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Other Name
BLACKWORK EMBROIDERY
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
COTTON, WOOD, GLASS
Catalogue Number
P20170033001
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
BLACKWORK EMBROIDERY
Date
2011
Materials
COTTON, WOOD, GLASS
No. Pieces
1
Length
65
Width
42
Description
BLACKWORK EMBROIDERY IN MATTE AND FRAME. EMBROIDERY COMPLETED IN BROWN ON WHITE FABRIC, AND SHOWS THE 1910 GALT HOSPITAL FRONT. EMBROIDERY INSIDE BROWN AND GREY MATTE AND BROWN WOOD FRAME WITH GLASS OVER. FRONT OF FRAME HAS BLACK ENGRAVED PLAQUE ON BOTTOM EDGE READING “GALT HOSPITAL/MUSEUM & ARCHIVES, 1910, DESIGNED AND STITCHED, 2011, BELINDA CROWSON”. BACK OF FRAME COVERED IN BROWN PAPER WITH SILVER WIRE ATTACHED FOR HANGING. BACK OF FRAME HAS WHITE LABEL WITH TEXT “LA GALLERY CUSTOM FRAMING & ART, 421-5TH ST. SOUTH, LETHBRIDGE, AB T1J 2B6, PH. 380.4556, FAX 380.4562, WEBSITE WWW.THELAGALLERY.COM, EMAIL INFO@THELAGALLERY.COM, W/O # H0761, ASSEMBLED BY CM”” WITH CHECK BOXES ON LABEL FOR “MOUNTING METHOD” AND “GLASS”, “NON-GLARE GLASS” CHECKED. FRAME HAS CHIPS ON FRONT EDGES; BACK HAS TEARS IN PAPER BACKING. OVERALL EXCELLENT CONDITION.
Subjects
ART
Historical Association
DECORATIVE ARTS
History
ON NOVEMBER 16, 2017 COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED BELINDA CROWSON REGARDING HER DONATION OF A MUNICIPAL CAMPAIGN SIGN AND BLACKWORK EMBROIDERY PIECE. CROWSON WAS EMPLOYED WITH THE GALT MUSEUM AS THE MUSEUM EDUCATOR, WITH A REPUTATION AS A RENOWNED LOCAL HISTORIAN, UNTIL HER ELECTION TO CITY OF LETHBRIDGE COUNCIL IN 2017. ON THE BLACK EMBROIDERY PIECE, CROWSON RECALLED, “SHARING [THIS] WAS HARD, BECAUSE THIS WAS THE FIRST [PIECE] I DESIGNED…AND I VERY MUCH KNOW THE MEANING. IT WAS HANGING IN THE CLASSROOM [AT THE GALT MUSEUM] FOR YEARS, BUT IT WAS VERY HARD [TO GIVE UP], BECAUSE I DESIGNED IT; I STITCHED IT; AND IT’S A PIECE OF MYSELF.” “IT IS SOMETHING THAT I ACTUALLY DESIGNED, AND I HAD NEVER DESIGNED A PIECE BEFORE. I HAD TO LEARN HOW TO DESIGN IT, SO I ACTUALLY HAD A PICTURE AND GRAPH PAPER. I LEARNED HOW TO TAKE A PHOTOGRAPH, AND TURN IT INTO BLACKWORK STITCHES, EVEN THOUGH, OF COURSE, IT’S DONE IN BROWN, AND NOT BLACK. THE NAME DOESN’T ACTUALLY MEAN THE COLOR.” “BLACKWORK COMES FROM THE ELIZABETHAN TIME, AND IT WAS DONE WHEN LACE WAS REALLY EXPENSIVE. THEY WOULD TAKE BLACK THREAD ON WHITE MATERIAL. IF YOU DO BLACKWORK PROPERLY, IT’S ABSOLUTELY REVERSIBLE. IF YOU DID IT ON CUFFS OR COLLARS IT WOULD ALMOST LOOK LIKE LACE, AND BE REVERSIBLE FROM BOTH SIDES. IT’S A TYPE OF EMBROIDERY THAT USES PRIMARILY STRAIGHT LINES. I TAUGHT A CLASS TO PEOPLE AT THE GALT MUSEUM [ON] HOW TO DO BLACKWORK. I ACTUALLY TAUGHT AN EMBROIDERY CLASS IN THIS DESIGN, WHICH IS A VERY SIMPLE TYPE OF EMBROIDERY TO DO, BUT CAN CREATE INCREDIBLY ELABORATE DESIGNS.” “I COMPLETED [THIS PIECE] IN 2011 AND HAD IT FRAMED THAT SAME YEAR. IT’S SUEDE AROUND THE PICTURE MATTE.” “SOMETHING LIKE THIS SIZE OF PICTURE, IN BLACKWORK, PROBABLY ONLY TOOK ME ABOUT 2 WEEKS TO STITCH. IT’S A VERY QUICK DESIGN, BUT IT FILLS IN – AND, IF I WAS TO REDO IT AGAIN, I’D FILL IN MORE OF THE BLANK SPACES. [BLACKWORK IS] SUPPOSED TO LOOK AS COMPLETE AS POSSIBLE, BUT I WANTED TO MAKE THE COLUMNS STICK OUT, SO IT MAY HAVE WORKED IN THAT REGARD.” CROWSON ELABORATED ON HER BACKGROUND DOING EMBROIDERY, NOTING, “I HAVE BEEN DOING EMBROIDERY SINCE [I WAS] A KID. IT’S SOMETHING MY GRANDMOTHER KNEW; MY MOTHER KNEW; IT’S SOMETHING I WAS TAUGHT, AND, OF MY SIBLINGS, I’M THE ONLY ONE WHO DOES IT. THE OTHERS LIKE TO DO MORE STITCHING WITH MACHINES. I LOVE THE HAND-STITCHING, AND I HAVE LONG BEEN THINKING ABOUT DESIGNING. I ALSO HAVE A PASSION FOR HISTORIC BUILDINGS. I HAD DONE A BLACKWORK PIECE, WHICH WAS A PATTERN THAT I HAD BOUGHT AND I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT. IT’S A REALLY NICE WAY OF DOING EMBROIDERY, SO I THOUGHT “THERE’S A WAY OF CAPTURING HISTORIC BUILDINGS IN A VERY DIFFERENT WAY.” I MADE MYSELF A CHALLENGE OF FIGURING IT OUT, AND, OF COURSE, THE WAY I DO MANY THINGS, I DIDN’T ACTUALLY RESEARCH HOW TO DESIGN. I JUST TAUGHT MYSELF, AND IT TOOK ME A WEEKEND. I THREW AWAY ABOUT 3 DESIGNS, UNTIL I REALIZED YOU’VE GOT TO START IN THE CENTER AND WORK OUT. THE NICE THING ABOUT THE GALT HOSPITAL—BECAUSE I DID THE FAÇADE OF THE HOSPITAL [IN THIS PIECE]—IS THAT IT IS SO BEAUTIFULLY SYMMETRICAL, IT MADE IT EASIER. I HAD…THE VARIEGATED THREAD, AND THE MATERIAL TO STITCH ON. THEN IT WAS A MATTER OF ACTUALLY CREATING IT. THE PATTERN HAD A LOT OF ERASING DONE ON IT, AS I CHANGED THINGS. I’M VERY PROUD OF THE WINDOWS…MY GOODNESS, THAT BUILDING HAS A LOT OF WINDOWS! IT WAS FUN, AND THIS WAS THE FIRST ONE [I MADE]. SINCE THEN I HAVE DONE GALBRAITH SCHOOL, THE BOWMAN, AND THE POST OFFICE. THE GALBRAITH SCHOOL IS HANGING AT GALBRAITH SCHOOL, THE BOWMAN IS IN MY HOUSE, AND THE POST OFFICE WAS RAFFLED OFF TO HELP RAISE MONEY FOR CHINATOWN.” “I REMEMBER, AS A KID, I WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO, BUT I WENT THROUGH ONE OF MY MOM’S JEWELRY BOXES. IN THERE WAS THE WORK SHE HAD DONE AS A KID. SHE HAD BEEN PRACTICING HER STITCHES. THAT STUCK WITH ME, AND I REMEMBER HER TALKING ABOUT HOW SHE HAD BEEN TAUGHT FROM HER MOM. MY GRANDMOTHER KEPT CROSS-STITCHING EMBROIDERY UNTIL HER ARTHRITIS GOT TOO BAD. WHEN I DO IT, I REALLY DO FEEL I AM PART OF THAT CHAIN, BECAUSE I DO HAVE EMBROIDERY THAT BOTH MY MOM AND MY GRANDMOTHER HAVE DONE. IT IS INTERESTING BECAUSE, FROM THE MENNONITE TRADITION ESPECIALLY, A LOT OF THE STITCHES I HAVE COME FROM THAT TRADITION, SO IT’S VERY MUCH A PART OF THAT. I WOULD LIKE TO SIT DOWN, ONE DAY WHEN I GET TIME, WITH MY MOM’S COUSIN, WHO DOES WHAT’S CALLED 3-D EMBROIDERING. IN MY FAMILY, PEOPLE ACTUALLY HAVE THE ORDERED EVERY DAY TEA TOWELS, THEY HAVE THE BED TOWELS. IT’S SUCH A PART OF THE SOUTHERN ART, SO MY [WORKS ARE] A LITTLE MORE MODERN INTERPRETATION OF SOME OF THAT. MY GREAT-GRANDMOTHER WOULD HAVE SAT IN RUSSIA, DOING THE SAME STITCHES.” “I DON’T KNOW [HOW MANY PEOPLE IN THE REGION ARE DOING BLACKWORK EMBROIDERY]. I TAUGHT THE CLASS IN … EMBROIDERY, BUT I DON’T THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE PICKING UP BLACKWORK. IT’S INTERESTING, WHEN I MENTION THIS, TALKING TO SOME PEOPLE ONLINE, ONE OF MY FRIENDS WHO HAS A HISTORIC HOUSE IS LIKE, “COULD I PAY YOU TO DESIGN MY HOUSE?” [BLACKWORK EMBROIDERY] IS A FUN WAY FOR ME TO TAKE THOSE TWO IDEAS I LOVE-–OF STITCHING, AND HISTORIC BUILDINGS-–BECAUSE PHOTOGRAPHY, WITH WHAT PEOPLE HAVE TODAY, IS RELATIVELY EASY. YOU CAN TAKE POINT-AND-SHOOT. SOME PEOPLE ARE MUCH BETTER AT IT--THEY’RE ARTISTIC-–BUT THIS IS A WAY OF CAPTURING A BUILDING. YOU HAVE TO, VERY PERSONALLY, SIT THERE, AND BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO MEASURE EVERYTHING OUT, EVEN TO DESIGN IT, YOUR APPRECIATION OF THE ARCHITECTURE IS VERY DIFFERENT THAN A POINT-AND-SHOOT CAMERA.” “I’VE DONE FIVE BUILDINGS NOW, AND I HAVE SEEN EACH ONE IN A VERY DIFFERENT WAY. I REMEMBER THINKING, WITH THE POST OFFICE, WHEN YOU ACTUALLY LOOK AT THE HEIGHT OF THE CLOCK TOWER COMPARED TO THE BASE OF THE BUILDING, [YOU SEE THE] PHENOMENAL ARCHITECTURE, [BUT] IT’S ONLY WHEN YOU ARE STITCHING IT THAT YOU REALIZE THAT THE BASE OF THAT BUILDING ISN’T STRAIGHT. THE BUILDING GOES WITH THE SLANT OF THE SIDEWALK, AND I HAD TO TAKE AN ARTISTIC EYE, AND MAKE THE BOTTOM OF THE BUILDING STRAIGHT FROM THE FRONT. THE OTHER THING, WITH THE POST OFFICE, THERE’S ALMOST NO HISTORIC [PHOTOGRAPHS] OF IT STRAIGHT-ON; IT’S ALWAYS ON THE CORNER, BECAUSE THAT’S EASIER. I CAN’T CROSS-STITCH MY BUILDING ON THE CORNER, SO I HAD TO ACTUALLY TAKE MY OWN PHOTOGRAPHS, INSTEAD OF HISTORICAL PHOTOGRAPHS. THIS HAS REALLY GIVEN ME A NEW APPRECIATION OF THE BUILDINGS, BECAUSE I HAD TO LOOK AT THEM SO CAREFULLY. WITH THE BOWMAN—WITH ALL THESE BUILDINGS--YOU HAD TO THINK WHAT TIME PERIOD YOU WANTED TO DISPLAY. SO THE ONE OF THE BOWMAN, I HAVE THE UNION JACK FLYING [IN] THE PICTURE, BECAUSE I WANTED [TO CAPTURE] IT BACK WHEN IT WAS ORIGINALLY CREATED.” “IT’S AN ADDICTION. YOU SIT IN FRONT OF THE TELEVISION, AND SOMETIMES A WEEKEND PASSES AND YOU HAVEN’T DONE MUCH. WHEN YOU’RE WORKING ON A PROJECT, FOR MYSELF, IT’S LIKE, “I’M GOING TO GET IT DONE.” THEN YOU TAKE A BREAK BEFORE YOU PICK UP THE NEXT PROJECT, SO YOU CAN DO ALL THE OTHER STUFF. TRYING TO PUT [AN ESTIMATE OF TIME SPENT CREATING] IT, I WOULDN’T HAVE A CLUE.” “I THINK EVERYBODY [HAS] MULTI-FACETS IN THEIR BRAINS, AND I USE DIFFERENT PARTS OF IT. IT’S ALWAYS FUN TO CHALLENGE, TO TRY NEW THINGS. ONE OF THE THINGS I’D LIKE TO DO…I’VE SEEN PEOPLE WHO ARE CROSS-STITCHING ON METAL [PUTTING HOLES IN]. IN THE SPRING, I WILL BE DOING A CROSS-STITCH PATTERN ON ‘PAGE WIRE’, THAT [ATTACHES] TO A FENCE, SO IT WILL BE OUTDOOR CROSS-STITCH. I LOVE WORKING WITH MY SILKS, AND MY REALLY DELICATE STUFF, BUT THE BEAUTIFUL THING ABOUT EMBROIDERY IS YOU CAN TAKE IT DIFFERENT WAYS. WHY SHOULD KNITTERS HAVE ALL THE FUN WHEN THEY GO ‘YARN-BOMBING’? WE CAN DO ‘CROSS-STITCH BOMBING’, TOO. IT’S ONE OF THOSE THINGS WHERE YOU CAN TAKE A VERY OLD FORM, AND MAKE IT VERY MODERN.” “IT WAS A HARD DECISION [TO DONATE IT]. I HAVE THE PATTERN. I CAN ALWAYS RECREATE IT. IT WOULD NEVER BE THE SAME. I DON’T CARE IF YOU RECREATE SOMETHING, IT’S NEVER THE SAME THING. BUT I HAD TO LET THE LOGICAL PART OF MY BRAIN HANDLE THIS DECISION, BECAUSE IT DID HANG IN THE CLASSROOM AND YOU POINTED TO THIS THING A LOT WHEN WE DISCUSSED THE BUILDING. FOR A LOT OF STUDENTS THIS WAS THE PICTURE OF THE BUILDING THAT THEY REMEMBER SEEING, SO THE CONNECTION TO MY JOB JUST MADE IT SUCH A STRONG [POINT]. THE OTHER THING IS, AS AN ARTIST…I GET TO SAY I’M AN ART-PIECE IN A MUSEUM. THAT’S QUITE THE HONOR. IT WASN’T CHOSEN AS AN ART-PIECE, BUT STILL I CAN MAKE THAT WORK. [I SPENT] PROBABLY A WEEK TALKING TO FAMILY MEMBERS AS WELL, BECAUSE I HAVE A LOT OF CROSS-STITCH IN MY HOUSE, FROM PATTERNS AND DIFFERENT THINGS. I REMIND THEM I’M NOT GOING TO DIE SOON, BUT SOME OF MY NIECES HAVE TOLD ME WHICH ONES THEY WANT WHEN I’M DEAD. SO I ALSO NEEDED TO TALK TO FAMILY, AND MAKE SURE THAT NOBODY WAS GOING TO BE CRINGING TO FIND IT WAS GONE. IT IS INTERESTING HOW THINGS THAT YOU CREATE [HAVE] A SENSE OF OWNERSHIP FOR OTHER PEOPLE TOO, SO I HAD TO DOUBLE CHECK WITH OTHER PEOPLE TOO.” “IT WAS JULY OR AUGUST OF 2000, WHEN I WAS INTERVIEWED BY WILMA WOODS, AND I WAS BETWEEN TEACHING [JOBS]…AND GETTING CLOSE TO THE START OF SCHOOL. I DIDN’T REALLY WANT TO SUB, AND IT WAS A TEMPORARY SIX MONTH POSITION. I APPLIED, AND WILMA INTERVIEWED ME ON THE MAIN FLOOR, IN THE HALF OF WHAT’S NOW THE FRIEND’S BOARDROOM. THAT IS WHERE HER OFFICE WAS, AND WHERE SHE DID THE INTERVIEW. I PREPPED. I WENT TO B. MACCABEE’S BOOKSTORE AND BOUGHT THE CENTENNIAL HISTORY OF LETHBRIDGE, AND READ THE ENTIRE BOOK…BEFORE THE INTERVIEW. I WASN’T REALLY THINK ABOUT WHETHER I’D GET THE JOB, SO I GAVE REFERENCES TO HER AND REALIZED I HADN’T ACTUALLY LET THE REFERENCES KNOW. I CALLED THEM AFTER I GOT HOME, WHICH WAS GOOD, BECAUSE I GUESS SHE CALLED FIVE MINUTES AFTERWARDS BECAUSE SHE WAS PRETTY QUICK. I STARTED [AT THE GALT MUSEUM] SEPTEMBER 1, 2000, WITH THE EXHIBIT ON THE IRRIGATION DISTRICT AND ITS CENTENNIAL. IT WAS A SIX MONTH GRANT POSITION. I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A TEMPORARY POSITION, BECAUSE AT THAT POINT THE E. TEAM HAD GEARED DOWN ON STAFF AT THE MUSEUM. SO I STARTED THERE, AND…JANUARY AND FEBRUARY OF THE YEAR, THEY WENT TO CITY COUNCIL AND ASKED FOR IT TO BE MADE A FULL-TIME PERMANENT POSITION. IT HAD TO BE POSTED, BUT I APPLIED AND GOT THE FULL-TIME PERMANENT POSITION IN MARCH 2001. I MADE THE DECISION, BUT WITHOUT REALLY THINKING ABOUT IT, THAT TEMPORARY POSITION TURNED INTO A SEVENTEEN YEAR JOB.” “[OF THE WORKS I’VE DONE] IT’S DEFINITELY ONE OF THE BIG ONES. THERE [WERE] A FEW OTHER THINGS I TOOK OUT OF MY OFFICE THAT HAVE BEEN WITH ME FROM THE BEGINNING…THE REASON I STITCHED THIS BUILDING WAS MY CONNECTION TO THE BUILDING. IT’S NOT ONLY A PHENOMENAL BUILDING, BUT THIS WAS ‘HOME’ FOR 17 YEARS.” FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20170033001-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20170033001
Acquisition Date
2017-11
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
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
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
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