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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
1906
Date Range To
1949
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
WOOD, GLASS
Catalogue Number
P20160040000
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1906
Date Range To
1949
Materials
WOOD, GLASS
No. Pieces
1
Height
7
Length
60.5
Width
30.2
Description
WASHBOARD WITH WOODEN FRAME AND A GREEN-TINTED GLASS GRATE. THE FRONT OF THE WASHBOARD HAS A RIDGE AT THE TOP – LIKELY USED FOR SUPPORT – WHICH IS APPROXIMATELY 6.7 CM DEEP. THE UPPER SECTION OF THE WASHBOARD IS WOODEN WITH SEVERELY FADED BLACK LETTERING THAT READS “MANUFACTURED BY…” THERE IS A CURVED STRIP OF WOOD ACROSS THE BOTTOM OF THE UPPER SECTION AND ANOTHER WOODEN PIECE BELOW THAT WITH THREE RIDGES. THE GLASS HAS A HORIZONTAL GRATE AND IS TEXTURED. THERE IS A HORIZONTAL WOODEN PIECE OF WOOD SUPPORTING THE GLASS AT ITS BASE. THE SIDES OF THE WOODEN FRAME EXTEND ABOUT 13.5 CM BEYOND THE GLASS TO ACT AS THE WASHBOARD’S LEGS. ON THE BACK THERE IS A FLAT PIECE OF WOOD NAILED TO THE FRAME ON THE UPPER SECTION. THE BRAND’S STAMP ON THIS BOARD IS FADED. THERE ARE SEVERELY FADED RED LETTERS AT THE UPPER SECTION OF THIS BOARD WITH A WORD SPECULATED TO BEGIN WITH THE LETTER “E”. UNDERNEATH THE RED INK LETTERS IS “MANUFACTURED BY THE CANADIAN WOODENWARE CO. WINNIPEG ST. THOMAS MONTREAL” STAMPED IN BLACK INK. THE NAILS AROUND THE PERIMETER OF THIS UPPER BOARD VARY IN SIZES. THE BACK SIDE OF THE GLASS GRATE IS SMOOTH. GOOD CONDITION. THERE IS REMNANTS OF SOAP ACCUMULATING AT THE SIDES OF THE GLASS OF THE WASHBOARD. THERE IS SOAP SCUM RUNNING ALONG THE GLASS OF THE BACK OF THE GRATE. THE WOOD FRAME IS WORN AND ROUGH OVER THE GENERAL SURFACE, ESPECIALLY ON THE FRONT, UPPER SECTION. THERE IS A PART OF THE WOOD MISSING FROM THE TOP LEFT OF THE RIDGE. THERE IS AN ACCRETION OF BEIGE PAINT ON THE BACK OF THE GLASS GRATE.
Subjects
MAINTENANCE T&E
Historical Association
DOMESTIC
History
THIS WASHBOARD CAME TO THE MUSEUM FROM DONOR, LOUISE VERES, WHO RECALLED ITS USE BY HER MOTHER, HELEN LUCILLE BORGGARD (NEE SORGARD). IN AN EMAIL SENT IN NOVEMBER 2016 TO COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN, LOUISE WROTE OF THE ARTIFACT’S HISTORY AND THE PROCESS OF WASHING CLOTHING BEFORE THE EXISTENCE OF AUTOMATED WASHING MACHINES: “DURING THE FIRST PART OF THE 1900[S], MONDAY WAS ALWAYS CONSIDERED WASH DAY IN OUR FAMILY. WHEN MY GRANDMOTHER CAME TO CANADA IN 1906 AND WHEN MY MOM WAS FIRST MARRIED IN 1934 CLOTHES HAD TO BE WASHED BY HAND. FOR THIS CHORE THEY HAD TWO BIG GALVANIZED TUBS. ONE TUB HAD HOME MADE LYE SOAP ADDED FOR WASHING THE DIRTY CLOTHES AND ONE WITHOUT SOAP FOR RINSING TO GET THE SOAP OUT. THE TUBS WERE SET ON A BENCH IN THE MIDDLE OF THE KITCHEN CLOSE TO THE STOVE WHERE THE WATER WAS HEATED IN BUCKETS. IF THERE WERE DIRTY COLLARS OR SOILED KNEES THEY WERE SCRUBBED ON THIS WASHBOARD AND IF THERE WAS GREASE ON CLOTHES, LARD WAS APPLIED TO THE GREASE AND THEN THAT SOILED AREA WAS VIGOROUSLY RUBBED OVER THE WASHBOARD. THE ARTICLE WAS SWISHED AROUND IN THE SOAPY WATER AND PUT THROUGH THE WRINGER THAT SAT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STAND. IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE A WRINGER YOU WRUNG AS MUCH WATER AS YOU COULD BY HAND. THE CLOTHES DROPPED INTO THE OTHER TUB THAT HAD CLEAR, COLD RINSE WATER IN IT. THEN YOU PUT THE RINSED CLOTHES THROUGH THE WRINGER, CAUGHT THEM, GAVE THEM A GOOD SHAKE, PUT THEM IN A WICKER BASKET AND CARRIED THE WASHED CLOTHES OUTSIDE AND HUNG THEM ON THE CLOTHES LINES. THE CLOTHES WERE CLIPPED ON THE LINE WITH WOODEN CLOTHES PEGS. SOMETIMES MOM USED A PRODUCT CALLED BLUING THAT WAS PUT INTO THE RINSE WATER, THE BLUING WAS TO MAKE THE WHITES SEEM EXTRA WHITE ALTHOUGH WHEN YOU HUNG THEM OUTSIDE TO DRY BY SUN THEY WOULD GET BLEACHED AND WERE WHITER THAN WHITE. I SUSPECT THEY WERE WHITER THAN MOST WHITE CLOTHES TODAY. IN THE WINTER, OR IF THERE WAS BAD WEATHER, SHE WOULD HANG THE WET CLOTHES AROUND THE HOUSE ON ANYTHING THAT WOULD GIVE THEM AIR AND A CHANCE TO DRY. IF SHE HUNG THEM OUT AND THE WIND CAME UP THEY WOULD SOMETIMES LOOSEN THEMSELVES FROM THE CLOTHES PINS AND FALL INTO THE DIRT OR GRASS THAT LAY UNDERNEATH. THEN THEY WOULD HAVE TO BE REWASHED. YOU HAD TO BE EXTRA CAREFUL IN THE WINTER WHEN HANGING CLOTHES OUTSIDE. SOMETIMES A COLD WIND WOULD BLOW IN AND YOUR FROZEN CLOTHES ON THE LINE WOULD CRACK OR BE SHREDDED, PERHAPS DOWN THE MIDDLE OF SHIRTS OR SHEETS. IF YOU WERE GOING AWAY FOR THE AFTERNOON YOU USUALLY TOOK THE CLOTHES OFF THE LINE FIRST, EVEN IF THEY WEREN’T DRY. THIS WAS ALL VERY TIME CONSUMING, BUT IT WORKED. THE CLOTHES SMELLED INTOXICATINGLY WONDERFUL WHEN THEY CAME IN OFF THE LINE AND IF THEY STILL WEREN’T DRY YOU HUNG THEM ON LINES IN THE HOUSE. THEN MOM GOT HER FIRST WASHING MACHINE. IT HAD AN ELECTRIC MOTOR ATTACHED AND IT WOULD AGITATE THE CLOTHES IN THE WATER, THEN YOU COULD WRING THE CLOTHES OUT WITH WRINGER AND THEY WOULD FALL INTO A TUB OF COLD RISE WATER. YOU WOULD AGITATE THEM AROUND BY HAND TO RINSE THEM AND PUT THEM THROUGH THE WRINGER AGAIN. THAT PROCESS SEEMED LIKE A PIECE OF CAKE AS IT GOT MUCH MORE OF THE WATER OUT. THAT PROGRESSED TO AN AUTOMATIC WASHING MACHINE YOU PLUGGED INTO AN ELECTRIC CIRCUIT AND YOU SIMPLY DID IT THE WAY WE ARE USED TO TODAY. YOU WOULD BE SURPRISED AT THE TIME IT TOOK TO WASH AND DRY THE CLOTHES BEFORE THE NEW AUTOMATIC WASHERS WE USE TODAY CAME INTO EXISTENCE.” IN ADDITION TO THE INFORMATION PROVIDED BY VERES IN THE EMAIL REFERRED TO ABOVE, SHE WAS INTERVIEWED BY MACLEAN AT THE TIME OF DONATION (NOVEMBER 2016). THE FOLLOWING EXCERPT HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM THAT INTERVIEW: “MY FIRST NAME IS MARJORIE… BUT I GO BY MY SECOND NAME, WHICH IS LOUISE… I WAS BORN IN 1938.” “MY MOM’S NAME IS HELEN LUCILLE BORGGARD, AND HER MARRIED NAME WAS SORGARD… SORGARD IS NORWEGIAN, AND BORGGARD IS DANISH… MY MOTHER TOOK [THE WASHBOARD] OVER FROM MY GRANDMOTHER. MY GRANDMOTHER AND MY GRANDFATHER CAME IN 1906. THEY USED THE WASHBOARD AND THEN THEY GAVE IT TO HER. THEY HAD 10 CHILDREN. I’M SURE IT WAS WELL-USED. MY MOTHER MARRIED IN 1935 AND SHE TOOK THE WASHBOARD AND USED IT UNTIL 1949 WHEN WE MOVED FROM THE FARM TO GRASSY LAKE IN TURIN AND IRON SPRINGS. SHE FINALLY HAD ELECTRICITY AND RUNNING WATER, AND UP TO THAT POINT IT WAS 'PACK YOUR OWN WATER IN A BUCKET AND HEAT IT ON THE STOVE.' AND, SOMETIMES, WRING THE CLOTHES OUT. THEY DIDN’T HAVE ANY MODERN CONVENIENCE AT ALL. [FOLLOWING THESE MODERN CONVENIENCES,] THE WASHBOARD WAS PUT IN A BACK ROOM, BUT IT WAS KEPT. THEN THEY MOVED TO RIONDEL, B.C., AND THEY GAVE ME THE WASHBOARD…” “[T]HE WASHBOARD HAS A LOT OF MEMORIES FOR ME, I GUESS MAINLY BECAUSE WE USED IT EVERY MONDAY. WE WASHED OUR CLOTHES, AND WHEN THEY WERE DIRTY, WE SCRUBBED THEM ON THIS WASHBOARD… IT REALLY WORKED WELL. I GUESS IT’S BECAUSE MY MOM WORKED REALLY HARD.” “I’VE PROBABLY HAD IT FOR 35 YEARS. MY MOTHER DIED 4 YEARS AGO AT 98 [YEARS]. I’M IN A FAMILY OF 4 CHILDREN, AND 3 OF THEM WERE BOYS, AND THEY WEREN’T TOO INTERESTED IN THE WASHBOARD, BUT IT JUST SEEMED LIKE IT WAS PART OF THE FAMILY AND IT DESERVED A HOME… I KNOW I DON’T WASH CLOTHES LIKE THAT ANYMORE. WHEN YOU LOOK AT IT [YOU CAN] SEE THE MARKS FROM THE LYE SOAP THAT WAS USED WHEN THEY SCRUBBED ON THE BOARD, AND THE USE THAT IT’S GONE THROUGH. YOU CAN TELL THAT IT HAS BEEN MENDED, BUT IT’S STILL IN REALLY GOOD SHAPE. I JUST THOUGHT THAT I WANTED IT QUITE BADLY [AND] I GOT IT.” SHE CONTINUED TO RECOUNT HER MEMORIES OF THE WASHBOARD, “I GUESS MOST WHAT I REMEMBER IS THE STOVE - HAVING THESE BUCKETS OF WATER ON THEM BEING HEATED FOR WASHING THE CLOTHES. THIS WATER HAD TO BE PACKED BY BUCKET FROM THE CISTERN. THEN THERE WERE TWO BIG GALVANIZED TUBS [THAT] SAT ON A BENCH. ON ONE SIDE SHE PUT LYE SOAP IN IT AND SHE SWISHED IT AROUND. WHEN SHE SAW SOME SOILS, SHE WOULD RUN THE CLOTHES OVER THE WASHBOARD AND THEY WOULD COME OUT REALLY CLEAN. THEN SHE WOULD PUT THE CLOTHES INTO THE RINSE WATER AND IT HAD BLUING IN IT. THAT WAS FOR THE WHITE CLOTHES, AT LEAST. THAT WAS COLD WATER, THOUGH. THEN THEY HAD TO PACK ALL THIS WATER OUT ... TO FEED THE PIGS BECAUSE WE DIDN’T HAVE VERY MUCH WATER. NO ONE HAD VERY MUCH WATER. WATER WAS A REALLY VALUABLE COMMODITY. THE WASHBOARD WAS HOW WE KEPT UP WITH CLEAN CLOTHES.” WHEN ASKED IF SHE HAD A ROLE IN THE LAUNDRY PROCESS AS A CHILD, VERES EXPLAINED, “NO. IF [MOM] HAD WATER ON THE STOVE, I WASN’T ALLOWED CLOSE. AT 10, I WAS TOO SMALL TO BE HELPING VERY MUCH, BUT I DO REMEMBER HER DOING THIS. THEN YOU TOOK THE CLOTHES OUT TO THE CLOTHES LINE; HUNG IT ON THE CLOTHES LINE WITH CLIPS OR PINS. SOMETIMES THE WIND WOULD COME UP IN THE SUMMER AND THE CLOTHES WOULD BLOW, AND THEY WOULD FALL ONTO THE GROUND, INTO THE DIRT, OR THE GRASS, AND SHE’D HAVE TO PICK THEM UP, BRING THEM BACK INTO THE HOUSE; SHAKE ALL THE DIRT OFF AND WASH THEM ALL OVER AGAIN. IN THE WINTER, WHEN SHE HUNG THEM ON THE LINE PERHAPS IT WAS A CHINOOK AND A NICE DAY. BUT, IF IT TURNED COLD, THE CLOTHES FROZE BEFORE THEY DRIED ON THE LINE. THEY WOULD BE FLAPPING AWAY, BUT THEY WOULD CRACK AND BREAK. THE SHIRTS WOULD CRACK DOWN THE MIDDLE OF THE BACK AND BE SHREDDED, AND THE SHEETS WOULD BE SHREDDED, AND THERE WASN’T MONEY TO BUY ANYMORE. YOU HAD TO BE VERY CAREFUL. BEFORE YOU WENT TO TOWN. YOU’D TAKE THEM OFF, EVEN IF THEY WERE STILL WET, AND MAYBE DRY THEM IN THE HOUSE ON ANOTHER LINE. IT WASN’T AN EASY CHORE AND THIS HAPPENED EVERY MONDAY. THEN YOU IRONED THEM WITH THESE BIG FLAT IRONS…” VERES THEN BEGAN TO TALK ABOUT HER FAMILY’S EARLIER HISTORY: “MY GRANDMOTHER, AGNES NANCY SORGARD, WAS A MATTHEWS… BORN IN INDIANA. HER MOM AND DAD HAD COME FROM IRELAND [AND] HAD A HOMESTEAD IN NORTH DAKOTA, AND [IT] WAS NEXT TO WHERE MY GRANDFATHER WAS [WHERE] THEY MET. HE WAS FROM NORWAY... THEY MARRIED, HAD 3 CHILDREN THERE, [THEN] CAME TO ALBERTA.” VERES WAS TOLD THAT THE WASHBOARD FIRST BELONGED TO HER GRANDMOTHER. “MY GRANDMOTHER, AFTER MY MOM MARRIED, PROBABLY HAD A WASHING MACHINE THAT WAS RUN BY KEROSENE. SO SHE PROBABLY DIDN’T NEED [THE WASHBOARD] ANYMORE. IF YOU HAD A FAIRLY DECENT WRINGER, YOU COULD WRING THE WATER OUT OF THE CLOTHES AND A LOT OF THE SOILED PART WOULD COME OUT. MY GRANDPA PROBABLY WASN’T FARMING AS MUCH THEN, AND WE ENDED UP WITH [THE WASHBOARD], SO THAT WAS GOOD.” THE DONOR’S MOTHER, LUCILLE (SORGARD) BORGGARD, CONTRIBUTED TO THE FAMILY HISTORY BOOK TITLED, “IT’S A LONG WAY FROM KILLYCOLPY: A HISTORY OF THE MATTHEWS FAMILY”. THIS WRITTEN ACCOUNT OF BORGGARD’S HISTORY ILLUSTRATES HER OWN HARD WORK THAT HER DAUGHTER RECALLED. IN THE HISTORY BORGGARD WROTE, “I WAS BORN ON FEBRUARY 4, 1914 TO GEORGE AND AGNES SORGARD, THE SEVENTH CHILD IN A FAMILY OF TEN. MY FAMILY HAD COME FROM MINOT, NORTH DAKOTA IN 1907 TO HOMESTEAD IN THE TURIN DISTRICT. AFTER FARMING IN TURIN FOR SEVERAL YEARS MY DAD SOLD HIS HOMESTEAD TO THE JOHN KOENEN FAMILY AND MOVED TO A SMALL RANCH ON THE NORTH SIDE OF THE LITTLE BOW RIVER WHERE THEY LIVED UNTIL 1916. IN THE SPRING THE RIVER WOULD OVER-RUN ITS BANKS MAKING IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE CHILDREN TO GO TO SCHOOL SO MY DAD BUILT A HOUSE ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE RIVER WHERE WE LIVED UNTIL 1927... IN 1928, WE MOVED FROM THE HOME BY OUR BELOVED RIVER TO A FARM TWO MILES NORTH OF IRON SPRINGS.” “I WORKED AT HOME AND MY SISTER CARRIE AND I COOKED ON MY DAD’S COOK-CAR DURING THE HARVEST. THEY WERE LONG DAYS, RISING AT FOUR THIRTY FOR AN EARLY BREAKFAST AND WE DID NOT GET TO BED TILL TEN O’CLOCK. WE HAD TO MAKE BREAD AND DO ALL THE BAKING. WE MOVED FROM FARM TO FARM DOING ALL THE THRESHING IN THE DISTRICT FOR THE FARMERS…” ACCORDING TO HER OBITUARY IN THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD, HELEN LUCILLE BORGGARD PASSED AWAY ON JUNE 13, 2012. HER OBITUARY STATES HER HUSBAND CLARENCE PASSED AWAY IN 1994. PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, FAMILY HISTORY, AND OBITUARY.
Catalogue Number
P20160040000
Acquisition Date
2016-11
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail