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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
Date Range From
1980
Date Range To
1990
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
METAL, INK
Catalogue Number
P20180029006
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1980
Date Range To
1990
Materials
METAL, INK
No. Pieces
1
Diameter
2.6
Description
SILVER PIN WITH SILVER BACKING. FRONT OF BUTTON HAS RED BORDER AROUND WHITE BACKGROUND; BORDER HAS SILVER TEXT “WHO IS THE MINORITY IN CANADA?”; CENTER SHOWS A CARICATURED CAUCASIAN MAN IN THE MIDDLE WITH CARICATURED FIGURES OF A MIDDLE-EASTERN MAN, AN ASIAN MAN, AND AN AFRICAN MAN BEHIND AND TO THE SIDES. BACK OF PIN HAS ENGRAVED CROSS-HATCHING WITH EMBOSSED TEXT AT BOTTOM “TAIWAN”. OVERALL EXCELLENT CONDITION.
Subjects
PERSONAL SYMBOL
Historical Association
COMMEMORATIVE
History
ON DECEMBER 21, 2018, GALT MUSEUM CURATOR AIMEE BENOIT INTERVIWED KEVIN MACLEAN REAGARDING HIS DONATION OF PERSONAL OBJECTS. ON THE ACQUISITION OF THE PIN, IT WAS NOTED, “MY [MEMORY] IS THAT ON 16TH AVENUE NORTH TO THE EAST OF CENTRE STREET [IN CALGARY], THERE WAS A FLEA MARKET WITH VENDORS. THERE WAS A VENDOR IN THERE THAT WAS SELLING [THE PINS].” “IN THE LATE ‘80S, EARLY 1990S…THERE’S A MEMBER OF THE [NATIONAL] SIKH COMMUNITY WHO WANTS TO WEAR A TURBAN AS A MEMBER OF THE R.C.M.P. THERE’S A LOT OF ANGST BY PEOPLE WHO DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY THIS SHOULD BE THE CASE AND THERE’S A BACKLASH THAT IS HAPPENING. I THINK SOME OF THAT BACKLASH IS COMING OUT OF SOUTHERN ALBERTA AND OUT OF LETHBRIDGE.” “AT THE SAME TIME, IN THE EARLY 1990S…YOU HAVE THE RISE OF THE QUEBEC SEPARATIST MOVEMENT OUT IN EASTERN CANADA. YOU HAVE THIS RISE OF WESTERN VALUE-TYPE STUFF AND PEOPLE FEEL, MAYBE, AS THOUGH THEY’RE BEING CHALLENGED. SO YOU HAVE THE REFORM PARTIES COMING UP. [BECAUSE] I’M A NEWS JUNKIE, I’M ACTIVELY INTERESTED IN THAT. THE FIRST AND ONLY TIME, IN 1992, THAT I ATTENDED A NOMINATION FOR A POLITICAL PARTY…IT WAS A REFORM PARTY [NOMINATION IN 1992]…I REMEMBER BEING AT THE ENMAX. I REMEMBER THE OTHER COMPETING NOMINEES AND I REMEMBER THE POLITICS OF THAT PARTICULAR MEETING. WITH THE UPCOMING ELECTION, A LOT OF MY MOTIVATION [I VOTED REFORM] WAS THAT THERE WAS A GREAT POTENTIAL THAT THE PQ WAS GOING TO FORM THE OFFICIAL OPPOSITION IN CANADA AND I JUST THOUGHT, THERE’S NO WAY THAT CAN HAPPEN.” “[I HAVE BEEN] ASHAMED [OF HAVING IT] BUT I RECOGNIZED THAT IT’S MATERIAL CULTURE. IT HAS POTENTIAL HISTORIC VALUE. THAT’S WHY IT’S BEEN KEPT. IT’S JUST THAT I COULD NOT BRING MYSELF TO SHARE THAT IT WAS IN MY POSSESSION AND THAT I BOUGHT IT.” “IT WOULD BE HARD TO SAY [WHAT THE RESPONSE TO THE PRODUCTION AND SALE OF THE PIN WAS AT THE TIME] BECAUSE OUTSIDE OF MY IMMEDIATE CIRCLE…THAT CIRCLE WOULD BE CERTAINLY IN FAVOUR OF THIS THOUGHT. I DON’T REMEMBER ANY RESPONSE FROM LOCALS…AS AN EXAMPLE, IF THIS [PIN] WAS BEING SOLD TODAY, MAYBE EVEN PRODUCED IN LETHBRIDGE, THERE WOULD BE PROTESTS. DO I REMEMBER ANYTHING LIKE THAT BACK, THEN? NOT AT ALL. IT’S REALLY EASY TO TARGET PEOPLE AND FEEL THIS WAY ABOUT PEOPLE WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE TO INTERACT WITH THEM OR SEE THEM. THEY’RE NOT EVEN ON THE LANDSCAPE SO IT’S REALLY EASY ‘CAUSE AGAIN, IT’S REALLY ABSTRACT, I THINK.” ON HIS DONATION OF THE PIN, MACLEAN ELABORATED, “I’M OBVIOUSLY CONSCIOUS ABOUT CONFORMITY AND, FOR THE MOST PART…[PEOPLE] NOT ONLY WOULD WORK TO LOOK THE SAME…THEY DID [DRESS] THE SAME—SAME RUNNERS, SAME BLUE JEANS, TEE-SHIRT—GENERALLY SPEAKING, THROUGH THE ‘70S AND ‘80S, INTO THE ‘90S. I DON’T THINK THERE WAS A LOT OF DIVERSITY REFLECTED IN SOUTHERN ALBERTA. THAT’S MY OPINION. THERE CERTAINLY WASN’T OUT IN PICTURE BUTTE AND WHEN I’M VISITING LETHBRIDGE, I’M NOT SEEING IT OUTSIDE OF THE TRADITIONAL DIVERSITY WHICH WOULD BE JAPANESE-CANADIANS, WHICH WOULD BE HUTTERITES IN DOWNTOWN LETHBRIDGE, WHICH WOULD BE MEMBERS OF THE CHINESE POPULATION. THE OTHER THING IS THAT BECAUSE THE JAPANESE-CANADIANS ARE REPRESENTED OUT IN PICTURE BUTTE, I’M DATING A MEMBER OF [THE JAPANESE-CANADIAN] COMMUNITY AS WELL BY 1985.” “I STARTED ATTENDING UNIVERSITY IN THE SPRING OF ’92, AND THEN THE PEOPLE WHO I WOULD HAVE BEEN SHARING TIME WITH, I WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN SHARING TIME WITH ANYMORE. I THINK YOUR OUTLOOK BECOMES MUCH BROADER WHEN YOU’RE AT THE UNIVERSITY. THAT’S WHEN THE CHANGE HAPPENED. [THE PIN IS FROM AROUND] 1991 AND I’M IN UNIVERSITY BY 1992. I WOULDN’T SAY THAT THERE WAS THIS LIGHT SWITCH [MOMENT]. THAT WOULDN’T BE THE CASE BUT IT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED RELATIVELY SOON AFTER I STARTED UNIVERSITY.” “I WOULD HOPE THAT [THE PIN] COULD BE USED IN SOME POSITIVE WAY TO CAST THE LIGHT ON CRAPPINESS…I LIKE TO HEAR FROM PEOPLE THAT [COMMUNITY VALUES ARE] CHANGING BUT THEN I KNOW, AT THE SAME TIME, THAT THERE’S A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT HAVEN’T CHANGED. THE DIFFERENCE THOUGH, I THINK, IS THAT WE’RE A MUCH MORE DIVERSE PLACE IN 2018 AND I THINK IT STARTED TWENTY YEARS AGO.” “[THE PIN] SHOULD HAVE BEEN THROWN OUT BUT I THINK I RECOGNIZED IT FOR WHAT IT WAS; THAT POTENTIALLY IT COULD BE USED FOR GOOD NOW, THIRTY YEARS LATER, TO TELL A BROADER STORY ABOUT SOMETHING THAT STILL, TO SOME EXTENT, EXISTS TODAY.” ACCORDING TO ARTICLES FROM THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD, MEDICINE HAT NEWS, AND BRANDON SUN [MANITOBA], IN 1989 RCMP COMMISSIONER NORM INKSTER ANNOUNCED HIS RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CHANGES TO THE RCMP UNIFORM TO ALLOW SIKH MEN TO WEAR CULTURAL, RELIGIOUS TURBANS AND BEARDS. FOLLOWING THE ANNOUNCEMENT, IN 1989, BILL HIPSON OF CALGARY BEGAN PRODUCING PINS WITH THE DESIGN OF A SIKH MAN IN TURBAN AND RCMP UNIFORM, WITH TEXT WRITTEN DIAGONALLY ACROSS THE IMAGE “KEEP THE RCMP CANADIAN”. BY OCTOBER 1989, FACING BACKLASH ACROSS CANADA FOR THE DISCRIMINATORY MESSAGING OF THE PIN, HIPSON AGREED TO END PRODUCTION OF THE PIN AFTER FULFILLING PENDING ORDERS, HOWEVER INDICATED THAT OTHER DESIGNS MIGHT BE RELEASED. IN DECEMBER 1989, PETER KOUDA OF CALGARY BEGAN PRODUCING A PIN WITH THE DESIGN OF A CAUCASIAN MAN SURROUNDED BY THREE INDIVIDUALS OF VISIBLE MINORITIES, WITH TEXT AROUND THE PIN EDGE “WHO IS THE MINORITY IN CANADA?” THE PIN WAS SOLD ACROSS CANADA FOR $5.00. IN THE LATE 1980S AND EARLY 1990S, QUOTES ON STATISTICS FROM NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS INDICATED THAT VISIBLE MINORITIES COMPRISED 6.3% OF THE CANADIAN POPULACE. IN JANUARY 1990, AFTER FACING NATIONAL CONDEMNATION FROM COMMUNITIES AND POLITICIANS, KOUDA BEGAN SELLING THE PIN INDEPENDENTLY WHEN SELLERS AND SUPPLIERS DROPPED IT FOR ITS DISCRIMINATORY MESSAGING, FOR FEAR OF OFFENDING CUSTOMERS OF VISIBLE MINORITIES. KOUDA CONTINUED TO SELL THE PIN, WITH NATIONAL PROTESTS TO HAVE CHARGES LAID FOR INCITING HATE PROPAGANDA. MANITOBA’S JUSTICE MINISTER, JAMES (JIM) MCCRAE DETERMINED THAT PRODUCTION OF THE PIN COULD NOT BE HALTED WITH CRIMINAL CHARGES, STATING THAT THE PINS COULD NOT BE DEFINED AS PROMOTING HATRED UNDER THE CANADIAN CRIMINAL CODE. CANADIAN CUSTOMS AND REVENUE CANADA ALSO STATED THAT THE PINS WERE NOT CLASSIFIED AS HATE PROPAGANDA UNDER THE CRIMINAL CODE, AND ALLOWED IMPORTATION OF THE PINS INTO CANADA. ON THE PINS, ALBERTA CULTURE MINISTER DOUG MAIN IN 1990 STATED THAT THEY WERE AN ISSUE FOR THE PEOPLE OF ALBERTA, AND NOT NECESSARILY FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF ALBERTA, ACCORDING TO A QUOTE FROM A LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLE. IN FEBRUARY OF 1990, A CALENDAR PRODUCED BY HERMAN BITTNER OF LANGDON, ALBERTA BROUGHT ABOUT SIMILAR CHALLENGES OF HATE PROPAGANDA. BITTNER POSED IN A PHOTOGRAPH FOR THE CALENDAR AS A SIKH MAN IN A TURBAN AND RCMP UNIFORM, WITH THE PHOTOGRAPH CAPTIONED “SGT. KAMELL DUNG” AND THE INSCRIPTION “IS THIS CANADIAN OR DOES THIS MAKE YOU A SIKH?” JUSTICE MINISTER MCCRAE STATED THAT THE POSTER CONSTITUED INCITEMENT TO HATRED, AND THAT HE WOULD CHARGE ANYONE POLICE FOUND SELLING THE CALENDARS. THE 1990 CALENDAR WAS THEN BEING DISTRIBUTED BY TRAVELLING SALESMEN IN BARS ACROSS CANADA. A SECOND POSTER FEATURING DISCRIMINATORY MESSAGING AND IMAGES OF MULTIPLE VISIBLE MINORITIES EMERGED IN 1991. THE POSTER WAS ATTRIBUTED TO THE “ROYAL CANADIAN MULTICULTURAL POLICE”, WITH THE PHOTOGRAPHS COPYRIGHTED TO “HERMAN B.” [BITTNER]. THE WIDESPREAD MEDIA COVERAGE OF THE DISCRIMINATORY PINS AND CALENDARS GARNERED FURTHER SUPPORT FOR PROTESTS AGAINST SIKH MEN WEARING TRADITIONAL TURBANS AND BEARDS IN THE RCMP. THE PINS AND CALENDAR SAW HIGHER SALES AND DEMAND FOR THE PRODUCTS IN SHOPS ACROSS CANADA, AS STATED BY KOUDA AND BITTNER IN ARTICLES FROM 1990. IN 1990, FEDERAL SOLICITOR GENERAL PIERRE CADIEUX APPROVED THE DECISION TO ALLOW SIKH MEN TO WEAR TURBANS AND BEARDS IN THE RCMP. THE DECISION WAS MET WITH A PROTESTING PETITION SIGNED BY OVER 200,000 CANADIANS, ACCORDING TO ARTICLES FROM 1990. FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING ARTICLES FROM THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD, BRANDON SUN, MEDICINE HAT NEWS, AND THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20180029001-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20180029006
Acquisition Date
2018-12
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
Other Name
CASSEROLE DISH SET
Date Range From
1970
Date Range To
2006
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
CERAMIC
Catalogue Number
P20160001000
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
CASSEROLE DISH SET
Date Range From
1970
Date Range To
2006
Materials
CERAMIC
No. Pieces
22
Height
22
Length
44
Width
32
Description
BOX OF SUNBURST CASSEROLE DISHES WITH 11 PIECES (5 FULL SETS OF SMALL AND LARGE DISHES AND 1 PARTIAL SET WITH ONE SMALL DISH). THERE ARE 22 PIECES INCLUDING THE STORAGE MATERIALS. A – F: CERAMIC CASSEROLE DISHES. UNGLAZED. “SUNBURST… OVENPROOF” WITH A SUN LOGO STAMPED ON THE BOTTOM. THE DISHES HAVE A RIM AT THE TOP AND A BASE AROUND THE BOTTOM. THERE ARE 2 HANDLES ON OPPOSITE ENDS OF THE TOP OF THE DISHES. A-E HAVE “1.95” WRITTEN ON THE BOTTOMS IN PENCIL. F HAS AN ERASER MARK IN THAT PLACE, AND A WHITE STICKER WITH THE PRICE “$5.00” HANDWRITTEN AND STICKING TO A TOP HANDLE. THE DIAMETERS ARE 19.4 CM, THE LENGTHS INCLUDING THE HANDLES ARE 23.3 CM AND THE DISHES ARE EACH 7.1 CM DEEP. THE CONDITIONS OF DISH A THROUGH D ARE VERY GOOD TO EXCELLENT. THERE IS DUST COATING EACH DISH. B HAS 5 SMALL CHIPS ON THE BASE AND A SLIGHT CRACK (LESS THAN 1 CM LONG) ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE RIM. THE CERAMIC ON C IS ROUGH ON THE INNER RIM. IT ALSO HAS A DARK MARK ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE RIM AND SOME SMALL CHIPS ON THE BASE. D HAS A SCRATCH ON THE BASE. THE CONDITION OF E IS VERY GOOD WITH A SMALL CRACK ON THE SIDE OF THE DISH, A DARK STAIN ON THE EDGE OF THE RIM, AND A SLIGHT SCUFF ON THE BOTTOM. CASSEROLE DISH F IS IN GOOD TO VERY GOOD CONDITION WITH SOME MARKS ALONG THE RIM AND BASE. THERE IS A CHIP IN THE HANDLE. G – K: CERAMIC CASSEROLE DISHES. UNGLAZED. “SUNBURST… OVENPROOF” WITH A SUN LOGO STAMPED ON THE BOTTOM. THE DISHES HAVE A RIM AT THE TOP AND A BASE AROUND THE BOTTOM. THERE ARE 2 HANDLES ON OPPOSITE ENDS OF THE TOP OF THE DISHES. H-J HAVE “2.95” WRITTEN ON THE BOTTOMS IN PENCIL. G HAS AN ERASER MARK IN THAT PLACE, AND A WHITE STICKER WITH THE PRICE “$7.00” HANDWRITTEN AND STICKING TO A TOP HANDLE. THE DIAMETERS ARE 22.6 CM, THE LENGTHS INCLUDING THE HANDLES ARE 27.1 CM AND THE DISHES ARE EACH 8.4 CM DEEP. THE CONDITION OF DISH G IS VERY GOOD WITH DARK IMPURITIES IN THE CLAY, A SCUFF ALONG THE BASE AND A SCRATCH IN THE CLAY ON THE SIDE OF THE DISH. THE CONDITION OF H IS FAIR TO GOOD. THIS DISH HAS A LARGE CHIP IN THE RIM WITH A LENGTH OF APPROXIMATELY 6.1 CM. THERE IS A SCUFF IN THE BOTTOM. DISH I IS IN VERY GOOD CONDITION WITH SOME IMPURITIES IN THE CLAY, AN AIR BUBBLE ON THE SIDE OF THE DISH, A DARK BROWN STAINING ON THE SIDE, AND CHIPS ON THE BOTTOM RIM. DISHES J AND K ARE IN VERY GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION WITH SMALL CHIPS IN THE RIM. L – M: SQUARE PIECES OF CARDBOARD FOR PACKING. THEY ARE BENT TO FOLD AROUND A DISHES WITH A CIRCULAR CREASE IN THE CENTER WITH TWO PARALLEL SLITS (APPROX. 3.5 CM APART) FROM ONE END TO THE CENTER. THE DIMENSIONS OF EACH ARE 21 CM X 21 CM. GOOD CONDITION WITH TEARING IN SOME AREAS (L IS TORN ON ONE SIDE) AND CLAY DUST OVERALL. N – U: RECTANGULAR CARDBOARD SEPARATORS FOR PACKING (THEY ARE PLACED IN BETWEEN THE SMALL AND LARGE DISH IN A SET. THERE ARE 3 SLITS IN EACH SEPARATOR THAT ARE 4.5 CM LONG FROM ONE SHORT END STOPPING AT THE CENTER AND EACH SLIT IS 7.5 CM APART. EACH PIECE IS BENT TO FIT THE SHAPE OF DISHES. FAIR TO GOOD CONDITION WITH REGULAR WEAR (TEARS AND STAINING) OVERALL. V: CARDBOARD BOX WITH ORANGE LETTERING, “SUNBURST CERAMICS” WITH AN ORANGE LOGO ON THE LONG SIDE OF THE BOX. HANDWRITTEN IN BLACK INK ON THE TOP OF THE BOX CAN BE READ “OPICAL EDMONTON ALTA.” ON ONE SHORT SIDE IT SAYS, “6 CASSEROLES 48 OZ…” IN ORANGE PRINT AND THEN IN BLACK HANDWRITING IT READS “6 + 32 OZ 6 – 48 OZ CASS.” THERE ARE 4 LARGE STAPLES HOLDING THE BOTTOM OF THE BOX TOGETHER. THE INSIDE HAS 4 CARDBOARD DIVIDERS (3 LENGTHWISE AND 1 HORIZONTALLY DOWN THE CENTER) THAT FIT TOGETHER THROUGH SLITS IN THE DIVIDERS. THESE MAKE UP 6 SECTIONS IN THE BOX FOR STORING THE SETS OF DISHES. THE OVERALL DIMENSIONS OF THE BOX ARE 32 X 44 X 22 CM. POOR TO FAIR CONDITION. THERE ARE HOLES, BENDS, AND TEARS OVERALL THE WHOLE SURFACE OF THE BOX. ONE CORNER EDGE IS TAPED TOGETHER WITH A BROWN PAPER TAPE. THERE IS A STAPLE LOOSE ON A TOP FLAP. THE BOX IS DIRTY AND STAINED OVERALL.DIRTY AND STAINED OVERALL.
Subjects
FOOD PROCESSING T&E
Historical Association
INDUSTRY
TRADES
DOMESTIC
History
DONOR MIKE MYCHAJLUK ACQUIRED THIS SET OF CERAMIC DISHES WHEN TROPICAL GARDENS IN EDMONTON, ALBERTA WAS CLOSING BETWEEN THE YEARS 2004 AND 2006. THE OWNER OF THAT BUSINESS HELD AN AUCTION AT HIS WAREHOUSE AND PART OF THAT LOT WAS THE SUNBURST CERAMIC SET, WHICH MYCHAJLUK BOUGHT FOR THIRTY-FIVE DOLLARS. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ABOUT THIS CERAMIC SET COMES FROM AN INTERVIEW WITH MYCHAJLUK THAT WAS CONDUCTED BY COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN ON JANUARY 22, 2016: “TROPICAL GARDENS WAS GOING OUT OF BUSINESS AND THEY WERE SELLING OFF IN THEIR STORE. A COUPLE OF BOXES THEY HAD ON DISPLAY THEN A COUPLE OF MONTHS LATER HE HAD THE AUCTION AT HIS WAREHOUSE ON HIS ACREAGE. HE HAD BINS - TONS OF STUFF THERE AND THIS [BOX] HAPPENED TO BE IN [THE SALE] WHEN I BOUGHT IT. I HAD TO BUY THE WHOLE LOT… [FIRST], I’M INTERESTED IN ALBERTA POTTERY STUFF AND NUMBER TWO I KNEW OTHER PEOPLE WERE [TOO]. I WAS GOING TO SELL SOME OF IT OFF BUT THERE WAS SO MUCH OF IT. I’LL NEVER SELL [ALL OF IT] IN MY LIFETIME TO COLLECTORS… NOBODY KNOWS MUCH ABOUT [SUNBURST] AND IF I BRING IT MORE TO THE ATTENTION, MORE PEOPLE WOULD BE INTERESTED IN IT. IT’S ONE OF THE LAST POTTERIES THAT WAS IN ALBERTA… THE STUFF IS ORIGINALLY FROM LETHBRIDGE.” ON THE CERAMICS BEING UNGLAZED, MYCHAJLUK STATES: “I THINK THAT’S WHEN [SUNBURST WAS] GOING OUT OF BUSINESS. THEY JUST PACKAGED WHAT WAS LEFT AND SOLD IT OFF OR EVEN AFTER IT COULD BE A DISPERSAL… I’M ASSUMING [TROPICAL GARDENS] BOUGHT IT TO SELL DRY FLORAL ARRANGEMENTS… THE ONLY THOUGHTS WAS HE COULDN’T USE IT FOR LIVE [FLOWERS] WITH WATER BECAUSE IT WOULD COME APART.” ACCORDING TO MYCHAJLUK, WHO IS INTERESTED IN ALBERTA POTTERY, IT IS NOT USUAL TO FIND A LARGE QUANTITY OF UNGLAZED CERAMICS LIKE WHAT HE FOUND AT TROPICAL GARDENS. WHILE MYCHAJLUK WAS BORN IN LETHBRIDGE, HE DID NOT SPEND MUCH TIME LIVING HERE. SUNBURST CERAMICS WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1961 BY RALPH THRALL SR. AND JR. WHEN THEY BOUGHT OUT NEW MEDALTA CERAMICS FROM MALCOM MCARTHUR IN MEDICINE HAT. AFTER OPERATING WITH THOSE KILNS FOR THE COMPANY’S FIRST YEARS, A NECESSITY TO UPGRADE INFLUENCED THE COMPANY TO MOVE THEIR OPERATION TO LETHBRIDGE, WHERE THEY OPENED A PLANT ON 3RD AVENUE NORTH IN 1965. DURING THEIR EXISTENCE, THE PLANT PRODUCED 200 TYPES OF PRODUCTS. IN THE EARLY 1970S, THEY EXPANDED THEIR OPERATION TO PRODUCE GIFTWARE IN ADDITION TO WHAT THEY WERE PRODUCING IN THE MEDALTA STYLE. THE COMPANY DEVELOPED A REPUTATION AS LEADERS IN THE ALBERTAN CERAMIC INDUSTRY, BRINGING IN THE NEWEST TECHNOLOGIES AND EQUIPMENT FROM GERMANY WITH PROVINCIAL SUPPORT. THIS ALLOWED THEM TO ADD DINNERWARE TO THEIR PRODUCTION LINE. SUNBURST CERAMICS CLOSED ITS DOORS IN 1975. THE THRALL FAMILY BOUGHT THE MCINTYRE RANCH FOLLOWING THE DEATH OF BILLY MCINTYRE IN 1947. THE FAMILY CONTINUES TO OPERATE IT AT THE TIME OF DONATION. PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT AND LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES REGARDING SUNBURST CERAMICS. SEE ALSO FILES FOR ARTIFACTS P19960004001, P19980077001, AND P200000056000 FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT SUNBURST CERAMICS.
Catalogue Number
P20160001000
Acquisition Date
2016-01
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail