPERATED PARKING METERS IN LETHBRIDGE’S DOWNTOWN CORE HAVE SINCE BEEN REMOVED AND REPLACED WITH MULTI-SPACE PARKING KIOSKS. IN DECEMBER 2015, THE CITY OF LETHBRIDGE HOSTED AN INFORMATIONAL SESSION INFORMING LETHBRIDGE RESIDENTS ABOUT AN IMPENDING UPGRADE TO THE DOWNTOWN PARKING SYSTEM. VAL FELLGER WAS THE 2015 INITIATIVE’S PARKING COORDINATOR. FELLGER OUTLINED REASONS FOR UPDATING THE EXISTING PARKING SYSTEM IN A 2018 CITY OF LETHBRIDGE MEDIA RELEASE. THE ANNOUNCEMENT SAYS, “THE PRIMARY OBJECTIVE OF PAID AND TIME ZONED PARKING IN DOWNTOWN LETHBRIDGE IS TO ACHIEVE PARKING TURNOVER WHICH RESULTS IN EQUITABLE AVAILABILITY OF PARKING TO SHOPPERS AND VISITORS TO DOWNTOWN…THERE ARE CURRENTLY A LITTLE OVER 1500 PARKING METERS IN THE DOWNTOWN. APPROXIMATELY 95 PERCENT OF THE PARKING METER INFRASTRUCTURE, PARKING METER HOUSINGS AND SUPPORT POLES ARE GREATER THAN 25 YEARS OLD. THESE HOUSINGS AND POLES ARE STARTING TO SHOW SIGNS OF WEAR AND LOOK UNKEMPT. MANY OF THE METERS CANNOT BE REPROGRAMMED TO ACCEPT NEW COINS OR OTHER PAYMENT OPTIONS.” THE CITY PONDERED THREE OPTIONS FOR THE IMPROVED SYSTEM: 100 PERCENT SINGLE-SPACE METERS WITH FOOT PATROL ENFORCEMENT, 100 PERCENT PAY-BY-PLATE MULTI-SPACE SMART MACHINES WITH MOBILE LICENSE PLATE RECOGNITION ENFORCEMENT, AND A HYBRID SYSTEM COMPRISED OF PAY-BY-PLATE MACHINES WITH MOBILE LICENSE PLATE RECOGNITION ENFORCEMENT AND IN ISOLATED LOCATIONS, INCLUDING BARRIER-FREE PARKING STALLS, SINGLE-SPACE SMART METERS WITH FOOT PATROL ENFORCEMENT. IN THE DOWNTOWN PARKING METER REPLACEMENT PROJECT STAKEHOLDER & PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT REPORT, 80 PERCENT OF THE PUBLIC SELECTED THE HYBRID SYSTEM. IN AUGUST 2017, THE CITY CHOSE A VENDOR, AND BY JUNE 2018 THE NEW SYSTEM WAS UP AND RUNNING. AS A RESULT, 1526 COIN-OPERATED PARKING METERS WERE REMOVED FROM DOWNTOWN STREETS AND 170 MULTI-SPACE KIOSKS WERE INSTALLED. IN A CITY OF LETHBRIDGE MEDIA RELEASE FROM MAY 28, 2018, MAYOR CHRIS SPEARMAN SAYS, “THIS IS ANOTHER SIGN OF HOW OUR CITY IS GROWING UP. WE TALK A LOT ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING A “SMART CITY” AND USING TECHNOLOGY TO MAKE US MORE EFFICIENT. THAT’S WHAT THIS NEW SYSTEM DOES.” FELLGER ADDED, “THE KIOSKS ARE SOLAR POWERED MAKING THEM MORE COST EFFECTIVE AND ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY TO OPERATE THAN THE PREVIOUS PARKING METERS THAT USED AA BATTERIES.” ON DECEMBER 12, 2018, KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED THE CITY OF LETHBRIDGE’S ACTING PARKING COORDINATOR PHILLIP BERG. BERG ASSISTED FELLGER WITH THE PLANNING OF THE NEW PARKING SYSTEM. CONCERNING THE ROLLOUT OF THE METER REPLACEMENT PROJECT, BERG SAID, “IT WAS PRETTY HECTIC. PEOPLE WERE STILL A LITTLE RESISTANT TO CHANGE. WE HAD CONDITIONED PEOPLE TO A PARKING STYLE FOR THE LAST 50 TO 60 YEARS, AND IN ONE NIGHT WE CHANGED EVERYTHING OVER. SO THERE WAS A LOT OF RESISTANCE.” TO DEAL WITH THE RESISTANCE, BERG KEPT AN OPEN DIALOGUE WITH THE PUBLIC. “THERE WERE TIMES THAT MY PHONE DIDN’T STOP RINGING FOR DAYS, BUT WE’VE MADE A LOT OF CHANGES TO SCREEN DISPLAY AND SIGNAGE. [WE’VE DONE] EVERYTHING WE CAN POSSIBLY DO TO FACILITATE THE BEST PARKING MANAGEMENT STRATEGY WE CAN.” PRIOR TO THE PROJECT, BERG WORKED CLOSELY WITH THE COIN-OPERATED PARKING METERS AS LETHBRIDGE’S PARKING AND TRAFFIC TECHNICIAN. HE SAID, “I DID ALL THE REPAIRS, MAINTENANCE, AND PROGRAMMING THAT HAPPENED WITH THESE SINGLE-SPACE METERS FOR THE LAST EIGHT YEARS. ANYTHING FROM RE-BUILDING HOUSINGS [TO] PUTTING THEM TOGETHER FROM DIFFERENT PIECES TO RE-PROGRAMMING THEM…THEY WERE BROKEN. THERE WAS A LOT OF PIECES THAT WERE ‘FRANKENSTEINED’ TOGETHER TO ALLOW THE METERS TO FUNCTION. THERE WERE TIMES THAT I WAS TAKING AND GRINDING DOWN PARTS TO MAKE THEM WORK. WHEN I FIRST STARTED, I CALLED THE MANUFACTURER OF THE HOUSINGS [AND ASKED TO ORDER PARTS]. THEY LAUGHED AT ME AND [SENT ME EVERYTHING THEY HAD LEFT FOR FREE]. I GOT ALL THESE OLD DUSTY BOXES WITH PIECES WRAPPED IN NEWSPAPER, AND I WOULD BUILD WHATEVER I COULD TO GET THEM OUT ON THE STREET.” BEFORE BERG, LARRY WYROSTOK WAS THE PARKING AND TRAFFIC TECHNICIAN FOR SEVEN YEARS, AND MACLEAN INTERVIEWED HIM ON DECEMBER 20, 2018. WYROSTOK SUGGESTED THAT THE TWO MAIN REASONS THAT THE PARKING METERS BROKE DOWN WERE THEIR AGE AND VANDALISM. REGARDING VANDALISM, HE SAID, “WE USED TO HAVE QUITE A BIT. [ONE TIME I WAS DRIVING BY THE COURT HOUSE] AND SOMEONE USED A ROLL OF DUCK-TAPE ON A METER, [AND] THEY JUST COVERED UP THE WHOLE THING. IT WAS PROBABLY TWO OR THREE INCHES THICK, JUST SO THAT THEY DIDN’T HAVE TO PLUG IT. I TOOK ALL THE DUCK-TAPE OFF, AND THE METER SEEMED TO WORK FINE. YOU SEE ALL KINDS OF STUFF [ON THE STREET.]” WYROSTOK SUGGESTED THAT ANOTHER ASPECT OF THE JOB WAS COLLECTING THE COINS FROM THE METERS. HE SAID, “[I SPENT] A COUPLE OF DAYS A WEEK COLLECTING IN ALL KINDS OF WEATHER; RAIN, SLEET, AND SNOW. I CAN REMEMBER [DAYS THAT WERE] 35 DEGREES BELOW. [I WOULD PUT MY] METER KEY IN THE VAULT DOOR, AND IT WOULDN’T OPEN. IT WAS FROZEN SHUT. [SO I WOULD TAKE] A RUBBER MALLET AND GIVE THE [VAULT DOOR] A LITTLE TAP AND THEN [I WOULD] SPRAY SOME ETHER ON IT. IT COULD BE QUITE TEDIOUS BECAUSE [I HAD] 1500 METERS TO COLLECT FROM.” LIKE PARKING AND TRAFFIC TECHNICIANS, PARKING COMMISSIONAIRES ALSO HAD TO WORK IN ALL KINDS OF CONDITIONS. ON DECEMBER 18, 2018, MACLEAN INTERVIEWED RETIRED PARKING COMMISSIONAIRE, MAVIS BASTIE ABOUT HER TIME WORKING WITH THE PARKING METERS IN LETHBRIDGE’S DOWNTOWN CORE. BASTIE MOVED FROM HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA TO LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA IN 1993. SHE SAID, “WHEN I ARRIVED HERE THE VERY FIRST THING I DID THAT WEEK WAS GO OVER TO THE CORPS OF COMMISSIONAIRES HERE IN LETHBRIDGE AND SAID THAT I WANTED TO BECOME A COMMISSIONAIRE. I WAS IMMEDIATELY GIVEN A JOB, AND THAT JOB HAPPENED TO BE GOING OUT AND DOING PARKING, WHICH MEANT WALKING THE STREETS…WALKING THE STREETS WAS DOING THE METERS AND CHECKING VEHICLES.” BASTIE WORKED AS A PARKING COMMISSIONAIRE FOR APPROXIMATELY TEN YEARS. DURING HER INTERVIEW, SHE EXPLAINED THAT THERE WERE FOUR PARKING BEATS WITHIN LETHBRIDGE, “THE FIRST ROUTE WAS MAINLY WALKING AROUND AND DOING THE TICKETING OF THE CARS THAT WERE AT METERS THAT WERE EXPIRED...BEAT ONE WAS DOWNTOWN, AND IT CAME OUT OF THE OLD POLICE STATION [TO THIRD AVENUE]…THIRD AVENUE BECAME BEAT TWO AND THEN BEAT THREE WAS A DRIVING [AND WALKING] AREA…BEAT THREE WOULD BE MORE OVER TOWARDS THE HOSPITAL…BEAT FOUR WAS JUST THE DRIVING, THAT MEANT DRIVING AROUND THE HOSPITAL.” BASTIE SUGGESTED THAT ONE OF THE BUSIEST TIMES OF YEAR TO BE A PARKING COMMISSIONAIRE WAS DURING THE WHOOP-UP DAYS PARADE, “YOU’RE JOB IS TO MAKE SURE THAT PEOPLE REALIZE THAT JUST BECAUSE IT’S WHOOP-UP DAYS DOESN’T MEAN THAT THEY CAN GET AWAY WITH [PARKING ILLEGALLY]. YOU STILL HAVE TO PLUG THE METERS. IF THAT METER EXPIRES AND YOU DON’T MOVE YOUR VEHICLE YOU GET A TICKET.” BASTIE WAS THE ONLY FEMALE PARKING COMMISSIONAIRE IN LETHBRIDGE DURING THE 1990S. SHE SUGGESTED THAT DUE TO THIS SHE RECEIVED SUPPORT FROM HER COLLEAGUES AND THE LETHBRIDGE POLICE DEPARTMENT, “[IF SOMEONE WAS HARASSING ME] I JUST HAD TO PICK UP THE RADIO… THEY WERE THERE FOR YOU, AND I KNEW THAT NOBODY WOULD EVER HURT ME. THEY WOULDN’T DARE. IT WASN’T BECAUSE I COULDN’T TAKE THEM ON, BUT IT WAS BECAUSE THESE GUYS [WERE LOOKING OUT FOR ME]…YOU’VE ALWAYS GOT THE POLICE DEPARTMENT THERE BEHIND YOU, AND I HONESTLY HAVE TO SAY THAT WHEN I WORKED FOR THE CORP BACK IN THOSE YEARS, WE HAD THE MOST SENSATIONAL POLICE OFFICERS THAT I HAVE EVER HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH.” FOR BASTIE THE BEST PART OF BEING A PARKING COMMISSIONAIRE WAS WORKING WITH THE PUBLIC. SHE SAID, “[WORKING PARKING WAS] A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO GET TO KNOW PEOPLE...[IT] WAS SOMETHING THAT I NEVER EXPECTED AND I DON’T THINK PEOPLE THINK OF WHEN THEY THINK OF PARKING… [I GOT TO] ASSOCIATE WITH SO MANY PEOPLE, AND IF [I SHOWED] THEM RESPECT THEY [SHOWED ME] RESPECT BACK…I FOUND YOU HAD TO HAVE A GOOD RAPPORT WITH THE BUSINESS OWNERS BECAUSE THE BUSINESS OWNERS APPRECIATED YOU. IF YOU NEEDED HELP, THEY WERE THERE FOR YOU. IF THEY NEEDED HELP, YOU WERE THERE FOR THEM.” OVERALL, BASTIE ENJOYED HER TIME WORKING AS A PARKING COMMISSIONAIRE. SHE SAID, “WHEN I WORKED THE METERS, I LOVED IT. I ENJOYED WORKING PARKING AND EVERYTHING [THAT] IT INCLUDED…IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER, WOULD I DO IT [AGAIN]? DARN RIGHTS I WOULD.” PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES, CITY OF LETHBRIDGE MEDIA RELEASES, AND FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTIONS.
Catalogue Number
P20180016001
Acquisition Date
2018-07
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
BLANKET
Date Range From
1920
Date Range To
1990
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
RAW FLAX YARN
Catalogue Number
P20160003007
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
BLANKET
Date Range From
1920
Date Range To
1990
Materials
RAW FLAX YARN
No. Pieces
1
Length
139
Width
99.5
Description
HAND-WOVEN BLANKET MADE FROM RAW FLAX. THE BLANKET IS COMPOSED OF 2 SECTIONS OF THE SAME SIZE OF MATERIAL THAT ARE JOINED TOGETHER WITH A SEAM AT THE CENTER. ON THE FRONT SIDE (WITH NEAT SIDE OF THE STITCHING AND PATCHES), THERE ARE THREE PATCHES ON THE BLANKET MADE FROM LIGHTER, RAW-COLOURED MATERIAL. ONE SECTION OF THE FABRIC HAS TWO OF THE PATCHES ALIGNED VERTICALLY NEAR THE CENTER SEAM. THE AREA SHOWING ON ONE PATCH IS 3 CM X 5 CM AND THE OTHER IS SHOWING 5 CM X 6 CM. ON THE OPPOSITE SECTION THERE IS ONE PATCH THAT IS 16 CM X 8.5 CM SEWN AT THE EDGE OF THE BLANKET. THE BLANKET IS HEMMED ON BOTH SHORT SIDES. ON THE OPPOSING/BACK SIDE OF THE BLANKET, THE FULL PIECES OF THE FABRIC FOR THE PATCHES ARE SHOWING. THE SMALLER PATCH OF THE TWO ON THE ONE HALF-SECTION OF THE BLANKET IS 8CM X 10 CM AND THE OTHER PATCH ON THAT SIDE IS 14CM X 15CM. THE PATCH ON THE OTHER HALF-SECTION IS THE SAME SIZE AS WHEN VIEWED FROM THE FRONT. THERE IS A SEVERELY FADED BLUE STAMP ON THIS PATCH’S FABRIC. FAIR CONDITION. THERE IS RED STAINING THAT CAN BE SEEN FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE BLANKET AT THE CENTER SEAM, NEAR THE EDGE OF THE BLANKET AT THE SIDE WITH 2 PATCHES (CLOSER TO THE LARGER PATCH), AND NEAR THE SMALL PATCH AT THE END FURTHER FROM THE CENTER. THERE IS A HOLE WITH MANY LOOSE THREADS SURROUNDING NEAR THE CENTER OF THE HALF SECTION WITH ONE PATCH. THERE ARE VARIOUS THREADS COMING LOOSE AT MULTIPLE POINTS OF THE BLANKET.
Subjects
AGRICULTURAL T&E
BEDDING
Historical Association
AGRICULTURE
DOMESTIC
ETHNOGRAPHIC
History
THE KONKINS WERE A RUSSIAN-SPEAKING FAMILY FROM THE TOWN OF SHOULDICE, ALBERTA, NEAR CALGARY. THEY AND MANY OTHER RUSSIAN FAMILIES COMPOSED THAT TOWN’S DOUKHOBOR COLONY. IT WAS THERE WILLIAM KONKIN MARRIED ELIZABETH WISHLOW. IN 1928, THEIR DAUGHTER, ELSIE WAS BORN. THEY LATER MOVED TO A FARM IN VAUXHALL, ALBERTA. THE PRECEDING AND FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM A TWO-PART INTERVIEW WITH DONOR ELSIE MORRIS, WHICH WAS CONDUCTED BY COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN ON FEBRUARY 17, 2016. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION COMES FROM FAMILY HISTORIES AND TEXTS PROVIDED BY THE DONOR. A FULL HISTORY OF THE KONKIN FAMILY CAN BE FOUND WITH THE RECORD P20160003001. ACCORDING TO A NOTE THAT WAS ATTACHED TO THIS LIGHTWEIGHT BLANKET AT THE TIME OF ACQUISITION THE BLANKET IS BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN MADE C. 1920S. MORRIS SAYS HER MEMORY OF THE BLANKET DATES AS FAR BACK AS SHE CAN REMEMBER: “RIGHT INTO THE ‘30S, ‘40S AND ‘50S BECAUSE MY MOTHER DID THAT RIGHT UP UNTIL NEAR THE END. I USE THAT EVEN IN LETHBRIDGE WHEN I HAD A GARDEN. [THIS TYPE OF BLANKET] WAS USED FOR TWO PURPOSES. IT WAS EITHER PUT ON THE BED UNDERNEATH THE MATTRESS THE LADIES MADE OUT OF WOOL AND OR ELSE IT WAS USED, A DIFFERENT PIECE OF CLOTH WOULD BE USED FOR FLAILING THINGS. [THE] FLAIL ACTUALLY GOES WITH IT AND THEY BANG ON THE SEEDS AND IT WOULD TAKE THE HULLS OFF… IT’S HAND WOVEN AND IT’S MADE OUT OF POOR QUALITY FLAX… IT’S UNBLEACHED, DEFINITELY… RAW LINEN." THIS SPECIFIC BLANKET WAS USED FOR SEEDS MORRIS RECALLS: “…IT HAD TO BE A WINDY DAY… WE WOULD PICK DRIED PEAS OR BEANS OR WHATEVER BEET SEEDS AND WE WOULD BEAT AWAY AND THEN WE WOULD STAND UP, HOLD IT UP AND THE BREEZE WOULD BLOW THE HULLS OFF AND THE SEEDS WOULD GO STRAIGHT DOWN [ONTO THE BLANKET.” THE SEEDS WOULD THEN BE CARRIED ON THE BLANKET AND THEN PUT INTO A PAIL. OF THE BLANKET’S CLEAN STATE, MORRIS EXPLAINS, “THEY’RE ALWAYS WASHED AFTER THEY’RE FINISHED USING THEM.” WHEN SHE LOOKS AT THIS ARTIFACT, MORRIS SAYS: “I FEEL LIKE I’M OUT ON THE FARM, I SEE FIELDS AND FIELDS OF FLAX, BLUE FLAX. BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT SHE USED IT FOR. SHE DID USE IT IF SHE WANTED A LITTLE BIT OF THE FLAX THEN SHE’D POUND THE FLAX, BUT THAT WASN’T OFTEN. IT WAS MOSTLY BEANS AND PEAS.” IT IS UNKNOWN WHO WOVE THIS BLANKET. PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, OBITUARIES, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160003007
Acquisition Date
2016-02
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
WINDSHIELD COVER
Date Range From
1955
Date Range To
1965
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
COTTON, POLYESTER, INK
Catalogue Number
P20180021005
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
WINDSHIELD COVER
Date Range From
1955
Date Range To
1965
Materials
COTTON, POLYESTER, INK
No. Pieces
1
Length
174
Width
82
Description
YELLOW COTTON-BLEND COVER WITH MACHINE-STITCHED EDGES; FRONT OF COVER HAS LOGO IN UPPER LEFT CORNER OF WHITE SHIELD WITH RED BORDER, A WHITE ROSE WITH GREEN LEAVES ON YELOW CIRCLE ON SHIELD, AND RED TEXT “WHITE ROSE”. FRONT OF COVER HAS STENCILED GREEN TEXT AT TOP “DRIVE IN-“ AND RED STENCILED TEXT BELOW “LET US CLEAN YOUR WINDSHIELD!” BACK OF COVER IS WHITE COTTON-NYLON FABRIC. FRONT IS STAINED WITH TWO LARGE HOLES ON LEFT AND RIGHT WITH RIPS EXTENDING FROM HOLES; BACK IS STAINED; RIGHT EDGE FRAYED; COVER IS SEVERELY CREASED AND FOLDED. OVERALL GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
LAND TRANSPORTATION-ACCESSORY
Historical Association
INDUSTRY
TRANSPORTATION
History
ON AUGUST 22, 2018, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED MARG OBERG REGARDING HER DONATION OF AN AUTOMOBILE WINDSHIELD COVER. THE COVER WAS USED BY HER FATHER IN LETHBRIDGE. ON HER FATHER’S USE OF THE COVER, OBERG ELABORATED, “[I REMEMBER] HOW EMBARRASSING IT WAS THAT ALL THE OTHER DADS IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD WOULD JUST GET OUT IN THE MORNING, AND SCRAPE THEIR WINDSHIELD OFF, BUT OUR DAD [JACK GRANT KEYS] HAD THIS BRIGHT YELLOW THING STRAPPED ONTO HIS WINDSHIELD TO KEEP THE SNOW OFF. AS CHILDREN, THE PEER PRESSURE WAS PRETTY INTENSE, AND WE WERE THE ONLY ONES ON THE STREET THAT HAD THIS GREAT BIG CANVAS THING ON THE FRONT OF OUR DAD’S CAR. WHEN WE MOVED TO EDMONTON, WE DIDN’T HAVE A GARAGE AT THAT POINT. AGAIN, THERE GOES THIS (EVEN THOUGH WHITE ROSE GASOLINE HAD BECOME OBSOLETE). MY DAD DIDN’T THROW TOO MANY THINGS OUT IF THEY STILL HAD A USEFUL PURPOSE, AND SO, THERE IT WAS, FRONT AND CENTER AGAIN–-THE ONLY GUY ON THE BLOCK. I DON’T KNOW WHY SOMEBODY DIDN’T COME UP WITH SOMETHING NOT QUITE SO OBVIOUS. IT WAS JUST AN EMBARRASSMENT THAT MY FATHER ALWAYS HAD TO COVER UP HIS WINDSHIELD.” “HE WAS THE MANAGER OF THE [WHITE ROSE OIL COMPANY] PLANT. WELL, HE CALLED IT ‘THE PLANT’, BUT THEY DIDN’T MANUFACTURE ANY PRODUCTS THERE. THERE WERE BIG TANKS. I BELIEVE THEY WERE UP ON THIRD AVENUE SOUTH–-I WANT TO SAY IN THE AREA OF HARLEY-DAVIDSON. WE LIVED ON 18TH STREET, AND I KNOW THAT IT WAS STRAIGHT NORTH ON 18TH STREET, AND EITHER LEFT OR RIGHT. IT WAS IN THAT GENERAL AREA. IT WAS WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE, [AND] HE WAS THE MANAGER OF THE PLANT. I THINK HE WAS EVEN THE ONLY EMPLOYEE, BUT HE USED TO GO AROUND IN SOUTHERN ALBERTA TO ALL OF THE GAS STATIONS THAT WERE DEALING IN WHITE ROSE OIL, AND GET THEIR ORDERS…THEN, THERE MUST HAVE BEEN A DRIVER THAT WOULD COME AND FILL UP THEIR TANKER TRUCKS FROM WHERE HE WAS–-THE BULK STATION–-AND GO AND DELIVER IT. I KNOW THAT [DAD] WAS ON THE ROAD AN AWFUL LOT, BUT I DON’T RECALL, AS A CHILD, THAT THERE WERE OTHER EMPLOYEES, OTHER THAN THE TRUCK DRIVER.” “I DON’T RECALL THAT HE WAS THAT FOND OF HIS JOB. IN THE WINTER-TIME, IT WAS REALLY TOUGH. HE USED TO FREEZE HIS FINGERS, ON OCCASION, BECAUSE HE WAS THE ONE THAT HAD TO CLIMB UP THE STAIRCASE THAT WENT AROUND THESE BIG TANKS IN THE COLD OF WINTER, AND DO A DIP STICK TO MEASURE HOW MUCH FUEL WAS IN THE TANKS. WE DIDN’T HAVE SNOW BLOWERS…IT WAS TOUGH BECAUSE HE DID SPEND SOME TIME OUTSIDE, WITH HIS JOB, AND THEN [HAD] AN AWFUL LOT OF TIME ON THE ROADS. THERE WERE MANY TIMES THAT HE WOULD…BE STRANDED IN SMALL COMMUNITIES, BECAUSE OF BAD ROADS. OF COURSE HE WOULD HAVE PREFERRED TO BE HOME WITH HIS FAMILY. I DON’T RECALL THAT HE WAS REALLY ‘GUNG-HO’. I KNOW THAT SHELL TRIED TO GET HIM TO MOVE TO EDMONTON ON A FEW OCCASIONS, AND HE FLATLY REFUSED…WE MOVED IN ’63, SO IT WOULD HAVE BEEN MY GRANDMOTHER WAS ILL, AND DEALING WITH CANCER, AND IT WAS JUST A VERY INAPPROPRIATE TIME FOR US TO LEAVE. MY MOTHER WAS AN ONLY CHILD, SO THERE WERE NO OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS TO STAY AND LOOK AFTER HER. THEN, FINALLY SHELL SAID, “THIS IS YOUR FINAL CHOICE, AND THERE IS NO OPTION.” I GUESS IT WASN’T A CHOICE–-IT WAS EITHER MOVE, OR LOSE YOUR JOB. IT WAS A MATTER OF PUTTING IN TIME UNTIL HE RETIRED.” “MY DAD PASSED AWAY, AND WE ACQUIRED IT FROM HIS WIDOW…IT’S A SMALL PART OF MY DAD. I DIDN’T HAVE A LOT OF THINGS [FROM HIM]. THIS WAS MY DAD’S THIRD MARRIAGE, WHEN HE PASSED, AND HIS FAMILY/HIS WIFE DISPOSED OF A LOT OF THINGS THAT WE [THE CHILDREN] POSSIBLY WOULD HAVE KEPT. THEY MEANT NOTHING TO HER, BUT THEY WERE LIVING OUT ON SALT SPRING ISLAND AT THE TIME. I WAS LIVING IN REGINA. MY BROTHER LIVED IN CHICAGO, AND MY SISTER LIVED IN CALIFORNIA. NONE OF US REALLY WANTED ‘THINGS’, LIKE FURNITURE, SO IT WAS JUST A LITTLE TRINKET THAT BROUGHT BACK SO MANY MEMORIES, AND IT WENT BACK AS FAR AS LETHBRIDGE.” FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20180021001-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20180021005
Acquisition Date
2018-08
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
FLAIL PADDLE
Date Range From
1920
Date Range To
1990
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
WOOD
Catalogue Number
P20160003001
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
FLAIL PADDLE
Date Range From
1920
Date Range To
1990
Materials
WOOD
No. Pieces
1
Height
4
Length
41
Width
12
Description
WOODEN FLAIL. ONE END HAS A PADDLE WITH A WIDTH THAT TAPERS FROM 12 CM AT THE TOP TO 10 CM AT THE BASE. THE PADDLE IS WELL WORN IN THE CENTER WITH A HEIGHT OF 4 CM AT THE ENDS AND 2 CM IN THE CENTER. HANDLE IS ATTACHED TO THE PADDLE AND IS 16 CM LONG WITH A CIRCULAR SHAPE AT THE END OF THE HANDLE. ENGRAVED ON THE CIRCLE THE INITIALS OF DONOR’S MATERNAL GRANDMOTHER, ELIZABETH EVANAVNA WISHLOW, “ . . .” GOOD CONDITION. THERE IS SLIGHT SPLITTING OF THE WOOD ON THE PADDLE AND AROUND THE JOINT BETWEEN THE HANDLE AND THE PADDLE. OVERALL WEAR FROM USE.
Subjects
AGRICULTURAL T&E
Historical Association
AGRICULTURE
ETHNOGRAPHIC
History
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM A TWO-PART INTERVIEW WITH DONOR ELSIE MORRIS, WHICH WAS CONDUCTED BY COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN ON FEBRUARY 17, 2016. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION COMES FROM FAMILY HISTORIES AND TEXTS PROVIDED BY THE DONOR. THIS WOODEN DOUKHOBOR TOOL IS CALLED A “FLAIL.” A NOTE WRITTEN BY ELSIE MORRIS THAT WAS ATTACHED TO THE FLAIL AT THE TIME OF DONATION EXPLAINS, “FLAIL USED FOR BEATING OUT SEEDS. BELONGED TO ELIZABETH EVANAVNA WISHLOW, THEN HANDED TO HER DAUGHTER ELIZABETH PETROVNA KONKIN WHO PASSED IT ON TO HER DAUGHTER ELIZABETH W. MORRIS.” ALTERNATELY, IN THE INTERVIEW, MORRIS REMEMBERED HER GRANDMOTHER’S, “… NAME WAS JUSOULNA AND THE MIDDLE INITIAL IS THE DAUGHTER OF YVONNE. YVONNE WAS HER FATHER’S NAME AND WISHLOW WAS HER LAST NAME.” THE FLAIL AND THE BLANKET, ALSO DONATED BY MORRIS, WERE USED TOGETHER AT HARVEST TIME TO EXTRACT AND COLLECT SEEDS FROM GARDEN CROPS. ELSIE RECALLED THAT ON WINDY DAYS, “WE WOULD PICK DRIED PEAS OR BEANS, OR WHATEVER, AND WE WOULD [LAY THEM OUT ON THE BLANKET], BEAT AWAY AND THEN HOLD [THE BLANKET] UP, AND THE BREEZE WOULD BLOW THE HULLS OFF AND THE SEEDS WOULD GO STRAIGHT DOWN.” THE FLAIL CONTINUED TO BE USED BY ELIZABETH “RIGHT UP TO THE END,” POSSIBLY INTO THE 1990S, AND THEREAFTER BY MORRIS. WHEN ASKED WHY SHE STOPPED USING IT HERSELF, MORRIS SAID, “I DON’T GARDEN ANYMORE. FURTHERMORE, PEAS ARE SO INEXPENSIVE THAT YOU DON’T WANT TO GO TO ALL THAT WORK... I DON’T KNOW HOW MANY PEOPLE HARVEST THEIR SEEDS. I THINK WE JUST GO AND BUY THEM IN PACKETS NOW.” THE KONKINS WERE A RUSSIAN-SPEAKING FAMILY FROM THE TOWN OF SHOULDICE, ALBERTA, NEAR CALGARY. THEY AND MANY OTHER RUSSIAN FAMILIES COMPOSED THAT TOWN’S DOUKHOBOR COLONY. DOUKHOBOURS CAME TO CANADA IN FINAL YEARS OF THE 19TH CENTURY TO ESCAPE RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION IN RUSSIA. ELIZABETH KONKIN (NEE WISHLOW) WAS BORN IN CANORA, SK ON JANUARY 22, 1907 TO HER PARENTS, PETER AND ELIZABETH WISHLOW. AT THE AGE OF 6 SHE MOVED WITH HER FAMILY TO A DOUKHOBOR SETTLEMENT AT BRILLIANT, BC, AND THEY LATER MOVED TO THE DOUKHOBOR SETTLEMENT AT SHOULDICE. IT WAS HERE THAT SHE MET AND MARRIED WILLIAM KONKIN. THEIR DAUGHTER, ELSIE MORRIS (NÉE KONKIN), WAS BORN IN SHOULDICE IN 1928. INITIALLY, WILLIAM TRIED TO SUPPORT HIS FAMILY BY GROWING AND PEDDLING VEGETABLES. WHEN THE FAMILY RECOGNIZED THAT GARDENING WOULD NOT PROVIDE THEM WITH THE INCOME THEY NEEDED, WILLIAM VENTURED OUT TO FARM A QUARTER SECTION OF IRRIGATED LAND 120 KM (75 MILES) AWAY IN VAUXHALL. IN 1941, AFTER THREE YEARS OF FARMING REMOTELY, HE AND ELIZABETH DECIDED TO LEAVE THE ALBERTA COLONY AND RELOCATE TO VAUXHALL. MORRIS WAS 12 YEARS OLD AT THE TIME. MORRIS STATED: “… [T]HEY LEFT THE COLONY BECAUSE THERE WERE THINGS GOING ON THAT THEY DID NOT LIKE SO THEY WANTED TO FARM ON THEIR OWN. SO NOW NOBODY HAD MONEY, SO VAUXHALL HAD LAND, YOU KNOW, THAT THEY WANTED TO HAVE THE PEOPLE AND THEY DIDN’T HAVE TO PUT ANY DOWN DEPOSIT THEY JUST WERE GIVEN THE LAND AND THEY HAD TO SIGN A PAPER SAYING THEY WOULD GIVE THEM ONE FOURTH OF THE CROP EVERY YEAR. THAT WAS HOW MY DAD GOT PAID BUT WHAT MY DAD DIDN’T KNOW WAS THAT THE MONEY THAT WENT IN THERE WAS ACTUALLY PAYING OFF THE FARM SO HE WENT TO SEE MR., WHAT WAS HIS LAST NAME, HE WAS THE PERSON IN CHARGE. ANYWAY HE SAID TO HIM “HOW LONG WILL IT BE BEFORE I CAN PAY OFF THIS FARM” AND HE SAYS “YOU’VE BEEN PAYING IT RIGHT ALONG YOU OWE ABOUT TWO HUNDRED AND A FEW DOLLARS”. WELL THAT WAS A REAL SURPRISE FOR THEM SO THEY GAVE THEM THE TWO HUNDRED AND WHATEVER IT WAS THAT HE OWED AND HE BECAME THE OWNER OF THE FARM." MORRIS WENT ON, ”THE DOUKHOBORS ARE AGRARIAN, THEY LIKE TO GROW THINGS THAT’S THEIR CULTURE OF OCCUPATION AND SO THE ONES WHO LIKED FRUIT MOVED TO B.C. LIKE MY UNCLE DID AND MY DAD LIKED FARMING SO HE MOVED TO VAUXHALL AND THERE WERE LET’S SEE, I THINK THERE WERE FOUR OTHER FAMILIES THAT MOVED TO VAUXHALL AND THREE OF THE MEN GOT TOGETHER AND DECIDED THEY WERE GOING TO GET THEIR TOOLS TOGETHER LIKE A TRACTOR AND MACHINERY THEY NEEDED AND THEN THEY WOULD TAKE TURNS…” THE KONKINS RETIRED TO LETHBRIDGE FROM VAUXHALL IN 1968. MORRIS, BY THEN A SCHOOL TEACHER, RELOCATED TO LETHBRIDGE WITH HER OWN FAMILY. WILLIAM KONKIN PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE ON MARCH 3, 1977 AT THE AGE OF 72 AND 23 YEARS LATER, ON APRIL 8, 2000, ELIZABETH KONKIN PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE. A NUMBER OF ARTIFACTS PREVIOUSLY BELONGING TO THE FAMILY EXIST IN THE GALT COLLECTION. THE KONKINS RETIRED TO LETHBRIDGE FROM VAUXHALL IN 1968. MORRIS, BY THEN A SCHOOL TEACHER, RELOCATED TO LETHBRIDGE WITH HER OWN FAMILY. WILLIAM KONKIN PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE ON MARCH 3, 1977 AT THE AGE OF 72 AND 23 YEARS LATER, ON APRIL 8, 2000, ELIZABETH KONKIN PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE. A NUMBER OF ARTIFACTS PREVIOUSLY BELONGING TO THE FAMILY EXIST IN THE GALT COLLECTION. PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, OBITUARIES, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160003001
Acquisition Date
2016-02
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

6 records – page 1 of 1.