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Material Type
Artifact
Materials
WOOL, DYE
Catalogue Number
P20160003006
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date
1929
Materials
WOOL, DYE
No. Pieces
1
Length
182.5
Width
117.5
Description
HAND-WOVEN RUG MADE FROM HAND-DYED, HANDSPUN WOOL. THERE IS A 3-4 CM WIDE BLACK BORDER AROUND ALL LENGTHS OF THE RUG, WITH FRINGE ON THE SHORT ENDS. INSIDE THE BLACK BORDER IS A SINGLE WOVEN BORDER OF LIGHT BLUE WOOL. INSIDE OF THIS BORDER IS A PATTERN SET ON A DARK BURGUNDY-COLOURED BACKGROUND. THERE IS A BLUE FLOWER IN THE CENTER OF THE RUG. ON ONE END THE DATE “1924” IS WOVEN IN RAW-COLOURED WOOL. THE “9” HAS BEEN WOVEN UPSIDE DOWN. ON THE OPPOSITE END OF THE RUG, THE INITIALS “ ” FOR THE NAME LISAVETA PETROVNA WISHLOW, ARE WOVEN IN LIGHT BLUE. THERE ARE 20 HARPS COLOURED EITHER BLUE, ORANGE, PINK, OR YELLOW AROUND ALL LENGTHS OF THE RUG. UNDER THE HARPS IS A GREEN VINE PATTERN AND A RED DECORATIVE BORDER. THE DESIGN ELEMENTS ARE LAID OUT SYMMETRICALLY OVER THE RUG AND CONSIST OF FLOWERS, DUCKS, AND BUTTERFLIES. VERY GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION. SLIGHT WEAR TO THE WOOL FROM USE.
Subjects
FLOOR COVERING
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. THIS RUG WAS HAND-WOVEN BY ELIZABETH KONKIN IN 1924. THE RUG WAS USED AS A WALL COVER IN THE WINTER AND ACTED AS AN INSULATOR. LATER IT WAS USED ON THE FLOOR AT CHRISTMASTIME. IT WAS INHERITED BY MORRIS PRIOR TO THE PASSING OF HER MOTHER: “I CAME INTO POSSESSION [OF IT] FROM MY MOTHER. SHE DIED IN 2003 AND I GOT THE RUG SLIGHTLY BEFORE THEN AND YES THAT WOULD BE ABOUT THE TIME… I HAVE NO OTHER SIBLINGS AND SO OBVIOUSLY EVERYTHING SHE MADE WOULD GO TO ME. MY SON SAID HE WOULD LIKE TO HAVE THE RUG, BUT CHANGED HIS MIND. HIS WIFE WAS NOT KEEN ON HAVING IT, SO I HAD TO DO SOMETHING WITH IT. TO ME IT IS A VERY BEAUTIFUL RUG AND I WANTED IT SOME PLACE WHERE IT WON’T GET TRASHED BY DOGS OR ANIMALS.” AFTER ACQUIRING THE RUG, MORRIS PLACED IT ON THE FLOOR OF HER HOME IN LETHBRIDGE: “THE LINO [ON THE FLOOR] STARTED TO WEAR OUT AND I THOUGHT YOU CAN’T PUT A RUG LIKE THAT ON ANOTHER LINO. IT JUST DOESN’T GO. BUT I DO LIKE HARDWOOD SO WE HAD HARDWOOD PUT THROUGHOUT THE BEDROOMS. THE LAST ROOM IS MY OFFICE, FIRST OF ALL, I HAD THE RUG IN THIS BEDROOM AND THEN IT WASN’T VERY CONVENIENT TO CLEAN BECAUSE THERE WASN’T THAT MUCH SPACE SO I PUT IT IN MY OFFICE WHERE I LOVED IT, BUT I KEPT STUMBLING OVER IT. I THOUGHT I MIGHT BREAK A LEG IF I DO THIS SO I BETTER GET RID OF IT… THE HARDWOOD WAS PUT IN BEFORE THE GST WENT IN. I DIDN’T HAVE THE RUG THEN BUT I THOUGHT THAT I WOULD BE GETTING THE RUG AND SO I WOULD HAVE IT HARDWOOD… WAS IT 1995? ANYWAY BEFORE GST WENT IN.” THE RUG HAD BEEN PRESENT THROUGHOUT MORRIS’ LIFE – FROM TIME SPENT ON THE DOUKHOBOR COLONY IN SHOULDICE, ALBERTA TO LIFE ON A FARM OUTSIDE OF VAUXHALL, ALBERTA: “I CAN REMEMBER WHEN I WAS BORN. THE RUG WAS IN MY PARENT’S HOME. WE LIVED ON A DOUKHOBOR COLONY, WE HAD MUD PLASTERED WALLS AND OUR HOUSE WAS WELL BUILT. MY DAD BUILT IT. SOME OF THE HOUSES ONLY HAD ONE LAYER OF WOOD AND THEY WERE VERY COLD, HOWEVER OUR BEDROOMS HAD WALLS ON THE NORTH SIDE. IN WINTER THEY GOT CHILLY, SO EVERY WINTER THEY WOULD NAIL UP THIS RUG UP AGAINST THE WALL. IT STAYED THERE FOR THE WINTER. FOR SUMMER IT CAME DOWN, I DON’T [KNOW] WHERE SHE STORED IT, I THINK POSSIBLY IN ONE OF THE BIGGER TRUNKS AND THEN TOOK IT OUT… THIS HOME [WHERE THE RUG WAS PLACED], IT’S OUTSIDE OF VAUXHALL. WE LEFT THE COLONY, MOVED TO VAUXHALL AND MOVED THE HOUSE. THE HOUSE WAS EXPANDED AND THEN WE LIVED IN THAT HOUSE. I LEFT HOME AND MY PARENTS HAD A HOUSE IN LETHBRIDGE WHICH DAD BUILT ALSO AND HE SOLD THE FARM. THEY ASKED IF WE WANTED TO GO AND WE DIDN’T. SO THEY SOLD THE FARM AND THERE WAS A BEAUTIFUL POND WHERE WE SWAM AND BOATED AND WE HAD LOTS OF TREES AROUND THE HOUSE. IT WAS ABOUT AN ACREAGE IF NOT MORE AND WHEN HE SOLD IT THE NEW OWNERS, VERY FRUGAL PEOPLE, [THEY] BURNT DOWN THE HOUSE, THE STEAM BATHROOM, THE GARAGE, THE WORKS. NOW MIND THEY WERE OLD STATE BY NOW AND THEY PLOWED [IT ALL INTO] IN THE POND BECAUSE THEY WANTED TO MAKE MONEY FROM THE GRAIN [FIELDS], SO WHEN I WENT THERE A COUPLE OF YEARS LATER, [I WAS] SURPRISED EVERYTHING WAS GONE, SO THAT WAS THAT." THE RUG MAY HAVE BEEN WOVEN BY MORRIS’ MOTHER ON THE DOUKHOBOR COLONY IN SHOULDICE OR DURING THE WINTER SPENT IN COWLEY: “… IT COULD HAVE BEEN WOVEN IN COWLEY BECAUSE THEY STAYED IN COWLEY FOR THE WINTER BUT I CAN’T BE TOO SURE. IT ALSO COULD HAVE BEEN MADE ON THE COLONY… TWENTY MILES EAST OF MOSSLEIGH.” ELIZABETH KONKIN WAS MARRIED IN 1927, SO THE INITIALS WOVEN ON THE RUG ARE OF HER MAIDEN NAME: “THAT’S AN “L” [ ] THAT’S LISAVETA (SIC.) BUT HER NAME IS YALALISAVETA (SIC.) BUT SHE PUT DOWN LISAVETA. PETROVNA THAT’S A “P” [ ] THAT’S DAUGHTER OF PETRO AND WISHLOW [ ] THAT WAS HER MAIDEN NAME. ... [AFTER MAKING THE RUG] THERE WAS SOME WARP LEFT OVER. … WARP IS THE STUFF THAT RUNS DOWN AND WEFT IS WHAT YOU PUT IN BETWEEN WITH A SHUTTLE BUT THIS WASN’T PUT IN WITH A SHUTTLE. EACH INDIVIDUAL THREAD WAS KNOTTED. IT’S LIKE DIFFAGHAN (SIC.) - A SWEDISH METHOD - AND THAT’S HOW IT WAS DONE. IF THERE WAS SOME LEFT OVER AND HER MOM INSISTED THAT SHE DO ANOTHER RUG. WELL SHE DIDN’T WANT TO DO IT. SHE SAYS “YOU MAKE IT FOR YOUR BROTHER.” SHE FELT HIS WIFE SHOULD DO HER OWN HOPE CHEST BUT SHE DID AND THE INTERESTING THING IS THAT HIS RUG THEY USED IT ON THE FLOOR. MY MOTHER DIDN’T USE THIS ONE ON THE FLOOR EXCEPT AT CHRISTMAS TIME SO THE WISHLOW FAMILY WHO HAD THE OTHER RUG, THE MOTHER WASN’T TOO KEENLY INTERESTED IN IT. THEY HAD IT IN THE LIVING ROOM AND THEN IT WENT UP FOR SALE TO A PLACE THAT WAS OWNED BY A MAN NAMED, HIS LAST NAME WAS EWASHEN (SIC.) …THAT’S [THE RUG’S] TWIN, YES.” MORRIS THEN GOES ON TO DESCRIBE SOME OF THE OTHER PATTERNING FOUND ON THE RUG: “OKAY THOSE ARE HARPS. SHE HAD PATTERNS TO GET THEM FROM OTHER WEAVERS AND THEN SHE’D TRACE THEM OUT. I DON’T KNOW WHAT SHE USED TO TRACE THEM ON THE WARP [WITH] AND THEN SHE’D WEAVE AWAY WITH THE THREAD THAT WERE THE WEFT. SHE PUT THE DESIGNS HERSELF ONTO THE RUG” THE RUG WAS BROUGHT TO LETHBRIDGE WHEN ELIZABETH AND WILLIAM KONKIN RETIRED THERE: “I WAS TEACHING SCHOOL IN COALDALE WHEN THEY MOVED AND DAD MADE THE HOUSE IN NORTH LETHBRIDGE… THE HOUSE IS NICELY BUILT AND IT’S WARM, IT’S COMFORTABLE SO THERE’S NO USE PUTTING IT UP ON THE WALL. EVERY CHRISTMAS SHE’D TAKE IT OUT AND WE’D ROLL AROUND ON THIS RUG AND SHE WOULD HANG IT UP AFTER THE NEW YEAR SO I SAID TO HER ‘WHY DON’T YOU PUT IT ON THE FLOOR?’ AND SHE SAID, 'WELL I DON’T WANT TO MESS IT UP.' HOWEVER, I SAID, 'WELL I’M GOING TO PUT IT ON THE FLOOR,' SO THAT’S WHERE IT WAS UNTIL I STARTED STUMBLING OVER IT.” AMONG THE OTHER ARTIFACTS DONATED BY MORRIS THAT WERE OWNED BY HER MOTHER, THE RUG WAS A SIGNIFIER OF THE HARD WORK REQUIRED WITHIN THE DOUKHOBOR LIFESTYLE: “[THE BLANKET AND THE SPINNING WHEEL] MEANT A LOT WELL AFTER THE WAR AND THINGS WERE CHEAP. THEY DIDN’T HAVE TO WEAVE THEIR OWN STUFF. PRIOR TO THAT, NOT IN MY MOTHER’S TIME EVEN BEFORE THAT MY GRANDMOTHER’S TIME, EVERY GIRL HAD TO WEAVE A TROUSSEAU FOR HERSELF TO LAST A LIFETIME BECAUSE SHE STARTED HAVING CHILDREN AND SHE WOULDN’T HAVE THE TIME TO DO IT. THERE WERE THINGS THAT WERE ANCIENT THAT WERE USED AND USED UNTIL THEY DIED HOWEVER, IN MY MOTHER’S DAY THEY KNITTED THEIR OWN SOCKS, THEY MADE THEIR OWN QUILTS. THE MEN DID THE BUILDING AND THEY LIVED OFF THE GARDENS BECAUSE THEY WERE VEGETARIANS SO THEY DIDN’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT MEAT. THEY BOUGHT EGGS FROM THE NEIGHBOURS WHO WERE FARMERS. THE INTERESTING THING THERE WAS THAT THEY WEREN’T SUPPOSED TO EAT MEAT AND I ATE MEAT WHEN I WAS CLOSE TO TWENTY. WHEN I TELL MY VEGETARIAN RELATIVES WHAT ABOUT YOUR SHOES AND YOU’VE GOT LEATHER, COWHIDE WHATEVER AND THEY COULDN’T COME UP WITH AN ANSWER SO… THEY REPRESENTED HARD WORK THAT’S, THIS TAKES A LONG TIME WHEN YOU THINK OF EVERY KNOT THAT HAD TO BE TIED AND IT WAS PART OF HER TROUSSEAU. THE SPINNING WHEEL MEANT A LOT BECAUSE YOU HAD TO SPIN THE WOOL SO.” PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, OBITUARIES, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160003006
Acquisition Date
2016-02
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