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Other Name
WATER VALVE WRENCH
Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1960
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
IRON
Catalogue Number
P20170013000
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
WATER VALVE WRENCH
Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1960
Materials
IRON
No. Pieces
1
Length
125
Width
43
Description
WATER VALVE WRENCH; IRON RODS WELDED TOGETHER; RODS FORM A CROSS AT TOP WHERE ROD WITH TWO SOCKET ENDS IS FITTED TO LONGER ROD. TOP OF ROD HAS AN IRON WEDGE OR CHISEL ATTACHED. BASE OF ROD HAS ROUNDED END WITH CUT-OUT THROUGH CENTER. WRENCH IS RUSTED AND RUBBED ALONG BOTTOM AND TOP LEFT AND RIGHT SECTIONS. OVERALL GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
METALWORKING T&E
Historical Association
BUSINESS
History
ON FEBRUARY 28, 2016, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED BETTY AND BRIAN ILLINGWORTH ABOUT THEIR DONATION OF A WATER VALVE WRENCH. THE WRENCH WAS USED BY THE ILLINGWORTH’S AT THEIR LETHBRIDGE DRY-CLEANING BUSINESS TO SHUT OFF WATER WHILE WORKING ON THEIR BOILER. ON THE PURPOSE OF THE WRENCH, BRIAN NOTED, “WHEN I WAS WORKING ON THE BOILER…I HAD TO SHUT THE WATER OFF, TO MAKE SURE THAT I WOULDN’T LET ANY STEAM GO, TO PUSH THE WATER BACK.” “WITH [THE WRENCH] YOU COULD SHUT THE WATER OFF [FROM] WHERE IT CAME IN – THE CITY BROUGHT IT IN. YOU COULD TAKE THAT CAP OFF, AND GO DOWN AND SHUT THE WATER OFF. WE WOULD USE THAT WHERE THE MAIN LINE WAS COMING INTO THE STORE TO SHUT THE WATER OFF. [THE MAIN LINE] WAS IN THE SIDEWALK. WE WERE CONTROLLING THE WATER PRESSURE.” WHEN ASKED WHY THEY HAD A BOILER IN THE BUSINESS, BRIAN ELABORATED, “WE HAD TO HAVE STEAM TO PRESS THE CLOTHES.” “[THE BOILER] PROBABLY CAME FROM WINNIPEG. YOU’VE GOT TO HAVE A BOILER, AND THEN YOU’VE GOT TO HAVE A TICKET TO RUN THE BOILER. [BETTY] ENDED UP GETTING A TICKET, BECAUSE I WAS AWAY A LOT, PICKING UP AND DELIVERING CLEANING, I WASN’T THERE. SOMEBODY HAD TO BE THERE, WITH A TICKET, SO SHE GOT ONE. THERE’S A PICTURE OF HER IN THE HERALD, WORKING ON THAT BLOODY BOILER.” BRIAN RECALLED MOVING TO LEHBRIDGE AND OPERATING THE DRY-CLEANING BUSINESS, STATING, “[IT WAS] THE ONE DOWNTOWN, ON EIGHTH STREET…[CALLED] SPIC AND SPAN.” “[WE MOVED FROM PINCHER CREEK TO LETHBRIDGE] AFTER THE WAR WAS OVER. I WAS IN THE SERVICE FOR 5 YEARS.” “WE HAD [RUN A DRY-CLEANING BUSINESS] IN PINCHER CREEK. WHEN WE CAME HERE, WE BOUGHT DIFFERENT EQUIPMENT, AND WE INCREASED OUR BUSINESS. THEN WE USED TO HAVE PICK UP HERE – I WOULD PICK-UP AND DELIVER YOU KNOW. THANK GOD THEY DON’T DO THAT, ANYMORE! IT WOULD BE TOUGH THE WAY THE TRAFFIC IS NOW. IT WOULD BE TOUGH TO TRY TO DELIVER. YOU’D BE STUCK IN TRAFFIC.” “WE HAD A FIRE [IN PINCHER CREEK]. WE USED VARSOL…WE BUILT A SMALL SHACK AWAY FROM OUR BUILDING, AND THAT’S WHERE WE DID THE CLEANING, BUT IT CAUGHT FIRE ONE DAY…IT ALL BURNED UP, SO WE CAME TO LETHBRIDGE, AND [FOUND] OUT, FROM ANOTHER CLEANERS HERE, WHERE WE COULD GET NEW EQUIPMENT. WE WENT DOWN TO GREAT FALLS TO GET IT.” “I DON’T KNOW [WHY WE CHOSE LETHBRIDGE]. WE WERE TALKING TO SOMEBODY [BETTY] KNEW, AND HE SUGGESTED THAT PLACE.” BETTY NOTED, “THERE WAS A BUILDING AVAILABLE. THAT WAS ANOTHER THING, ‘CAUSE IT WAS SORT OF OUT-OF-THE-WAY.” “WHEN WE LEFT PINCHER, I WAS DRESS-MAKING…IT SORT OF MATCHED UP [WITH THE DRY-CLEANING BUSINESS] BECAUSE THERE WAS TAILORING POSSIBILITIES IN THIS BUILDING.” “OURS WAS DRY-CLEANING. MOST OF THE OTHERS WERE…SELF-LAUNDRY. THE OTHER BIG DRY-CLEANERS WAS BART-NEILSEN.” BRIAN RECALLED, “IN THOSE DAYS, SOME WOMEN THEY SENT THEIR SHIRTS AND STUFF, AND COLLARS OUT. THEY DIDN’T WANT TO DO IT AT HOME. THEY SENT IT OUT TO US. IT’S A DIFFERENT BALLGAME.” “[WE WORKED] A LOT OF LATE HOURS, TOO. WE THOUGHT NOTHING OF WORKING, WHEN WE STARTED IN THE MORNING, TILL MAYBE NINE OR TEN AT NIGHT. THEN THE BUILDING WE WERE IN, THERE WAS A RADIATOR SHOP IN ONE HALF THE BUILDING, AND WE WERE IN THE OTHER HALF. THE GUY THAT OWNED THE BUILDING CAME DOWN HERE…HE SAID HE WAS SELLING THE BUILDING, BUT HE WOULDN’T SELL IT TO ANYBODY ELSE, IF WE WANTED [IT]. WE BOUGHT THE BUILDING, AND THEN WE HAD TO KICK THE GUY OUT, THAT HAD THE RADIATOR SHOP – TOM DELANEY– IT’S TOM’S RADIATOR NOW. HE WAS A VERY GOOD GUY - HUNGARIAN BOY. HE WAS OFF THE FARM. HE BUGGERED HIMSELF UP…STRONG KID FROM THE FARM. HE’D PICK UP THE…RADIATOR [AND] BUGGERED HIS BACK UP. THEN FINALLY HE GOT RID OF THAT, AND DID IT ALL AUTOMATIC.” “[WE RAN THE BUSINESS] AT LEAST SIXTY [YEARS]” FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE P20170013000-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20170013000
Acquisition Date
2017-03
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
OBSIDIAN CORE
Date Range From
4000BP
Date Range To
1700
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
OBSIDIAN
Catalogue Number
P20150027000
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
OBSIDIAN CORE
Date Range From
4000BP
Date Range To
1700
Materials
OBSIDIAN
No. Pieces
1
Height
8.5
Length
32.7
Width
24.7
Description
SHINY, BLACK OBSIDIAN ROCK. VARIOUS GROOVES AND FLAKE SCARS ON THE OVERALL SURFACE OF THE ROCK.
