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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
WINDSHIELD COVER
Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1960
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
COTTON, POLYESTER, INK
Catalogue Number
P20180021005
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
WINDSHIELD COVER
Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1960
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 MARY 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
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