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Date Range From
1945
Date Range To
2005
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
STEEL, WOOD
Catalogue Number
P20160029000
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1945
Date Range To
2005
Materials
STEEL, WOOD
No. Pieces
7
Height
30
Diameter
31
Description
A: PRESSURE COOKER POT: STEEL POT WITH TWO BLACK WOODEN HANDLES. HANDLES ARE SCREWED TO LIP OF POT WITH TWO SCREWS EACH. FAIR TO GOOD CONDITION. BLACK RESIDUE, WATER STAINS, AND SCRATCHES ON OVERALL SURFACE OF POT FROM USE. THERE IS A FULL CRACK SEPARATING THE BACK END OF THE RIGHT HANDLE FROM THE POT. B: LID: STEEL LID 31.9CM (D) X 3.8CM (H). LID HAS ONE BLACK WOODEN HANDLE HELD IN PLACE BY TWO SCREWS. BOTH SIDES OF HANDLES HAVE VALVES FOR LETTING OFF/MANAGING PRESSURE. THE CENTER HAS A ROUND GAUGE WHICH READS BOTH PRESSURE (0 TO 20) AND TEMPERATURE IN DEGREES FAHRENHEIT (228° TO 259°). IT READS "WARNING OPEN PETCOCK, EXHAUST STEAM…” GAUGE HAS SINGLE RED NEEDLE. IN FRONT OF GAUGE ON TOP OF LID READS, “IMPROVED KOOK / KWICK STEAM PRESSURE COOKER 22”. LID IS SECURED TO POT WITH REMOVABLE RING THAT IS TIGHTENED BY TURNING A SMALL HANDLE AT THE FRONT. GOOD CONDITION. STAINING ON OVERALL SURFACE OF LID AND BACKGROUND OF GAUGE IS YELLOWED. C: SEALING RING: 36 CM IN DIAMETER UNTIGHTENED. STEEL WITH A RUBBER KNOB AT THE OPENING. HINGE AT THE BACK SIDE OF THE RING. CLAMP AT FRONT IS TIGHTENED BY A METAL HANDLE. GOOD CONDITION. STAINING ON OVERALL SURFACE OF THE STEEL. D: COOKING RACK: 26.5 CM IN DIAMETER. CIRCULAR, METAL RACK WITH A CIRCLE OPENING AT THE CENTER AND A CURVED PATTERN OF TWO ROWS AROUND. THE RACK HAS 6 SECTIONS AROUND. THERE ARE RIDGES ALONG THE VERTICAL LINES ON ONE SIDE. THE OPPOSITE SIDE IS FLAT. THREE OF THE RIDGES HAVE SCREW HOLES ON THE OUTSIDE EDGE. E-G: 3 MASON JAR LID BANDS: ALL 8.5 CM IN DIAMETER. E IS MADE OUT OF A SILVER-COLOURED METAL. F AND G ARE MADE OUT OF GOLD-COLOURED METAL. POOR TO FAIR CONDITION FOR COMPONENTS D THROUGH G. ALL COMPONENTS ARE RUSTING WITH SIGNIFICANT MINERAL BUILD UP ON THEM. THERE IS FURTHER MATERIAL BUILD UP ON COMPONENTS E-G.
Subjects
FOOD PROCESSING T&E
Historical Association
DOMESTIC
History
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ABOUT THIS PRESSURE COOKER IS EXTRACTED FROM A SEPTEMBER 2016 INTERVIEW CONDUCTED BY COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN WITH THE ARTIFACT'S DONOR, JEANNETTE HOUTEKAMER: HOUTEKAMER CAME INTO POSSESSION OF THE PRESSURE COOKER FROM HER AUNT, EUGENE SICOTTE: “WELL, FIRST OF ALL, I KNOW IT’S VERY OLD. IT CAME FROM A GREAT AUNT, WHO CAME TO THIS COUNTRY AS A YOUNG GIRL AND WAS LOCATED AROUND THE BEAVER MINE AREA… MUST [HAVE BEEN] LUNDBRECK. SHE WAS THERE WITH HER HUSBAND... SHE ALSO WAS A WONDERFUL COOK, AND SHE COOKED IN A LUMBER CAMP … HER FIRST MARRIED NAME WAS EUGENE (SIC) SICOTTE, MARRIED TO A PETE SICOTTE. [N.B. ALTERNATIVE SPELLING OF FIRST NAME EUGINE OR EUGENIE FROM OBITUARY AND LEGAL NOTICE] … SHE WAS WITH HIM FOR 17 YEARS... HOW SHE MET GEORGE ANDERSON, I’M NOT SURE, BUT HE WAS A FARMER PAST COALDALE - BARNWELL. THEY HAD A FARM UP THERE. AND SHE WAS QUITE A BIT OLDER THAN HIM, BUT THEY MARRIED, AND DID VERY WELL. THEN THEY RETIRED AND MOVED TO THE CITY HERE… I IMAGINE THEY BOUGHT [THE PRESSURE COOKER] DOWN IN GREAT FALLS, BECAUSE HE HAD A SISTER WHO WAS DOWN IN SHELBY. AT THE TIME, IT WAS CONSIDERED MORE EXPENSIVE.” OF THE RELATIONSHIP SHE HAD WITH HER AUNT, HOUTEKAMER STATED: “[W]E WERE VERY CLOSE. THEY HAD NO FAMILY, SO THEY KIND OF ADOPTED MY HUSBAND [MARTIN HOUTEKAMER] AND I... WE DID A LOT OF THINGS FOR THEM WHEN THEY GOT OLDER... SHE WAS A FABULOUS COOK.” HOUTEKAMER’S AUNT’S NAME BECAME EUGENE ANDERSON UNDER HER SECOND MARRIAGE. SOMETIME DURING THE PERIOD AFTER THE EUGENE AND GEORGE ANDERSON MOVED TO LETHBRIDGE AND BEFORE THE PASSING OF MRS. ANDERSON IN 1968, HOUTEKAMER CAME TO ACQUIRE THE PRESSURE COOKER: “WELL, SHE JUST GOT TO THE POINT WHERE SHE WAS GETTING OLDER, AND SHE DIDN’T DO A LOT OF CANNING ANYMORE. SHE HAD DONE A LOT PREVIOUS TO THAT. SHE CANNED EVERYTHING, EVEN MUSHROOMS … [SHE WAS A] FABULOUS COOK … SHE KNEW THAT I DID A LOT OF CANNING, SO SHE THOUGHT [THE PRESSURE COOKER] WOULD HELP." "MY HUSBAND DID A LOT OF FISHING, SO [WE] CANNED FISH, WHICH WAS THE BEST THING FOR IT. WHEN YOU CAN IT IN THERE, IT’S GOING TO BE GOOD… [HE CAUGHT FISH FROM] ALL OVER SOUTHERN ALBERTA. BEAVER MINES WAS ONE OF THE SPECIALS. IN FACT, HIS ASHES ARE IN POLICE LAKE. HE DID A LOT THERE AT POLICE LAKE AND LEE’S CREEK. DEPENDING [ON] HOW MANY FISH YOU HAD TO MAKE IT WORTHWHILE, I WOULD DO A CANNER OF IT. I USED THE SMALL FISH JARS, SO I COULD PACK THEM UP. I DID QUITE A FEW…” PRIOR TO OWNING A PRESSURE COOKER, HOUTEKAMER SAID SHE “USED A BIG CANNER. I HAD ONE THAT HELD 7 OR 8 QUARTS. THAT’S WHAT I DID - MOSTLY FRUIT. I DIDN’T DO A LOT OF VEGETABLES BECAUSE, BY THEN, YOU COULD START FREEZING STUFF. YOU KNOW, IT WAS STARTING TO GET MORE POPULAR.” HOUTEKAMER DID NOT LEARN A GREAT DEAL OF COOKING FROM HER AUNT, “BECAUSE I HAD LEARNED A LOT FROM MY MOTHER. SHE WAS A GOOD COOK. SHE EVEN MADE LEFTOVERS TASTE GOOD. SHE HAD HAD A LOT OF EXPERIENCE… WE DID A LOT OF PRESERVING IN HER DAY. THAT WAS ALL WE HAD AND IT WAS ALWAYS DONE IN A BOILER - A GOOD COPPER BOILER. THAT’S THE WAY YOU LEARNED. … FOR SOME THINGS [THE PRESSURE COOKER WAS BETTER THAN THE COPPER BOILER] BECAUSE MY VEGETABLES TAKE A VERY LONG TIME TO PRESERVE THROUGH BOILING. AND FISH, OH MY GOD, YOU WOULD BE THERE FOREVER TO BOIL, SO THIS [PRESSURE COOKER] IS MUCH BETTER, MUCH FASTER [AND] SAFER, AS WELL. IT WAS HEAVY WORK, MIND YOU. WHEN YOUR COOKER WAS DONE, WHEN YOUR TIME WAS DONE, IF YOU COULD LIFT IT AND TAKE IT OUTDOORS, YOU COULD THROW COLD WATER ON IT AND OPEN IT RIGHT AWAY. THEN YOU WOULD THROW THE CANS IN COLD WATER. FOR JARS, YOU HAD TO WAIT UNTIL IT WENT DOWN BY ITSELF. YOU COULDN’T OPEN IT UNTIL THEN OR ALL THE LIDS WOULD COME OFF.” FOR HOUTEKAMER, CANNING TOOK PLACE MOSTLY DURING THE FALL. SHE WAS ABLE TO PRESERVE A VARIETY OF FOOD WITH THIS PRESSURE COOKER: “I [CANNED] CHICKEN ONE YEAR, AND THAT WAS ENOUGH. WE ALWAYS HAD CHICKEN AROUND [AND] IT WAS BETTER FRESH. MY HUSBAND LOVED HIS FRESH CHICKENS. WE HAD OUR OWN GARDEN, AND SOMETIMES WE WOULD GET SOME CORN IN THE FALL [WHEN THE FARMERS WERE DOING THEIR THRESHING].” OF HER FAVOURITE VEGETABLES TO PRESERVE, HOUTEKAMER SAID, “BEANS, I GUESS. I WOULD GET A LOT OF BEANS. BEETS – I DID SOME – NOT CANNED. [I] DID A LOT OF PICKLES. BEANS WERE THE MAIN THING, AND CHICKEN, AND FISH. AND THAT WAS IT. I DID A LOT OF TOMATOES, BUT THEY WERE SIMPLER TO DO IN THE CANNER, BECAUSE THEY ONLY TAKE ABOUT 20 MINUTES… [THE PRESSURE COOKER] WOULD BE PLACED ON [A] GAS OR ELECTRIC [STOVE]. WHEN THE TIME WAS DONE, YOU JUST SHUT THE STOVE OFF AND LET IT COME DOWN BY ITSELF… I USED TO JUST KNOW WHERE TO PUT THE STOVE AT, THE BURNER, TO KEEP [THE PRESSURE WHERE NEEDED]. YOU HAD TO BE CAREFUL. YOU COULDN’T JUST TURN YOUR BACK ON IT. YOU WOULDN’T WANT THAT. THAT WHOLE THING WOULD COME OFF, AND YOU WOULD HAVE ONE BIG MESS. … NO [THAT NEVER HAPPENED]. I ALWAYS WAS VERY CAREFUL – WATCHED IT CLOSE. I DON’T THINK [MESSES] EVER HAPPENED TO MY AUNT EITHER THAT I’M AWARE OF… MOST OF THE COOKBOOKS IN THOSE DAYS HAD INSTRUCTIONS ABOUT HOW MANY POUNDS TO USE FOR VEGETABLES. I THINK MY FISH WAS 15 POUNDS. FOLLOW THOSE INSTRUCTIONS AND IT WORKED FINE – [IT] DID A VERY GOOD JOB.” HOUTEKAMER WOULD USE THE PRESSURE COOKER AT HER HOME ON THE RESEARCH STATION AND THEN LATER AT HER HOME ON THE NORTH SIDE OF LETHBRIDGE: “… AT THE TIME WE LIVED ON THE RESEARCH STATION FOR TWENTY YEARS. AND I USED IT THERE. MY HUSBAND WORKED THERE, IN POULTRY RESEARCH. WE WERE POOR. WE DID A LOT OF CANNING AND ALWAYS HAD A GARDEN. THAT’S HOW IT CAME ABOUT … WE HAD A PLACE TO LIVE AND OUR OWN GARDEN.” THE PRESSURE COOKER WAS ACTIVELY USED BY HOUTEKAMER UNTIL HER HUSBAND’S DEATH IN 2005: “WELL, I DON’T THINK I’VE USED IT IN THE LAST 10 YEARS BECAUSE I’VE BEEN LIVING IN A CONDO. I JUST HAD IT SITTING AROUND, TOO HEAVY TO MOVE… I DIDN’T DO A LOT OF CANNING ANYMORE…” THIS ARTIFACT BRINGS BACK MEMORIES OF HER LATE HUSBAND: “WE ALWAYS DID A LOT OF FISHING TOGETHER. WHEN HE RETIRED, HE BOUGHT HIS BOAT. WE HAD A CAMPER VAN, SO WE COULD GO OUT AND STAY OVERNIGHT. WE HAD [THE] BOAT, SO WE COULD GO ONTO THE WATER [AND] TRY TO GET SOME FISH. THOSE DAYS, THERE WERE SO MANY FISH... IF YOU WERE LUCKY, YOU HAD A NICE BIG ONE THAT WOULD FILL ABOUT FIVE OR SIX JARS.” CANNING WAS A NECESSITY FOR FOOD PRESERVATION: “WELL, I GUESS IT’S OK IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT, BUT WHEN WE WERE YOUNGER, WE WERE VERY POOR, SO YOU DID WHAT HAD TO DO. KEEP GOING. EAT… MY GIRLS STILL DO SOME, BUT NOW, WITH THE NEW FANCY STOVES, YOU COULD NEVER USE THIS – TOO HEAVY. THE NEW STOVES – THEY JUST CAN’T PUT ANYTHING HEAVY ON THERE. I THINK IT’S KIND OF TOO BAD, BECAUSE A GARDEN IS NOT THAT HARD TO HAVE, AND YOU CAN GET AN AWFUL LOT OF GOOD FOOD OUT OF THERE – NATURAL FOOD, AND VERY HEALTHY FOOD. SOME PEOPLE JUST CAN’T BE BOTHERED. [IT'S] SIMPLER TO GO TO THE STORE… [MY AUNT] COULD HAVE PROBABLY SAID MORE, SHE DID A GREAT DEAL OF CANNING. SHE ALWAYS MADE SURE, WHEN THEY BUILT THEIR HOUSES, THAT THEY HAD A PLACE FOR PUTTING HER CANNED STUFF, WHERE SHE COULD KEEP IT COOLER IN THE SUMMER.” ACCORDING TO HER LETHBRIDGE HERALD OBITUARY, MRS. EUGINE ANDERSON PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE ON JANUARY 18, 1968 AT THE AGE OF 85. HER SECOND HUSBAND, MR. GEORGE ANDERSON, PASSED AWAY IN CALGARY ON NOVEMBER 26, 1972 AT THE AGE OF 79. MRS. ANDERSON’S FIRST HUSBAND, MR. PETE SICOTTE, PASSED AWAY IN CAMROSE, ALBERTA ON FEBRUARY 15, 1966 AT THE AGE OF 92. A MEMORIAM IN THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD INDICATES THAT THE DONOR’S HUSBAND, MR. MARTIN HOUTEKAMER PASSED AWAY ON APRIL 21, 2005. SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION AND COPIES OF OBITUARIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160029000
Acquisition Date
2016-09
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail