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Other Name
BLANKET
Date Range From
1920
Date Range To
1990
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
RAW FLAX YARN
Catalogue Number
P20160003007
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
BLANKET
Date Range From
1920
Date Range To
1990
Materials
RAW FLAX YARN
No. Pieces
1
Length
139
Width
99.5
Description
HAND-WOVEN BLANKET MADE FROM RAW FLAX. THE BLANKET IS COMPOSED OF 2 SECTIONS OF THE SAME SIZE OF MATERIAL THAT ARE JOINED TOGETHER WITH A SEAM AT THE CENTER. ON THE FRONT SIDE (WITH NEAT SIDE OF THE STITCHING AND PATCHES), THERE ARE THREE PATCHES ON THE BLANKET MADE FROM LIGHTER, RAW-COLOURED MATERIAL. ONE SECTION OF THE FABRIC HAS TWO OF THE PATCHES ALIGNED VERTICALLY NEAR THE CENTER SEAM. THE AREA SHOWING ON ONE PATCH IS 3 CM X 5 CM AND THE OTHER IS SHOWING 5 CM X 6 CM. ON THE OPPOSITE SECTION THERE IS ONE PATCH THAT IS 16 CM X 8.5 CM SEWN AT THE EDGE OF THE BLANKET. THE BLANKET IS HEMMED ON BOTH SHORT SIDES. ON THE OPPOSING/BACK SIDE OF THE BLANKET, THE FULL PIECES OF THE FABRIC FOR THE PATCHES ARE SHOWING. THE SMALLER PATCH OF THE TWO ON THE ONE HALF-SECTION OF THE BLANKET IS 8CM X 10 CM AND THE OTHER PATCH ON THAT SIDE IS 14CM X 15CM. THE PATCH ON THE OTHER HALF-SECTION IS THE SAME SIZE AS WHEN VIEWED FROM THE FRONT. THERE IS A SEVERELY FADED BLUE STAMP ON THIS PATCH’S FABRIC. FAIR CONDITION. THERE IS RED STAINING THAT CAN BE SEEN FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE BLANKET AT THE CENTER SEAM, NEAR THE EDGE OF THE BLANKET AT THE SIDE WITH 2 PATCHES (CLOSER TO THE LARGER PATCH), AND NEAR THE SMALL PATCH AT THE END FURTHER FROM THE CENTER. THERE IS A HOLE WITH MANY LOOSE THREADS SURROUNDING NEAR THE CENTER OF THE HALF SECTION WITH ONE PATCH. THERE ARE VARIOUS THREADS COMING LOOSE AT MULTIPLE POINTS OF THE BLANKET.
Subjects
AGRICULTURAL T&E
BEDDING
Historical Association
AGRICULTURE
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. ACCORDING TO A NOTE THAT WAS ATTACHED TO THIS LIGHTWEIGHT BLANKET AT THE TIME OF ACQUISITION THE BLANKET IS BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN MADE C. 1920S. MORRIS SAYS HER MEMORY OF THE BLANKET DATES AS FAR BACK AS SHE CAN REMEMBER: “RIGHT INTO THE ‘30S, ‘40S AND ‘50S BECAUSE MY MOTHER DID THAT RIGHT UP UNTIL NEAR THE END. I USE THAT EVEN IN LETHBRIDGE WHEN I HAD A GARDEN. [THIS TYPE OF BLANKET] WAS USED FOR TWO PURPOSES. IT WAS EITHER PUT ON THE BED UNDERNEATH THE MATTRESS THE LADIES MADE OUT OF WOOL AND OR ELSE IT WAS USED, A DIFFERENT PIECE OF CLOTH WOULD BE USED FOR FLAILING THINGS. [THE] FLAIL ACTUALLY GOES WITH IT AND THEY BANG ON THE SEEDS AND IT WOULD TAKE THE HULLS OFF… IT’S HAND WOVEN AND IT’S MADE OUT OF POOR QUALITY FLAX… IT’S UNBLEACHED, DEFINITELY… RAW LINEN." THIS SPECIFIC BLANKET WAS USED FOR SEEDS MORRIS RECALLS: “…IT HAD TO BE A WINDY DAY… WE WOULD PICK DRIED PEAS OR BEANS OR WHATEVER BEET SEEDS AND WE WOULD BEAT AWAY AND THEN WE WOULD STAND UP, HOLD IT UP AND THE BREEZE WOULD BLOW THE HULLS OFF AND THE SEEDS WOULD GO STRAIGHT DOWN [ONTO THE BLANKET.” THE SEEDS WOULD THEN BE CARRIED ON THE BLANKET AND THEN PUT INTO A PAIL. OF THE BLANKET’S CLEAN STATE, MORRIS EXPLAINS, “THEY’RE ALWAYS WASHED AFTER THEY’RE FINISHED USING THEM.” WHEN SHE LOOKS AT THIS ARTIFACT, MORRIS SAYS: “I FEEL LIKE I’M OUT ON THE FARM, I SEE FIELDS AND FIELDS OF FLAX, BLUE FLAX. BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT SHE USED IT FOR. SHE DID USE IT IF SHE WANTED A LITTLE BIT OF THE FLAX THEN SHE’D POUND THE FLAX, BUT THAT WASN’T OFTEN. IT WAS MOSTLY BEANS AND PEAS.” IT IS UNKNOWN WHO WOVE THIS BLANKET. PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, OBITUARIES, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160003007
Acquisition Date
2016-02
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
FLAIL PADDLE
Date Range From
1920
Date Range To
1990
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
WOOD
Catalogue Number
P20160003001
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
FLAIL PADDLE
Date Range From
1920
Date Range To
1990
Materials
WOOD
No. Pieces
1
Height
4
Length
41
Width
12
Description
WOODEN FLAIL. ONE END HAS A PADDLE WITH A WIDTH THAT TAPERS FROM 12 CM AT THE TOP TO 10 CM AT THE BASE. THE PADDLE IS WELL WORN IN THE CENTER WITH A HEIGHT OF 4 CM AT THE ENDS AND 2 CM IN THE CENTER. HANDLE IS ATTACHED TO THE PADDLE AND IS 16 CM LONG WITH A CIRCULAR SHAPE AT THE END OF THE HANDLE. ENGRAVED ON THE CIRCLE THE INITIALS OF DONOR’S MATERNAL GRANDMOTHER, ELIZABETH EVANAVNA WISHLOW, “ . . .” GOOD CONDITION. THERE IS SLIGHT SPLITTING OF THE WOOD ON THE PADDLE AND AROUND THE JOINT BETWEEN THE HANDLE AND THE PADDLE. OVERALL WEAR FROM USE.
