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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
Other Name
WINDSHIELD COVER
Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1960
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
COTTON, POLYESTER, INK
Catalogue Number
P20180021005
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
WINDSHIELD COVER
Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1960
Materials
COTTON, POLYESTER, INK
No. Pieces
1
Length
174
Width
82
Description
YELLOW COTTON-BLEND COVER WITH MACHINE-STITCHED EDGES; FRONT OF COVER HAS LOGO IN UPPER LEFT CORNER OF WHITE SHIELD WITH RED BORDER, A WHITE ROSE WITH GREEN LEAVES ON YELOW CIRCLE ON SHIELD, AND RED TEXT “WHITE ROSE”. FRONT OF COVER HAS STENCILED GREEN TEXT AT TOP “DRIVE IN-“ AND RED STENCILED TEXT BELOW “LET US CLEAN YOUR WINDSHIELD!” BACK OF COVER IS WHITE COTTON-NYLON FABRIC. FRONT IS STAINED WITH TWO LARGE HOLES ON LEFT AND RIGHT WITH RIPS EXTENDING FROM HOLES; BACK IS STAINED; RIGHT EDGE FRAYED; COVER IS SEVERELY CREASED AND FOLDED. OVERALL GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
LAND TRANSPORTATION-ACCESSORY
Historical Association
INDUSTRY
TRANSPORTATION
History
ON AUGUST 22, 2018, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED MARY OBERG REGARDING HER DONATION OF AN AUTOMOBILE WINDSHIELD COVER. THE COVER WAS USED BY HER FATHER IN LETHBRIDGE. ON HER FATHER’S USE OF THE COVER, OBERG ELABORATED, “[I REMEMBER] HOW EMBARRASSING IT WAS THAT ALL THE OTHER DADS IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD WOULD JUST GET OUT IN THE MORNING, AND SCRAPE THEIR WINDSHIELD OFF, BUT OUR DAD [JACK GRANT KEYS] HAD THIS BRIGHT YELLOW THING STRAPPED ONTO HIS WINDSHIELD TO KEEP THE SNOW OFF. AS CHILDREN, THE PEER PRESSURE WAS PRETTY INTENSE, AND WE WERE THE ONLY ONES ON THE STREET THAT HAD THIS GREAT BIG CANVAS THING ON THE FRONT OF OUR DAD’S CAR. WHEN WE MOVED TO EDMONTON, WE DIDN’T HAVE A GARAGE AT THAT POINT. AGAIN, THERE GOES THIS (EVEN THOUGH WHITE ROSE GASOLINE HAD BECOME OBSOLETE). MY DAD DIDN’T THROW TOO MANY THINGS OUT IF THEY STILL HAD A USEFUL PURPOSE, AND SO, THERE IT WAS, FRONT AND CENTER AGAIN–-THE ONLY GUY ON THE BLOCK. I DON’T KNOW WHY SOMEBODY DIDN’T COME UP WITH SOMETHING NOT QUITE SO OBVIOUS. IT WAS JUST AN EMBARRASSMENT THAT MY FATHER ALWAYS HAD TO COVER UP HIS WINDSHIELD.” “HE WAS THE MANAGER OF THE [WHITE ROSE OIL COMPANY] PLANT. WELL, HE CALLED IT ‘THE PLANT’, BUT THEY DIDN’T MANUFACTURE ANY PRODUCTS THERE. THERE WERE BIG TANKS. I BELIEVE THEY WERE UP ON THIRD AVENUE SOUTH–-I WANT TO SAY IN THE AREA OF HARLEY-DAVIDSON. WE LIVED ON 18TH STREET, AND I KNOW THAT IT WAS STRAIGHT NORTH ON 18TH STREET, AND EITHER LEFT OR RIGHT. IT WAS IN THAT GENERAL AREA. IT WAS WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE, [AND] HE WAS THE MANAGER OF THE PLANT. I THINK HE WAS EVEN THE ONLY EMPLOYEE, BUT HE USED TO GO AROUND IN SOUTHERN ALBERTA TO ALL OF THE GAS STATIONS THAT WERE DEALING IN WHITE ROSE OIL, AND GET THEIR ORDERS…THEN, THERE MUST HAVE BEEN A DRIVER THAT WOULD COME AND FILL UP THEIR TANKER TRUCKS FROM WHERE HE WAS–-THE BULK STATION–-AND GO AND DELIVER IT. I KNOW THAT [DAD] WAS ON THE ROAD AN AWFUL LOT, BUT I DON’T RECALL, AS A CHILD, THAT THERE WERE OTHER EMPLOYEES, OTHER THAN THE TRUCK DRIVER.” “I DON’T RECALL THAT HE WAS THAT FOND OF HIS JOB. IN THE WINTER-TIME, IT WAS REALLY TOUGH. HE USED TO FREEZE HIS FINGERS, ON OCCASION, BECAUSE HE WAS THE ONE THAT HAD TO CLIMB UP THE STAIRCASE THAT WENT AROUND THESE BIG TANKS IN THE COLD OF WINTER, AND DO A DIP STICK TO MEASURE HOW MUCH FUEL WAS IN THE TANKS. WE DIDN’T HAVE SNOW BLOWERS…IT WAS TOUGH BECAUSE HE DID SPEND SOME TIME OUTSIDE, WITH HIS JOB, AND THEN [HAD] AN AWFUL LOT OF TIME ON THE ROADS. THERE WERE MANY TIMES THAT HE WOULD…BE STRANDED IN SMALL COMMUNITIES, BECAUSE OF BAD ROADS. OF COURSE HE WOULD HAVE PREFERRED TO BE HOME WITH HIS FAMILY. I DON’T RECALL THAT HE WAS REALLY ‘GUNG-HO’. I KNOW THAT SHELL TRIED TO GET HIM TO MOVE TO EDMONTON ON A FEW OCCASIONS, AND HE FLATLY REFUSED…WE MOVED IN ’63, SO IT WOULD HAVE BEEN MY GRANDMOTHER WAS ILL, AND DEALING WITH CANCER, AND IT WAS JUST A VERY INAPPROPRIATE TIME FOR US TO LEAVE. MY MOTHER WAS AN ONLY CHILD, SO THERE WERE NO OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS TO STAY AND LOOK AFTER HER. THEN, FINALLY SHELL SAID, “THIS IS YOUR FINAL CHOICE, AND THERE IS NO OPTION.” I GUESS IT WASN’T A CHOICE–-IT WAS EITHER MOVE, OR LOSE YOUR JOB. IT WAS A MATTER OF PUTTING IN TIME UNTIL HE RETIRED.” “MY DAD PASSED AWAY, AND WE ACQUIRED IT FROM HIS WIDOW…IT’S A SMALL PART OF MY DAD. I DIDN’T HAVE A LOT OF THINGS [FROM HIM]. THIS WAS MY DAD’S THIRD MARRIAGE, WHEN HE PASSED, AND HIS FAMILY/HIS WIFE DISPOSED OF A LOT OF THINGS THAT WE [THE CHILDREN] POSSIBLY WOULD HAVE KEPT. THEY MEANT NOTHING TO HER, BUT THEY WERE LIVING OUT ON SALT SPRING ISLAND AT THE TIME. I WAS LIVING IN REGINA. MY BROTHER LIVED IN CHICAGO, AND MY SISTER LIVED IN CALIFORNIA. NONE OF US REALLY WANTED ‘THINGS’, LIKE FURNITURE, SO IT WAS JUST A LITTLE TRINKET THAT BROUGHT BACK SO MANY MEMORIES, AND IT WENT BACK AS FAR AS LETHBRIDGE.” FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20180021001-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20180021005
Acquisition Date
2018-08
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
Other Name
LETHBRIDGE TRANSIT DIAMOND FARE BOX
Date Range From
1970
Date Range To
2012
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
STEEL, BRASS, PLASTIC
Catalogue Number
P20140018000
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
LETHBRIDGE TRANSIT DIAMOND FARE BOX
Date Range From
1970
Date Range To
2012
Materials
STEEL, BRASS, PLASTIC
No. Pieces
1
Height
58.5
Length
16
Width
15
Description
CYLINDER WITH STEEL BASE BOLTED TO CLEAR PLASTIC CANISTER, TOPPED WITH ROUNDED ALUMINIUM CAP WITH BEVELED SLOT THAT OPENS INTO PLASTIC CANISTER WITH TWO TOOTHED, METAL, ANGLED FLAPS. BASE HAS TWO IRREGULAR METAL SHAPES EMERGING FROM ONE SIDE, AND A RED, WHITE, AND YELLOW LABEL STUCK TO THE OPPOSITE SIDE THAT READS “CASH FARES – PLEASE OBTAIN A TRANSFER WHEN PAYING FARE… L.A. TRANSIT…”. BASE BOTTOM IS STOPPED WITH BRASS PLUG, STAMPED WITH TEXT READING “DIAMOND MFG. CO. – KANSAS CITY, MO.” AND “47” HANDWRITTEN IN BLACK MARKER. GENERAL WEAR, NICKS IN METAL, CLOUDING OF PLASTIC, SCUFFS AND TEARS ON LABEL, TAPE RESIDUE ALONG BOTTOM EDGE. OVERALL GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
LAND TRANSPORTATION-ACCESSORY
Historical Association
TRANSPORTATION
RETAIL TRADE
History
THIS FARE BOX WAS PRODUCED BY DIAMOND MANUFACTURING IN KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, AND USED IN LETHBRIDGE TRANSIT BUSES BETWEEN 1970 AND 2012. ON APRIL 23, 2015, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN INTERVIEWED DIANE BOULTON, AN EMPLOYEE WITH LETHBRIDGE TRANSIT FROM 1975 TO 2014. BOULTON SAID: “I WAS A BUS DRIVER AND THEN WENT ON TO BECOME PART OF MANAGEMENT… [THIS TYPE OF FARE BOX] WAS IN SERVICE WHEN I STARTED WITH THE DEPARTMENT IN 1975 AND HAD PROBABLY BEEN IN SERVICE FOR MAYBE FIVE TO 10 YEARS [ALREADY]. IT IS CALLED A DIAMOND FARE BOX… IT WOULD BE MOUNTED ON A STANCHION NEXT TO THE DRIVER’S COMPARTMENT… IT’S A STAINLESS STEEL CYLINDER THAT IS OPEN… AND WE WOULD SLIDE A SOLID BRASS CYLINTER UP INSIDE OF IT THAT WAS A LOCKING MECHANISM FOR THE FARE BOX… THERE WAS A LOCKING MECHANISM ON [THE] FLANGE THAT WOULD LOCK IT IN PLACE AND [IT] REQUIRED A TWO-KEY SYSTEM TO GET IN AND OUT OF… AT THE TOP, IT’S AN OPEN CYLINDER, SO SOMEBODY COULD COME IN WITH A HANDFUL OF CASH AND… YOU ARE GOING TO GET MULTIPLE TYPES OF COINS… IT’S REALLY HARD TO COUNT THE PHYSICAL FARE… SO YOU’RE TAKING THE CUSTOMER ON THEIR HONESTY… THE DRIVERS [ALSO] HAD TO PHYSICALLY COUNT WHEN WE WERE DOING PASSENGER COUNTS TO TRY AND GET SOME SORT OF STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF HOW MANY PEOPLE WERE RIDING, WHAT FARE CATEGORIES WERE RIDING… WITH THE ELECTRONIC FARE BOX [ADOPTED BY LETHBRIDGE TRANSIT IN 2012], IT TELLS EXACTLY WHEN IT’S GOT THE ALLOTTED FARE [AND] AT THE SAME TIME IT’S TAKING YOUR FARE, IT’S COUNTING YOU AS A PASSENGER… THE ELECTRONIC FARE BOX GIVES US A HUGE AMOUNT OF DATA, THAT VERY EASILY IT OBTAINED, WHILE THIS ONE WAS MORE ONEROUS… [ANOTHER REASON] THAT WE STARTED TO SWITCH OUT WAS THAT WE STARTED TO GET DIFFICULTY IN GETTING PARTS BECAUSE THE [DIAMOND] FARE BOX ITSELF WAS FAIRLY OLD.” BOULTON CONTINUED: “BECAUSE IT’S WHAT I USED ALL THE TIME [AS A BUS DRIVER] THERE’S SOME NOSTALGIA THERE… THE SIMPLICITY OF IT… AS THINGS CHANGE AND MOVE FORWARD… IT’S KINDA NEAT… I THINK WHEN I FIRST STARTED IT WAS… $0.65 FOR AN ADULT FARE, AND $0.25 OR $0.35 FOR 17 OR UNDER CHILD FARE, AND SENIORS HAD A PASS THAT THEY RODE FREE… THERE WAS THE ODD TIME WHERE PEOPLE WOULD TRY AND FIGURE OUT A WAY TO GET THE CYLINDER OUT OF A BOTTOM OF IT… AND OCCASIONALLY THE CYLINDERS WOULD FALL OUT IF [YOU] WERE IN A HURRY WHEN YOU WERE PUTTING THEM IN AND YOU DIDN’T QUITE GET THE LOCKING MECHANISM SHUT… YOU’D BE DRIVING DOWN THE ROAD AND ALL OF A SUDDEN, BOOM! THE CYLINDER WOULD DROP OUT OF THE BOTTOM… WE HAD 50-60 OF THE DIAMOND FARE BOXES [AND] THE ACTUAL COIN CYLINDERS THAT WENT UP INSIDE, WE PROBABLY HAD 120-150 OF THOSE BECAUSE, FOR EVERY [FULL] ONE YOU DROPPED OUT, YOU HAD TO PUT ANOTHER UP AND THEY WOULD GET DROPPED OUT AT NIGHT, SO THEY WOULDN’T GET OPENED UNTIL THE NEXT MORNING [FOR FARES TO BE COUNTED].” ACCORDING TO THE ARTICLE “DIAMOND FAREBOXES ARE FOREVER”, PUBLISHED IN FEBRUARY 2013 ON BUSRIDE.COM, DIAMOND MANUFACTURING HAS PRODUCED ROUND FAREBOXES FOR COIN FARES SINCE 1947. DIAMOND-BRAND FAREBOXES ARE USED BY TRANSIT SYSTEMS IN EVERY AMERICAN STATE, THROUGHOUT CANADA, AND IN MEXICO, VENEZUELA, BERMUDA AND GUAM. THE AVERAGE LIFESPAN OF A DIAMOND FAREBOX IS 30 YEARS, WITH LITTLE MAINTENANCE REQUIRED DUE TO THE SIMPLICITY OF THE DESIGN. SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR HARDCOPIES OF FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT AND ONLINE SOURCE MATERIAL.
Catalogue Number
P20140018000
Acquisition Date
2014-05
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail