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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
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
Date Range From
1940
Date Range To
1950
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
COTTON
Catalogue Number
P20150013016
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1940
Date Range To
1950
Materials
COTTON
No. Pieces
1
Length
38.5
Width
43
Description
WHITE, SLEEVELESS TODDLER'S SLIP. NECK LINE AND ARM HOLES FINISHED WITH SIMPLE LACE-LIKE EMBROIDERY IN WHITE. HEM IS SCALLOPED LACE, WITH A SIMPLE FLOWER PATTERN. TWO MOTHER-OF-PEARL BUTTONS ON LEFT SHOULDER. SLIGHT DISCOLOURATION/YELLOWING OF FABRIC. YELLOW STAIN ON BACK AT HEM LINE. LOOSE THREADS AT ARM PIT AREA ON BOTH SIDES. SLIGHT PULL IN FABRIC LEFT SIDE WAIST AREA ON FRONT.
Subjects
CLOTHING-UNDERWEAR
Historical Association
PERSONAL CARE
History
THIS SLIP BELONGED TO ROBERT ALLAN SMITH (THE DONOR) AS A CHILD AND WAS SAVED FOR DONATION TO THE MUSEUM BY HIS MOTHER, PHYLLIS SMITH. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ON THE SMITH FAMILY WAS PROVIDED BY THE DONOR AT THE TIME OF DONATION. BEGINNING IN THE 1940S, THE SMITH FAMILY RESIDED AT 1254 7 AVENUE SOUTH. PHYLLIS REMAINED IN THE HOUSE UNTIL HER DEATH AT 104 YEARS OF AGE, ON SEPTEMBER 26, 2009. WHILE CLEANING UP HIS MOTHER’S HOUSE, THE DONOR CAME ACROSS SEVERAL BAGS MARKED ‘FOR MUSEUM’. THE ITEMS WERE USED BY THE DONOR FROM AN INFANT UNTIL THE AGE OF APPROXIMATELY 9 YEARS OLD. IN THE INTERVIEW, KEVIN ASKS IF ROBERT FELT HIS CHILDHOOD WAS IDYLLIC. ROBERT RESPONDS, SAYING: “FOR ME IT WAS. I MEAN, I WAS BORN IN WARTIME STILL AND MAYBE IT WASN’T IDYLLIC FOR MY PARENTS, BUT IT WAS FOR ME. AND THE NEIGHBOURHOODS WERE DIFFERENT THEN. YOU WERE JUST LET OUT THE DOOR AND YOU WENT OUT TO PLAY WITH THE NEIGHBOURHOOD KIDS AND THERE WERE NO CONCERNS THAT THE PARENTS HAVE TODAY. YES, A VERY HAPPY TIME, I WOULD SAY.” ROBERT WAS BORN IN OCTOBER 1940 TO PHYLLIS (NEE GROSS) AND ALLAN F. SMITH, AT ST. MICHAEL’S HOSPITAL. PHYLLIS WAS BORN TO FELIX AND MAGDALENA (NEE FETTIG) GROSS IN HARVEY, ND AND MOVED WITH HER FAMILY TO A FARM IN THE GRASSY LAKE AREA. SHE MOVED INTO LETHBRIDGE AND ATTENDED ST. BASIL’S SCHOOL IN THE 1910s. ALLAN WAS BORN IN ECHO BAY, ON, TO REV D.B. AND MRS. SMITH. HIS FATHER WAS A UNITED CHURCH MINISTER AND MOVED THE FAMILY TO EDMONTON. ALLAN WAS OFFERED A JOB AT WESTERN GROCERS IN LETHBRIDGE AND MET PHYLLIS WHILE IN THE CITY. THEY WERE MARRIED ON SEPTEMBER 2, 1939. ROBERT IS AN ONLY CHILD AND SUFFERED FROM RHEUMATIC FEVER AS A CHILD. HE BELIEVES THIS MAY BE PART OF THE REASON HIS MOTHER SAVED THESE ITEMS. HE EXPLAINS, SAYING: “I’M AN ONLY CHILD AND THEY WOULD BE MORE MEANINGFUL AND I WENT THROUGH A CHILDHOOD ILLNESS. I HAD RHEUMATIC FEVER. I MIGHT NOT HAVE SURVIVED. SOME OTHER KIDS DIDN’T SURVIVE, BUT I DID.” HE ALSO DESCRIBES HIS MOTHER AS BEING “A SAVER OF THINGS. HAVING GONE THROUGH THE DEPRESSION … THEY SAVED LOTS OF STUFF … ANYTHING THEY THINK THEY MIGHT USE IN THE FUTURE WAS SAVED.” PHYLLIS WAS ALSO A MEMBER OF THE LETHBRIDGE HISTORICAL SOCIETY IN THE 1970s AND WORKED AT THE GALT MUSEUM AS PART OF THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY. ACCORDING TO THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD, ROBERT RECEIVED MANY AWARDS WHILE IN HIGH SCHOOL AND UNIVERSITY, INCLUDING THE SCHLUMBERGER OF CANADA SCHOLARSHIP FOR PROFICIENCY IN ENGINEERING, A GOLD MEDAL FROM THE ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS OF ALBERTA, AND RECEIVED THE HIGHEST GENERAL AVERAGE IN GRADUATION IN ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA. SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS AND COPIES OF LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES.
Catalogue Number
P20150013016
Acquisition Date
2015-03
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
UNDERPANTS, LONG
Date Range From
1940
Date Range To
1950
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
JERSEY
Catalogue Number
P20150013021
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
UNDERPANTS, LONG
Date Range From
1940
Date Range To
1950
Materials
JERSEY
No. Pieces
1
Length
57
Width
29
Description
OFF-WHITE LONG UNDERWEAR, OVERALL STYLE, WITH ATTACHED TANK-TOP. FLAP OPENING IN BACK CLOSES WITH THREE MOTHER-OF-PEARL BUTTONS. DRAWSTRING FOLLOWS NECKLINE, THROUGH THE SHOULDER STRAPS, AND TIES IN THE FRONT, BELOW THE NECK. SHOULDER STRAPS HAVE A SLIGHTLY SCALLOPED EDGE. TAG INSIDE BACK NECK READS "WATSON'S 20 2-4 YEARS" SLIGHT YELLOWING OF FABRIC. SMALL BROWN COLOURED STAIN FRONT LEFT SIDE, NEAR WAIST.
Subjects
CLOTHING-UNDERWEAR
Historical Association
PERSONAL CARE
History
THESE LONG UNDERPANTS BELONGED TO ROBERT ALLAN SMITH (THE DONOR) AS A CHILD AND WAS SAVED FOR DONATION TO THE MUSEUM BY HIS MOTHER, PHYLLIS SMITH. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ON THE SMITH FAMILY WAS PROVIDED BY THE DONOR AT THE TIME OF DONATION. BEGINNING IN THE 1940S, THE SMITH FAMILY RESIDED AT 1254 7 AVENUE SOUTH. PHYLLIS REMAINED IN THE HOUSE UNTIL HER DEATH AT 104 YEARS OF AGE, ON SEPTEMBER 26, 2009. WHILE CLEANING UP HIS MOTHER’S HOUSE, THE DONOR CAME ACROSS SEVERAL BAGS MARKED ‘FOR MUSEUM’. THE ITEMS WERE USED BY THE DONOR FROM AN INFANT UNTIL THE AGE OF APPROXIMATELY 9 YEARS OLD. IN THE INTERVIEW, KEVIN ASKS IF ROBERT FELT HIS CHILDHOOD WAS IDYLLIC. ROBERT RESPONDS, SAYING: “FOR ME IT WAS. I MEAN, I WAS BORN IN WARTIME STILL AND MAYBE IT WASN’T IDYLLIC FOR MY PARENTS, BUT IT WAS FOR ME. AND THE NEIGHBOURHOODS WERE DIFFERENT THEN. YOU WERE JUST LET OUT THE DOOR AND YOU WENT OUT TO PLAY WITH THE NEIGHBOURHOOD KIDS AND THERE WERE NO CONCERNS THAT THE PARENTS HAVE TODAY. YES, A VERY HAPPY TIME, I WOULD SAY.” ROBERT WAS BORN IN OCTOBER 1940 TO PHYLLIS (NEE GROSS) AND ALLAN F. SMITH, AT ST. MICHAEL’S HOSPITAL. PHYLLIS WAS BORN TO FELIX AND MAGDALENA (NEE FETTIG) GROSS IN HARVEY, ND AND MOVED WITH HER FAMILY TO A FARM IN THE GRASSY LAKE AREA. SHE MOVED INTO LETHBRIDGE AND ATTENDED ST. BASIL’S SCHOOL IN THE 1910s. ALLAN WAS BORN IN ECHO BAY, ON, TO REV D.B. AND MRS. SMITH. HIS FATHER WAS A UNITED CHURCH MINISTER AND MOVED THE FAMILY TO EDMONTON. ALLAN WAS OFFERED A JOB AT WESTERN GROCERS IN LETHBRIDGE AND MET PHYLLIS WHILE IN THE CITY. THEY WERE MARRIED ON SEPTEMBER 2, 1939. ROBERT IS AN ONLY CHILD AND SUFFERED FROM RHEUMATIC FEVER AS A CHILD. HE BELIEVES THIS MAY BE PART OF THE REASON HIS MOTHER SAVED THESE ITEMS. HE EXPLAINS, SAYING: “I’M AN ONLY CHILD AND THEY WOULD BE MORE MEANINGFUL AND I WENT THROUGH A CHILDHOOD ILLNESS. I HAD RHEUMATIC FEVER. I MIGHT NOT HAVE SURVIVED. SOME OTHER KIDS DIDN’T SURVIVE, BUT I DID.” HE ALSO DESCRIBES HIS MOTHER AS BEING “A SAVER OF THINGS. HAVING GONE THROUGH THE DEPRESSION … THEY SAVED LOTS OF STUFF … ANYTHING THEY THINK THEY MIGHT USE IN THE FUTURE WAS SAVED.” PHYLLIS WAS ALSO A MEMBER OF THE LETHBRIDGE HISTORICAL SOCIETY IN THE 1970s AND WORKED AT THE GALT MUSEUM AS PART OF THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY. ACCORDING TO THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD, ROBERT RECEIVED MANY AWARDS WHILE IN HIGH SCHOOL AND UNIVERSITY, INCLUDING THE SCHLUMBERGER OF CANADA SCHOLARSHIP FOR PROFICIENCY IN ENGINEERING, A GOLD MEDAL FROM THE ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS OF ALBERTA, AND RECEIVED THE HIGHEST GENERAL AVERAGE IN GRADUATION IN ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA. SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS AND COPIES OF LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES.
Catalogue Number
P20150013021
Acquisition Date
2015-03
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
SOAKER
Date Range From
1940
Date Range To
1950
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
WOOL
Catalogue Number
P20150013010
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
SOAKER
Date Range From
1940
Date Range To
1950
Materials
WOOL
No. Pieces
1
Length
20
Width
28.5
Description
OFF-WHITE KNITTED DIAPER COVER. ALL ONE PIECE, TWO LEG HOLES, WITH DRAWSTRING WAIST. DIAGONAL SEAMS ON THE FRONT MAKE AN INVERTED "V" POINTING UP TOWARDS THE WAIST BAND FROM THE LEG HOLES. YARN APPEARS TO HAVE YELLOWED OVER THE YEARS. SEVERAL HOLES IN THE STITCHING, INCLUDING ON THE DIAGONAL SEAM ABOVE THE RIGHT LEG HOLE, ON THE BACK RIGHT BACK (HOLES ON THE FRONT AND BACK ALMOST LINE UP), AND ON THE WAISTBAND, ESPECIALLY AT THE BACK. DRAWSTRING STILL IN WAISTBAND, BUT IS NOW IN TWO PIECES. DIAGONAL SEAMING ON THE FRONT SHOWS QUITE A LOT OF TENSION/STRESS.
