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Date Range From
1943
Date Range To
1973
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
SHEET METAL, GLASS, CARDBOARD
Catalogue Number
P20160027000
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1943
Date Range To
1973
Materials
SHEET METAL, GLASS, CARDBOARD
No. Pieces
2
Height
13.7
Length
5.4
Width
1.8
Description
A: THERMOMETER. THE THERMOMETER'S CASING IS METAL. THERE IS A COVER ON THE THERMOMTER THAT HAS 17 HOLES PUNCHED OUT OF THE FRONT (7 ROWS ALTERNATING BETWEEN 3 AND 2 HOLES PER ROW). THERE IS A SHORT BACK TO THE COVER. THE COVER IS ATTACHED TO THE THERMOMETER WITH 2 SMALL NAILS ON EITHER SIDE. THE THERMOMETER GLIDES OUT OF THE COVER AND HINGES BACK TO STAND (SUPPORTED BY BACK OF CASE AND THE 2 NAILS). THE BACKGROUND OF THE THERMOMETER IS WHITE AND IS ATTACHED TO THE METAL CASE. “US PAT 2329685” IS ON THE BOTTOM OF THE THERMOMETER. ON THE LEFT SIDE TEMPERATURE MEASUREMENTS FROM 1 TO 6 ARE ETCHED. THE NUMBERS ARE DIVIDED INTO INCREMENTS OF FOUR. ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE THERMOMETER THERE ARE “00” ACROSS FROM EACH NUMBER ON THE LEFT. THE THERMOMETER’S GLASS IS TINTED YELLOW WITH A TRANSLUCENT CENTER. THIS TUBE IS 12.4CM IN LENGTH. TWO SMALL METAL RINGS HOLD THE GLASS THERMOMETER TO THE MEASUREMENT BACKING. THERE IS A SMALL METAL HOOK AT THE TOP OF THE THERMOMETER. ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE THERMOMETER IN ITS CLOSED POSITION, "D. CARSE" IS HANDWRITTEN IN BLACK INK. GOOD CONDITION. RUSTING/STAINING OVERALL SURFACE. LOSS OF WHITE BACKING BEHIND THE THERMOMETER (SEVERE ON THE UPPER LEFT CORNER AND SLIGHT ON THE UPPER RIGHT CORNER). B: CARDBOARD CASE WITH OVERALL DIMENSIONS OF 13.9 CM X 6 CM X 2 CM. CARDBOARD BOX WITH GREEN LABEL ON FRONT. THE LABEL SAYS “RUXCO” “NO-600-MO-10” “OVEN TEST THERMOMETER RANGE 100 TO 600°F IN 10° DIVISIONS.” GOOD CONDITION. MISSING LEFT END OF BOX. SCRATCH ON THE SURFACE OF THE LEFT SIDE OF THE LABEL. STAINING IN VARIOUS PLACES.
Subjects
FOOD PROCESSING T&E
THERMAL T&E
Historical Association
TRADES
DOMESTIC
History
IN SEPTEMBER 2016, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED IRENE MOCH ABOUT THE HISTORY OF A THERMOMETER SHE DONATED TO THE GALT MUSEUM AND ARCHIVES. THE THERMOMETER BELONGED TO HER FATHER, DAVID ROXBOROUGH CARSE, AND WAS USED BY HIM AS AN EMPLOYEE OF CANADIAN WESTERN NATURAL GAS COMPANY. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM THAT INTERVIEW: “HIS JOB WAS TO GO HOUSE-TO-HOUSE ON SPECIFIED CALLS TO REPAIR AND CHECK GAS APPLIANCES AT VARIOUS HOMES. HE LOVED HIS JOB. IT WAS GREAT PASSION AND HE WOULD SHARE A LOT OF HIS EXPERIENCES AT HOME WITH US. IT BECAME A BIG PART OF OUR FAMILY LIFE. HIS FIRST PASSION WAS HIS FAMILY AND HIS SECOND PASSION WAS HIS WORK. TWENTY- EIGHT YEARS, HE WAS WITH THE GAS COMPANY. HE WOULD BRING VARIOUS LITTLE ITEMS HOME, BUT MOSTLY IT WAS JUST HIS MEMORIES AND OUR MEMORIES OF THE STORIES THAT HE TOLD… MY MOM AND DAD WILLED THEIR HOUSE TO MY HUSBAND, WHO HAD BEEN CARING FOR IT OVER THE YEARS. [THEY] LEFT ALL THEIR TREASURES AS THEY WERE [TO] US BOTH TO DO WHAT WE FELT WAS BEST WITH EVERYTHING. THEY HAVE BEEN GONE SINCE 2000, 2003. SO FINALLY, THIS MOVE HAS FORCED ME TO GO THROUGH SOME OF THE THINGS THAT I HAVE, AND THIS HAS COME UP, AND IT MEANT A LOT. WE ALWAYS HAD GAS STOVE AND GAS RADIANT HEAT AND HE WOULD ALWAYS TEST MY MOTHER’S OVEN WITH THE THERMOMETER TO MAKE SURE THAT IT WAS FUNCTIONING PROPERLY. IT WAS VERY VISIBLE TO ALL OF US. IT WAS VERY IMPORTANT.” MOCH RECALLS THE THERMOMETER IN HER DAD’S WORK TOOLBOX: “… WHEREVER HE WENT, HE WOULD HAVE HIS TOOL BOX, AND THAT WAS THE FIRST THING THAT CAME OUT OF THE TOOL BOX. HE CARRIED IT IN HIS VEHICLE. HE DROVE TO THE HOUSES AND THE FIRST THING THAT CAME OUT OF HIS TOOL BOX WAS THAT.” IT WAS THE JOB AT CANADIAN WESTERN NATURAL GAS COMPANY THAT BROUGHT CARSE AND HIS FAMILY TO LETHBRIDGE: “HE HAD ANDREW’S HARDWARE IN FORT MACLEOD FOR I DON’T KNOW HOW MANY YEARS – QUITE A FEW – AND THEN HE WENT TO THE GAS PLANT IN BURDETT/ BOW ISLAND. AND FAMILY WAS COMING. [HE] NEEDED A STEADY JOB, [SO HE] CAME TO THE CITY [ TO] FIND A STEADY JOB. HE WAS A CERTIFIED PLUMBER AND GAS-FITTER SO HE APPLIED AT THE CANADIAN WESTERN AND NATURAL GAS… THAT WAS HIS WORLD. HE JUST BLOSSOMED. HE WAS A VERY PRIVATE PERSON, BUT HE LOVED TO BE WITH PEOPLE. THERE WAS A LOT OF COMRADERY AND HORSE-PLAY. HE WORKED BY HIMSELF. HE DIDN’T HAVE A PARTNER. AND [HE] WENT PLACE-TO-PLACE – AND IT GREW, AND GREW, AND GREW, AND GREW – 28 YEARS. AND IT WAS NOT UNCOMMON FOR OUR RESIDENCE PHONE AT HOME TO RING FROM VARIOUS PEOPLE, SAYING, ‘DON’T SEND SO-AND-SO; SEND DAVE BACK. DAVE KNOWS WHAT HE’S DONE HERE, AND THAT’S THE PERSON I WANT BACK.’ THAT WAS NOT UNCOMMON AT ALL TO HAPPEN AT OUR HOUSE. HE MADE A GOOD REPUTATION FOR HIMSELF, AND HE LOVED WHAT HE DID, AND IT SHOWED… HE BECAME A KIND OF AN IMAGE AND I THINK HE REVELED IN THAT. HE WAS KING OF HIS WORLD, REALLY. IT WAS VERY NICE.” “… THERE WAS ALWAYS SOMEBODY ON CALL," CONTINUED MOCH, "BUT, IF IT WAS A MAJOR BLIZZARD, OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT, THEN EVERYBODY WAS PRESSED INTO SERVICE. IF IT WAS TURKEY DAY, AND EVERYBODY WANTS TO COOK A TURKEY, AND THE PILOT LIGHT OR THE OVEN DIDN’T WORK, SOMEBODY HAD TO GO. AND THAT WAS THE BIG THING WITH THE GAS COMPANY. GAS COMPANY SERVICEMEN WERE FREE OF CHARGE AND THE ONLY CHARGE WOULD HAVE BEEN FOR A THERMOCOUPLE OR A PART THAT NEEDED TO BE REPLACED. PEOPLE WERE NOT SHY ABOUT CALLING THE GAS COMPANY TO REMEDY THEIR SITUATION. YES, THERE WAS ALWAYS SOMEONE ON CALL, AND HE HAD TO TAKE HIS TURN DOING THAT. BUT, IF THERE WAS A MASS BLIZZARD OR STORM OF SOME SORT, THEN THEY WERE ALL CALLED OUT.” MOCH EXPLAINED THE THERMOMETER WAS OF GREAT IMPORTANCE TO CARSE’S WORK: “MOST OF HIS CALLS WERE [BAKING RELATED]. PEOPLE ALWAYS BAKED IN THOSE DAYS – ALWAYS BAKED AND [IF], ‘THE OVEN WASN’T COOKING RIGHT,’ OR ‘IT WASN’T HOT ENOUGH,’ OR ‘HOW COME THIS FLOPPED?’ ‘WE’D BETTER CALIBRATE THE OVEN PROPERLY.’ AND SO [THEY'D CALL IN], ‘CAN DAVE COME OUT AND CHECK IT OUT AND CHECK THAT OUT FOR US?’ SO YES, THAT [THERMOMETRE] WAS ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS THAT HE BROUGHT OUT… MOM BAKED ALL THE TIME AS WELL, TWICE A WEEK PROBABLY. ON A REGULAR BASIS, HE WOULD JUST DOUBLE CHECK [WITH THE THERMOMETER] TO MAKE SURE THINGS WERE WORKING THE WAY THEY SHOULD. NOT NECESSARILY THAT THERE WAS A PROBLEM, BUT JUST SO THAT THEY STAY THE WAY THEY SHOULD BE. HE EDUCATED US ALL ABOUT THE BLUE FLAME AND HOW THE BLUE FLAME HAD TO HAVE THE LITTLE TIP ON THE END OF THE BLUE FLAME AND THAT MEANS IT’S BURNING CLEAN. IT WAS VERY EDUCATIONAL, TOO.” “[HE] ALWAYS CAME HOME FOR LUNCH. MOM ALWAYS HAD LUNCH READY. WE HAD LUNCH IN THE LIVING ROOM WITH A SANDWICH AND HE HAD A LITTLE SNOOZE. FIVE MINUTES, AND HE WAS OUT THE DOOR. HE WAS NEVER LATE. HE WAS ALWAYS HOME, AND HE WAS NEVER LATE COMING HOME FROM WORK. HE JUST LOVED IT… HE RETIRED IN SEPTEMBER 30, ’73. SO, PROBABLY ’43, ’44 THAT HE CAME TO LETHBRIDGE TO [WORK AT THE] GAS COMPANY.” ACCORDING TO HIS OBITUARY IN THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD, DAVID ROXBOROUGH CARSE PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE ON 15 NOVEMBER 2000. PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT, LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES, AND THERMOMETER PATENT.