Subjects
MASONRY & STONEWORKING T&E
INDIGENOUS
Historical Association
ETHNOGRAPHIC
ARCHAEOLOGY
History
THIS OBSIDIAN ROCK WAS DONATED ON SEPTEMBER 16, 2015 BY NANCY BIGGERS IN MEMORY OF HER LATE PARENTS, BOYD AND MARY BIGGERS. IT WAS LOCATED ON THE FAMILY FARM BY BOYD BIGGERS. ACCORDING TO A STATEMENT GIVEN BY NANCY AT THE TIME OF DONATION, "... FARMERS NEED TO CLEAR THEIR LAND OF ... ROCKS IN ORDER TO PLANT AND HARVEST THEIR FIELDS. BOYD WAS DOING THIS ONE DAY (IN THE EARLY 1980S) AND CAME ACROSS A BEAUTIFUL SHINY BLACK ROCK. HE WAS IMPRESSED BY [ITS] COLOURING AND THE VARIOUS GROOVES, SO RATHER THAN THROWING IT ON TO THE PILE WITH THE OTHER ROCKS, HE DECIDED TO TAKE IT HOME. ... MARY, BEING A SCHOOL TEACHER, TOLD HIM THAT IT APPEARED TO BE OBSIDIAN, WHICH THE ABORIGINALS USED TO MAKE ARROWHEADS AND TOOLS. MARY RETIRED FROM TEACHING IN 1986 AND THUS BOYD DECIDED TO SELL THE FARM. THEY MOVED TO LETHBRIDGE ... [AND] THE OBSIDIAN CAME WITH THEM ... AS IT WAS A REMINDER OF THEIR FARM LIFE. IT WAS USED AS A DECORATIVE PIECE IN BOTH OF THE HOMES IN WHICH THEY LIVED IN LETHBRIDGE." ON SEPTEMBER 8, 2015, ARCHEOLOGIST, NEIL MIRAU, OF ARROW ARCHAEOLOGY LIMITED STATED VIA EMAIL THAT THE ROCK HAD BEEN BROUGHT TO THE AREA BY HUMANS AND THAT IT WAS RELATIVELY EASY TO DETERMINE THE SOURCE OF THE OBSIDIAN FROM ITS GENERAL APPEARANCE. HE WAS ALMOST CERTAIN THAT THIS PIECE OF OBSIDIAN CAME FROM THE OBSIDIAN CLIFFS IN WHAT IS NOW YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, WYOMING. HE WROTE, “OBSIDIAN DOES NOT OCCUR NATURALLY IN SOUTHERN ALBERTA AND REALLY THE ONLY WAY FOR IT TO GET HERE, ESPECIALLY THIS TYPE OF ROCK IS TO BE CARRIED BY HUMANS. OBSIDIAN ... WAS PRIZED BY PAST CULTURES AND IT MAKES VERY ATTRACTIVE AND VERY SHARP TOOLS AND PROJECTILE POINTS. THIS PARTICULAR PIECE HAS FLAKE SCARS SHOWING THAT IT WAS WORKED BY HUMANS. IT WAS LIKELY, GIVEN ITS ‘VALUE,’ CARRIED BY ITS OWNER TO FLAKE PIECES OFF EVERY ONCE IN AWHILE TO MAKE A NEW TOOL. OBSIDIAN IS ONE OF THE RARE TYPES OF STONE THAT IS CURATED BY PAST HUMANS, THAT IS, ALTHOUGH HEAVY, THEY WOULD HAVE CARRIED IT WITH THEM TO MAKE TOOLS WITH.” HE ALSO WROTE THAT OBSIDIAN FROM WYOMING THAT HAS BEEN FOUND IN SOUTHERN ALBERTA HAS ARRIVED “EITHER THROUGH TRADE OR BY LONG DISTANCE TRAVEL OF PEOPLE FROM HERE TO THERE AND RETURN," AND THAT THERE IS EVIDENCE OF BOTH METHODS. MIRAU INFERS THAT IT COULD HAVE BEEN DROPPED THERE THREE OR FOUR CENTURIES AGO, OR MANY THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO. SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR COPY OF THE NANCY BIGGER’S INFORMATION, EMAIL TRANSCRIPTS, MAPS OF THE LOCATION OF THE BIGGERS’ FARM WHERE ARTIFACT WAS FOUND, AND A PHOTOGRAPH OF BOYD AND MARY BIGGERS.
Catalogue Number
P20150027000
Acquisition Date
2015-09
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail