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Date Range From
1930
Date Range To
1950
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
STEEL, BRASS
Catalogue Number
P19950038008
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1930
Date Range To
1950
Materials
STEEL, BRASS
No. Pieces
1
Height
2.8
Length
10.4
Width
6.1
Description
BRASS PLATED STEEL CLIP HAS OUTLINE OF HORSESHOE ON FRONT. HAS CROWN ON TOP AND A DEPRESSED ROUNDED TRIANGLE BELOW. HAS A SLOT IN MIDDLE WITH A STRIP OF STEEL SUPPORT ALONG THE BACK. BACK OF CLIP HAS OPEN CIRCLE ON TOP WITH THE BODY HAVING COMING TO A POINT ALONG THE SIDES. BASE IS ROUNDED WITH A SCALLOPED BASE. HAS A SLOT IN THE BACK. IS PIECE OF RAW STEEL IN BETWEEN THE FRONT AND BACK. IS WOVEN THROUGH THE FRONT SLOT AND COMES OUT THE BACK SLOT. IS NOTCHED IN BETWEEN TO SECURE IN PLACE. SLIP HOLDS CLIP IN PLACE AND FORCES THE BOTTOM TOGETHER, THEY SEPARATE WHEN STEEL PIECES ARE PRESSED TOGETHER AT TOP. ENGRAVED IN TOP IS "SPENCERIAN". BRASS HAS PATINA AND PITTING. STEEL STRIP IS CORRODING AND HAS SURFACE DIRT. PLATING IS WEARING OFF.
Subjects
WRITING ACCESSORIES
Historical Association
BUSINESS
SAFETY SERVICES
History
DONATED ON BEHALF OF AGNES SHORT. SEE FILE P19950038001-GA FOR PERSONAL HISTORY. USED AT FIREFHALL IN CHIEF SHORT'S OFFICE. *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
P19950038008
Acquisition Date
1995-06
Collection
Museum
Less detail
Date Range From
1930
Date Range To
1940
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
GLASS, PAPER
Catalogue Number
P19950037006
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1930
Date Range To
1940
Materials
GLASS, PAPER
No. Pieces
3
Description
1. GLASS-PLATE NEGATIVE: 10.2CM X 8.2CM X 0.3CM GLASS PLATE WITH BLACK PAPER EDGING AND COLORED PICTURE. NEGATIVE IS MADE UP OF TWO PANES OF GLASS HELD TOGETHER WITH BLACK PAPER TAPE. BACK PANE HAS STENCILED COLORED PICTURE WITH WHITE PAPER BORDER AROUND IT. PAPER BORDER HAS GREEN PRINTING WHICH READS "COLUMBIA SLIDE COMPANY" AND "19 S. WELLS ST., CHICAGO OPERATOR - KEEP SLIDE CLEAN". COLORED PICTURE IS OF MAN IN BLUE COAT AND YELLOW HAT WITH A POCKETWATCH IN HIS HANDS. ACROSS TOP IN RED READS "IF YOUR WATCH IS ON THE BUM" AND ACROSS BOTTOM IN GREEN READS "TAKE IT TO A. F. ZEMLAK 712 - 3RD AVE. SO.". INSIDE YELLOW BORDER TO LEFT AND RIGHT OF PICTURE OF MAN IS "CAREFUL ATTENTION" AND "SATISFACTORY WORK". BOTTOM RIGHT CORNER OF BACK PANE IS CRACKED. 2. GLASS-PLATE NEGATIVE: 10.1CM X 8.3CM X 0.3CM GLASS PLATE WITH BLACK PAPER EDGING AND STENCILED MESSAGE. BLACK PAPER EDGING IS BADLY WORN WITH PORTIONS MISSING. ONE SIDE HAS STENCILED BLACK BACKGROUND WITH WHITE LETTERING WHICH READS "CARELESSNESS CAUSES FIRES CLEANLINESS AND CAREFULNESS WILL PREVENT FIRES." AND "FIRE PREVENTION WEEK THIS WEEK!". 3. GLASS-PLATE NEGATIVE: 8.1CM X8.1CM X 0.3CM GLASS PLATE WITH STENCILED PHOTO AND BLACK PAPER BORDER. NEGATIVE IS MADE UP OF TWO PLATES OF GLASS HELD TOGETHER WITH BLACK PAPER TAPE. PHOTO IS OF BOY-SCOUT LEADER AND MEMBER HELPING A WOUNDED DOG. WHITE PAPER LABEL GLUED TO BLACK MAT BORDER READS "FRY,LTD., 110 PRATT ST., LONDON, N.W. 1.". IN TOP CORNERS ARE TWO WHITE CIRCLES ON BLACK MATTE BORDER. ON GLASS OVER TOP LEFT IS TORN PAPER TAG WITH "26" ON IT.