Catalogue Number
P20160027000
Acquisition Date
2016-09
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
Date Range From
1907
Date Range To
1995
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
WOOD, METAL, VARNISH
Catalogue Number
P20160003008
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1907
Date Range To
1995
Materials
WOOD, METAL, VARNISH
No. Pieces
1
Height
107
Diameter
54.5
Description
WOODEN SPINNING WHEEL COATED WITH RED WOOD VARNISH. THE BOBBIN IS APPROX. 11.5CM IN LENGTH AND APPROX. 9CM IN DIAMETER. THERE IS SOME HANDSPUN, WHITE YARN REMAINING ON THE BOBBIN, IN ADDITION TO A SMALL AMOUNT OF GREEN YARN. THE SPINNING WHEEL IS FULLY ASSEMBLED. ON EITHER SIDE OF THE FLYER THERE ARE 10 METAL HOOKS. ON THE LEFT SIDE ONE OF THE 10 HOOKS IS PARTIALLY BROKEN OFF. ON THE FRONT MAIDEN, A WHITE STRING IS TIED AROUND A FRONT KNOB WITH A METAL WIRE BENT LIKE A HOOK (POSSIBLY TO PULL YARN THROUGH THE METAL ORIFICE ATTACHED TO FLYER). LONG SECTION OF RED YARN LOOPED AROUND THE SPINNING WHEEL (MAY BE DRIVE BAND). TREADLE IS TIED TO THE FOOTMAN WITH A DARK GREY, FLAT STRING THAT IS 5MM IN WIDTH. GOOD CONDITION. TREADLE IS WELL WORN WITH VARNISH WORN OFF AND METAL NAIL HEADS EXPOSED.
Subjects
TEXTILEWORKING T&E
Historical Association
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. MORRIS ACQUIRED THIS SPINNING WHEEL FROM HER MOTHER AT THE SAME TIME SHE ACQUIRED THE RUG (P20160003006-GA). SHE EXPLAINS: “I ASKED HER IF I COULD USE THE SPINNING WHEEL – SHE TAUGHT ME HOW TO SPIN. AND SHE ALSO TAUGHT ME HOW TO WEAVE, ACTUALLY MY GRANDMOTHER DID THAT MORE SO THAN MY MOTHER. AND I BELONG TO THE WEAVERS’ GUILD, SO I THOUGHT THAT I BETTER DO SOME SPINNING. AND I DID SOME, SO THAT’S WHY I’VE GOT IT HERE AND MOTHER SAID NOT TO BOTHER BRINGING IT BECAUSE SHE WASN’T GOING TO DO ANYMORE SPINNING. SHE HAD LOTS AND LOTS OF YARN THAT SHE DID. SO IT’S BEEN SITTING HERE; IT WAS IN THE BASEMENT.” THE WHEEL WAS MADE FOR ELIZABETH KONKIN WHEN SHE WAS A CHILD IN BRITISH COLUMBIA. MORRIS EXPLAINED THAT: “… [THE SPINNING WHEEL] WAS MADE ESPECIALLY FOR HER. SHE WAS VERY YOUNG. AND THAT IS THE CADILLAC OF SPINNING WHEELS… BECAUSE SHE KNEW WHO THE SPINNERS WERE, WHO THE SPINNING WHEEL CARPENTERS WERE. AND THERE WAS ONE PARTICULAR MAN AND HER MOTHER SAID, ‘WE’LL GO TO THAT ONE.’ AND THEN IN TURN, IN PAYMENT, SHE WOVE HIM ENOUGH MATERIAL TO MAKE A SUIT – A LINEN ONE… [T]HEY DIDN’T LIVE IN CASTELLAR, THEY LIVED IN ANOTHER PLACE. IT’S CALLED - IN RUSSIAN IT IS CALLED OOTISCHENIA. IT’S WHERE THE BIG – ONE OF THE BIG DAMS IS. IF YOU EVER GO ON THAT ROAD, THERE’LL BE DAMS – I THINK ABOUT 3 HUGE ONES… NEAR CASTELLAR, YEAH.” WHEN ASKED ABOUT THE TIME THE WHEEL WAS BUILT FOR HER MOTHER, MORRIS ANSWERED: “… [S]HE GOT IT LONG BEFORE [HER MARRIAGE].” SHE EXPLAINED THAT PRIOR TO MARRYING, GIRLS WOULD PUT TOGETHER TROUSSEAUS “AND THEY MAKE ALL KINDS OF FANCY THINGS WHICH THEY NEVER USE.” MORRIS RECALLS THE SPINNING WHEEL BEING USED WITHIN HER FAMILY’S HOME IN SHOULDICE AND IN THE LEAN-TO AREA IN THEIR HOME AT VAUXHALL: ‘WELL I THINK [THE SKILL IS] IN THE GENES ACTUALLY. BECAUSE MOST FAMILIES WOVE, AND THEY CERTAINLY SPUN, AS FAR AS I REMEMBER. I KNOW EVERY FALL THE LOOM WOULD COME OUT AND WE WERE LIVING WITH MY GRANDPARENTS ON MY DAD’S [SIDE]. WE LIVED UPSTAIRS, AND EVERY WINTER THEY’D HAUL THAT HUGE LOOM INTO THE BATHHOUSE – THE STEAM BATHHOUSE – BECAUSE THERE WAS NO ROOM ANYWHERE ELSE. AND THEY – THE LADIES SET IT UP AND IN THE SUMMERTIME. THEY TORE THE RAGS FOR THE RUGS, OR SPUN THEM. [FOR] WHATEVER THEY WERE GOING TO MAKE. MY MOM WAS SPINNING WHEN I WAS OLD. [S]HE USED MAKE MITTENS AND SOCKS FOR THE KIDS FOR MY CHILDREN AND SO WHEN SHE DIED THERE WAS A WHOLE STACK OF THESE MITTENS AND SOCKS AND I’VE BEEN GIVING IT TO MY GRAND[KIDS AND] MY GREAT GRANDKIDS” MORRIS ALSO USED THIS SPINNING WHEEL MANY TIMES HERSELF. SHE SAID, “IT WAS VERY EASY TO SPIN AND WHEN YOU TRY SOMEBODY ELSE’S SPINNING WHEEL YOU KNOW THE DIFFERENCE RIGHT AWAY. IT’S LIKE DRIVING A CADILLAC AND THEN DRIVING AN OLD FORD. IT’S JUST, IT’S SMOOTH. OUR SON, I TOLD YOU HE WAS VERY CLEVER, HE TRIED SPINNING AND HE SAID IT WAS JUST A VERY, VERY GOOD SPINNING WHEEL. WHEN I WAS IN THE GUILD I TRIED DOING [WHAT] MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME HOW TO SPIN FINE THREAD AND I WANTED HEAVY THREAD BECAUSE NOW [THEY'RE] MAKING THESE WALL HANGINGS. THEY USE THREAD AS THICK AS TWO FINGERS SO I DID THAT AND I DYED IT. I WENT OUT AND CREATED MY OWN DYES. THAT WAS FUN AND THEN I HAVE A SAMPLER OF ALL THE DYES I MADE… I STOPPED SPINNING SHORTLY BEFORE I STOPPED WEAVING… I LOVED WEAVING. FIRST OF ALL I LEARNED HOW TO EMBROIDER. I LIKED THAT THEN I LEARNED HOW CROCHET, I LIKED THAT. THEN I LEARNED HOW TO KNIT AND THAT WAS TOPS. THEN ONE DAY I WAS VISITING MY FRIEND, FRANCES, AND SHE WAS GOING TO THE BOWMAN AND I SAID, 'WHERE ARE YOU GOING?' SHE SAID 'I’M GOING THERE TO WEAVE.' I SAID, 'I DIDN’T KNOW YOU COULD WEAVE?' SHE SAID, 'OH YES,' AND I SAID ‘IS IT HARD?' SHE SAID, ‘NO,” SO I WENT THERE AND I SAW THE THINGS SHE WOVE. THEY WERE BEAUTIFUL AND SO I JOINED THE GROUP AND THEN OF COURSE I WANTED TO HAVE SOME OF THE STUFF I HAD SPUN MYSELF AND DYED MYSELF AND NOBODY ELSE WANTED. THEN I DECIDED, ‘ALRIGHT, I’VE WOVEN ALL THESE THINGS, WOVE MYSELF A SUIT, LONG SKIRT YOU NAME IT. PLACE MATS GALORE. THIS LITTLE RUNNER,’ AND I THOUGHT, ‘WELL, WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH THE REST BECAUSE NOBODY WANTS HOMESPUN STUFF. THEY WANT TO GO TO WALMART OR SOME PLACE AND BUY SOMETHING READYMADE,’ SO I GAVE UP SPINNING AND WEAVING… I STOPPED AFTER I MADE MY SUIT. THAT MUST HAVE BEEN ABOUT TWENTY YEARS AGO, EASILY.” MORRIS’ MOTHER WOULD WEAVE IN SHOULDICE, BUT “[I]N VAUXHALL, NO, SHE WASN’T [WEAVING]. SHE DIDN’T HAVE A LOOM.” MORRIS SAID IN SHOULDICE, “I LEARNED HOW TO THROW THE SHUTTLE BACK AND FORTH TO WEAVE RUGS BECAUSE I USED TO SIT THERE WATCHING MY GRANDMOTHER AND SHE LET ME DO THAT, AND THEN YOU SEE WHEN I GOT SO INTERESTED IN WEAVING THAT I BOUGHT A LOOM, SITTING DOWN IN THE BASEMENT. I’VE BEEN TRYING TO SELL IT EVER SINCE AND NOBODY WANTS IT. I OFFERED TO GIVE IT FOR FREE AND NOBODY WANTS IT BECAUSE THEY DON’T HAVE SPACE FOR IT.” PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, OBITUARIES, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160003008
Acquisition Date
2016-02
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
KNITTING BAG
Date Range From
1870
Date Range To
1999
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
CANVAS, FABRIC, THREAD
Catalogue Number
P20160003005
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
KNITTING BAG
Date Range From
1870
Date Range To
1999
Materials
CANVAS, FABRIC, THREAD
No. Pieces
1
Length
41
Width
36
Description
HANDMADE BAG MADE OF 3 SECTIONS OF STRIPS OF ABOUT 5 INCHES (APPROX. 13 CM) EACH. IT IS RED WITH BLUE, YELLOW, GREEN, AND RAW MATERIAL ACCENTS. THE TRIM AT THE TOP OF THE BAG IS BLUE WITH A HANDLE OF THE SAME FABRIC ON EITHER SIDE. THERE IS A STRIP OF RAW, NOT PATTERNED FABRIC AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG. BOTH SIDES OF THE BAG HAVE THE SAME ARRANGEMENT OF PATTERNED STRIPS. THERE IS ONE SEAM CONNECTING THE FRONT AND THE BACK OF THE BAG ON BOTH SIDES. THE INSIDE IS UNLINED. GOOD TO VERY GOOD CONDITION. THERE IS SOME STITCHING COMING LOOSE AT VARIOUS POINTS OF THE PATTERNING.
Subjects
CONTAINER
Historical Association
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. A STATEMENT WRITTEN BY MORRIS ATTACHED TO THE BAG STATES THAT THE MATERIAL OF THE BAG ORIGINATES FROM THE 1870S. THE STATEMENT READS: “THIS BAG WAS HAND WOVEN IN STRIPS [THAT WERE USED] TO SEW ON THE BOTTOM OF PETTICOATS. THE GIRLS AT THAT TIME HAD TO HAVE A TROUSEUA [SIC] TO LAST A LIFETIME BECAUSE AFTER MARRIAGE THERE WOULD BE NO TIME TO MAKE CLOTHES SO WHAT THEY MADE WAS STURDY. THEY STARTED ON THEIR TROUSEUS [SIC] AS SOON AS THEY COULD HOLD A NEEDLE. WHEN IT WAS HAYING TIME THE GIRLS WENT OUT INTO THE FIELD TO RAKE THE HAY. THEY WORE PETTICOATS OF LINEN TO WHICH THESE BANDS WERE SEWN. THE LONG SKIRTS WERE PICKED UP AT THE SIDES AND TUCKED INTO THE WAISTBANDS SO THAT THE BOTTOMS OF THE PETTICOATS WERE ON DISPLAY.” “THESE BANDS WERE ORIGINALLY MY GREAT GRANDMOTHER’S WHO CAME OUT OF RUSSIA WITH THE DOUKHOBOR SETTLEMENT IN 1899. THEY WERE PASSED ON TO MY MOTHER, ELIZABETH KONKIN, WHO MADE THEM INTO A BAG IN THE 1940S” THE STRIPS THAT MAKE UP THE BAG SERVED A UTILITARIAN PURPOSE WHEN SEWN TO THE BOTTOM OF THE PETTICOATS. IN THE INTERVIEW, MORRIS EXPLAINS: “… THESE STRIPS ARE VERY STRONG. THEY’RE LIKE CANVAS. THEY WERE SEWN ONTO THE BOTTOM OF THE LADY’S PETTICOATS AND THEY WORE A SKIRT ON TOP OF THE PETTICOATS. THESE STRIPS LASTED A LIFETIME, IN FACT MORE THAN ONE LIFETIME BECAUSE I’VE GOT THEM NOW. THEY WOULD TUCK THE SKIRTS INTO THEIR WAISTBAND ON THE SIDE SO THEIR PETTICOATS SHOWED AND THEY WERE TRYING TO PRESERVE THEIR SKIRTS NOT TO GET CAUGHT IN THE GRAIN. THE GIRLS LIKED TO WEAR THEM TO SHOW OFF BECAUSE THE BOYS WERE THERE AND THEY ALWAYS WORE THEIR VERY BEST SUNDAY CLOTHES WHEN THEY WENT CUTTING WHEAT OR GRAIN." “[THE FABRIC] CAME FROM RUSSIA. WITH THE AREA WHERE THEY CAME FROM IS NOW GEORGIA AND THEY LIVED ABOUT SEVEN MILES NORTH OF THE TURKISH BORDER, THE PRESENT DAY TURKISH BORDER… [THE DOUKHOBORS] CAME TO CANADA IN 1897 AND 1899.” MORRIS EXPLAINS THAT SURPLUS FABRIC WOULD HAVE BEEN BROUGHT TO CANADA FROM RUSSIA BY HER MATERNAL GRANDMOTHER FOR FUTURE USE AND TO AID THE GIRLS IN MAKING THEIR TROUSSEAUS: “THE TROUSSEAU THE GIRLS MADE HAD TO LAST THEM A LIFETIME BECAUSE THEY WOULDN’T HAVE TIME BUT RAISING CHILDREN TO SEWING THINGS. SEWING MACHINES WERE UNKNOWN THEN.” THE BANDS OF FABRIC THAT MAKE UP THE BAG WOULD HAVE BEEN REMAINS NEVER USED FROM ELIZABETH KONKIN’S TROUSSEAU. SHE HAND WOVE THE BAG WHILE SHE WAS LIVING IN SHOULDICE. THE BAG WAS USED BY MORRIS’ MOTHER TO STORE HER KNITTING SUPPLIES. WHEN MORRIS ACQUIRED THE BAG IN THE 1990S, IT MAINTAINED A SIMILAR PURPOSE: “WELL I USED TO CARRY MY STUFF FOR THE WEAVER’S GUILD BUT NOW I DON’T USE IT FOR ANYTHING. IT’S VERY HANDY YOU KNOW IT DOESN’T WEAR OUT.” THERE WAS ONLY ONE BAG MADE OUT OF THESE REMNANTS BY MORRIS’ MOTHER. PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, OBITUARIES, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160003005
Acquisition Date
2016-02
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Date Range From
1933
Date Range To
2000
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
CLOTH, FELT, PAINT
Catalogue Number
P20160003002
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1933
Date Range To
2000
Materials
CLOTH, FELT, PAINT
No. Pieces
2
Height
29.5
Width
15
Description
A: HANDMADE DOLL. THE “ESKIMO” DOLL IS MADE WITH LIGHT BLUE, FELT-LIKE FABRIC WITH WHITE FABRIC ACCENTS. THE FACE IS MADE OUT OF A LIGHTER FABRIC THAT IS PEACH-COLOURED. THE FACIAL DETAILS ARE HAND PAINTED. THE DOLL HAS BLUE EYES, EYEBROWS, NOSTRILS, RED LIPS, AND ROSY CHEEKS. THE LIGHT BLUE FABRIC THAT MAKES UP THE MAJORITY OF THE DOLL’S BODY IS ENCOMPASSING THE DOLL’S FACE LIKE A HOOD. THE DOLL’S TORSO IS COVERED IN THE LIGHT BLUE FELT. TWO HEART-SHAPED ARMS, MADE OF THE SAME MATERIAL, ARE ATTACHED TO EITHER SIDE OF THE BODY. THE DOLLS UPPER LEG AND FEET ARE COVERED IN THE LIGHT BLUE FELT. FROM THE KNEES TO THE ANKLES, A LIGHTER, WHITE FABRIC IS COVERING THE LEGS. B: DOLL SKIRT. AROUND THE DOLL’S WAIST IS A DETACHABLE SKIRT MADE OF THE SAME FABRIC AND A WHITE WAISTBAND. POOR CONDITION. ALL FABRIC IS WELL-WORN AND THREADBARE IN MULTIPLE PLACES. THE DOLL’S RED STUFFING IS VISIBLE THROUGH PARTS OF THE FABRIC. THERE IS DISCOLORATION (YELLOWING) OVERALL. THE STUFFING IS NOT EVENLY DISTRIBUTED THROUGHOUT THE DOLL. THE SEAMS AT THE ARMS ARE FRAGILE. THE PAINT FOR THE DOLL’S FACE IS SEVERELY FADED.
Subjects
TOY
Historical Association
ETHNOGRAPHIC
LEISURE
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. THE FAMILY 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. THIS DOLL BELONGED TO MORRIS AS A CHILD. SHE EXPLAINS, “THIS CAME FROM A GREAT AUNT WHO CAME TO VISIT US AND SHE ALWAYS BROUGHT GIFTS AND THIS ONE WAS MINE AND I LOVED THIS DOLL… I REMEMBER PLAYING WITH IT, IT WAS SOFT AND CUDDLY WHEN I HAD IT… MY DAUGHTER WENT THROUGH IT AND MY GRANDDAUGHTER AND THEN I PUT A STOP TO IT BEFORE THEY ATE IT UP OR DID SOMETHING… THEY LOVED IT AND THEY, YOU KNOW LITTLE KIDS, THEY’RE CARELESS SO I’LL KEEP IT...” IN A PHONE CALL WITH COLLECTIONS ASSISTANT ELISE PUNDYK ON OCTOBER 24, 2017, MORRIS SAID SHE RECIEVED THE DOLL FROM HER GREAT AUNT WHO HAD BROUGHT IT FROM VISITING BRITISH COLUMBIA. MORRIS PLAYED WITH THE DOLL AS A CHILD, AS DID MORRIS' CHILDREN. THE DOLL WAS LOVED BY MULTIPLE GENERATIONS IN MORRIS' FAMILY AS HER GRANDCHILDREN AND GREAT GRANDCHILDREN WOULD ALSO PLAY WITH THE DOLL WHEN THEY CAME TO VISIT. PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, OBITUARIES, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160003002
Acquisition Date
2016-02
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Date Range From
1945
Date Range To
2005
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
STEEL, WOOD
Catalogue Number
P20160029000
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1945
Date Range To
2005
Materials
STEEL, WOOD
No. Pieces
7
Height
30
Diameter
31
Description
A: PRESSURE COOKER POT: STEEL POT WITH TWO BLACK WOODEN HANDLES. HANDLES ARE SCREWED TO LIP OF POT WITH TWO SCREWS EACH. FAIR TO GOOD CONDITION. BLACK RESIDUE, WATER STAINS, AND SCRATCHES ON OVERALL SURFACE OF POT FROM USE. THERE IS A FULL CRACK SEPARATING THE BACK END OF THE RIGHT HANDLE FROM THE POT. B: LID: STEEL LID 31.9CM (D) X 3.8CM (H). LID HAS ONE BLACK WOODEN HANDLE HELD IN PLACE BY TWO SCREWS. BOTH SIDES OF HANDLES HAVE VALVES FOR LETTING OFF/MANAGING PRESSURE. THE CENTER HAS A ROUND GAUGE WHICH READS BOTH PRESSURE (0 TO 20) AND TEMPERATURE IN DEGREES FAHRENHEIT (228° TO 259°). IT READS "WARNING OPEN PETCOCK, EXHAUST STEAM…” GAUGE HAS SINGLE RED NEEDLE. IN FRONT OF GAUGE ON TOP OF LID READS, “IMPROVED KOOK / KWICK STEAM PRESSURE COOKER 22”. LID IS SECURED TO POT WITH REMOVABLE RING THAT IS TIGHTENED BY TURNING A SMALL HANDLE AT THE FRONT. GOOD CONDITION. STAINING ON OVERALL SURFACE OF LID AND BACKGROUND OF GAUGE IS YELLOWED. C: SEALING RING: 36 CM IN DIAMETER UNTIGHTENED. STEEL WITH A RUBBER KNOB AT THE OPENING. HINGE AT THE BACK SIDE OF THE RING. CLAMP AT FRONT IS TIGHTENED BY A METAL HANDLE. GOOD CONDITION. STAINING ON OVERALL SURFACE OF THE STEEL. D: COOKING RACK: 26.5 CM IN DIAMETER. CIRCULAR, METAL RACK WITH A CIRCLE OPENING AT THE CENTER AND A CURVED PATTERN OF TWO ROWS AROUND. THE RACK HAS 6 SECTIONS AROUND. THERE ARE RIDGES ALONG THE VERTICAL LINES ON ONE SIDE. THE OPPOSITE SIDE IS FLAT. THREE OF THE RIDGES HAVE SCREW HOLES ON THE OUTSIDE EDGE. E-G: 3 MASON JAR LID BANDS: ALL 8.5 CM IN DIAMETER. E IS MADE OUT OF A SILVER-COLOURED METAL. F AND G ARE MADE OUT OF GOLD-COLOURED METAL. POOR TO FAIR CONDITION FOR COMPONENTS D THROUGH G. ALL COMPONENTS ARE RUSTING WITH SIGNIFICANT MINERAL BUILD UP ON THEM. THERE IS FURTHER MATERIAL BUILD UP ON COMPONENTS E-G.
Subjects
FOOD PROCESSING T&E
Historical Association
DOMESTIC
History
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ABOUT THIS PRESSURE COOKER IS EXTRACTED FROM A SEPTEMBER 2016 INTERVIEW CONDUCTED BY COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN WITH THE ARTIFACT'S DONOR, JEANNETTE HOUTEKAMER: HOUTEKAMER CAME INTO POSSESSION OF THE PRESSURE COOKER FROM HER AUNT, EUGENE SICOTTE: “WELL, FIRST OF ALL, I KNOW IT’S VERY OLD. IT CAME FROM A GREAT AUNT, WHO CAME TO THIS COUNTRY AS A YOUNG GIRL AND WAS LOCATED AROUND THE BEAVER MINE AREA… MUST [HAVE BEEN] LUNDBRECK. SHE WAS THERE WITH HER HUSBAND... SHE ALSO WAS A WONDERFUL COOK, AND SHE COOKED IN A LUMBER CAMP … HER FIRST MARRIED NAME WAS EUGENE (SIC) SICOTTE, MARRIED TO A PETE SICOTTE. [N.B. ALTERNATIVE SPELLING OF FIRST NAME EUGINE OR EUGENIE FROM OBITUARY AND LEGAL NOTICE] … SHE WAS WITH HIM FOR 17 YEARS... HOW SHE MET GEORGE ANDERSON, I’M NOT SURE, BUT HE WAS A FARMER PAST COALDALE - BARNWELL. THEY HAD A FARM UP THERE. AND SHE WAS QUITE A BIT OLDER THAN HIM, BUT THEY MARRIED, AND DID VERY WELL. THEN THEY RETIRED AND MOVED TO THE CITY HERE… I IMAGINE THEY BOUGHT [THE PRESSURE COOKER] DOWN IN GREAT FALLS, BECAUSE HE HAD A SISTER WHO WAS DOWN IN SHELBY. AT THE TIME, IT WAS CONSIDERED MORE EXPENSIVE.” OF THE RELATIONSHIP SHE HAD WITH HER AUNT, HOUTEKAMER STATED: “[W]E WERE VERY CLOSE. THEY HAD NO FAMILY, SO THEY KIND OF ADOPTED MY HUSBAND [MARTIN HOUTEKAMER] AND I... WE DID A LOT OF THINGS FOR THEM WHEN THEY GOT OLDER... SHE WAS A FABULOUS COOK.” HOUTEKAMER’S AUNT’S NAME BECAME EUGENE ANDERSON UNDER HER SECOND MARRIAGE. SOMETIME DURING THE PERIOD AFTER THE EUGENE AND GEORGE ANDERSON MOVED TO LETHBRIDGE AND BEFORE THE PASSING OF MRS. ANDERSON IN 1968, HOUTEKAMER CAME TO ACQUIRE THE PRESSURE COOKER: “WELL, SHE JUST GOT TO THE POINT WHERE SHE WAS GETTING OLDER, AND SHE DIDN’T DO A LOT OF CANNING ANYMORE. SHE HAD DONE A LOT PREVIOUS TO THAT. SHE CANNED EVERYTHING, EVEN MUSHROOMS … [SHE WAS A] FABULOUS COOK … SHE KNEW THAT I DID A LOT OF CANNING, SO SHE THOUGHT [THE PRESSURE COOKER] WOULD HELP." "MY HUSBAND DID A LOT OF FISHING, SO [WE] CANNED FISH, WHICH WAS THE BEST THING FOR IT. WHEN YOU CAN IT IN THERE, IT’S GOING TO BE GOOD… [HE CAUGHT FISH FROM] ALL OVER SOUTHERN ALBERTA. BEAVER MINES WAS ONE OF THE SPECIALS. IN FACT, HIS ASHES ARE IN POLICE LAKE. HE DID A LOT THERE AT POLICE LAKE AND LEE’S CREEK. DEPENDING [ON] HOW MANY FISH YOU HAD TO MAKE IT WORTHWHILE, I WOULD DO A CANNER OF IT. I USED THE SMALL FISH JARS, SO I COULD PACK THEM UP. I DID QUITE A FEW…” PRIOR TO OWNING A PRESSURE COOKER, HOUTEKAMER SAID SHE “USED A BIG CANNER. I HAD ONE THAT HELD 7 OR 8 QUARTS. THAT’S WHAT I DID - MOSTLY FRUIT. I DIDN’T DO A LOT OF VEGETABLES BECAUSE, BY THEN, YOU COULD START FREEZING STUFF. YOU KNOW, IT WAS STARTING TO GET MORE POPULAR.” HOUTEKAMER DID NOT LEARN A GREAT DEAL OF COOKING FROM HER AUNT, “BECAUSE I HAD LEARNED A LOT FROM MY MOTHER. SHE WAS A GOOD COOK. SHE EVEN MADE LEFTOVERS TASTE GOOD. SHE HAD HAD A LOT OF EXPERIENCE… WE DID A LOT OF PRESERVING IN HER DAY. THAT WAS ALL WE HAD AND IT WAS ALWAYS DONE IN A BOILER - A GOOD COPPER BOILER. THAT’S THE WAY YOU LEARNED. … FOR SOME THINGS [THE PRESSURE COOKER WAS BETTER THAN THE COPPER BOILER] BECAUSE MY VEGETABLES TAKE A VERY LONG TIME TO PRESERVE THROUGH BOILING. AND FISH, OH MY GOD, YOU WOULD BE THERE FOREVER TO BOIL, SO THIS [PRESSURE COOKER] IS MUCH BETTER, MUCH FASTER [AND] SAFER, AS WELL. IT WAS HEAVY WORK, MIND YOU. WHEN YOUR COOKER WAS DONE, WHEN YOUR TIME WAS DONE, IF YOU COULD LIFT IT AND TAKE IT OUTDOORS, YOU COULD THROW COLD WATER ON IT AND OPEN IT RIGHT AWAY. THEN YOU WOULD THROW THE CANS IN COLD WATER. FOR JARS, YOU HAD TO WAIT UNTIL IT WENT DOWN BY ITSELF. YOU COULDN’T OPEN IT UNTIL THEN OR ALL THE LIDS WOULD COME OFF.” FOR HOUTEKAMER, CANNING TOOK PLACE MOSTLY DURING THE FALL. SHE WAS ABLE TO PRESERVE A VARIETY OF FOOD WITH THIS PRESSURE COOKER: “I [CANNED] CHICKEN ONE YEAR, AND THAT WAS ENOUGH. WE ALWAYS HAD CHICKEN AROUND [AND] IT WAS BETTER FRESH. MY HUSBAND LOVED HIS FRESH CHICKENS. WE HAD OUR OWN GARDEN, AND SOMETIMES WE WOULD GET SOME CORN IN THE FALL [WHEN THE FARMERS WERE DOING THEIR THRESHING].” OF HER FAVOURITE VEGETABLES TO PRESERVE, HOUTEKAMER SAID, “BEANS, I GUESS. I WOULD GET A LOT OF BEANS. BEETS – I DID SOME – NOT CANNED. [I] DID A LOT OF PICKLES. BEANS WERE THE MAIN THING, AND CHICKEN, AND FISH. AND THAT WAS IT. I DID A LOT OF TOMATOES, BUT THEY WERE SIMPLER TO DO IN THE CANNER, BECAUSE THEY ONLY TAKE ABOUT 20 MINUTES… [THE PRESSURE COOKER] WOULD BE PLACED ON [A] GAS OR ELECTRIC [STOVE]. WHEN THE TIME WAS DONE, YOU JUST SHUT THE STOVE OFF AND LET IT COME DOWN BY ITSELF… I USED TO JUST KNOW WHERE TO PUT THE STOVE AT, THE BURNER, TO KEEP [THE PRESSURE WHERE NEEDED]. YOU HAD TO BE CAREFUL. YOU COULDN’T JUST TURN YOUR BACK ON IT. YOU WOULDN’T WANT THAT. THAT WHOLE THING WOULD COME OFF, AND YOU WOULD HAVE ONE BIG MESS. … NO [THAT NEVER HAPPENED]. I ALWAYS WAS VERY CAREFUL – WATCHED IT CLOSE. I DON’T THINK [MESSES] EVER HAPPENED TO MY AUNT EITHER THAT I’M AWARE OF… MOST OF THE COOKBOOKS IN THOSE DAYS HAD INSTRUCTIONS ABOUT HOW MANY POUNDS TO USE FOR VEGETABLES. I THINK MY FISH WAS 15 POUNDS. FOLLOW THOSE INSTRUCTIONS AND IT WORKED FINE – [IT] DID A VERY GOOD JOB.” HOUTEKAMER WOULD USE THE PRESSURE COOKER AT HER HOME ON THE RESEARCH STATION AND THEN LATER AT HER HOME ON THE NORTH SIDE OF LETHBRIDGE: “… AT THE TIME WE LIVED ON THE RESEARCH STATION FOR TWENTY YEARS. AND I USED IT THERE. MY HUSBAND WORKED THERE, IN POULTRY RESEARCH. WE WERE POOR. WE DID A LOT OF CANNING AND ALWAYS HAD A GARDEN. THAT’S HOW IT CAME ABOUT … WE HAD A PLACE TO LIVE AND OUR OWN GARDEN.” THE PRESSURE COOKER WAS ACTIVELY USED BY HOUTEKAMER UNTIL HER HUSBAND’S DEATH IN 2005: “WELL, I DON’T THINK I’VE USED IT IN THE LAST 10 YEARS BECAUSE I’VE BEEN LIVING IN A CONDO. I JUST HAD IT SITTING AROUND, TOO HEAVY TO MOVE… I DIDN’T DO A LOT OF CANNING ANYMORE…” THIS ARTIFACT BRINGS BACK MEMORIES OF HER LATE HUSBAND: “WE ALWAYS DID A LOT OF FISHING TOGETHER. WHEN HE RETIRED, HE BOUGHT HIS BOAT. WE HAD A CAMPER VAN, SO WE COULD GO OUT AND STAY OVERNIGHT. WE HAD [THE] BOAT, SO WE COULD GO ONTO THE WATER [AND] TRY TO GET SOME FISH. THOSE DAYS, THERE WERE SO MANY FISH... IF YOU WERE LUCKY, YOU HAD A NICE BIG ONE THAT WOULD FILL ABOUT FIVE OR SIX JARS.” CANNING WAS A NECESSITY FOR FOOD PRESERVATION: “WELL, I GUESS IT’S OK IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT, BUT WHEN WE WERE YOUNGER, WE WERE VERY POOR, SO YOU DID WHAT HAD TO DO. KEEP GOING. EAT… MY GIRLS STILL DO SOME, BUT NOW, WITH THE NEW FANCY STOVES, YOU COULD NEVER USE THIS – TOO HEAVY. THE NEW STOVES – THEY JUST CAN’T PUT ANYTHING HEAVY ON THERE. I THINK IT’S KIND OF TOO BAD, BECAUSE A GARDEN IS NOT THAT HARD TO HAVE, AND YOU CAN GET AN AWFUL LOT OF GOOD FOOD OUT OF THERE – NATURAL FOOD, AND VERY HEALTHY FOOD. SOME PEOPLE JUST CAN’T BE BOTHERED. [IT'S] SIMPLER TO GO TO THE STORE… [MY AUNT] COULD HAVE PROBABLY SAID MORE, SHE DID A GREAT DEAL OF CANNING. SHE ALWAYS MADE SURE, WHEN THEY BUILT THEIR HOUSES, THAT THEY HAD A PLACE FOR PUTTING HER CANNED STUFF, WHERE SHE COULD KEEP IT COOLER IN THE SUMMER.” ACCORDING TO HER LETHBRIDGE HERALD OBITUARY, MRS. EUGINE ANDERSON PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE ON JANUARY 18, 1968 AT THE AGE OF 85. HER SECOND HUSBAND, MR. GEORGE ANDERSON, PASSED AWAY IN CALGARY ON NOVEMBER 26, 1972 AT THE AGE OF 79. MRS. ANDERSON’S FIRST HUSBAND, MR. PETE SICOTTE, PASSED AWAY IN CAMROSE, ALBERTA ON FEBRUARY 15, 1966 AT THE AGE OF 92. A MEMORIAM IN THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD INDICATES THAT THE DONOR’S HUSBAND, MR. MARTIN HOUTEKAMER PASSED AWAY ON APRIL 21, 2005. SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION AND COPIES OF OBITUARIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160029000
Acquisition Date
2016-09
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
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