Subjects
CLOTHING-UNDERWEAR
Historical Association
PERSONAL CARE
History
THIS DIAPER COVER BELONGED TO ROBERT ALLAN SMITH (THE DONOR) AS A CHILD AND WAS SAVED FOR DONATION TO THE MUSEUM BY HIS MOTHER, PHYLLIS SMITH. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ON THE SMITH FAMILY WAS PROVIDED BY THE DONOR AT THE TIME OF DONATION. BEGINNING IN THE 1940S, THE SMITH FAMILY RESIDED AT 1254 7 AVENUE SOUTH. PHYLLIS REMAINED IN THE HOUSE UNTIL HER DEATH AT 104 YEARS OF AGE, ON SEPTEMBER 26, 2009. WHILE CLEANING UP HIS MOTHER’S HOUSE, THE DONOR CAME ACROSS SEVERAL BAGS MARKED ‘FOR MUSEUM’. THE ITEMS WERE USED BY THE DONOR FROM AN INFANT UNTIL THE AGE OF APPROXIMATELY 9 YEARS OLD. IN THE INTERVIEW, KEVIN ASKS IF ROBERT FELT HIS CHILDHOOD WAS IDYLLIC. ROBERT RESPONDS, SAYING: “FOR ME IT WAS. I MEAN, I WAS BORN IN WARTIME STILL AND MAYBE IT WASN’T IDYLLIC FOR MY PARENTS, BUT IT WAS FOR ME. AND THE NEIGHBOURHOODS WERE DIFFERENT THEN. YOU WERE JUST LET OUT THE DOOR AND YOU WENT OUT TO PLAY WITH THE NEIGHBOURHOOD KIDS AND THERE WERE NO CONCERNS THAT THE PARENTS HAVE TODAY. YES, A VERY HAPPY TIME, I WOULD SAY.” ROBERT WAS BORN IN OCTOBER 1940 TO PHYLLIS (NEE GROSS) AND ALLAN F. SMITH, AT ST. MICHAEL’S HOSPITAL. PHYLLIS WAS BORN TO FELIX AND MAGDALENA (NEE FETTIG) GROSS IN HARVEY, ND AND MOVED WITH HER FAMILY TO A FARM IN THE GRASSY LAKE AREA. SHE MOVED INTO LETHBRIDGE AND ATTENDED ST. BASIL’S SCHOOL IN THE 1910s. ALLAN WAS BORN IN ECHO BAY, ON, TO REV D.B. AND MRS. SMITH. HIS FATHER WAS A UNITED CHURCH MINISTER AND MOVED THE FAMILY TO EDMONTON. ALLAN WAS OFFERED A JOB AT WESTERN GROCERS IN LETHBRIDGE AND MET PHYLLIS WHILE IN THE CITY. THEY WERE MARRIED ON SEPTEMBER 2, 1939. ROBERT IS AN ONLY CHILD AND SUFFERED FROM RHEUMATIC FEVER AS A CHILD. HE BELIEVES THIS MAY BE PART OF THE REASON HIS MOTHER SAVED THESE ITEMS. HE EXPLAINS, SAYING: “I’M AN ONLY CHILD AND THEY WOULD BE MORE MEANINGFUL AND I WENT THROUGH A CHILDHOOD ILLNESS. I HAD RHEUMATIC FEVER. I MIGHT NOT HAVE SURVIVED. SOME OTHER KIDS DIDN’T SURVIVE, BUT I DID.” HE ALSO DESCRIBES HIS MOTHER AS BEING “A SAVER OF THINGS. HAVING GONE THROUGH THE DEPRESSION … THEY SAVED LOTS OF STUFF … ANYTHING THEY THINK THEY MIGHT USE IN THE FUTURE WAS SAVED.” PHYLLIS WAS ALSO A MEMBER OF THE LETHBRIDGE HISTORICAL SOCIETY IN THE 1970s AND WORKED AT THE GALT MUSEUM AS PART OF THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY. ACCORDING TO THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD, ROBERT RECEIVED MANY AWARDS WHILE IN HIGH SCHOOL AND UNIVERSITY, INCLUDING THE SCHLUMBERGER OF CANADA SCHOLARSHIP FOR PROFICIENCY IN ENGINEERING, A GOLD MEDAL FROM THE ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS OF ALBERTA, AND RECEIVED THE HIGHEST GENERAL AVERAGE IN GRADUATION IN ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA. SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS AND COPIES OF LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES.
Catalogue Number
P20150013010
Acquisition Date
2015-03
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail

6 records – page 1 of 1.