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Other Name
SUPINA SOUVENIR BOWL
Date Range From
1918
Date Range To
1960
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
PORCELAIN
Catalogue Number
P20150016001
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
SUPINA SOUVENIR BOWL
Date Range From
1918
Date Range To
1960
Materials
PORCELAIN
No. Pieces
1
Height
6
Diameter
21.5
Description
CHINA BOWL WITH AN IRREGULAR RIM THAT EXTENDS A FLORAL PETAL MOTIF ALONG BOWL’S INSIDE EDGE. CENTRE FEATURES COUNTRY LANDSCAPE INCLUDING A COTTAGE, SURROUNDED BY STAMP MARK IN GOLD STENCIL AND SCRIPT, “COMPLIMENTS OF N. F. SUPINA”. GOOD TO VERY GOOD CONDITION. SLIGHT CRACKING IN THE BOTTOM. THE BASE IS SCUFFED AND DIRTY. THERE ARE SOME MARKS ON THE OUTSIDE EDGE.
Subjects
FURNITURE
Historical Association
BUSINESS
COMMEMORATIVE
DOMESTIC
History
EVERAL HORHOZER (NÉE SUPINA) WAS BORN IN LETHBRIDGE IN THE YEAR OF 1927 TO HER PARENTS DONAH (NÉE HILL) AND NICHOLAS SUPINA. SUPINA WAS THE OWNER OF SUPINA’S MERCANTILE ON 13TH STREET NORTH, LETHBRIDGE. COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN CONDUCTED A SERIES OF INTERVIEWS (ON APRIL 2, APRIL 16, AND MAY 7, 2015) WITH HORHOZER REGARDING A GROUP OF ARTIFACTS SHE DONATED TO THE MUSEUM. THE INFORMATION BELOW HAS COME FROM THESE INTERVIEWS AND LETHBRIDGE HERALD RESEARCH REGARDING HORHOZER AND HER FAMILY. THIS BOWL IS A REMINDER OF THE STORE THAT WAS AN INTEGRAL PART OF LIFE IN THE SUPINA FAMILY. HORHOZER REMEMBERS: “MY DAD ALWAYS GAVE A CHRISTMAS GIFT. SO ONE YEAR HE GAVE THE PLATE AND ANOTHER YEAR HE GAVE THIS BOWL AND ACTUALLY THAT’S ALL I KNOW ABOUT IT… [A]LL THE CUSTOMERS, THE ONES THAT DEALT THERE ALL THE TIME [GOT A CHRISTMAS PRESENT]. THE GOOD PAYING ONES AND THE NOT-SO-GOOD PAYING ONES, I THINK THEY PROBABLY EVEN GOT IT TOO, BUT, AS LONG AS THEY WERE CUSTOMERS THEN THEY GOT ONE… MY MOTHER SAVED [IT] FIRSTLY, BECAUSE THEY REALLY MEANT SOMETHING - PART OF THE STORE I GUESS SHE’D SAY. SO, HAD THEM FOR A LONG, LONG TIME… MY MOM HAD ALL KINDS OF ORNAMENTS AROUND AND SHE’D JUST PUT THEM ON A TABLE OR WHATEVER. SHE WOULD CHANGE HER ORNAMENTS EVERY ONCE AND AWHILE, AND THEN SHE’D PUT THESE IN THE CUPBOARD." ABOUT THE HISTORY OF SUPINA’S MERCANTILE, HORHOZER EXPLAINS: “I WAS BORN INTO [THE STORE]. MY DAD STARTED SMALL. HIS DAD HAD A LITTLE CONFECTIONARY; THEN HE TURNED IT INTO A GROCERY STORE AND THEN HE SOLD IT TO MY DAD. MY DAD WAS THE ONE THAT TOOK IT OVER, THAT WAS ALREADY TAKING PLACE WHEN I WAS BORN. THERE WAS NO SPECIFIC MEMORY [OF THAT TRANSITIION] BECAUSE THAT’S ALL I KNEW REALLY.” “… MY DAD WAS BORN IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA. [HIS FAMILY] CAME HERE WHEN HE WAS TWO. [HIS YOUNGER SIBLINGS], THE FIVE BROTHERS AND THE ONE SISTER, WERE ALL BORN IN THAT SAME LITTLE HOUSE THERE. AND THAT’S WHERE MY GRANDPA HAD STARTED THE STORE, IT WAS JUST A CONFECTIONARY. EVENTUALLY IT GREW INTO QUITE A BUSINESS… IN THOSE DAYS, IT WAS HORSE AND BUGGY, SO THEY HAD FIVE HORSES AND BUGGIES THAT WERE RUNNING, WORKING, AND MY UNCLE ALWAYS LOOKED AFTER THE HORSES AND MAINTAINED THEM. THEY’D GO AND THEY’D PICK UP THE ORDER. LOTS OF THE PEOPLE THEN COULDN’T SPEAK ENGLISH, BUT MY DAD COULD SPEAK CZECH, AND THEN THEY’D USUALLY SEND – HE HAD ALL KINDS OF NATIONALITIES WORKING FOR HIM - [A PERSON OF MATCHING ETHNICITY], THAT KNEW THEIR LANGUAGE TO PICK UP THE ORDER. THEY BROUGHT IT BACK TO THE STORE, AND THEN DELIVERED IT BACK TO THE CUSTOMER, THAT WAS REAL SERVICE IN THOSE DAYS, ESPECIALLY WITH HORSE AND BUGGY IN THOSE WINTRY DAYS, AFTER THAT IT DEVELOPED INTO TRUCKS. THERE WERE LOTS OF MINERS IN THOSE DAYS AND WERE GOOD CUSTOMERS… HE AT ONE TIME EMPLOYED THIRTY-SIX PEOPLE IN THE STORE THERE.” AN ARTICLE IN LETHBRIDGE HERALD PUBLISHED ON MAY 5, 2004 STATES THAT NICK SUPINA PURCHASED THE STORE FROM HIS FATHER, MIKE SUPINA, IN 1918. IN THE INTERVIEW, HORHOZER CONTINUED TO SPEAK ABOUT THE BEGINNING DAYS OF THE SUPINA’S STORE: “MY GRANDPA WAS WORKING IN THE MINE. I DON’T KNOW HOW IT CAME THAT HE HAD THIS LITTLE BUSINESS… IT’S MY DAD THEN THAT HAD TO LOOK AFTER THE FAMILY BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T HAVE ANY MONEY. THERE WAS FIVE BOYS SO HE HAD THEM ALL. THEY WERE ALL CLOSE TOGETHER IN AGE. THERE’S STEVE AND BILLY AND JOHN AND MIKE… UNCLE STEVE, IS THE SECOND, HE’S THE ONE THAT STAYED WITH MY DAD, AND JOHNNY DID TOO. THEN THE OTHER TWO PURSUED THEIR OWN BUSINESSES. BILLY HAD A BUSINESS IN RED DEER AND SMALL BUSINESSES IN TWO OTHER PLACES. THEN MIKE, HE WENT TO THE STATES AND—OH, THAT WAS GEORGE, PARDON ME. HE HAD A SHOE STORE WHICH WAS VERY, VERY SUCCESSFUL. MIKE WAS THE ONLY ONE THAT WASN’T IN BUSINESS. THAT WAS BECAUSE HE WAS IN THE WAR…” THINKING BACK ON HER MEMORIES OF SUPINA’S, HORHOZER DESCRIBES, “[I]N THOSE DAYS YOU HAD GOOD FRUIT. I REMEMBER THE DELICIOUS PEACHES. I HAVEN’T SEEN A PEACH LIKE THAT SINCE… LOTS OF TIMES, THE FRUIT WOULD GO OVER-RIPE, LIKE YOUR APRICOTS AND PEACHES. MY MOTHER WOULD GO AND GET ALL THE OVER-RIPE FRUIT AND TAKE IT HOME AND MAKE BEAUTIFUL PIES AND TAKE THE PIES BACK TO THE STORE AND SELL THEM. SHE WAS A WONDERFUL BAKER. THEY DID EVERYTHING LIKE THAT TO HELP MAKE MORE MONEY. SOMETIMES MY DAD WOULD HAVE A SPECIAL ON, 3 CENTS A LOAF [OF BREAD. I HAD LOTS OF ADS FROM THE STORE, AND YOU’D GET SUCH A KICK OUT OF SEEING HAMBURGER, TWENTY-FIVE CENTS A POUND AND THINGS LIKE THAT. SO, YES I REMEMBER.” HORHOZER BEGAN WORKING AT THE STORE AT THE AGE OF 14: “I WORKED IN THE LADIESWEAR. I LIKED THAT VERY MUCH. THE MEAT DEPARTMENT WAS RIGHT ACROSS FROM THE LADIESWEAR. THAT’S KIND OF HOW I MET JOE. HE WORKED IN THE BUTCHER DEPARTMENT. I REMEMBER THE DAY HE WALKED IN THE STORE, I’LL NEVER FORGET [IT], HE HAD THIS RED CARDIGAN SWEATER ON AND I JUST FELL, HEAD OVER RIGHT THEN. HE WAS JUST STARTING WORK AND I THOUGHT, ‘WELL, THAT’S THE GUY I’M GOING TO MARRY.’” HORHOZER BELIEVED THAT AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE STORE’S SUCCESS WAS “… BECAUSE, [OF] THE SERVICE MAINLY. JUST THINK, GOING THERE, GETTING YOUR ORDERS, BRINGING THEM BACK, DOING THEM UP, THEY’D MAKE SURE THINGS WERE TOP QUALITY. THEY GOT TO KNOW EVERY CUSTOMER, OF COURSE, AND THEY KNEW WHAT THEY LIKED. HE HAD WONDERFUL PEOPLE WORKING FOR HIM. THEY JUST GAVE FANTASTIC SERVICE ALL THE TIME. PLUS, MY DAD WAS GRUFF, BUT HE WAS VERY, VERY KIND TO POOR PEOPLE THAT COULDN’T AFFORD –THERE’S LOTS THAT YEARS AFTER HE HAD PASSED AWAY [PEOPLE] WOULD COME UP TO ME AND SAY, ‘IF IT WASN’T FOR YOUR DAD, JOHNNY WOULDN’T HAVE HAD CHEESE,’ OR SOMETHING. I DIDN’T KNOW A THING ABOUT IT, BECAUSE HE WAS ONE THAT NEVER, EVER TOLD ANYBODY… THEN AT CHRISTMAS TIME HE WOULD GO TO THE STORE AND HE HAD A LIST OF EVERYBODY THAT HE KNEW WAS EXCEPTIONALLY POOR, AND HE WOULD FILL BASKETS. HE WOULD DO IT ALL BY HIMSELF… HE WOULDN’T TELL MY MOTHER AND I. HE WAS SO TIGHT-MOUTHED, FILL ALL THESE BASKETS AND DELIVER THEM TO THE PEOPLE HIMSELF WITHOUT TELLING A SOUL ABOUT IT. HE WAS THAT KIND OF PERSON. HE WAS VERY KIND THAT WAY.” SUPINA’S MERCANTILE SERVED LETHBRIDGE UNTIL IT CLOSED IN 1960. HORHOZER REMAINED IN RETAIL IN VARIOUS SHOPS IN THE CITY, INCLUDING THE DEPARTMENT STORE WOOLCO UNTIL HER RETIREMENT IN 1988. HORHOZER PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE IN 2016 AT THE AGE OF 88 YEARS OLD. PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT SUPINA’S MERCANTILE AND THE LIFE OF EVERAL AND HER FAMILY, WHICH INCLUDES THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT AND LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES.
Catalogue Number
P20150016001
Acquisition Date
2015-05
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Date Range From
1933
Date Range To
2000
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
CLOTH, FELT, PAINT
Catalogue Number
P20160003002
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1933
Date Range To
2000
Materials
CLOTH, FELT, PAINT
No. Pieces
2
Height
29.5
Width
15
Description
A: HANDMADE DOLL. THE “ESKIMO” DOLL IS MADE WITH LIGHT BLUE, FELT-LIKE FABRIC WITH WHITE FABRIC ACCENTS. THE FACE IS MADE OUT OF A LIGHTER FABRIC THAT IS PEACH-COLOURED. THE FACIAL DETAILS ARE HAND PAINTED. THE DOLL HAS BLUE EYES, EYEBROWS, NOSTRILS, RED LIPS, AND ROSY CHEEKS. THE LIGHT BLUE FABRIC THAT MAKES UP THE MAJORITY OF THE DOLL’S BODY IS ENCOMPASSING THE DOLL’S FACE LIKE A HOOD. THE DOLL’S TORSO IS COVERED IN THE LIGHT BLUE FELT. TWO HEART-SHAPED ARMS, MADE OF THE SAME MATERIAL, ARE ATTACHED TO EITHER SIDE OF THE BODY. THE DOLLS UPPER LEG AND FEET ARE COVERED IN THE LIGHT BLUE FELT. FROM THE KNEES TO THE ANKLES, A LIGHTER, WHITE FABRIC IS COVERING THE LEGS. B: DOLL SKIRT. AROUND THE DOLL’S WAIST IS A DETACHABLE SKIRT MADE OF THE SAME FABRIC AND A WHITE WAISTBAND. POOR CONDITION. ALL FABRIC IS WELL-WORN AND THREADBARE IN MULTIPLE PLACES. THE DOLL’S RED STUFFING IS VISIBLE THROUGH PARTS OF THE FABRIC. THERE IS DISCOLORATION (YELLOWING) OVERALL. THE STUFFING IS NOT EVENLY DISTRIBUTED THROUGHOUT THE DOLL. THE SEAMS AT THE ARMS ARE FRAGILE. THE PAINT FOR THE DOLL’S FACE IS SEVERELY FADED.
Subjects
TOY
Historical Association
ETHNOGRAPHIC
LEISURE
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. THE FAMILY 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 DOLL BELONGED TO MORRIS AS A CHILD. SHE EXPLAINS, “THIS CAME FROM A GREAT AUNT WHO CAME TO VISIT US AND SHE ALWAYS BROUGHT GIFTS AND THIS ONE WAS MINE AND I LOVED THIS DOLL… I REMEMBER PLAYING WITH IT, IT WAS SOFT AND CUDDLY WHEN I HAD IT… MY DAUGHTER WENT THROUGH IT AND MY GRANDDAUGHTER AND THEN I PUT A STOP TO IT BEFORE THEY ATE IT UP OR DID SOMETHING… THEY LOVED IT AND THEY, YOU KNOW LITTLE KIDS, THEY’RE CARELESS SO I’LL KEEP IT...” IN A PHONE CALL WITH COLLECTIONS ASSISTANT ELISE PUNDYK ON OCTOBER 24, 2017, MORRIS SAID SHE RECIEVED THE DOLL FROM HER GREAT AUNT WHO HAD BROUGHT IT FROM VISITING BRITISH COLUMBIA. MORRIS PLAYED WITH THE DOLL AS A CHILD, AS DID MORRIS' CHILDREN. THE DOLL WAS LOVED BY MULTIPLE GENERATIONS IN MORRIS' FAMILY AS HER GRANDCHILDREN AND GREAT GRANDCHILDREN WOULD ALSO PLAY WITH THE DOLL WHEN THEY CAME TO VISIT. PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, OBITUARIES, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160003002
Acquisition Date
2016-02
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
TOY, STUFFED
Date Range From
1940
Date Range To
1950
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
LEATHERETTE, LEATHER
Catalogue Number
P20150013001
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
TOY, STUFFED
Date Range From
1940
Date Range To
1950
Materials
LEATHERETTE, LEATHER
No. Pieces
2
Height
21.5
Length
29.5
Width
5.5
Description
A: STUFFED DOG, GREEN LEATHERETTE BODY, RED LEATHERETTE EARS. RED STITCHING AROUND EDGE OF DOG’S BODY. SAME RED THREAD MAKES A SMALL TAIL. BLACK BUTTON EYES. TOY DESIGNED WITH ONLY 2 LEGS, FRONT AND BACK. B: ADJUSTABLE BLACK LEATHER COLLAR WITH SILVER COLOURED METAL BUCKLE. MINOR REPAIRS WITH OFF-WHITE THREAD VISIBLE AT TAIL AND ABOVE LEFT EYE. MINOR REPAIR WITH STAPLES ON FRONT LEFT FOOT. LEATHERETTE RUBBED OFF AT NOSE AREA AND UNDER BUTTON EYES. SEAMS WHERE LEGS MEET BODY ARE WELL-WORN AND LOOSE, SOME STUFFING IS VISIBLE, ESPECIALLY ON RIGHT FRONT LEG.
Subjects
TOY
Historical Association
LEISURE
History
THIS STUFFED DOG 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 IN AN ORAL INTERVIEW CONDUCTED BY KEVIN MACLEAN IN NOVEMBER 2015. 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
P20150013001
Acquisition Date
2015-03
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
TEDDY BEAR
Date Range From
1940
Date Range To
1950
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
FAKE FUR, WOOL, COTTON
Catalogue Number
P20150013003
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
TEDDY BEAR
Date Range From
1940
Date Range To
1950
Materials
FAKE FUR, WOOL, COTTON
No. Pieces
3
Height
37
Length
31.5
Width
13
Description
A: TEDDY BEAR, MEDIUM BROWN FAKE FUR BODY WITH YELLOW FAKE FUR ON EARS, NOSE, AND PAWS. TWO RED BUTTON EYES. NOSE AND MOUTH ARE BLACK YARN SEWN ONTO YELLOW SNOUT. FAKE FUR HAS RUBBED OFF ON BEAR'S SNOUT AND AROUND SEVERAL SEAMS, ESPECIALLY ON EARS AND FEET. MINOR REPAIRS EVIDENT BELOW SNOUT, ABOVE LEFT EYE, BACK OF NECK, AND BOTTOM OF RIGHT FOOT. B: TEAL GREEN WOOL CARDIGAN WITH 5 GOLD-COLOURED BUTTONS. BUTTONS EMBOSSED WITH AIRPLANE FLYING OVER WAVY WATER. C: RED ROMPER PANTS UNDER SWEATER. MATERIAL HAS RED BACKGROUND AND WHITE BOWS WITH NAVY BLUE CENTRES. STRAPS OF PANTS AFFIXED IN FRONT WITH TWO TAN BUTTONS.
Subjects
TOY
Historical Association
LEISURE
History
THIS TEDDY BEAR 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 IN AN ORAL INTERVIEW CONDUCTED BY KEVIN MACLEAN IN NOVEMBER 2015. 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. UPDATE: ON 26 OCTOBER 2017, DONOR ROBERT SMITH RESPONDED BY EMAIL TO AN ENQUIRY BY MUSEUM STAFF ON THIS OBJECT’S MANUFACTURE, SAYING THAT, “MY MOTHER DID KNIT AND SEW, AND HAD A TREADLE-TYPE SINGER SEWING MACHINE [AND] WHILE I CAN'T BE SURE, IT IS LIKELY THAT SHE MADE THE BEAR'S CLOTHES AND THE BABY BONNET.” IN ANOTHER EMAIL, THE FOLLOWING DAY (27 OCTOBER), HE ADDED, “THE BEAR WAS PROBABLY STORE BOUGHT, AND THE CLOTHES ADDED TO PERSONALIZE IT. [I] DON'T KNOW IF IT WAS A GIFT.” SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS AND COPIES OF LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES.
Catalogue Number
P20150013003
Acquisition Date
2015-03
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Date Range From
1940
Date Range To
1950
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
PLASTIC
Catalogue Number
P20150013004
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1940
Date Range To
1950
Materials
PLASTIC
No. Pieces
9
Width
10.5
Diameter
7.5
Description
TEETHING RING. LARGE ORANGE PLASTIC RING (7.5CM DIAMETER) WITH 8 SMALLER RINGS (4.2CM DIAMETER) ON IT. OF THE SMALLER RINGS, TWO ARE BLUE, THREE ARE ORANGE, AND THREE ARE OFF-WHITE. EACH RING (BIG AND SMALL) IS STAMPED WITH "MADE IN U.S.A." LARGE RING CAN BE OPENED, BUT IS PRESENTLY HELD TOGETHER BY STRING TIED THROUGH TWO SMALL HOLES. MINOR STAINING EVIDENT ON THE OFF-WHITE RINGS. INSIDE THE LARGE RING THERE IS PLASTIC MISSING AROUND THE SMALL HOLES.
Subjects
TOY
Historical Association
LEISURE
PERSONAL CARE
History
THIS TEETHING TOY 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 IN AN ORAL INTERVIEW CONDUCTED BY KEVIN MACLEAN IN NOVEMBER 2015. 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
P20150013004
Acquisition Date
2015-03
Collection
Museum
Images
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