Subjects
DOCUMENTARY ARTIFACT
Historical Association
BUSINESS
SAFETY SERVICES
ASSOCIATIONS
History
ARTIFACTS ARE FROM THE #1 FIREHALL AND THE GALT HOSPITAL AND WERE DONATED IN MEMORY OF AGNES C. SHORT, HEAD SCHOOL NURSE, AND WILLIAM H. SHORT WHO WAS FIRE CHIEF. *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. DURING THAT INTERVIEW, IT WAS DETERMINED THAT THIS ARTIFACT WAS UNRECOGNIZABLE TO THE DONOR. LETHBRIDGE HERALD RESEARCH CONDUCTED INTO THE NAME ON THE GLASS-PLATE NEGATIVE, A. F. ZEMLAK, DETERMINED THAT ZEMLAK WAS A LOCAL JEWELLER WHO OWNED A SHOP CALLED "ZEMLAK JEWELLERY." THE EARLIEST ADVERTISMENT FOR THE SHOP WAS FOUND IN THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD WAS FOUND IN A 1927 EDITION. WHEN ZEMLAK PASSED AWAY IN 1955 IN LETHBRIDGE, THE NAME OF THE SHOP CHANGED TO ZEMLAK JEWELLERY UNDER PROPRIETORS AGNES BILCIK AND STEVE SLEMKO. THE LAST YEAR THAT ZEMLAK JEWELLERY WAS LISTED IN HENDERSON'S CITY DIRECTORY FOR LETHBRIDGE WAS 1956. PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR MORE INFORMATION, INCLUDING CLIPPINGS FROM THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARCHIVES. PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE P19950037001 FOR FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION OF THE 2018 INTERVIEW WITH SHARON DERRICK.
Catalogue Number
P19950037006
Acquisition Date
1995-05
Collection
Museum
Less detail
Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1960
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
WOOD, METAL
Catalogue Number
P20160008001
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1960
Materials
WOOD, METAL
No. Pieces
1
Height
38.3
Length
121.5
Width
4.6
Description
SIGN. WOOD AND METAL. BORDER OF SIGN IS PAINTED MEDIUM/DARK BROWN. MAIN PORTION OF SIGN IS GOLDEN ROD YELLOW, WITH BLACK LETTERING. TEXT READS: “A SAFE WORKER IS A VALUABLE EMPLOYEE”. TWO METAL BRACKETS FOR HANGING ATTACH TO BACK OF SIGN. EACH BRACKET ATTACHES TO THE BACK WITH TWO FLAT HEADED BOLTS, WHICH ARE VISIBLE ON THE YELLOW SIDE OF THE SIGN. NUTS HOLD THE BOLTS ON THE BACK. HANDWRITTEN IN BLUE INK ON BOTTOM LEFT SIDE “317-9353”. REVERSE OF SIGN IS UNFINISHED DARK, ROUGH PINE BORDER. OVERALL IN GOOD TO VERY GOOD CONDITION. SIGN IS VERY DIRTY. SOME OF BROWN PAINT AROUND BORDER HAS SCRATCHED OFF, REVEALING BLACK PAINT UNDERNEATH.
Subjects
VISUAL COMMUNICATION T&E
Historical Association
INDUSTRY
SAFETY SERVICES
TRANSPORTATION
History
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION COMES FROM A SERIES OF LETHBRIDGE HERALD NEWSPAPER ARTICLES AND AN INTERVIEW WITH THE DONOR CONDUCTED BY KEVIN MACLEAN. FROM JOHN’S INTERVIEW: JOHN STARTED WORKING AT THE FROG SHOP IN KIPP, AB IN 1992. HE DESCRIBED HOW IT WAS THAT HE CAME TO WORK THERE: “I WAS WORKING AS A SEASONAL MACHINE OPERATOR ON THE PACIFIC REGION, WHICH MEANT THAT IN THE SPRINGTIME EVERY YEAR, I GENERALLY START OUT SOMEWHERE NEAR THE FRASER CANYON AND OVER THE COURSE OF THE YEAR I’D WORK ANYWHERE FROM THERE TO SWIFT CURRENT AND FROM THE U.S. BORDER AS FAR NORTH AS [THE CPR HAD TRACKS, TO ROUGHLY ST. PAUL, AB]. THE LENGTH OF MY YEAR’S EMPLOYMENT WOULD BE DETERMINED IN MY SENIORITY AND THE AMOUNT OF WORK THAT WAS AVAILABLE. I WAS REAL TIRED OF BEING ON THE ROAD. THE YEAR PREVIOUSLY, THERE’D BEEN A TEMPORARY JOB – A COUPLE OF TEMPORARY JOBS THAT WERE BULLETINED AT THE FROG SHOP IN THE FALL, PROCESSING SOME SCRAP MATERIAL THAT WAS THERE. A FRIEND AND MINE BID THOSE JOBS AND GOT THEM. THAT MEANT WE WERE ON THE SHOP’S SENIORITY LIST AND WHEN THE OPPORTUNITY AROSE, THERE WAS A POSITION THERE BULLETINED – ACTUALLY A COUPLE OF POSITIONS BULLETINED THERE – MY FRIEND AND I BID THEM TO BE ABLE TO BE AT HOME AND HAVE A YEAR ROUND JOB. MIGHT NOT HAVE BEEN THE BEST IDEA EVER, BUT IT WAS GOOD TO BE HOME AND SLEEP IN MY OWN BED AT NIGHT AND WAKE UP AND SEE MY HORSES IN THE MORNING.” JOHN REMOVED THIS SIGN FROM HIS WORKPLACE WHEN THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY ELECTED TO CLOSE THE FROG SHOP IN KIPP IN THE SPRING OF 2002. JOHN’S SUPERVISOR, GUY MITCHELL, KNEW THAT HE HAD AN INTEREST IN HISTORY AND OLD THINGS AND ALLOWED JOHN TO TAKE SOME ITEMS HOME. JOHN RECOUNTED THE EXPERIENCE: “WHEN I ASKED [GUY] WHAT WAS TO BECOME OF THE [SAFE WORKER] SIGN HE SAID, ‘YOU CAN HAVE IT, JOHN. THEY’LL JUST THROW IT AWAY. IT’S JUST JUNK AS FAR AS ANYONE ELSE CONCERNED.’ I ASKED HIM, ‘GEE, COULD I HAVE THE LITTLE PLAQUE OFF THE DOOR?’ AND HE SAID, ‘OF COURSE, YEAH, TAKE IT. IT’S GOING TO GET – SOMEONE ELSE WILL KNOCK IT OFF AND IT’LL GET BROKEN. SO MUCH THE BETTER. YOU WANNA SEE IT HANG IN THERE, GO FOR IT. IT’S ALL YOURS.’” JOHN EXPLAINED THAT THIS SIGN HUNG ON THE WALL: “IT WAS HANGING ON THE WALL WELL ABOVE THE DOORWAY, AND [I] PUT A LADDER UP AND TOOK THE TWO BIG SCREWS OUT OF THE WALL THAT HELD IT IN PLACE, AND TOOK THE TWO LITTLE TINY SCREWS OUT OF THE DOORWAY THAT HELD THE FROG SHOP SIGN IN PLACE. THAT WAS ONE OF THE LAST DAY – I THINK IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN EVEN THE LAST DAY THAT WE WERE THERE – AS I RECALL THAT’S THE CASE.” JOHN EXPLAINED WHY HE WAS SO INTERESTED IN THIS PARTICULAR SIGN: “BUT THE SIGN WAS SIGNIFICANT TO ME IN IT OF ITSELF GIVEN THAT WE SOMETIMES JOKED THAT THAT WAS THE ENTIRETY FOR A LONG TIME OF THE RAILWAY’S SAFETY PROGRAM – WAS A SIGN LIKE THIS. ON ALL THE MIRRORS IN ALL OF THE EMPLOYEES’ BATHROOMS, GOING BACK AT LEAST WHEN I FIRST WORKED FOR THE RAILWAY THE SUMMER OUT OF THE UNIVERSITY IN 1975, THE MIRRORS WERE ALL PAINTED WITH A SIGN ABOVE - AT THE TOP AND THE BOTTOM OF THE MIRROR THAT SAID, “YOU’RE LOOKING AT THE MAN MOST RESPONSIBLE YOUR SAFETY.” THOSE WERE QUITE OFTEN CHANGED BY EMPLOYEES TO SAY SOMETHING QUITE DIFFERENT, BUT YEAH, IT WAS SOMETHING OF A JOKE.” HE WENT ON FURTHER, SAYING THAT IN 1978 HE AND A FRIEND LOOKED INTO THE OLD ROUNDHOUSE AT THE RAIL YARD IN LETHBRIDGE AND “WAS MORTIFIED” TO SEE THE WORKING CONDITIONS: “WE PULLED UP BEHIND THE OLD ROUNDHOUSE IN THE OLD YARD HERE IN LETHBRIDGE, AND LOOKED IN THE DOORWAY. THAT’S AS MUCH AS I KNOW OF THE OLD ROUNDHOUSE, AND I WAS MORTIFIED TO SEE MEN WORKING IN A POORLY VENTILATED, ANCIENT, REALLY FALLING APART BUILDING. MORE PIGEONS THAN PEOPLE INSIDE, IN A CLOUD OF DUST AND WELDING SMOKE THAT YOU COULD NOT SEE THROUGH. THAT’S WHERE THIS SIGN CAME FROM.” IN COMPARISON, THE WORKING CONDITIONS IN THE KIPP FROG SHOP WERE MUCH BETTER, BUT JOHN EXPLAINS THAT THERE WERE STILL PROBLEMS: “WHEN I WENT TO WORK AT THE FROG SHOP IN KIPP IN EARLY ’92, A GREAT NUMBER OF PEOPLE WORKING THERE, AND THEN THERE WERE ONLY 12 EMPLOYEES THERE AND A SUPERVISOR, HAD WORKED THERE. CONSEQUENTLY, THAT FACILITY WAS LIGHT YEARS BEYOND WHERE THEY WORKED PREVIOUSLY, AND THEY’RE PRETTY COMFORTABLE IN THEIR ENVIRONMENT. THEY FELT THAT, YOU KNOW, THEY WERE DOING PRETTY WELL. THERE WERE A NUMBER OF US OVER THE COURSE OF THE NEXT COUPLE OF YEARS THAT CAME TO WORK THERE THAT HAD PREVIOUSLY WORKED ON THE SEASONAL WORK CREWS, AS MACHINE OPERATORS, WERE HAPPY TO HAVE A FULL TIME, YEAR-ROUND JOB. IT WASN’T A VERY PLEASANT PLACE TO WORK. IT WAS VERY DUSTY, VERY NOISY, AND DESPITE A RELATIVELY DECENT WELDING FUME VENTILATION SYSTEM, IT WASN’T A GOOD PLACE TO BE. AND WE LOOKED AT THE SIGN EVERY DAY AS YOU WALKED OUT. IN THE COURSE OF READING THE MSDS ON THE WELDING WIRE AND THE WELDING ROD WE USED, AFTER I WORKED THERE FOR MAYBE A YEAR OR SO – MAYBE A COUPLE YEARS – I SAW THAT THE WELDING WIRE MANUFACTURER – WELL THE WELDING ROD MANUFACTURER – SUGGESTED THAT PEOPLE HAVE AT LEAST ANNUAL BLOOD TESTS TO DETERMINE THEIR BLOOD LEVELS OF HEAVY METALS, IN PARTICULAR MANGANESE.” JOHN EXPLAINED THAT TOO MUCH MAGNESIUM IN THE HUMAN BODY CAN MIMIC PARKINSON’S DISEASE, A CONDITION CALLED PARKINSONISM. SUMPTION PUSHED FOR BLOOD TESTING TO BE DONE IN THE 1990S: “THAT STARTED US DOWN THE ROAD THAT RESULTED IN A STUDY BEING DONE BY A GROUP OF INDUSTRIAL MEDICINE SPECIALISTS FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY, INCLUDING OF THE FOREMOST – THE WORLD’S MOST FOREMOST – MOVEMENT DISORDER SPECIALIST … . CONSEQUENTLY, WE ALL SPENT TWO DAYS IN CALGARY, GOT MRI, GOT BLOOD TESTS, AND THEREAFTER WERE REGULARLY SUBJECTED TO URINE TESTS.” THE RESULTS OF ALL OF THIS TESTING: “CONSEQUENTLY, THE VENTILATION SYSTEM WAS IMPROVED, THE DUST CAPTURE SYSTEM WAS IMPROVED FOR THE GRINDING PROCEDURES, AND ALL EMPLOYEES WORE POWER PURIFIED AIR RESPIRATORS THEREAFTER. SO WE HAD A MUCH SAFER WORK ENVIRONMENT.” JOHN NEVER SAW THIS SIGN HANGING IN THE ROUNDHOUSE AND HAD THE FOLLOWING TO SAY: “IT’S FAR TOO OLD TO HAVE BEEN MADE FOR THE FROG SHOP IN 1982. WHEN YOU LOOK AT THESE … BOLTS – HAVEN’T SEEN THEM DO LIKE THAT IN AN AWFUL LONG TIME. THIS IS HAND-PUNCHED – THIS IS HAND-CUT AND HAND-PUNCHED. LOOT AT THE WIDTH OF THE PINE PLANK THAT IT’S ON. IT’S NOT REGULAR, OLD CPR RED. THEY DIDN’T BUY THINGS. THEY ARE NOTORIOUSLY CHEAP. I REMEMBER THIS YELLOW PAINT. THIS IS THE SAME YELLOW PAINT THAT THEY PAINTED THEIR MOTOR CARS WITH – THE LITTLE, FREEZE-YOUR-ASS-OFF TRACK MOBILES WE USED TO TRAVEL ON WHEN WE’RE WORKING ON THE TRACK. YEAH, I WAS TOLD THAT. BUT I KNOW THEY WOULDN’T HAVE A SIGN PAINTED. I KNOW THEY WOULDN’T BUY ONE FROM ANYONE. AND THAT WAS WHAT I WAS TOLD BY ALL THE PEOPLE THAT I WORKED WITH THERE; SOME OF WHOM HAD A GREAT MANY YEARS. AND THERE WERE A COUPLE OLD GUYS THAT I WORKED WITH THAT RETIRED AT 35 YEARS, SHORTLY AFTER I ARRIVED IN THE FROG SHOP THERE IN ’92.” JOHN DESCRIBED WHERE THE SIGN HUNG IN THE FROG SHOP IN KIPP: “IT HUNG IN THE DOORWAY THAT LEAD OUT OF THE SHOP INTO THE HALLWAY INTO OUR CHANGE ROOM. I LOOKED AT IT EVERY DAY, AT LUNCHTIME, COFFEE TIME.” JOHN ADDED THE FOLLOWING ABOUT WORKER SAFETY: “I JUST THINK THAT THIS IS TO ME ILLUSTRATIVE OF HOW FAR WE’VE COME WHEN IT COMES TO WORKERS’ SAFETY. AND WHEN YOU TAKE A LOOK AROUND TODAY OF HOW HORRIFYINGLY FAR WE HAVE TO GO. TO THINK THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE, WHAT LESS THAN TWO WEEKS AGO, STANDING IN FRONT OF THE LEGISLATURE IN EDMONTON FIGHTING THE NOTION THAT FARM WORKERS IN ALBERTA SHOULD HAVE THE SAME PROTECTION THAT THEY DO EVERYWHERE ELSE IN THE COUNTRY AND HAVE FOR YEARS AND YEARS. TOO MANY PEOPLE DIE GOING TO WORK. IT’S TOO EASY TO HAPPEN AND IT’S EVEN EASIER NOW. IT’S SCARY TO THINK OF YOUNG PEOPLE. I’VE WORKED WITH LOTS OF YOUNG PEOPLE AS THE YEARS HAVE GONE ON. I’M OLD. I KNOW OLD PEOPLE - OLDER PEOPLE - LOOKED OUT FOR ME AND HELPED ME; AND I’M REALLY FORTUNATE FOR THAT. BUT IN THIS HURRY-UP WORLD, NOW AND PARTICULARLY AS YOU SEE UNION MEMBERSHIP DECLINING AND IT BECOMING MORE AND MORE DIFFICULT TO OBTAIN A UNION CONTRACT, TO RATIFY A UNION VOTE, GEE I DON’T WANT TO SEE ANYONE - ANYBODY ELSE GET HURT. AND I HOPE THAT THAT GETS BETTER. BECAUSE I’VE SEEN REALLY BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO PEOPLE AND IT WASN’T BECAUSE THEY WERE DUMB AND IT WASN’T BECAUSE THEY WERE CARELESS. FAR TOO OFTEN IT WAS BECAUSE THEY JUST DIDN’T KNOW AND SOMEBODY WHO SHOULD KNOW BETTER DIDN’T GET IN LINE.” RELOCATING THE RAIL YARDS TO KIPP IS COVERED IN DETAIL IN SEVERAL LETHBRIDGE HERALD NEWSPAPER ARTICLES, ESPECIALLY IN THE PERIOD OF 1980 TO 1982. THESE ARTICLES TEND TO FOCUS ON THE BENEFIT FOR THE CITY OF LETHBRIDGE AND THE ABILITY TO REDEVELOP THE YARDS. FOR EXAMPLE, AN OCTOBER 10, 1980 ARTICLE DISCUSSES REDEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES: “THERE MUST BE A GOOD CORRIDOR WITH A DIVIDED HIGHWAY THROUGH THE CITY TO ACCOMMODATE BOTH TRAFFIC THAT DOESN’T WANT TO STOP AND TRAFFIC THAT WANTS TO GET OFF AT DOWNTOWN LETHBRIDGE. RAILWAY RELOCATION GIVES ROOM FOR SUCH A CORRIDOR FROM THE RAILWAY BRIDGE THROUGH TO 13TH ST.” FOR MORE DETAILS, PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE. FOR COPIES OF NEWSPAPER ARTICLES AND FOR A TRANSCRIPT OF THE INTERVIEW, PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE.
Catalogue Number
P20160008001
Acquisition Date
2016-03
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail