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Other Name
FIRE BELL
Date Range From
1900
Date Range To
1910
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
BRASS, STEEL, COTTON
Catalogue Number
P19950037009
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
FIRE BELL
Date Range From
1900
Date Range To
1910
Materials
BRASS, STEEL, COTTON
No. Pieces
1
Height
28
Diameter
19.1
Description
LARGE AND HEAVY BRASS BELL WITH WHITE COTTON ROPE. BELL IS MADE ENTIRELY OF BRASS AND HAS CYLINDRICAL SHAFT AT TOP. ROUNDED BRASS COLLAR SLIDES OVER BELL SHAFT. AT TOP OF SHAFT IS LARGE HEXAGONAL BRASS BUT WITH WIDE CIRCULAR BASE. COLLAR ON SHAFT HAS TWO KNOBS EXTENDING FROM SIDES. A LENGTH OF WHITE COTTON ROPE HAS BEEN WOVEN AROUND KNOBS CREATING LOOP. HINGED ON INSIDE OF BELL IS 16.5CM STEEL STRIKER WITH BALL END. AT END OF STRIKER IS STEEL PLUG WITH LOOPED STEEL RODS IN IT. FASTENED TO LOOP IS 46CM LENGTH OF WHITE COTTON ROPE. ROPE HAS KNOT IN ITS END. BRASS HAS MILD AMOUNTS OF GREEN CORROSION. STEEL STRIKER IS HEAVILY OXIDIZED AND INSIDE OF BELL IS HEAVILY TARNISHED AS WELL.
Subjects
SOUND COMMUNICATION T&E
REGULATIVE & PROTECTIVE T&E
Historical Association
SAFETY SERVICES
History
SEE P19950037001-GA. BELONGED TO WILLIAM H. SHORT, LAST FIRE CHIEF OF THE OLD NO.1 FIRE HALL IN LETHBRIDGE. *UPDATE* IN 2016 COLLECTIONS ASSISTANT RUTHANN LABLANCE CONDUCTED A SURVEY OF CLOTHING, INCLUDING A BELT DONATED BY SHARON DEREK. THE FOLLOWING BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION WAS COMPILED USING ARTICLES FROM THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD. THE DONOR, SHARON DERRICK, IS THE NIECE OF AGNES SHORT. AGNES CHRISTINA SHORT WAS BORN ON APRIL 20, 1916 TO WILLIAM H. AND BERTHA SHORT (MAIDEN NAME UNKNOWN). SHE GRADUATED FROM LETHBRIDGE COLLEGIATE INSTITUTE AND THEN ATTDNED THE CALGARY GENERAL HOSPITAL FOR NURSING TRAINING, WHICH SHE GRADUATED FROM IN 1939. AGNES WAS THE SUPERVISOR AT THE GALT HOSPITAL FROM 1939-1945. SHE WAS IN CHARGE OF THE NURSING STAFF OF LETHBRIDGE SCHOOL DISTRICT #51 FROM 1947 UNTIL 1958. SHE WAS ALSO THE DIRECTOR OF NURSING AT THE LETHBRIDGE HEALTH UNIT FROM 1964 UNTIL HER RETIREMENT. SHE RETIRED IN 1980 AFTER 42 YEARS OF NURSING. AGNES PASSED AWAY AT THE AGE OF 78 ON OCTOBER 20, 1994. WILLIAM HENRY SHORT WAS AGNES’S FATHER. HE WAS BORN IN LONDON, ENGLAND IN 1889 AND MOVED TO CANADA IN 1909. HE INITIALLY WORKED FOR THE CITY WATERWORKS DEPARTMENT IN LETHBRIDGE FOR TWO YEARS, BEFORE SPENDING 51 YEARS IN SERVICE OF THE LETHBRIDGE FIRE DEPARTMENT. HE OVERSAW THE INTRODUCTION OF MOTORIZED FIRE ENGINES, SWITCHING FROM HORSE POWERED WAGONS, IN 1913. HE ALSO SAW THE DEPARTMENT GROW IN SIZE FROM ONLY 13 TO 49 MEN. HE PASSED AWAY AT THE AGE OF 84 ON NOVEMBER 18, 1974. WILLIAM’S WIFE BERTHA L. SHORT PASSED AWAY ON JULY 28, 1989. ACCORDING TO AN ARTICLE ABOUT AGNES’S LIFE, THE SHORT FAMILY LIVED IN NUMBER 1 FIRE HALL, WHERE WILLIAM WAS FIRE CHIEF. WILLIAM H. AND BERTHA ALSO HAD ANOTHER CHILD, WILLIAM D. SHORT. HE WAS BORN ON AUGUST 16, 1916 AND PASSED AWAY ON AUGUST 5, 1990. HE WAS MARRIED TO MYRTLE (NEE NELSON) SHORT AND THEIR CHILDREN INCLUDE THE DONOR, SHARON DERRICK. SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR COPIES OF THE ARTICLES FROM THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD. *UPDATE* IN 2018 COLLECTIONS ASSISTANT ELISE PUNDYK CONDUCTED A SURVEY OF BOXED TEXTILES AND ACCESSORIES INCLUDING A NUMBER OF ARTIFACTS DONATED BY SHARON DERRICK. ON 1 MARCH 2018, PUNDYK INTERVIEWED DERRICK REGARDING HER DONATION. THE INFORMATION BELOW HAS BEEN EXTRACTED FROM THAT INTERVIEW: A NUMBER OF ARTIFACTS DONATED WERE CONNECTED TO THE DONOR’S GRANDFATHER, WILLIAM H. SHORT AND HIS CAREER AS FIRE CHIEF IN THE NUMBER 1 FIRE HALL IN LETHBRIDGE. “YOU SEE, DURING THE YEARS THAT HE WAS THE FIRE CHIEF,” DERRICK BEGAN, “THEIR QUARTERS ACTUALLY WERE IN THE BACK OF THE FIRE HALL. SO STUFF KIND OF GOT ACCUMULATED THERE. THE WHOLE FAMILY [LIVED IN THE FIRE HALL]. WHEN I WAS LITTLE, I WAS THERE ALL THE TIME. MY FATHER [WILLIAM D. SHORT] WAS A CAPTAIN IN THE FIRE DEPARTMENT, BUT MY GRANDFATHER WAS THE FIRE CHIEF.” WHEN ASKED IF SHE HAD ANY MEMORY OF SEEING HER GRANDFATHER WEARING ANY OF THE ARTIFACTS, SUCH AS THE HELMET (P19950037014) OR THE FIRE PANTS (P19950037008), DERRICK RECALLED, “YES, BECAUSE LETHBRIDGE WAS SMALL AT THE TIME AND WHEN WE LIVED IN THE FIRE HALL AND THE BELLS WENT OFF, WE WOULD OFTEN WALK OVER TO HAVE A LOOK AT THE FIRE. I WOULD SEE MY GRANDFATHER OUT THERE, AND I’D SEE MY FATHER WHEN HE WAS ON SHIFT. THERE WERE SOME HUGE FIRES RIGHT DOWNTOWN. I CAN’T REMEMBER WHAT DATES – PROBABLY BACK IN THE LATE ‘40’S, EARLY ‘50’S. [IN ONE INSTANCE], MY DAD WAS ALSO ON THE BACK OF A FIRE TRUCK, SPEEDING TO A FIRE, AND ANOTHER TRUCK CAME ALONG AND HIT HIM IN THE BACK. HE SUFFERED VERY SEVERE INJURIES FROM THAT. AND I SAW THAT TOO. I WAS JUST ON MY WAY BACK TO SCHOOL.” “WHEN I WAS YOUNG, I WAS ALWAYS IN AND OUT [OF THE FIRE HALL],” DERRICK WENT ON, “THERE WAS A BELL TOWER THERE, WHERE THEY HUNG THE WET HOSES UP TO DRY. THERE WERE RICKETY OLD WOODEN STAIRS GOING ROUND AND ROUND ALL THE WAY UP TO THE TOP OF THE FIRE HALL TO WHERE THE BELL USED TO BE. I USED TO GO UP AND DOWN THOSE STAIRS, AND HOP AND PLAY. AND IN THE BASEMENT THERE WAS PRISON CELLS, BECAUSE IT USED [TO BE] THE POLICE STATION MANY, MANY YEARS BEFORE. IT WAS A COMBINATION OF FIRE AND POLICE. AND, THERE WAS A BIG FURNACE DOWN THERE. I USED TO GO DOWN AND WATCH THE FIREMEN PUSH COAL INTO THE FURNACE TO KEEP IT GOING. IT WAS AN INTERESTING PLACE TO BE AROUND.” “MY GRANDFATHER WAS ON THE INTERNATIONAL BOARD OF FIRE CHIEFS,” DERRICK CONTINUED, “HE WAS VICE-PRESIDENT IN NEW YORK. THEY HAD ASKED HIM TO COME UP AND TAKE THE PRESIDENCY, BUT AFTER MUCH CONSIDERATION, HE DECIDED HE DIDN’T WANT TO LEAVE THE FAMILY FOR THE TWO YEAR TERM IN NEW YORK, SO HE TURNED THAT ONE DOWN. THOUGH HE DID REMAIN ON THE BOARD FOR MANY YEARS.” AN ARTICLE IN THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD PUBLISHED ON SEPTEMBER 27, 2000 READS, “WILLIAM SHORT RETIRED AS LETHBRIDGE FIRE CHIEF IN 1962, ENDING A CAREER AS CHIEF WHICH BEGAN IN JANUARY 1945.” A HERALD ARTICLE FROM 1974 ADDITIONALLY STATES THAT SHORT “JOINED THE LETHBRIDGE FIRE DEPARTMENT IN 1911. HE WAS PROMOTED TO LIEUTENANT IN 1919 AND CAPTAIN IN 1922.” AN ADDITIONAL ARTICLE TITLED, “LETHBRIDGE WELL PROTECTED BY MODERN FIRE DEPARTMENT,” PUBLISHED IN 1967 IN THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD READS, “[IN 1910] THE FIRST FIREHALL THAT [WAS] LOCATED AT 4TH STREET AND 2ND AVENUE SOUTH WAS TORN DOWN. IT WAS A TWO-STOREY BUILDING. A THREE-STOREY FIREHALL WAS BUILT IN ITS PLACE ON THE SAME SITE. THAT EARLY BUILDING HOUSED THE FIRE DEPARTMENT EQUIPMENT, SERVED AS CITY HALL AND THE POLICE STATION…” WHEN ASKED ABOUT THE REASON FOR THE DONATION OF HER FAMILY’S ARTIFACTS DURING THE 2018 INTERVIEW, DERRICK EXPLAINED, “I WAS THE EXECUTOR FOR MY AUNT’S WILL AND WHEN SHE PASSED AWAY SHE [WAS LIVING IN] MY GRANDMOTHER AND GRANDFATHER’S HOME. ALL THIS STUFF HAD BEEN LEFT IN THE HOUSE, SO WHEN WE WERE CLEANING IT OUT FOLLOWING HER DEATH, WE CAME ACROSS ALL THESE THINGS. WHILE I KEPT SOME AS MEMENTOS, MY SISTER AND I [DECIDED TO DONATE OTHER ITEMS TO THE MUSEUM].” PLEASE PERMANENT FILE P19950037001, FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION AND COPIES OF ARTICLES REGARDING THE FAMILY HISTORY.
Catalogue Number
P19950037009
Acquisition Date
1995-05
Collection
Museum
Less detail