Subjects
AGRICULTURAL T&E
Historical Association
AGRICULTURE
ETHNOGRAPHIC
History
THE 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. THIS WOODEN DOUKHOBOR TOOL IS CALLED A “FLAIL.” A NOTE WRITTEN BY ELSIE MORRIS THAT WAS ATTACHED TO THE FLAIL AT THE TIME OF DONATION EXPLAINS, “FLAIL USED FOR BEATING OUT SEEDS. BELONGED TO ELIZABETH EVANAVNA WISHLOW, THEN HANDED TO HER DAUGHTER ELIZABETH PETROVNA KONKIN WHO PASSED IT ON TO HER DAUGHTER ELIZABETH W. MORRIS.” ALTERNATELY, IN THE INTERVIEW, MORRIS REMEMBERED HER GRANDMOTHER’S, “… NAME WAS JUSOULNA AND THE MIDDLE INITIAL IS THE DAUGHTER OF YVONNE. YVONNE WAS HER FATHER’S NAME AND WISHLOW WAS HER LAST NAME.” THE FLAIL AND THE BLANKET, ALSO DONATED BY MORRIS, WERE USED TOGETHER AT HARVEST TIME TO EXTRACT AND COLLECT SEEDS FROM GARDEN CROPS. ELSIE RECALLED THAT ON WINDY DAYS, “WE WOULD PICK DRIED PEAS OR BEANS, OR WHATEVER, AND WE WOULD [LAY THEM OUT ON THE BLANKET], BEAT AWAY AND THEN HOLD [THE BLANKET] UP, AND THE BREEZE WOULD BLOW THE HULLS OFF AND THE SEEDS WOULD GO STRAIGHT DOWN.” THE FLAIL CONTINUED TO BE USED BY ELIZABETH “RIGHT UP TO THE END,” POSSIBLY INTO THE 1990S, AND THEREAFTER BY MORRIS. WHEN ASKED WHY SHE STOPPED USING IT HERSELF, MORRIS SAID, “I DON’T GARDEN ANYMORE. FURTHERMORE, PEAS ARE SO INEXPENSIVE THAT YOU DON’T WANT TO GO TO ALL THAT WORK... I DON’T KNOW HOW MANY PEOPLE HARVEST THEIR SEEDS. I THINK WE JUST GO AND BUY THEM IN PACKETS NOW.” 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. DOUKHOBOURS CAME TO CANADA IN FINAL YEARS OF THE 19TH CENTURY TO ESCAPE RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION IN RUSSIA. ELIZABETH KONKIN (NEE WISHLOW) WAS BORN IN CANORA, SK ON JANUARY 22, 1907 TO HER PARENTS, PETER AND ELIZABETH WISHLOW. AT THE AGE OF 6 SHE MOVED WITH HER FAMILY TO A DOUKHOBOR SETTLEMENT AT BRILLIANT, BC, AND THEY LATER MOVED TO THE DOUKHOBOR SETTLEMENT AT SHOULDICE. IT WAS HERE THAT SHE MET AND MARRIED WILLIAM KONKIN. THEIR DAUGHTER, ELSIE MORRIS (NÉE KONKIN), WAS BORN IN SHOULDICE IN 1928. INITIALLY, WILLIAM TRIED TO SUPPORT HIS FAMILY BY GROWING AND PEDDLING VEGETABLES. WHEN THE FAMILY RECOGNIZED THAT GARDENING WOULD NOT PROVIDE THEM WITH THE INCOME THEY NEEDED, WILLIAM VENTURED OUT TO FARM A QUARTER SECTION OF IRRIGATED LAND 120 KM (75 MILES) AWAY IN VAUXHALL. IN 1941, AFTER THREE YEARS OF FARMING REMOTELY, HE AND ELIZABETH DECIDED TO LEAVE THE ALBERTA COLONY AND RELOCATE TO VAUXHALL. MORRIS WAS 12 YEARS OLD AT THE TIME. MORRIS STATED: “… [T]HEY LEFT THE COLONY BECAUSE THERE WERE THINGS GOING ON THAT THEY DID NOT LIKE SO THEY WANTED TO FARM ON THEIR OWN. SO NOW NOBODY HAD MONEY, SO VAUXHALL HAD LAND, YOU KNOW, THAT THEY WANTED TO HAVE THE PEOPLE AND THEY DIDN’T HAVE TO PUT ANY DOWN DEPOSIT THEY JUST WERE GIVEN THE LAND AND THEY HAD TO SIGN A PAPER SAYING THEY WOULD GIVE THEM ONE FOURTH OF THE CROP EVERY YEAR. THAT WAS HOW MY DAD GOT PAID BUT WHAT MY DAD DIDN’T KNOW WAS THAT THE MONEY THAT WENT IN THERE WAS ACTUALLY PAYING OFF THE FARM SO HE WENT TO SEE MR., WHAT WAS HIS LAST NAME, HE WAS THE PERSON IN CHARGE. ANYWAY HE SAID TO HIM “HOW LONG WILL IT BE BEFORE I CAN PAY OFF THIS FARM” AND HE SAYS “YOU’VE BEEN PAYING IT RIGHT ALONG YOU OWE ABOUT TWO HUNDRED AND A FEW DOLLARS”. WELL THAT WAS A REAL SURPRISE FOR THEM SO THEY GAVE THEM THE TWO HUNDRED AND WHATEVER IT WAS THAT HE OWED AND HE BECAME THE OWNER OF THE FARM." MORRIS WENT ON, ”THE DOUKHOBORS ARE AGRARIAN, THEY LIKE TO GROW THINGS THAT’S THEIR CULTURE OF OCCUPATION AND SO THE ONES WHO LIKED FRUIT MOVED TO B.C. LIKE MY UNCLE DID AND MY DAD LIKED FARMING SO HE MOVED TO VAUXHALL AND THERE WERE LET’S SEE, I THINK THERE WERE FOUR OTHER FAMILIES THAT MOVED TO VAUXHALL AND THREE OF THE MEN GOT TOGETHER AND DECIDED THEY WERE GOING TO GET THEIR TOOLS TOGETHER LIKE A TRACTOR AND MACHINERY THEY NEEDED AND THEN THEY WOULD TAKE TURNS…” THE KONKINS RETIRED TO LETHBRIDGE FROM VAUXHALL IN 1968. MORRIS, BY THEN A SCHOOL TEACHER, RELOCATED TO LETHBRIDGE WITH HER OWN FAMILY. WILLIAM KONKIN PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE ON MARCH 3, 1977 AT THE AGE OF 72 AND 23 YEARS LATER, ON APRIL 8, 2000, ELIZABETH KONKIN PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE. A NUMBER OF ARTIFACTS PREVIOUSLY BELONGING TO THE FAMILY EXIST IN THE GALT COLLECTION. THE KONKINS RETIRED TO LETHBRIDGE FROM VAUXHALL IN 1968. MORRIS, BY THEN A SCHOOL TEACHER, RELOCATED TO LETHBRIDGE WITH HER OWN FAMILY. WILLIAM KONKIN PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE ON MARCH 3, 1977 AT THE AGE OF 72 AND 23 YEARS LATER, ON APRIL 8, 2000, ELIZABETH KONKIN PASSED AWAY IN LETHBRIDGE. A NUMBER OF ARTIFACTS PREVIOUSLY BELONGING TO THE FAMILY EXIST IN THE GALT COLLECTION. PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, OBITUARIES, PHOTOGRAPHS, AND FAMILY HISTORIES.
Catalogue Number
P20160003001
Acquisition Date
2016-02
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
"RED DAWN"
Date Range From
1980
Date Range To
1990
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
PAPER, INK
Catalogue Number
P20180029001
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
"RED DAWN"
Date Range From
1980
Date Range To
1990
Materials
PAPER, INK
No. Pieces
1
Length
104
Width
68.8
Description
POSTER WITH IMAGE ON FRONT OF PURPLE AND BLUE SKY WITH SUNRISE AND PARATROOPERS DESCENDING OVER TOWN SURROUNDED BY MOUNTAINS AT BOTTOM EDGE. POSTER HAS WHITE BORDERS; POSTER HAS WHITE TEXT PRINTED ON IMAGE “IN OUR TIME NO FOREIGN ARMY HAS EVER OCCUPIED AMERICAN SOIL. UNTIL NOW” AND RED PRINTED TEXT BELOW WITH RUSSIAN SYLLABICS OVER “RED DAWN”; POSTER HAS WHITE CREDITS ALONG BOTTOM EDGE, “A VALKYRIE FILM A SIDNEY BECKERMAN PRODUCTION RED DAWN…” WITH LISTING OF CAST AND CREW MEMBERS. LOWER LEFT CORNER OF IMAGE HAS TEXT WARNING “PG-13, PARENTS ARE STRONGLY CAUTIONED TO GIVE SPECIAL GUIDANCE FOR ATTENDANCE OF CHILDREN UNDER 13, SOME MATERIAL MAY BE INAPPROPRIATE FOR YOUNG CHILDREN”, AND TEXT BESIDE “[COPYRIgHT SYMBOL” 1984 UNITED ARTISTS CORPORATION”; LOWER RIGHT CORNER OF IMAGE HAS LOGO “METRO GOLDWYN MAYER UNITED ARTISTS, DIAMOND JUBILEE, SIXTY YEARS OF GREAT ENTERTAINMENT”; POSTER HAS TEXT ALONG LOWER BORDER “PROPERTY OF NATIONAL SCREEN CORPORATION LICENSED FOR USE ONLY IN CONNECTION WITH THE EXHIBITION OF THIS PICTURE AT THE THEATRE LICENSING THIS MATERIAL. LICENSEE AGREES NOT TO TRADE, SELL OR GIVE IT AWAY, OR PERMIT OTHERS TO USE IT, NOR SHALL LICENSEE BE ENTITLED TO ANY CREDIT UPON RETURN OF THIS MATERIAL. THIS MATERIAL EITHER MUST BE RETURNED OR DESTROYED IMMEDIATELY AFTER USE. LITHO. IN U.S.A., RED DAWN 840077”. BACK OF POSTER HAS HANDWRITTEN TEXT IN RED INK IN LOWER LEFT CORNER “KEVIN MCLEAN $2.00” AND HANDWRITTEN TEXT IN BLUE INK “RED DAWN”. POSTER HAS TEARS AT RIGHT AND LEFT EDGES, AND LOWER EDGE; FRONT IS CREASED; BACK OF CORNERS HAS LOSS FROM REMOVAL OF ADHESIVES. OVERALL GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
ADVERTISING MEDIUM
Historical Association
BUSINESS
LEISURE
History
ON DECEMBER 21, 2018, GALT MUSEUM CURATOR AIMEE BENOIT INTERVIEWED KEVIN MACLEAN REAGARDING HIS DONATION OF PERSONAL OBJECTS. THE OBJECTS DONATED BY MACLEAN REFLECTED HIS LIFE AND IDENTITY THROUGH HIS TIME IN LETHBRIDGE. ON THE “RED DAWN” FILM POSTER, MACLEAN ELABORATED, “THE POSTER [WAS] UP [IN MY ROOM].” “[IN] THE 1980S, AS A KID, AND I DON’T KNOW IF IT WAS JUST ME ‘CAUSE I WAS A NEWS JUNKIE, THE COLD WAR WAS A BIG DEAL IN THE EARLY ‘80S. THERE WERE SHOWS ON TV THAT WERE SCARING THE CRAP OUT OF ME. THERE WAS ONE CALLED "THE DAY AFTER" AND THAT WAS IN ’83. THEN IN 1984 THIS MOVIE COMES OUT WHICH IS CALLED RED DAWN WHICH IS, AGAIN, ABOUT RUSSIAN COMMUNIST INVASIONS OF NORTH AMERICA. IT’S A SMALL TOWN THAT ALL THESE TROOPS DROP INTO. TO SAY THE LEAST, I WAS SEMI-OBSESSED WITH THE SUBJECT MATTER.” “IF YOU WATCHED "THE DAY AFTER"…ON ONE HAND, THAT KIND OF SUBJECT MATTER CAN FEEL FOREIGN AND ABSTRACT AND NOT RELEVANT. BUT, IF AT THE SAME TIME YOU’RE A KID, AND YOUR PARENTS ARE WATCHING THE NEWS EVERY NIGHT, AND YOU HAVE AN INTEREST IN WHAT’S GOING ON—A LOT OF KIDS DON’T CARE BUT FOR SOME REASON, I WAS VERY INTERESTED. THEN YOU THOUGHT, “NO, THIS IS A VERY REAL PROSPECT. THIS COULD ACTUALLY HAPPEN.” I WAS TERRIFIED ABOUT IT. BUT, AT THE SAME TIME, I WAS ALSO ATTRACTED TO IT, LIKE A FLAME. IT WAS…ROCKETS…I DON’T KNOW WHAT IT WAS BUT I WAS ACTIVELY INTERESTED IN [THEM]. THEN AT SOME POINT, THAT PIVOTED, WHICH IS WHEN I KNOW I WAS LOOKING AT THE SOLDIER OF FORTUNE MAGAZINES AND THEN I STARTED BUYING COMIC BOOKS…WORLD WAR TWO COMIC BOOKS.” “WE DIDN’T HAVE MUCH TV OUT IN PICTURE BUTTE. [OTHER PEOPLE] PROBABLY HAD LOTS OF CHANNELS IN LETHBRIDGE. ONE CHANNEL WE DID HAVE—I THINK WE ONLY HAD THREE—WAS CBC. I REMEMBER [MY PARENTS] WATCHING THE NATIONAL. I THINK [THERE] WAS [A SHOW] CALLED THE JOURNAL WITH BARBARA FRUM [THAT MY PARENTS] WOULD WATCH AT TEN O’CLOCK EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. I WOULD SNEAK OUT OF MY ROOM AND HIDE BEHIND THE COUCH, AND [THE COLD WAR IS] ON THE NEWS EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.” “IN TERMS OF [THE COLD WAR] MANIFESTING ITSELF LOCALLY…I THINK TRUDEAU’S IN POWER, AND THERE’S A WHOLE DEBATE ABOUT CANADA HAVING NUKES IN THIS COUNTRY. ULTIMATELY, IT DIDN’T HAPPEN. BUT, THE U.S. WAS TESTING CRUISE MISSILES IN ALBERTA, AND NOT FAR FROM MY FRIEND’S HOUSE OUT NEAR PICTURE BUTTE, WHEN THE TALK OF A CRUISE MISSILE BEING TESTED IN ALBERTA WAS IN THE NEWS, ACTIVELY, PEOPLE WERE UNHAPPY AND PROTESTING. A BUNCH OF TRACTOR TRAILERS PULLED UP ON THE TOP OF A HILL, TWO MILES AWAY FROM [MY FRIEND’S] HOUSE, WITH U.S. LICENSE PLATES. OTHERWISE, THEY WERE TOTALLY UNMARKED. THEY BUILT THIS RADAR INSTALLATION UP ON THE TOP OF THE HILL, WHERE IT REMAINED…FOR THREE DAYS OR [SO]…AND THEN IT ALL DISAPPEARED.” “I CAN’T SAY THAT I KNOW FOR A FACT THAT IT WAS RELATED TO CRUISE MISSILE TESTING.” “GENERALLY TO SAY…WITH THESE [OBJECTS] I CAN DRAW A BIT OF A LINE FROM MY HAVING POSSESSED THEM ALL THE WAY, IN SOME FORM…THEY WOULD HAVE HAD AN IMPACT ON [MY] IDENTITY AND WHO I THINK I AM TODAY. I DON’T VALUE THEM BECAUSE THEY DON’T HAVE UTILITY AND THEY DON’T HAVE PRACTICAL VALUE. I DON’T LOOK AT THEM ALL THE TIME, BUT I KNOW THAT THEY HAVE SOME IMPORTANCE LIFE-WISE.” “IN SCHOOL, THERE WAS A GAME THAT WE WERE PLAYING. THIS IS AT A TIME WHEN THERE’S ONE COMPUTER FOR THE ENTIRE SCHOOL. IT WAS AN APPLE…AND IT WAS A WW2-BASED GAME. MY INTEREST, INITIALLY, WAS IN CONTEMPORARY-TYPE STUFF. THEN WE’RE PLAYING THIS GAME WHICH I’M NOT REALLY–IT’S ABSTRACT TO ME. WE’RE JUST PLAYING THIS GAME AND THEN, BECAUSE I’M INTO THIS, I’M BUYING MAGAZINES CALLED SOLDIER OF FORTUNE, AND I CAN REMEMBER FLIPPING THROUGH THE PAGES OF [THE] PROXY WAR IN AFGHANISTAN. [THE RUSSIANS] HAD GONE INTO AFGHANISTAN, AND I SAW A WW2 PICTURE AND I CONNECTED IT TO THIS GAME AND I [THOUGHT], “OH, THIS IS A REAL THING.” THEN, ALL OF A SUDDEN, THIS CONTEMPORARY STUFF IS OF LESSER INTEREST AND THEN IT BECOMES MORE SECOND WORLD WAR INTEREST AFTER THAT.” “MAYBE I STILL AM [THAT PERSON] TODAY A BIT…IN DIFFERENT RESPECTS. [THE OBJECTS] TAKE UP SOME SPACE BUT I COULDN’T LET THEM GO BECAUSE THEY’RE SYMBOLS, IN A WAY. THEY’RE ONLY THAT BECAUSE OF WHAT IS IN MY HEAD, SO I THOUGHT AT SOME POINT IT WAS GOOD TO [DONATE THEM]…IT WOULD HAVE BEEN MAYBE EASIER TO LET SOME OF THIS STUFF GO.” FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING ARTICLES FROM THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD, BRANDON SUN, MEDICINE HAT NEWS, AND THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20180029001-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20180029001
Acquisition Date
2018-12
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
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
"LETHBRIDGE HERALD AGENT"
Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1960
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
TIN, INK
Catalogue Number
P20180004000
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
"LETHBRIDGE HERALD AGENT"
Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1960
Materials
TIN, INK
No. Pieces
1
Length
30.6
Width
25.8
Description
METAL SIGN WITH DOUBLE-SIDED PRINTING ON LIGHT BROWN BACKGROUND. SIGN SHOWS BLACK SQUARE BACKGROUND WITH RED TRIM AND LIGHT BROWN TEXT WITH RED TRIM READING “AGENT FOR THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD HERE, THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH”; SIGN HAS SMALL BLACK TEXT PRINTED AT BOTTOM RIGHT CORNER “TMOS. DAVIDSON MFG. CO. LTD. MONTREAL”. BACK OF SIGN IS PRINTED THE SAME. SIGN HAS JAGGED METAL EDGE BENT DOWN ON LEFT SIDE; SIGN IS RUSTED FRONT AND BACK AND FADED; SIGN IS SCRATCHED IN FRONT UPPER RIGHT CORNER AND CORRODED LOWER LEFT CORNER. OVERALL GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
ADVERTISING MEDIUM
Historical Association
BUSINESS
PROFESSIONS
History
ON MARCH 19TH, 2018, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN CONTACTED DAN PLOURDE, THE "AGENT FOR...HERALD" SIGN'S SELLER. THE SIGN WAS PURCHASED BY THE GALT MUSEUM AT URBAN PRAIRIE ANTIQUE MALL ON MARCH 21, 2018. PLOURDE, A PICKER, LEASES MALL SPACE AT URBAN PRAIRIE AS A LOCATION TO SELL HIS PICKS. PLOURDE TOLD MACLEAN THAT THE HERALD SIGN CAME FROM A RURAL PROPERTY NEAR CHIN LAKE. THE RURAL LOCATION FEATURED "QUONSETS" FULL OF OTHER ITEMS, INCLUDING GAS MEMORABILIA AND FURNITURE. THE ORIGINAL OWNER OF THE SIGN, WHO LIVED AT THE PROPERTY WAS NO LONGER LIVING. THE OWNER, CONTINUED PLOURDE, CONDUCTED HIS OWN PICKING "IN BACK ALLEYS IN LETHBRIDGE 60 YEARS AGO". PLOURDE ATTEMPTED TO SELL THE SIGN IN FORT MACLEAD BEFORE RECOGNIZING THAT ITS MARKET WAS GREATER IN LETHBRIDGE. FOR COPIES OF INFORMATION REGARDING THE SIGN, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20180004000-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20180004000
Acquisition Date
2018-03
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
"ALBERTA MEAT MARKET"
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
STEEL, WOOD, IRON
Catalogue Number
P20180025000
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
"ALBERTA MEAT MARKET"
Date
1955
Materials
STEEL, WOOD, IRON
No. Pieces
3
Height
115
Length
427
Width
24
Description
A. COMMERCIAL ADVERTISING SIGN, NEON. BODY STEEL PAINTED WITH TWO-TONE BLUE ON FRONT; FRONT HAS RED WOODEN LETTERS MOUNTED TO METAL FRAME AT BACK, SPELLING “ALBERTA" WITH WHITE NEON LETTERS OVERLAID. FRONT HAS WHITE LETTERS PAINTED ON BLUE BODY WITH OVERLAID WHITE NEON LETTERS READING “MEAT MARKET”. NEON LETTERS COMPRISED OF CONNECTED CLEAR, GLASS TUBES WITH BACKS PAINTED WHITE, AND UNPAINTED FRONTS; LETTERS ARE CONNECTED AND PAINTED BLACK BETWEEN INDIVIDUAL LETTERS; NEON LETTERS CONNECT INTO SIGN . LETTERS FASTENED TO FRONT OF SIGN BODY WITH BRACKETED GLASS EXTENSIONS, AND WITH SILVER WIRES TIED TO LETTERS. SIGN BODY IS RECTANGULAR WITH CUT-OUT SPACE IN CENTER WITH “ALBERTA" WOOD LETTERS IN FRONT OF CUT-OUT SPACE. SIGN BODY SLOPES DOWN FROM UPPER RIGHT CORNER; LOWER EDGE OF BODY SLOPES UP FROM RIGHT CORNER. SIGN FRONT HAS NEON TUBING ALONG UPPER EDGE ON BLUE FRAME, WITH SHORTER NEON TUBE RUNNING ACROSS FRAMING NEON TUBING ON THE LEFT SIDE. FRONT OF SIGN HAS LOGO BETWEEN “MEAT” AND “MARKET” NEON TEXT; LOGO COMPRISED OF RED BANNER EXTENDING FROM SIDES OF WHITE SHIELD IN CENTER; SHIELD HAS BLUE BORDER WITH BLUE “N” IN CENTER; RED BANNERS HAVE WHITE BORDERS AND WHITE TEXT ACROSS LOGO “NATIONAL NEON”.RED WOODEN LETTER “L” WARPED AND SPLITTING AT FRONT. TOP OF SIGN BODY STAINED WITH WHITE PAINT AND BLACK SOILING. BACK OF SIGN HAS FIXED BRACKETS ALONG EDGES WITH HOLES PUNCHED AT TOP AND BOLTED AT BOTTOMS TO SIGN BACK. BACK HAS BLACK POWER CORD EXTENDING WITH YELLOW POWER PLUG AT END; BACK HAS PAINT PEELING, IS STAINED AND RUSTED. BACK OF RED WOODEN LETTER “R” IS CRACKED; BACKS OF RED WOODEN LETTERS STAINED WITH YELLOW AND BLUE PAINT. OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION. B. NEON TUBING REMNANT, LETTERS “TA”, 41 CM LONG X 54 CM WIDE. GLASS TUBING FILLED WITH WHITE, PAINTED BLACK ON BACKS AND AT ENDS. ENDS BENT AND FITTED WITH METAL CAPS WITH WIRES EXTENDING TO FIT INTO FRONT OF SIGN. LETTERS “TA” FASHION IN CURSIVE FONT AND CONNECTED; TUBE LOOPS OVER AT JUNCTION IN “A” AND GOING UP THE “T”. LOWER END OF “A” HAS BLUE PAINT STAINING; PAINT CHIPPED AROUND ENDS; OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION. C. NEON TUBING REMNANT, LETTERS “AT”, 28 CM LONG X 50 CM WIDE. CLEAR GLASS TUBING, EMPTY, GLASS IS YELLOWED. TUBING PAINTED BLACK ON BACK, AT LOWER BASE, AND AT ENDS. ENDS BENT AND FITTED WITH METAL CAPS WITH WIRES EXTENDING TO FIT INTO FRONT OF SIGN. TUBES LOOP OVER AT JUNCTION IN “A” AND AT THE TOP LINE IN “T”. PAINT CHIPPED ON BACK AND FRONT; END CAPS RUSTED; OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
ADVERTISING MEDIUM
Historical Association
BUSINESS
INDUSTRY
History
IN 2018, THE GALT MUSEUM RECEIVED A COMMERCIAL NEON SIGN FROM THE ALBERTA MEAT MARKET, OWNED AND OPERATED BY THE CRIGHTON FAMILY. IN THE 1920S, GEORGE CRIGHTON OPENED CRIGHTON MEAT MARKET ON 3RD AVENUE BETWEEN 7TH AND 8TH STREET IN DOWNTOWN LETHBRIDGE, AND OPENED THE ALBERTA MEAT MARKET AS A SECOND SHOP AT 510—6TH AVENUE SOUTH. THE ALBERTA MEAT MARKET REMAINED OPERATED BY THE CRIGHTON FAMILY UNTIL ITS CLOSURE IN 2012. THE ORIGINAL NEON SIGN FROM THE ALBERTA MEAT MARKET WAS REMOVED AND DONATED ON NOVEMBER 22, 2018. IN APRIL 2019, THE SIGN UNDERWENT RESTORATIONS TO REPAIR THE NEON LETTERING AT L.A. NEON, LETHBRIDGE, PRIOR TO ITS INSTALLATION IN THE GALT MUSEUM PERMANENT DISPLAYS ON JULY 9, 2019. ON DECEMBER 19, 2018, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED ELAINE BROWN, WHOSE FATHER-IN-LAW, DAVE BROWN, OWNED NATIONAL NEAN DISPLAYS LTD., AND WHOSE HUSBAND, ALLAN BROWN, WORKED FOR NATIONAL NEON. ON THE “ALBERTA MEAT MARKET” SIGN, BROWN RECALLED, “THAT WAS ONE OF THE FIRST SIGNS THAT THEY MADE…THE WOOD ON IT, IS WHY I KNEW THAT IT WAS ONE OF THE FIRST ONES.” “[ALLAN] USED TO GO AROUND EVERY EVENING, ONCE A WEEK, AND CHECK AND MAKE SURE [THE SIGNS] WERE ALL KEPT UP. IF ANY OF THE NEON WAS BROKEN, THEN THEY WOULD IMMEDIATELY GO AND REPAIR IT SO THAT EVERYTHING WAS ‘AS IS’. HE WORKED [AT NATIONAL NEON] ALL DAY.” “[ALLAN] WAS PROUD OF THEM ALL. HE KNEW EXACTLY WHERE EVERY SIGN WAS. ANY ONE THAT HE WOULD PUT UP, HE COULD GO IN AND REPAIR QUICKLY, BECAUSE HE KNEW EXACTLY WHERE EVERYTHING WAS.” “ALLAN USED TO PAINT AND HANG SIGNS, [HIS BROTHER] JIM USED TO BLOW THE NEON AND [HIS BROTHER] BUSTER WOULD ALSO HANG SIGNS.” BROWN FURTHER ELABORATED ON THE HISTORY OF NATIONAL NEON DISPLAYS, STATING, “BEFORE [WE MARRIED IN 1957] ALLAN’S DAD, DAVE, BOUGHT THE BUSINESS WITH HIS THREE SONS…[IT WAS] NATIONAL NEON DISPLAYS LTD.” “IT WAS [AN EXISTING] BUSINESS OWNED BY ANOTHER BROWN…[DAVE] WAS INTERESTED IN IT, SO HE WENT IN AND DID ALL THE LEGWORK TO SEE IF HE COULD MAKE A GO OF IT. OBVIOUSLY, HE DECIDED HE COULD BECAUSE HE [AND THE SONS] BOUGHT IT.” “[ALLAN’S FAMILY] HADN’T BEEN [MAKING SIGNS] BEFORE BUT I PRESUME THEY KNEW THAT THEY COULD MAKE IT GO AND THEY COULD MAKE SIGNS. GRANDPA BROWN SAID THAT HE THOUGHT THEY COULD MAKE IT GO AND THEY DID.” “[ALLAN] DIDN’T THINK THE PLASTIC [SIGNS], WITH JUST THE FACE, WERE AS EYE-CATCHING AS THE NEON SIGNS NOR WERE THEY AS NICE TO LOOK AT WHEN THEY WERE ON. HE REALLY TOOK AN INTEREST IN IT; HE REALLY TRIED TO KEEP IT UP QUITE WELL. THEN HE RETIRED AND WE SOLD TO A MAN FROM CALGARY. I DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THAT BUT I THINK NEON PRODUCTS OWNS IT NOW, SO THEY SHUT [THE ORIGINAL] BUILDING DOWN. ALLAN HAD SOLD THE BUILDING AFTER HE RETIRED AND THEN THEY SHUT [THE] BUILDING DOWN AFTER THAT.” “WE HOPED THAT NATIONAL NEON WOULD BE IN PEOPLE’S MINDS AS BEING HERE AND BUILDING THOSE SIGNS…NATIONAL NEON WAS HERE AS A COMPANY AND EXPANDED FROM HERE. [ALLAN] USED TO GO INTO B.C. AND SASKATCHEWAN, TO EDMONTON…TO SELL THEM. IT WASN’T JUST A LOCAL BUSINESS. IT WAS ALL OVER, B.C., SASKATCHEWAN, ALBERTA—AND I THOUGHT IT WAS REALLY INTERESTING THAT THEY’D PICK ONE OF THE FIRST SIGNS THAT [ALLAN] BUILT TO TAKE DOWN AND PRESERVE. I’M SURE [ALLAN] WOULD HAVE BEEN HAPPY WITH THAT.” ON NOVEMBER 28, 2019, MACLEAN INTERVIEWED MIRIAM SMITH AND BOB CRIGHTON REGARDING THEIR MEMORIES OF THE ALBERTA MEAT MARKET, OWNED AND OPERATED BY THEIR GRANDFATHER GEORGE CRIGHTON, FATHER JAMES CRIGHTON, AND THEMSELVES. ON THE HISTORY OF THE ALBERTA MEAT MARKET, MIRIAM SMITH RECALLED, “THE CRIGHTON FAMILY MOVED FROM SCOTLAND IN 1920…[GRANDPA CRIGHTON] OPENED THE STORE; HE RAN THE 6TH AVENUE STORE. HE RAISED HIS SONS OUT OF THERE. DAD WAS A BUTCHER IN SCOTLAND; THEY ALL BECOME BUTCHERS. BOBBY LEFT; TOMMY LEFT; DAVEY, HE WAS A BUTCHER; GEORGE WENT TO CAMPBELL RIVER.” “[DAD TOOK OVER THE SHOP ON 6TH AVENUE] ’38, OR ’39.” BOB CRIGHTON ELABORATED, “[DAD] TRIED TO ENLIST, BUT HE HAD THE STORE ON 3RD AVENUE, AND HE WENT BROKE THERE. THAT WAS CALLED CRIGHTON’S MEAT MARKET AT THAT TIME...HE HAD TO PAY ALL OF HIS BILLS OFF, SO MY GRANDPA ASKED HIM TO TAKE OVER THE 6TH AVENUE STORE. SO HE TOOK OVER THE 6TH AVENUE STORE, AND CHANGED IT TO THE ALBERTA MEAT MARKET.” “[WHEN DAD GOT THE NEW NEON SIGN] I REMEMBER HIM PUTTING IT UP. DAD RENOVATED THE STORE AND WE GOT NEW MEAT COUNTERS, AND WHEN HE GOT THE NEW SIGN UP, I WATCHED THEM PUT IT UP. NATIONAL NEON PUT IT UP…I WAS 12-14 YEARS OLD.” MIRIAM SMITH RECALLED, “I WORKED THERE WHEN I WENT TO SCHOOL. I HAD TO ANSWER THE TELEPHONE ON SATURDAYS, OR HOLIDAYS…IT WAS A BUSY STORE. I REMEMBER ALONG 6TH AVENUE AND 5TH STREET, YOU COULDN’T FIND A PLACE TO PARK BECAUSE IT WAS SO BUSY. I REMEMBER, AT LUNCHTIME, I USED TO SAY, 'I’M GOING TO GO FOR MY LUNCH NOW,' AND THERE USED TO BE SILVER’S ACROSS THE STREET. MY DAD WOULD ALWAYS SAY, ‘NO, YOU CAN’T GO. I’VE GOT TO FIX THE COUNTER AND GET MY PARSLEY OUT.' HE ALWAYS HAD HIS COUNTER VERY BEAUTIFULLY DONE.” “THE PHONE WOULD RING OFF THE HOOK, ESPECIALLY [WITH] EVERYBODY WANTING TO ORDER THEIR MEAT. IT WAS PLEASANT VISITING WITH THE DIFFERENT PEOPLE. SOME OF THEM I KNEW; SOME OF THEM I DIDN’T. BUT I FOUND MOST PEOPLE VERY NICE TO CHAT WITH. I REMEMBER MY DAD, AND DORIS HUNT (H.B.HUNT), THE DOCTOR’S WIFE. SHE USED TO COME IN, AND SHE WAS QUITE A BOISTEROUS LADY, AND SHE SPOKE HER MIND. I REMEMBER ONE TIME SHE SAID TO MY DAD, 'JIMMY, THAT ROAST BEEF YOU GAVE ME LAST WEEK WAS TOUGHER THAN HELL.' WELL, MY DAD SAID TO HER, 'YOU KNOW, DORIS, I REMEMBER YOUR HUSBAND TOOK MY APPENDIX OUT, AND THEY COME BACK AGAIN.'" MIRIAM SMITH NOTED, "I REMEMBER THE TIME THAT DAD GAVE THE TURKEY TO THE KID…THE KID HAD NO MONEY, AND HE COME FOR HAMBURGER.” BOB CRIGHTON ELABORATED, “HAMBURGER, AT CHRISTMAS TIME. IT WAS 40 BELOW OUTSIDE, AND HE [CAME] DOWN…HE SAID, ‘I WANT A POUND OF HAMBURGER, MR. CRIGHTON.' [DAD] SAYS, ‘WHAT ARE YOU HAVING FOR CHRISTMAS SUPPER?' 'HAMBURGER.' 'JUST A MINUTE.' SO, [DAD] GETS A TURKEY, AND A HAM, AND SAUSAGE. GOT A BAG FOR HIM, AND HE SAYS, 'THERE – MERRY CHRISTMAS.'" “DAD WAS A PRETTY GENEROUS MAN! WHEN ANDY KERGEN DIED, JUDY [CAME] IN. SHE WAS CRYING. SHE HAD A $200.00 BILL; SHE COULDN’T PAY IT. SHE HAD $5.00 TO PUT ON THE BILL. DAD SAYS, “GIVE ME THE BILL, JUDY.” HE LOOKED AT THE BILL; HE TOOK HIS WALLET OUT AND PAID THE BILL, AND THEN GAVE HER THE RECEIPT.” MIRIAM SMITH CONTINUED, “I ALWAYS REMEMBER WHEN WE WERE KIDS GROWING UP, WE ALWAYS HAD LOTS OF MEAT. WHATEVER WAS LEFT OVER AT THE STORE [WOULD] COME HOME…WE COULD BRING ANYBODY WE WANTED, MOTHER DIDN’T MIND. THE MEAT PLATTER WOULD BE PLACED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TABLE, AND THE WATER PITCHER. NOBODY WANTED TO SIT BESIDE THE WATER PITCHER, BECAUSE ALL YOU DID WAS POUR WATER.” MIRIAM SMITH NOTED, “[WE, THE CHILDREN, BOUGHT DAD OUT] IN 1965.” ON DECEMBER 11, 2018, MACLEAN INTERVIEWED KEN CRIGHTON, GRANDSON OF JAMES [JIM] CRIGHTON. KEN CRIGHTON WORKED WITH THE FAMILY IN ALBERTA MEAT MARKET. ON HIS MEMORIES OF WORKING IN THE ALBERTA MEAT MARKET, KEN CRIGHTON NOTED, “I WAS THERE EVERY DAY FOR 30 SOME YEARS…MY DAD AND HIS TWO BROTHERS WERE OPERATING IT WHEN I WAS A KID. [I] GOT TOLD TO GET DOWN THERE, AND HELP CLEAN UP; DO SOME CHORES; HELP WITH DELIVERIES; THEN I WORKED INTO LEARNING HOW TO CUT MEAT.” “[MY GRANDFATHER OWNED IT] JAMES ANDERSON CRIGHTON, BUT EVERYONE CALLED HIM ‘JIM’.” “[MY] FIRST MEMORIES OF GOING THERE TO WORK WAS HAVING TO RIDE ON YOUR BIKE, OR WALK FROM SCHOOL RIGHT AFTER SCHOOL, TO HELP CLEAN UP EITHER AT 4 O’CLOCK OR 4:30. IT ALWAYS SEEMED TO ME THAT I WAS DOING THE BULK OF THE WORK, AND THEY WERE DOING MOST OF THE BEER-DRINKING.” “EVERY NIGHT YOU HAD TO EMPTY ALL THE MEAT OUT OF THE COUNTER, COVER IT OVER, TAKE IT, PUT IT IN THE BIG COOLER; TAKE ALL THE PLATTERS OUT OF THE COUNTER, WASH THEM, DRY THEM…EVERYTHING FROM SWEEPING THE FLOOR, TO RAKING THE FLOOR. WE USED TO HAVE SAWDUST ON THE FLOOR TO SOAK UP ALL THE BLOOD AND FAT THAT WOULD FALL DOWN. YOU’D RUN A RAKE THROUGH IT TO PICK UP ALL THE BIG CHUNKS OF GARBAGE, AND THEN TWICE A WEEK YOU’D SWEEP UP ALL THE SAWDUST, AND REPLACE IT WITH FRESH SAWDUST. THAT ENDED WHEN THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT CHANGED…WHEN I WAS ABOUT 12-13, SO THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN 1972.” “[THE SHOP WAS OPEN] SIX DAYS A WEEK. WE WERE ONLY CLOSED, THEN, ON SUNDAYS.” “EVERY DAY, WEEKDAYS AFTER SCHOOL, AND SATURDAYS, I WOULD HELP THE GUY THAT WOULD DO DELIVERIES. WE’D RUN OUT A COUPLE, OR THREE, LOADS OF DELIVERIES TO HOUSES. IT WAS DIFFERENT BACK THEN. WE HAD SOME CUSTOMERS WHO WOULD ORDER THEIR STUFF IN THE MORNING FOR WHAT THEY WANTED FOR LUNCH. THEN THEY PHONE IN THE AFTERNOON, AND ORDER FOR WHAT THEY WANTED FOR SUPPER, WHICH, LATER ON, BECAME THE, “NO, YOU GET ONE DELIVERY A DAY.”” KEN CRIGHTON RECALLED THE LAYOUT OF THE SHOP, STATING, “THE FRONT HALF OF THE BUILDING, WHERE THE CUSTOMERS WERE, WAS PROBABLY ONLY ABOUT THE FIRST THIRD, MAYBE HALF OF THE BUILDING. A GLASS COUNTER/COOLER [WAS] ALONG THE MIDDLE, AND BEHIND IT WAS WHERE WE HAD OUR CUTTING BLOCKS AND SAW. [THERE WAS A] LITTLE COUNTER FOR A PHONE, [A] LITTLE COUNTER TO DO BOOKS ON, [AND] A 6’ WIDE AREA FOR THE CUSTOMERS TO STAND. EVERYTHING WAS SERVED. THERE WAS NO ‘THEM PICKING IT OUT’ AT THE COUNTER. IT WAS ALL DONE AND WRAPPED IN BROWN PAPER BY US.” “ON THE LEFT SIDE, [THERE WAS] A GOOD 15’ TO 20’ WALK-IN COOLER. THEN, ALONG THE WEST WALL, WE HAD A SMALL FREEZER WITH SHELVES. [IT] HAD NINE LITTLE DOORS THAT [OPENED] UP, AND SLIDE TRAYS IN. WHEN YOU’RE DOING FREEZER BEEF ORDERS, YOU’D USE THAT TO FREEZE THEM UP. [THERE WAS] A LITTLE WALK-IN FREEZER TO HOLD THE BOXES, PROBABLY ONLY 3’ BY 6’. [THERE WAS] A COUNTER [AT] THE BACK END, WITH A STOVE, THAT WE WOULD USE TO COOK UP CORNED BEEF, [AND] A FEW OTHER COLD MEATS.” “WE HAD A DOUBLE DOOR ON THE SIDE THAT WENT TO THE ALLEY, THAT WE WOULD BRING THE STUFF IN OFF THE TRUCK. USUALLY IT WAS TUESDAYS AND THURSDAYS, WE WOULD GET THE BIG ORDERS OF HANGING BEEF IN. WE HAD TWO HUGE 2’ BY 6’ PIECES OF WOOD THAT WERE ON BIG HOOKS THAT WERE PROPPED UP IN THE ATTIC. THEN YOU WOULD HANG YOUR BIG MEAT HOOKS ON THEM. YOU COULD GET 8 HIND QUARTERS, AND 6-8 FRONT QUARTERS HANGING UP IN THERE. ONE DAY WAS THE DAY YOU WOULD BREAK THEM DOWN INTO PIECES, AND THEN PUT THEM INTO THE COOLER, OR SAVE THE QUARTERS IF YOU HAD A WHOLE QUARTER FOR A FREEZER ORDER.” “[I LEARNED THE TRADE] MOSTLY BY WATCHING…BY THE TIME I WAS 15-16, [I WAS] IN THERE DOING EVERY SINGLE THING THEY’RE DOING: RUNNING THE BAND SAW, THE GRINDER, MIXING UP BURGERS, MAKING PATTIES, THE WHOLE DEAL. [I] DIDN’T REALLY GET TO SERVE CUSTOMERS TILL [I WAS] OLDER. A LOT OF THE CUSTOMERS, EVEN THEN, DIDN’T WANT ME SERVING THEM, [THEY] WANTED THE OLD MAN, OR ONE OF THE OLDER GUYS. I’M SURE LOTS OF FAMILY BUSINESSES RUN INTO THAT, WHERE THE OLD-TIME CUSTOMERS ONLY WANT THE OLDER PEOPLE LOOKING AFTER THEM.” “[THE SHOP DID WELL] I THINK BECAUSE, PROBABLY A LOT OF REPUTATION, AND PERSONALIZED SERVICE. BUT, AFTER A WHILE, IT GOT TO BE THAT YOU WERE RUNNING INTO A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT WOULD WANT YOUR QUALITY/YOUR SERVICE BUT AT THE SAME SALE PRICE THAT THE BIG STORES WOULD HAVE. THAT WAS THE FRUSTRATION OF IT…I WOULD SAY PROBABLY 90% OF THE CLIENTELE WERE REPEATS, AND YOU HAD YOUR STEADY CORE CUSTOMERS…THEY WOULD GET WHAT THEY LIKED.” “[IN THE 1980S] THERE WAS MYSELF, DAD, [AND] HE HAD TWO OTHER YOUNGER PEOPLE WORKING, ONE NAMED LEN, WHO WAS CUTTING MEAT, AND ANOTHER [WOMAN] NAMED IDA, WHO CUT. BUSINESS STARTED TO TAPER OFF THEN. HE LAID OFF IDA, AND THEN ME, AND LEN, AND DAD WOULD PRETTY WELL OPERATE THE WHOLE SHOW. THAT WAS ABOUT 1990.” “[DAD] WAS VERY, I THINK, ASTUTE AT THE BUSINESS…[HE] HAD TO BE, BECAUSE THAT WAS THEIR LIVING. THEY HAD NOTHING ELSE TO FALL BACK ON. [HE HAD TO] MAKE IT WORK. HE WAS REALLY GOOD WITH THE CUSTOMERS. HE ENJOYED SERVING THE CUSTOMERS MORE THAN THE GRUNT WORK IN THE BACK. HE COULD DO IT, BUT HE PREFERRED BEING UP FRONT, WORKING WITH THE PEOPLE. ME AND MY UNCLE RON COULD STAY IN THE BACK ALL DAY. I COULD STAND THERE AT THAT BLOCK, AND WE COULD CUT MEAT 8 HOURS STRAIGHT. [IT] WOULDN’T BOTHER US. I COULD HANDLE SERVING THE CUSTOMERS, BUT I PREFERRED JUST WORKING.” “[BUSINESS] REALLY STARTED DECLINING…I REALLY NOTICED IT AROUND 2008, 2009. FOR THE LAST WHILE, [I] JUST HAD MYSELF AND ONE OTHER YOUNG FELLOW, GARRY, WORKING THERE. IT WAS TO THE POINT WHERE YOU COULDN’T MAKE ENOUGH SALES TO AFFORD ANOTHER PERSON, BUT IT WAS TOO BUSY FOR ONE. GARRY WAS STARTING TO HAVE A FAMILY, AND NEEDED MORE MONEY. HE LEFT TO GO WORK SOMEWHERE ELSE. SO, I HUNG ONTO IT, AND JUST DID IT ALL BY MYSELF FOR THE LAST FOUR YEARS. BEING THE ONLY GUY THERE, EVERY HOUR OF EVERY DAY, FOR TEN HOURS A DAY, STARTED TO GET TO ME. IT GOT TO THE POINT WHERE, IN 2011, EARLY 2012, I JUST THOUGHT, “THERE’S NO POINT IN WORKING LIKE THIS, AND NOT MAKING ANYTHING. I MIGHT AS WELL DO NOTHING, AND MAKE THE SAME AMOUNT.”” KEN CRIGHTON SOLD ALBERTA MEAT MARKET IN 2012. MIRIAM SMITH SPOKE TO HER THOUGHTS ON THE SIGN BEING DONATED TO THE GALT MUSEUM, NOTING, “I’M VERY HAPPY. I THINK IT’S A GOOD PLACE FOR IT, AND I THINK KENNETH, AND EVERYBODY FEELS THAT WAY.” KEN CRIGHTON CONFIRMED, “I’M ECSTATIC! I WOULD RATHER IT BE HERE. OUR WHOLE FAMILY’S LOST OUR IDENTITY/ERASED [IT] BY HAVING IT JUST THROWN AWAY. ON THE OTHER HAND, I DIDN’T WANT IT STILL ON THE BUILDING, [WITH] THE BUILDING BEING USED FOR A DIFFERENT PURPOSE, AND HAVING THE NAME ASSOCIATED. [IT] FELT LIKE THE NAME BELONGED TO THE CRIGHTON’S MORE THAN THE COMMUNITY, OR WHOEVER OWNED THE BUILDING.” FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, FAMILY OBITUARIES, AND ARTICLES FROM THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20180025000-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20180025000
Acquisition Date
2018-11
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail

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