Skip header and navigation

1 records – page 1 of 1.

Other Name
WATER VALVE WRENCH
Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1960
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
IRON
Catalogue Number
P20170013000
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
WATER VALVE WRENCH
Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1960
Materials
IRON
No. Pieces
1
Length
125
Width
43
Description
WATER VALVE WRENCH; IRON RODS WELDED TOGETHER; RODS FORM A CROSS AT TOP WHERE ROD WITH TWO SOCKET ENDS IS FITTED TO LONGER ROD. TOP OF ROD HAS AN IRON WEDGE OR CHISEL ATTACHED. BASE OF ROD HAS ROUNDED END WITH CUT-OUT THROUGH CENTER. WRENCH IS RUSTED AND RUBBED ALONG BOTTOM AND TOP LEFT AND RIGHT SECTIONS. OVERALL GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
METALWORKING T&E
Historical Association
BUSINESS
History
ON FEBRUARY 28, 2016, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED BETTY AND BRIAN ILLINGWORTH ABOUT THEIR DONATION OF A WATER VALVE WRENCH. THE WRENCH WAS USED BY THE ILLINGWORTH’S AT THEIR LETHBRIDGE DRY-CLEANING BUSINESS TO SHUT OFF WATER WHILE WORKING ON THEIR BOILER. ON THE PURPOSE OF THE WRENCH, BRIAN NOTED, “WHEN I WAS WORKING ON THE BOILER…I HAD TO SHUT THE WATER OFF, TO MAKE SURE THAT I WOULDN’T LET ANY STEAM GO, TO PUSH THE WATER BACK.” “WITH [THE WRENCH] YOU COULD SHUT THE WATER OFF [FROM] WHERE IT CAME IN – THE CITY BROUGHT IT IN. YOU COULD TAKE THAT CAP OFF, AND GO DOWN AND SHUT THE WATER OFF. WE WOULD USE THAT WHERE THE MAIN LINE WAS COMING INTO THE STORE TO SHUT THE WATER OFF. [THE MAIN LINE] WAS IN THE SIDEWALK. WE WERE CONTROLLING THE WATER PRESSURE.” WHEN ASKED WHY THEY HAD A BOILER IN THE BUSINESS, BRIAN ELABORATED, “WE HAD TO HAVE STEAM TO PRESS THE CLOTHES.” “[THE BOILER] PROBABLY CAME FROM WINNIPEG. YOU’VE GOT TO HAVE A BOILER, AND THEN YOU’VE GOT TO HAVE A TICKET TO RUN THE BOILER. [BETTY] ENDED UP GETTING A TICKET, BECAUSE I WAS AWAY A LOT, PICKING UP AND DELIVERING CLEANING, I WASN’T THERE. SOMEBODY HAD TO BE THERE, WITH A TICKET, SO SHE GOT ONE. THERE’S A PICTURE OF HER IN THE HERALD, WORKING ON THAT BLOODY BOILER.” BRIAN RECALLED MOVING TO LEHBRIDGE AND OPERATING THE DRY-CLEANING BUSINESS, STATING, “[IT WAS] THE ONE DOWNTOWN, ON EIGHTH STREET…[CALLED] SPIC AND SPAN.” “[WE MOVED FROM PINCHER CREEK TO LETHBRIDGE] AFTER THE WAR WAS OVER. I WAS IN THE SERVICE FOR 5 YEARS.” “WE HAD [RUN A DRY-CLEANING BUSINESS] IN PINCHER CREEK. WHEN WE CAME HERE, WE BOUGHT DIFFERENT EQUIPMENT, AND WE INCREASED OUR BUSINESS. THEN WE USED TO HAVE PICK UP HERE – I WOULD PICK-UP AND DELIVER YOU KNOW. THANK GOD THEY DON’T DO THAT, ANYMORE! IT WOULD BE TOUGH THE WAY THE TRAFFIC IS NOW. IT WOULD BE TOUGH TO TRY TO DELIVER. YOU’D BE STUCK IN TRAFFIC.” “WE HAD A FIRE [IN PINCHER CREEK]. WE USED VARSOL…WE BUILT A SMALL SHACK AWAY FROM OUR BUILDING, AND THAT’S WHERE WE DID THE CLEANING, BUT IT CAUGHT FIRE ONE DAY…IT ALL BURNED UP, SO WE CAME TO LETHBRIDGE, AND [FOUND] OUT, FROM ANOTHER CLEANERS HERE, WHERE WE COULD GET NEW EQUIPMENT. WE WENT DOWN TO GREAT FALLS TO GET IT.” “I DON’T KNOW [WHY WE CHOSE LETHBRIDGE]. WE WERE TALKING TO SOMEBODY [BETTY] KNEW, AND HE SUGGESTED THAT PLACE.” BETTY NOTED, “THERE WAS A BUILDING AVAILABLE. THAT WAS ANOTHER THING, ‘CAUSE IT WAS SORT OF OUT-OF-THE-WAY.” “WHEN WE LEFT PINCHER, I WAS DRESS-MAKING…IT SORT OF MATCHED UP [WITH THE DRY-CLEANING BUSINESS] BECAUSE THERE WAS TAILORING POSSIBILITIES IN THIS BUILDING.” “OURS WAS DRY-CLEANING. MOST OF THE OTHERS WERE…SELF-LAUNDRY. THE OTHER BIG DRY-CLEANERS WAS BART-NEILSEN.” BRIAN RECALLED, “IN THOSE DAYS, SOME WOMEN THEY SENT THEIR SHIRTS AND STUFF, AND COLLARS OUT. THEY DIDN’T WANT TO DO IT AT HOME. THEY SENT IT OUT TO US. IT’S A DIFFERENT BALLGAME.” “[WE WORKED] A LOT OF LATE HOURS, TOO. WE THOUGHT NOTHING OF WORKING, WHEN WE STARTED IN THE MORNING, TILL MAYBE NINE OR TEN AT NIGHT. THEN THE BUILDING WE WERE IN, THERE WAS A RADIATOR SHOP IN ONE HALF THE BUILDING, AND WE WERE IN THE OTHER HALF. THE GUY THAT OWNED THE BUILDING CAME DOWN HERE…HE SAID HE WAS SELLING THE BUILDING, BUT HE WOULDN’T SELL IT TO ANYBODY ELSE, IF WE WANTED [IT]. WE BOUGHT THE BUILDING, AND THEN WE HAD TO KICK THE GUY OUT, THAT HAD THE RADIATOR SHOP – TOM DELANEY– IT’S TOM’S RADIATOR NOW. HE WAS A VERY GOOD GUY - HUNGARIAN BOY. HE WAS OFF THE FARM. HE BUGGERED HIMSELF UP…STRONG KID FROM THE FARM. HE’D PICK UP THE…RADIATOR [AND] BUGGERED HIS BACK UP. THEN FINALLY HE GOT RID OF THAT, AND DID IT ALL AUTOMATIC.” “[WE RAN THE BUSINESS] AT LEAST SIXTY [YEARS]” FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE P20170013000-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20170013000
Acquisition Date
2017-03
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail