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Other Name
PIKE HOOK
Date Range From
1970
Date Range To
1990
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
METAL, WOOD
Catalogue Number
P20150010008
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
PIKE HOOK
Date Range From
1970
Date Range To
1990
Materials
METAL, WOOD
No. Pieces
1
Length
323
Width
11.5
Diameter
4.2
Description
PIKE POLE. LONG, CYLINDRICAL WOODEN HANDLE, WITH A METAL HEAD. THE HEAD IS IN THE SHAPE OF A LOWER CASE 'R', WITH A STRAIGHT AND HOOKED POKER. TWO METAL RIVETS HOLD THE METAL HEAD ON THE WOODEN POLE. NO MARKINGS. FAIR TO GOOD CONDITION. METAL HAS RUSTED. WOOD IS WELL USED AND HAS SEVERAL GOUGES/SLIVERS MISSING. WOOD IS VERY DARK FROM USE. WOOD ESPECIALLY DARK AT JUNCTION WITH METAL HEAD.
Subjects
FORESTRY T&E
Historical Association
SAFETY SERVICES
History
THIS PIKE POLE WAS USED BY THE LETHBRIDGE FIRE DEPARTMENT. IN A WRITTEN STATEMENT PROVIDED AT THE TIME OF DONATION, JESSE KURTZ, DEPUTY CHIEF – SUPPORT SERVICES (RETIRED), EXPLAINED THAT IT WAS “USED TO PULL CEILINGS FROM BELOW DURING OVERHAUL. ALSO USED TO FORCE CEILINGS DOWN DURING VENTILATION. THE SAME TYPE OF TOOK IS IN USE TODAY.” IN THE SUMMER OF 2015, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN, CONDUCTED A SERIES OF INTERVIEWS WITH CURRENT AND FORMER MEMBERS OF THE FIRE DEPARTMENT, INCLUDING: CLIFF “CHARLIE” BROWN (HIRED IN 1966, RETIRED 2004) AND TREVOR LAZENBY (HIRED IN 1994). BROWN EXPLAINED “THAT WAS PRETTY IMPORTANT … WHEN YOU HAD A FIRE, AND THE FIRE WAS STILL GOING, BUT MOST OF IT WAS OUT, THE CEILINGS – IF YOU DIDN’T KNOW IF THE FIRE WAS OUT IN THE CEILING, YOU’D TAKE THE PIKE POLE, AND YOU CAN SEE HOW YOU WOULD POKE IT IN … THAT WAS A VERY DESTRUCTIVE TOOL, YOU COULD DO A LOT OF DAMAGE WITH THAT. BUT IF THERE WAS SOMETHING THAT YOU HAD TO GET INTO THE CEILING TO CHECK, AND WE’D OPEN A HOLE IN THE CEILING TO GET UP ON THE LADDER TO LOOK … POKING AROUND TO MAKE SURE THE FIRE WAS OUT.” LAZENBY ADDED: “THIS IS PROBABLY AS CLASSIC A TOOL, A HAND TOOL, AS MAYBE THE PICK HEADED AXE … AS FAR AS FIREFIGHTING GOES. THIS IS A GREAT SALVAGE AND OVERHAUL TOOL … IF YOU HAD A FIRE GO UP INSIDE THE WALLS AND YOU THOUGHT MAYBE THERE WAS FIRE IN THE ATTIC, YOU WOULD NEED TO PULL DOWN THE PLASTER BOARD OR THE LATH OR THE DRYWALL TO … DO A VISUAL INSPECTION OF THAT SPACE.” HE CONTINUED, EXPLAINING ITS USE: “THE POINTY END WAS PERFECT FOR BREAKING THROUGH THE DRYWALL AND ONCE YOU MADE THAT INCISION, FOR LACK OF A BETTER TERM, IF YOU TURNED IT NINETY DEGREES, NOW ALL OF A SUDDEN, THE HOOK IS POINTING TOWARDS A FRESH PORTION OF THE DRYWALL AND AS YOU PULLED, IT WOULD COME DOWN IN RELATIVELY LARGE CHUNKS. AND YOU CAN OPEN UP A FAIR AMOUNT OF CEILING IN A SHORT TIME WITH THIS.” LAZENBY DESCRIBED THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THIS PIKE POLE AND MORE MODERN VERSIONS: “THE CONNECTION POINT BETWEEN THE METAL HEAD AND WOODEN HANDLE WOULD WEAKEN AND SOMETIMES THE HEADS WOULD ROCK A LITTLE BIT; THEY WERE TOUGH TO KEEP TIGHT, THEY WOULD RUST A LITTLE BIT. THEY’RE BEING MADE OUT OF DIFFERENT MATERIALS NOW, MOST NOTABLY, THE HANDLES HAVE GONE TO FIBERGLASS. THEY DON’T CONDUCT ELECTRICITY WELL, WHICH IS GOOD. NEITHER DID THE WOOD, BUT AGAIN, NO SPLINTERS, NO SLIVERS, THAT KIND OF THING.” HE REITERATED THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS TOOL: “IT’S ANOTHER GO-TO TOOL FOR US: AXE, HALLIGAN, AND I WOULD SAY PIKE POLE ARE PROBABLY THE THREE MOST COMMONLY USED HAND TOOLS … AND ACTUALLY, IF YOU LOOK, MOST FIRE SERVICE BADGES THAT PEOPLE WEAR – YOU’VE GOT A PIKE POLE AND LADDER – THEY’RE SYNONYMOUS WITH THE FIRE SERVICE.” SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE LETHBRIDGE FIRE DEPARTMENT.
Catalogue Number
P20150010008
Acquisition Date
2015-02
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