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Other Name
COMMERCIAL, “F. DICK”
Date Range From
1955
Date Range To
2010
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
CAST IRON, ALUMINIUM, WOOD
Catalogue Number
P20150007000
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
COMMERCIAL, “F. DICK”
Date Range From
1955
Date Range To
2010
Materials
CAST IRON, ALUMINIUM, WOOD
No. Pieces
2
Height
84
Length
41.5
Width
28
Description
CAST IRON RECTANGULAR BASE WITH HOLLOW ALUMINIUM CYLINDER FIXED UPRIGHT AT CENTRE. ROUND METAL PLUNGER INSIDE CYLINDER MOVES UP AND DOWN ON A TOOTHED METAL COLUMN THAT IS CRANK DRIVEN BY REMOVABLE METAL HANDLE. HANDLE HAS WOOD GRIP. SPIGOT MOUTH AT BASE OF CYLINDER. CAST IRON COMPONENTS ARE PAINTED RED, BUT PAINT IS WORN AND ONLY TRACES REMAIN ON BASE. TEXT READING "F. DICK" IS STAMPED INTO THE OUTER CASE OF CRANK MECHANISM. OVERALL GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
FOOD PROCESSING T&E
Historical Association
PROFESSIONS
History
THIS SAUSAGE STUFFER WAS USED BY FOUR GENERATIONS OF MEAT CUTTERS IN THE GURR FAMILY AT THE SAME LOCATION OF 538 13 STREET SOUTH, WHICH SUCCESSIVELY HOUSED HOEFER & WOOD GROCERY, VALUE VILLAGE, AND AT THE TIME OF DONATION, LONDON ROAD MARKET. ON FEBRUARY 3, 2015 COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED DUANE GURR AND HIS SON, THE DONOR, DAVID GURR, ABOUT THEIR FAMILY HISTORY WITH THE GROCERY STORES, MEAT CUTTING IN LETHBRIDGE, AND THE SAUSAGE STUFFER. DUANE SAID: “MY GRANDFATHER [ALF GURR] CAME [TO CANADA] AS A FOURTEEN YEAR OLD BOY… MEAT CUTTING [HAD BEEN] HIS TRADE IN ENGLAND… WHEN HE CAME HERE HE HAD A NUMBER OF JOBS… HE RAN BURNS’ MEAT MARKET… EVENTUALLY HE LEFT BURNS AND STARTED HIS OWN MEAT MARKET ON 3RD AVENUE SOUTH WITH HIS SONS, MY UNCLE AND MY DAD [CALLED] PALACE MEAT MARKET. [THEN] HE WAS THE MEAT MANAGER AT [HOEFER & WOOD GROCERY] FROM 1954 TO 1957… IN THOSE DAYS IT WAS QUITE UNIQUE TO HAVE A STORE THAT SOLD GROCERIES AND HAD A MEAT DEPARTMENT IN IT, AND A PRODUCE DEPARTMENT AND A BAKERY… IT WOULD HAVE BEEN FAIRLY NEW TO HAVE EVERTYHING UNDER ONE ROOF… [GRANDFATHER] HAD TO LEAVE HIS JOB BECAUSE HE LOST HIS EYESIGHT AND THE FELLOW THAT WAS BROUGHT IN… FRED SIEMEN, ACTUALLY TAUGHT ME HOW TO CUT MEAT AND TO MAKE SAUSAGE IN 1978 [AFTER] I WENT TO WORK FOR VALUE VILLAGE… THE FELLOW THAT HIRED ME IN 1973, [GERARD] WESTWOOD, [HAD WORKED] CLEANING THE MEAT DEPARTMENT AFTER SCHOOL FOR MY GRANDFATHER… HE SAID ‘YOU’RE ALF GURR’S GRANDSON’, AND I HAD THE JOB JUST LIKE THAT… IT WAS ACTUALLY [GERARD] THAT SAID IN 1978, ‘I THINK YOU SHOULD LEARN HOW TO BE A MEAT CUTTER BECAUSE IT’S IN YOUR BLOOD.’” DUANE CONTINUED: “MY DAD WAS ALSO TRAINED [IN MEAT CUTTING] BUT WORKED FOR THE CPR… HE ALWAYS [CUT MEAT] IN HIS BASEMENT… HE ACTUALLY USED TO MAKE SAUSAGE WITH ME TWICE A WEEK [AT THE STORE]… WE DIDN’T PARTICULARLY GET ALONG THAT WELL [BUT] IN THAT INSTANCE, WE GOT ALONG VERY WELL… WE DIDN’T DO A LOT OF TALKING WHEN WE DID IT. WE JUST HELPED EACH OTHER, AND HE TAUGHT ME HOW TO DO IT, AND IT WAS ACTUALLY A PRETTY FUN TIME… IT WAS A FAMILY THING… I ALWAYS ENJOYED IT, AND NOW DAVID IS MAKING SAUSAGES AND DOING A GREAT JOB… IT’S A BIT OF A LOST ART… THERE’S NOT A LOT OF GUYS THAT CAN MAKE SAUSAGE AND LINK IT ANYMORE.” ON THE SAUSAGE-MAKING PROCESS, DAVID SAID: “YOU START WITH YOUR MEAT… YOU GRIND THAT THROUGH ONCE, AND THEN ADD YOUR SEASONINGS [AND] MIX THAT TOGETHER… [THE MIXTURE] ALWAYS HAS TO BE COLD TO KEEP THE CONSISTENCY, AND TO KEEP IT OFF YOUR HANDS.” DUANE SAID: “THE COLDER THE BETTER; IT DIDN’T STICK TO YOUR HANDS AND WENT INTO THE CASINGS EASIER, AND THE WARMER IT GETS, THE HARDER IT IS TO WORK… WHEN YOU’RE DOING IT BY HAND, THE COLD [GOES] RIGHT UP TO YOUR BRAIN.” DAVID SAID: “YOU PULL THE ALUMINIUM CANISTER OUT, AND THEN THERE IS A NOZZLE ON THE FRONT OF THE CANISTER THAT YOU PUT THE SAUSAGE NOZZLE ON… WHEN YOU START CRANKING IT IN LOW GEAR SO THAT IT’S EASIER TO CRANK, IT START PRESSING IT THROUGH… YOU CAN EITHER PUT HOG CASINGS ON, THAT’S YOUR TRADITIONAL, OR THE NEW SYNTHETIC ONES ARE COLLAGEN.” DUANE SAID: “WE ALWAYS WORKED WITH NATURAL CASINGS, WHICH WERE HOG OR LAMB.” DAVID SAID: “THE SYNTHETIC CASINGS DON’T HAVE A LOT OF GIVE TO THEM, SO YOU HAVE TO BE VERY CAREFUL… WHAT’S NICE [ABOUT THIS TYPE OF STUFFER] IS YOU CAN HANDLE IT… YOU CAN CONTROL THE FEED YOURSELF SO IF YOU’RE GOING A LITTLE TOO QUICK YOU EASE UP ON IT… AFTER THAT YOU LINK THEM, SMOKE THEM, HOPEFULLY SELL THEM.” ON THE USE OF THIS SPECIFIC MACHINE, DAVID SAID: “WE HAD A SAUSAGE PROGRAM [IN 2008/09]… IT’S TOUGH TO GET IT GOING AND I WAS FAIRLY NEW AT CUTTING MEAT. THE FIRST TIME WORKING ON THAT, IT WAS JUST A NIGHTMARE BECAUSE NOTHING WAS RIGHT. I DIDN’T HAVE THE CASINGS ON HERE PROPERLY; I DIDN’T HAVE THE RIGHT CONSISTENCY WITH THE MEAT; I WAS IN THE HIGH GEAR… IT WAS A THROWAWAY BATCH BECAUSE THERE WAS JUST NOTHING RIGHT ABOUT IT. THAT’S HOW YOU LEARN… MAKING SAUSAGES IS FUN… I THINK ABOUT TODAY WHEN I’M WORKING IN THERE WITH THE PEOPLE WE HAVE AND WE REALLY DON’T SAY MUCH… ONE’S MIXING, ONE’S STUFFING, ONE’S LINKING… IT’S A PROCESS AND EVERYBODY’S WORKING… WHEN YOU THINK BACK AND SAY, ‘OH, MY GREAT-GRANDFATHER WAS DOING THE EXACT SAME THING WITH THE EXACT SAME MACHINE 60 YEARS AGO.’ THAT’S PRETTY SPECIAL.” DUANE SAID: “IT WOULD BE NICE TO KEEP IT BUT IT’S JUST NOT SANITARY ANYMORE. IT’S SOMETHING THAT MADE A LOT OF SAUSAGE AND WHEN YOU LEARN SOMETHING LIKE SAUSAGE MAKING AND YOU MASTER IT, IT’S PRETTY SPECIAL… IT LINKS ME TO MY OWN FAMILY…” SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT.
Catalogue Number
P20150007000
Acquisition Date
2015-02
Collection
Museum
Images
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