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Other Name
GUN OIL
Date Range From
1930
Date Range To
1940
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
GLASS, CORK, OIL
Catalogue Number
P20190002003
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
GUN OIL
Date Range From
1930
Date Range To
1940
Materials
GLASS, CORK, OIL
No. Pieces
1
Height
10.4
Length
3.5
Width
4.6
Description
GLASS BOTTLE CONTAINING AMBER OIL, WITH CRACKED AND TORN CORK IN TOP OPENING. BOTTLE HAS ROUND NECK, DOMED TOP AND SQUARE BODY; BOTTLE HAS BLUE AND WHITE LABEL ON FRONT. FRONT LABEL BLUE BACKGROUND WITH WHITE CROWN ABOVE WHITE SHIELD WITH RED AND BLUE TEXT; LABEL IS TORN ACROSS SHIELD MAKING RED TEXT INDECIPHERABLE, BLUE TEXT BELOW READS “PURE VANILLA”; SHIELD HAS WHITE DOTS AROUND BASE AND WHITE TEXT BELOW “FLAVORING EXTRACTS, CAMPBELL BROS & WILSON LIMITED, WINNIPEG – CANADA, EST. 1882”. BACK OF BOTTLE HAS EMBOSSED IN GLASS “2 FL. OZ”. BASE OF BOTTLE HAS EMBOSSED IN GLASS “1, 4818, FDJ” WITH “D” IN A DIAMOND. CORK IS TORN OFF AT THE TOP OF THE BOTTLE NECK; LABEL IS WORN AND DISCOLORED; OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
CONTAINER
Historical Association
SAFETY SERVICES
History
ON JANUARY 10, 2019, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED JEAN BUCHANAN REGARDING HER DONATION OF A REVOLVER AND FIREARM ACCESSORIES. THE FIREARM WAS USED BY BUCHANAN’S FATHER, EDWARD ETTERSHANK BUCHANAN, DURING HIS CAREER WITH THE ALBERTA PROVINCIAL POLICE AND ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE. BUCHANAN ELABORATED ON THE USE OF THE GUN OIL, NOTING, “[DAD HAD A BAG] BECAUSE, IN HIS YOUNGER DAYS, HE OFTEN HAD TO GO OUT ON HORSEBACK. HE’D BE GONE, HUNTING DOWN A MURDERER, AND HE MIGHT HAVE HAD A GUIDE WITH HIM. HE TOOK SOME OF HIS CLEANING EQUIPMENT FOR THE REVOLVER, AND HIS RIFLE, TOO…HE COULD PACK HIS LUNCH…KNIVES, SURVIVAL, AND HIS DIRTY OLD CLEANING CLOTH THAT HE USED, AND AN OLD BOTTLE OF GUN OIL, SO HE COULD CLEAN THE GUN IN CASE HE HAPPENED TO DROP IT IN SOME MUD. YOU NEVER KNOW [WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN] WHEN YOU’RE OUT…YOU HAVE TO KEEP YOUR GUN VERY CLEAN. HE KEPT EVERYTHING VERY CLEAN…YOU HAVE TO KEEP THE GUN CLEAN IF YOU’RE GOING TO USE IT, BECAUSE YOU COULD DAMAGE IT IF YOU HAVE ANY DIRT IN THE BARREL.” ON HER FATHER’S REVOLVER, BUCHANAN RECALLED, “[MY DAD] USED [THE SMITH AND WESSON REVOLVER]…STARTING IN 1932, WITH THE RCMP, MAY BE WHEN HE GOT THAT GUN. HE HAD IT REGISTERED IN 1940, AND GETTING ANOTHER 5 YEARS REGISTRATION IT MUST HAVE BEEN 1935. [THE GUN] WAS HIS SIDEARM…HIS SERVICE WEAPON…HE HAD THAT ALL THE TIME…IT WOULD GO RIGHT ON HIS BELT THERE.” “[DAD KEPT THE GUN] IN [MY PARENTS’] BEDROOM. RIGHT ON THE BEDROOM CLOSET DOOR, RIGHT OPEN. I NEVER TOUCHED IT, BECAUSE HE HAD GIVEN ME MY TRAINING AND LET ME USE IT WHEN I WAS YOUNG. I HAD RESPECT FOR IT, AND I HAD NO SPECIAL CURIOSITY, WHICH IS A GOOD THING. [DAD KNEW I WAS] AN ADVENTUROUS PERSON, BUT I NEVER EVER TOUCHED IT, OUT OF COMPLETE RESPECT FOR DAD AND WHAT HE HAD THERE.” “ALL I CAN REMEMBER [IS HE HAD TWO HANDGUNS OR SIDEARMS]…HE DIDN’T GO OUT PRACTICING VERY MUCH; HE DIDN’T HAVE TO. HE COULD PASS HIS MARKSMANSHIP, AND THEN, EVERY TIME THERE WERE THINGS AT REGINA DEPOT TRAINING COURSES (UPGRADING, REFRESHER COURSES) THEY DID THEIR MARKSMANSHIP THERE, TOO. THEY WERE ALWAYS TESTED ON THEIR MARKSMANSHIP, AT REGINA DEPOT.” “I THINK [THE REVOLVER HAD] QUITE A BIT [OF MEANING TO MY DAD], BECAUSE HE HAD IT IN HIS HOUSE. IT WAS REALLY STRANGE BECAUSE I ASKED HIM WHERE IT WAS, WHEN HE SHOWED ME THE PAPERS, AND HE HAD IT IN A SHOE BOX IN HIS BEDROOM CLOSET. YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO HAVE GREAT [HIDING] PLACES FOR IT IN THOSE DAYS, BUT THAT’S WHERE HE KEPT IT. HE MADE SURE IT WAS THERE, AND HE KNEW WHERE IT WAS.” “[I HAVE NO] KNOWLEDGE ABOUT HIM HAVING TO FIRE THIS WEAPON…AT ANYONE. IF HE WOULD HAVE, HE WOULD HAVE FIRED TO MISS SOMEONE, JUST AS A WARNING SHOT. HE DEFINITELY WENT FOR WARNING SHOTS, BUT HE NEVER SHOT ANYBODY WITH IT. HOWEVER, HE’S VERY, VERY CONCERNED ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF GOOD CITIZENS TO HAVE FIREARMS, BUT THE MAIN THING [WAS] TO PROTECT US FROM A FASCIST GOVERNMENT.” “[HE WOULD HAVE STOPPED CARRYING THE GUN] AT THE VERY END OF 1950, WHEN HE RETIRED FROM THE R.C.M.P.” “[I’VE HAD THE REVOLVER] SINCE 1998—THE PASSING OF MY FATHER, BECAUSE I WAS THE SOLE EXECUTRIX. IT WAS AUTOMATICALLY MY RESPONSIBILITY TO TAKE ALL OF HIS FIREARMS, IN MY POSSESSION.” “I WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR [THE CARE OF] IT, AND IT WAS A REAL KEEPSAKE. [THE GUN WAS] WAS VERY PERSONAL, BECAUSE I’M SURE [MY DAD] OWNED THAT EVEN BY BACK IN 1935, [WHEN] HE WAS IN WESTLOCK, IN CHARGE OF THE DETACHMENT THERE FOR 10 YEARS. IT WAS OF SENTIMENTAL VALUE BECAUSE HE TOOK ME OUT (I’M PRETTY SURE I WAS 8 YEARS OLD, WHEN HE HAD ME IN THE BACKYARD)—WE HAD FARMLAND AND FOREST—AND HE HAD A TARGET PRACTICE OUT THERE. HE HAD ME USE THAT FIREARM. HE SHOWED ME HOW TO USE IT, HOW TO AIM, AND HOW TO HANDLE IT SAFELY. I ALWAYS RESPECTED THAT, AND THAT WAS GOOD. THAT’S THE ORIGINAL HOLSTER FOR THAT GUN, WHICH YOU CAN SEE IS LOOPED, TO PUT ON HIS BELT. HE ALSO CARRIED A .32 COLT SEMI-AUTOMATIC.” “I’VE ALWAYS APPRECIATED REVOLVERS, AND RIFLES. IT’S NEVER BEEN ANYTHING THAT I THOUGHT ANY DANGER OF. YOU LEARN THE SAFETY, AND YOU TAKE YOUR COURSE. I HAVE MY COURSE DONE, AND I PASSED IT WITH FLYING COLORS. I HAD MY PERMIT TO HAVE IT. I HAVE TAKEN IT OUT, ON MY OWN ACREAGE, AND FIRED IT A BIT, BUT IT ISN’T SOMETHING I WANT TO DO. IT’S A SENTIMENTAL THING THAT I CAN NOW FEEL I’D LIKE TO HAVE IT IN YOUR MUSEUM. I KNOW IT’S NOW IN A SAFE PLACE, SO I DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IT EVER FALLING INTO THE WRONG HANDS. AND, IF I WANT TO COME AND VISIT IT, I CAN COME AND SEE IT.” ON JUNE 8, 2018, MACLEAN INTERVIEWED BUCHANAN REGARDING HER FATHER’S CAREER WITH THE ALBERTA PROVINCIAL POLICE AND ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE. BUCHANAN ELABORATED ON HER FATHER’S HISTORY, “[MY DAD WAS EDWARD BUCHANAN, WHO RETIRED AT THE RANK OF] SENIOR STAFF SERGEANT…HE RETIRED IN 1950 FROM THE [R.C.M.P].” “HE JOINED THE A.P.P. WHEN HE WAS TWENTY AND HE WAS STATIONED OUT NEAR ST. PAUL. IN ’21, HE MET MY MOTHER IN EDMONTON…BUT HE STAYED AT ST. PAUL AND THEN AFTER, HE GOT POSTED TO GRANDE PRAIRIE. HE WAS GOING TO GO TO GRANDE PRAIRIE BUT THEN IN ’22, THEY GOT MARRIED. A.P.P. HAD NO RESTRICTIONS ON THEIR MEMBERS GETTING MARRIED, LIKE THE R.C.M.P. HE DIDN’T HAVE TO WAIT TO GET MARRIED…THAT’S WHEN THEY WENT OUT TO BRAINARD.” “EVEN IN THE A.P.P., TO START WITH, HE HAD SOME SERVICE DOWN HERE AT THE LETHBRIDGE PRISON…BRINGING PRISONERS DOWN AND THEN MAYBE, AT THE VERY FIRST WINTER AS A ROOKIE, HE WAS ON JOB TO BE ON GUARD AT THE STATION. IT WASN’T LONG AND HE WAS SENT OUT TO ST. PAUL AND INTO MORE OF THE REAL POLICING.” “WHEN HE WAS IN THE A.P.P. [IN 1932] HE WAS THE TOP CLASS OF [THE] A.P.P. THAT AUTOMATICALLY WERE ACCEPTED INTO THE R.C.M.P. HE WAS PUT IN CHARGE, WHEN HE WAS IN THE A.P.P.—FIRST HE STARTED OUT IN CHARGE OF BRAINARD—HORSE LAKE—A LITTLE PLACE NEAR THE HORSE LAKE INDIAN RESERVATION. THEY CLOSED THAT DOWN AND TRANSFERRED HIM TO WEMBLEY, A LITTLE VILLAGE, AND HE WAS THE ONLY ONE IN CHARGE, THE ONLY OFFICER IN CHARGE OF WEMBLEY. THAT’S WHEN THAT 1932 [CHANGE] CAME ALONG AND HE JUST CHANGED THE SIGN UP THERE FROM A.P.P. TO R.C.M.P. AND WENT FROM THERE.” “IN ’32, IT WAS R.C.M.P. AND THAT STAYED R.C.M.P. UNTIL ’34. THEN HE WAS TRANSFERRED TO TAKE CHARGE OF THE WESTLOCK DETACHMENT WHICH WAS A BIG AREA. [THERE] WAS NO DETACHMENT IN BARRHEAD. HE HAD A HUGE AREA THERE TO COVER.” “[A.P.P. MEMBERS] WERE NOT AUTOMATICALLY TAKEN INTO THE R.C.M.P. THEY HAD THREE CATEGORIES THERE, OF THE A.P.P. MEMBERS…[THERE WERE] ONES THAT WERE NOT ACCEPTABLE, THAT THEY HADN’T DONE A VERY GOOD JOB IN THE A.P.P.; THEY SHOWED UP, GOOFIN’ AROUND, DOING THINGS THEY SHOULDN’T BE DOING. THEY WERE NOT ACCEPTABLE. THEN THERE [WERE THE ONES THAT] COULD BE GIVEN A LITTLE TRIAL RUN. THEY COULD APPLY. THEN THERE [WERE] ONES THAT COULD GET IN FOR A FULL YEAR AND THEN RE-APPLY. THEY’D BE ACCEPTED FOR A YEAR. THEN THERE’S THE TOP GRADE AND [THEY] WERE AUTOMATICALLY ACCEPTABLE. DAD WAS RIGHT UP THERE IN THAT TOP GRADE.” “A.P.P. MEMBERS WERE TRAINED BY THE NORTHWEST MOUNTED POLICE, NOT SOME GOOFBALLS THAT DIDN’T KNOW WHAT THEY WERE DOING. THESE WERE TRAINED BY THE BEST-TRAINED POLICE OFFICERS.” “ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER HANCOCK KNEW DAD REALLY WELL, HE’D EVEN BEEN IN THE A.P.P. HE CALLED DAD INTO THE OFFICE AND HE SAID, “BUCK, [DAD WAS EDWARD ETTERSHANK BUCHANAN BUT THEY CALLED HIM ‘BUCK’, A LOT] I WAS GOING TO SEND YOU DOWN TO TAKE CHARGE OF THE RED DEER DETACHMENT BUT I’VE HAD SO MUCH PROBLEM GETTING SOMEBODY TO GO DOWN TO TAKE THE LETHBRIDGE DETACHMENT…YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE, I THINK, THAT CAN HANDLE THE SITUATION WE’VE GOT DOWN THERE. THERE’S A LOT OF PROBLEMS AND I’M SURE YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE THAT CAN HANDLE IT. WILL YOU GO?” “[WE CAME DOWN HERE IN] ’44…I NEVER HAD ANY PROBLEM [WITH THE MOVE]. I WAS ALWAYS ADVENTUROUS. I HAD LOTS OF FRIENDS BUT I WAS ALWAYS HAPPY TO GO.” “WE RENTED A HOUSE ON 538 – 7TH STREET. IT’S ALL TORN DOWN NOW. DAD HAD TO COME DOWN A MONTH OR SO AHEAD OF US AND THEN HE COULDN’T FIND A HOUSE READY, SO WE CAME DOWN AND STAYED IN A HOTEL FOR ABOUT TWO MONTHS. I HAD TO START GRADE TEN; I WAS ONLY FOURTEEN, HERE. THAT WAS, TO ME, THE ONLY SAD PART OF MY LIFE, LEAVING THE WESTLOCK SCHOOL AND STARTING LCI. THE PERSONALIZATION WAS GONE WITH THE TEACHERS.” “[DAD] HAD TO OVERSEE THE POW CAMPS…HE TALKED ABOUT THE POW’S IN THIS RESPECT, THAT THERE WAS A LOT OF VERY GOOD GERMANS THAT WERE IN THERE. [THEY] WOULDN’T HAVE CHOSEN TO EVEN BE IN THE GERMAN ARMY…THEY WERE CONSCRIPTED OVER IN GERMANY, THEY DIDN’T HAVE ANY CHOICE, AND THEY WERE VERY DECENT, GOOD GUYS. HE RESPECTED THEM FOR THAT AND HELPED THEM, [GAVE] THEM ADVICE, “YOU KNOW, YOU GOTTA GO BACK TO GERMANY AND THEN APPLY TO COME BACK.” THERE WAS A TRUST THERE TO LET SOME OF THEM OUT TO WORK…‘CAUSE THERE [WAS] A LABOUR SHORTAGE FOR THE FARMERS AND THEY NEEDED THAT HELP. SOME OF THOSE FARMERS WERE VERY PLEASED TO GET SOME OF THESE GERMANS, AND SOME OF THE FARMERS’ DAUGHTERS WERE VERY PLEASED TO GET THAT, TOO. THEN THERE’S SOME LATER MARRIAGES AFTER THAT. IT WOULD BE A SHAME TO CONDEMN ALL THOSE POW’S BECAUSE A LOT OF THEM WERE VERY DECENT, GOOD, MORAL FELLOWS THAT DIDN’T WANT TO BE INVOLVED WITH ANY KILLING.” “HE WAS A PLAIN STAFF SERGEANT, NCO, SECOND IN CHARGE OF THE SUBDIVISION.” “[THEN HE] WENT BACK TO EDMONTON [TO RETIRE IN 1950], HIS HOME CITY WHERE HIS PARENTS WERE AND A LOT OF FRIENDS. HE JOINED THE R.C.M. P. VETS BUT WITH HIS RECORD, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S DEPARTMENT WERE NOT GOING TO LET HIM LOOSE. THEY MADE IT A FIRST APPOINTMENT OF AN INSPECTOR OF JAILS FOR THE PRISONS OF ALBERTA WHICH, AT THAT TIME, THERE WERE ONLY TWO: LETHBRIDGE AND FORT SASKATCHEWAN. [THE] ONLY PLACE IN FORT SASKATCHEWAN WAS FOR WOMEN, SO [WOMEN] HAD TO GO ALL THE WAY TO FORT SASKATCHEWAN, EVEN IF [THEY] WAS FROM LETHBRIDGE. THAT WASN’T A VERY GOOD DEAL, SO DAD COULD SEE A REAL NEED [FOR WORK]. IT WAS A REAL MESS WHEN HE LOOKED AT THE PRISONS.” “HE REALIZED, BEING AN R.C.M.P., THAT MANY OF THE YOUNG CITY POLICE, TOWN SHERIFFS, SOME OF THESE MAGISTRATES, THEY MESSED THINGS UP. HE STARTED A TRAINING SCHOOL FOR THESE MUNICIPAL POLICE AND THAT JUST WENT TERRIFICALLY. THEY HAD [THE SCHOOLS] IN CALGARY AND IN EDMONTON TWICE A YEAR. THEY HAD A BIG GROUP FROM MEDICINE HAT COME UP AND [TAKE] THE SCHOOLING, LETHBRIDGE CAME UP, AND SOME OF THE PRISON GUARDS TOOK [THE TRAINING], TOO.” “[HE] WORKED ON THAT FOR FIFTEEN/SIXTEEN YEARS. AFTER TWELVE YEARS, HE WAS SO BUSY THAT THEY MADE HIM SUPERINTENDENT OF PRISONS BECAUSE…THE FIRST THING HE HAD TO DO WAS TO DEVELOP THE PRISONS FOR ALBERTA. TWO WAS NOT SUFFICIENT.” “[DAD’S] PERSONALITY WAS ALWAYS QUIET, FIRM, NO-NONSENSE, HUMOROUS, BUT HE WAS NEVER ARROGANT. I NEVER HEARD HIM SWEAR OR GET MAD AT ANYBODY, NOT EVEN PRISONERS. HE HANDLED THEM VERY QUIETLY, AND VERY FIRMLY. THE STAFF…ALL LOVED HIM. I [HAVE] LETTERS AND THEY CAME ALL THE WAY UP TO THEIR ANNIVERSARIES LATER IN EDMONTON…“YOU’RE THE BEST BOSS WE EVER HAD.” ALL HE HAD WAS A VISION OF WHAT NEEDED TO BE DONE…HE COULD GO AND EXPLAIN THE NEED FOR THE JAILS, WHAT IT WOULD COST AND WHAT IT NEEDED TO FIX THE PROBLEM. HE NEVER HAD PROBLEM GETTING EXACTLY WHAT HE NEEDED FROM THEM.” ON THE DONATION OF THE REVOLVER AND AMMUNITION, BUCHANAN NOTED, “MY DAD KNEW I WOULD LOOK AFTER [HIS BELONGINGS] AND WANTED TO GET IT TO A MUSEUM. [DAD KNEW] THAT I WASN’T ONE TO PUT IT IN MY BASEMENT TO HAVE GOODNESS-KNOWS-WHAT-HAPPEN TO IT. HE HAD LEFT ALL OF THAT IN CHARGE OF ME. I WAS THE SOLE EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE.” “I AM NOW AT THE YOUNG AGE OF 88; I’M NOT WORRIED ABOUT LIVING ANOTHER 10 YEARS. I DIDN’T WANT THE CHANCE OF ANYBODY STEALING IT, OR GETTING THEIR HANDS ON IT, SO I WANTED TO MAKE SURE YOU GOT IT. AND, I DON’T NEED IT, SO WHY KEEP IT? IF I GET LONESOME, AND WANT TO SEE IT, I’LL COME TO THE MUSEUM AND LOOK AT IT.” “I’LL FEEL HAPPY, TO KNOW IT’S GOT A GOOD HOME. I DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IT.” FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE FULL TRANSCRIPTIONS FROM INTERVIEWS AND LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20190002001-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20190002003
Acquisition Date
2019-01
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
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