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Date Range From
1930
Date Range To
1940
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
WOOD, IRON
Catalogue Number
P19930077001
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1930
Date Range To
1940
Materials
WOOD, IRON
No. Pieces
1
Height
98
Length
55
Width
52
Description
DARK STAINED WOODEN SWIVEL CHAIR ON ROLLERS. CHAIR HAS WOODEN SEAT, BACK AND ARMS ALONG WITH CAST IRON SWIVEL MECHANISM AND WOODEN LEGS WITH STEEL COASTERS PAINTED GOLD. TOP OF CHAIR BACK IS SINGLE PIECE WITH TOP EDGE CARVED IN ROLL STYLE. TWO WIDER WOODEN SLATS SLOT INTO BACK OF TOP PIECE TO FORM SIDES OF BACK. AT CENTER THERE ARE FIVE PLAIN SUPPORT SLATS. ARMS OF CHAIR ARE MADE UP OF TWO FINISHED PIECES JOINED AT A RIGHT ANGLE. THE BACK END IS SLOTTED INTO SIDE PIECES OF CHAIR BACK. SUPPORT STRUT FOR ARM IS FASTENED TO SIDES OF SEAT. RIGHT ARM HAS ROUNDED BOTTOM PIECE MISSING FROM END. SEAT IS 51CM SQUARE WITH ROUNDED CORNERS. FRONT EDGE AND TOP OF SEAT HAVE BEEN HEWN FOR USER COMFORT. BOTTOM EDGES OF SEAT ARE REINFORCED WITH WOODEN FRAMES WHICH SKIRT THE CIRCUMFRENCE OF SEAT. AT CENTER OF UNDERSIDE OF SEAT ARE TWO IRON CROSS PIECES SCREWED TO SEAT. CROSS PIECES FORM SUPPORT FOR SWIVEL MECHANISM. SWIVEL IS CAST IRON WITH SOME SCROLL WORK, PAINTED BLACK. HAS TWO LARGE SPRINGS AND KNOB TO ADJUST TENSION. LARGE THREADED SHAFT SCREWS INTO IRON FRAME WITH WOODEN LEGS ATTACHED TO IT. FOUR SLOPED WOOD LEGS ARE BOLTED TO IRON FRAME TO FORM "X" SHAPE. AT END OF EACH LEG IS BRASS COLORED STEEL COASTER. EACH COASTER IS ENGRAVED WITH "PATENTED" AND "STARLET BY SHEPHERD". CHAIR HAS VERY DARK FINISH WHICH IS WEARING ON EDGES OF CHAIR BACK AND SEAT, AS WELL AS ON ENDS OF ARMS AND LEGS. BLACK PAINT ON IRON SWIVEL IS CHIPPING.
Subjects
FURNITURE
Historical Association
FURNISHINGS
SAFETY SERVICES
History
CHAIR WAS USED IN WARDEN'S OFFICE OF LETHBRIDGE PROVINCIAL GAOL DURING THE 1930'S TO 1950'S. POSSIBLY PASSED ON TO L.C.C. BEFORE BEING DONATED TO MUSEUM.
Catalogue Number
P19930077001
Acquisition Date
1993-12
Collection
Museum
Less detail
Date Range From
1910
Date Range To
1920
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
CHROMED METAL, STEEL
Catalogue Number
P19739467000
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1910
Date Range To
1920
Materials
CHROMED METAL, STEEL
No. Pieces
3
Height
33.0
Diameter
16.2
Description
CAPACITY APPROXIMATELY ONE GALLON. SWINGING HANDLE, DETACHABLE SPOUT (SCREW BASE), AND A SLIP ON SPOUT CAP ATTACHED TO HANDLE WITH A CHAIN. "1" PAINTED ON CAN SIDE, IN TWO DIFFERENT LOCATIONS. CAN EXHIBITS WORN CHROME PLATING SEVERAL SHALLOW DENTS, AND A LEAKING BASE SEAM. A SPOT WELD REPAIR IS ON THE BASE SEAM. CAN USED TO OIL THE SEALS ON A STEAM PUMPER.
Subjects
METALWORKING T&E
Historical Association
SAFETY SERVICES
History
CARRIED ON LETHBRIDGE FIRE DEPARTMENT STEAM PUMP TRUCK #1, AN AMERICAN-LA FRANCE TYPE 12. REF TO P19739463000-GA. PUMP TRUCK NO. 1.
Catalogue Number
P19739467000
Acquisition Date
1973-11
Collection
Museum
Less detail
Date Range From
1970
Date Range To
2015
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
METAL, RUBBER
Catalogue Number
P20150010002
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1970
Date Range To
2015
Materials
METAL, RUBBER
No. Pieces
1
Height
5.6
Length
105.5
Width
27.0
Diameter
4.5
Description
LARGE METAL AND RUBBER BOLT CUTTERS. HANDLE GRIPS ARE 11.2CM LONG PIECES OF BLACK RUBBER. HANDLES ARE A MEDIUM RED, WITH A GREEN STRIPE NEAR THE BLADE ADJUSTMENT BOLTS. WRITTEN IN BLACK MARKER JUST BELOW ONE OF THE STRIPES OF GREEN: "P 4". EMBOSSED JUST ABOVE THIS MARKING IS "U.S. PAT. NO. 2910900". ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE HANDLE FROM THE "P 4" MARKING IS WHAT REMAINS OF A RECTANGULAR SILVER STICKER. ABOVE THIS STICKER, EMBOSSED IN AN OVAL: "HKP". ON THE OTHER HANDLE, ON THE SAME SIDE OF THE CUTTERS AS THE "HKP" IS EMBOSSED: "TOOL NO. 0590M". THE JAWS OF THE BOLT CUTTERS ARE BLACK AND BOTH SIDES OF THE JAWS ARE EMBOSSED WITH: 2 "HKP" IN AN OVAL AND 2 "NO. 5". STAMPED ON EACH SIDE OF THE JAWS, ONCE PER SIDE, IS "HC - CUTS HARD CHAIN 1/2 CAP". JUST BETWEEN THE JAWS AND BLADES, STAMPED INTO THE METAL, ON THE SAME SIDE AS THE "P 4" MARKING: "MADE BY H.K. PORTER INC. BOSTON, MASS 02143". ONE OF THE BOLTS NEAR THE BLADE, ON THE SILVER STICKER SIDE, IS STAMPED WITH "535X". EMBOSSED ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BLADE, NEAR THE TIP, "U.S. PAT." AND "PEND". OVERALL IN FAIR TO GOOD CONDITION. THE RED FINISH ON THE HANDLES HAS FLAKED OFF AND THERE ARE SECTIONS WHERE THE FINISH IS LOOSE. THE RUBBER HAND GRIPS ARE SCUFFED AND SCRATCHED ALL OVER. SOME RUST ON THE JAWS AND BLADE AREA.
Subjects
METALWORKING T&E
Historical Association
SAFETY SERVICES
History
THESE BOLT CUTTERS WERE USED BY THE LETHBRIDGE FIRE DEPARTMENT. IN A WRITTEN STATEMENT PROVIDED AT THE TIME OF DONATION, JESSE KURTZ, DEPUTY CHIEF – SUPPORT SERVICES (RETIRED), EXPLAINED THAT THEY WOULD BE “USED AT EMERGENCY SCENES TO CUT CHAINS OR PADLOCKS OFF DOORS OR FENCES TO GAIN ACCESS. SIMILAR, BUT LIGHTER [BOLT CUTTERS ARE] STILL USED TODAY.” IN THE SUMMER OF 2015, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN, CONDUCTED A SERIES OF INTERVIEWS WITH CURRENT AND FORMER MEMBERS OF THE FIRE DEPARTMENT, INCLUDING: CLIFF “CHARLIE” BROWN (HIRED IN 1966, RETIRED 2004), TREVOR LAZENBY (HIRED IN 1994), RAYMOND “RAY” PETIT (HIRED 1965, RETIRED 1998), AND LAWRENCE DZUREN (HIRED 1959, RETIRED 1992). BROWN CALLED THEM “OUR FAVOURITE TOOL … THERE WERE A LOT OF PLACES THAT WE WENT, THE GATES WERE LOCKED, JUST HAD A CHAIN WITH A PADLOCK ON IT. YOU WOULDN’T EVEN THINK TWICE. THESE BOLT CUTTERS ARE FOUR FEET LONG AND HAD SUCH A FULCRUM ON IT – YOU’D JUST CUT THE CHAIN AND IN WE’D GO. WE WOULDN’T EVEN ASK PERMISSION IF IT WAS AN EMERGENCY; WE’D JUST CUT THEM AND IN WE’D GO. WE USED THE BOLT CUTTERS LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS OF TIMES … WE TRIED NOT TO CUT THE PADLOCK IF WE DIDN’T HAVE TO, BECAUSE THE PADLOCK, THEY HAD A KEY FOR IT; BUT THE CHAIN, WE TRIED TO CUT IT BACK FAR ENOUGH THAT IF THEY HAD TO TAKE THE PADLOCK OFF, THEY COULD STILL USE THE CHAIN. WE TRIED NOT TO DO ANY MORE DAMAGE THAN NECESSARY, BECAUSE PEOPLE THAT WERE HAVING PROBLEMS, HAD ENOUGH DAMAGE WITHOUT US WRECKING MORE THAN NECESSARY.” LAZENBY ADDED: “WE ACTUALLY CARRY THREE SIZES OF THESE AND THIS LOOKS LIKE THE LONGEST … THESE ARE IN SERVICE TODAY AND I BELIEVE THESE WILL BE IN SERVICE FOR MANY, MANY YEARS TO COME.” PETIT AGREED, SAYING: “WE USED IT QUITE OFTEN … EVERY TRUCK HAD ONE … I PROBABLY USED IT 10-12 TIMES AT LEAST. AND IT WAS USUALLY IN THE INDUSTRIAL AREA WHERE THEY HAVE IT ALL FENCED.” DZUREN ALSO AGREED, EXPLAINING HOW USEFUL THE BOLT CUTTERS COULD BE: “EVEN INTO BUILDINGS, THAT SOME BUILDINGS HAD LOCKS ON THE OUTSIDE NATURALLY, SO TO GET IN THERE, RATHER THAN CAUSING TOO MUCH DAMAGE, IN THE OTHER WAY THEY WOULD CUT THE LOCK, OR THE CHAIN LINK, AND GET INTO THE ENCLOSURE OR BUILDING THAT WAY.” SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE LETHBRIDGE FIRE DEPARTMENT.
Catalogue Number
P20150010002
Acquisition Date
2015-02
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail
Other Name
OFFICE DESK
Date Range From
1910
Date Range To
1997
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
OAK, NEWSPAPER, MOTHER-OF-PEARL
Catalogue Number
P20110027000
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
OFFICE DESK
Date Range From
1910
Date Range To
1997
Materials
OAK, NEWSPAPER, MOTHER-OF-PEARL
No. Pieces
1
Height
76.4
Length
167.8
Width
86.4
Description
DESK, OAK WITH MOTHER-OF-PEARL CALL BUTTONS ON TOP FRONT RIGHT CORNER. TOP SURFACE HAS: WORN FINISH, AREA OF DARK BLACK STAINING NEAR FRONT CENTER, AND WATER DAMAGE CAUSING WOOD TO SPLIT AT THREE PLACES ON RIGHT SIDE. SEVEN DRAWERS, WITH THREE ON LEFT, THREE ON RIGHT AND ONE AT CENTER. DRAWER FACES HAVE BEVELED EDGES AND WOODEN HANDLES. BOTTOM TWO DRAWERS ON RIGHT, BOTTOM DRAWER ON LEFT AND CENTER DRAWER HANDLES HAVE CHUNKS OF WOOD MISSING. LEFT SIDE OF CENTER DRAWER HAS WHITE PAINT. LOCKING MECHANISMS AT TOP RIGHT, CENTER AND LEFT DRAWERS. ABOVE DRAWERS AT LEFT AND RIGHT ARE PULL OUT BOARDS. SIDES AND REVERSE OF DESK HAVE PANELED WOOD. RIGHT SIDE HAS FRAGMENT OF CORD EXTENDING FROM THE EDGE OF CALL BUTTONS. TOP DRAWER ON RIGHT HAS THREE LOOSE WOODEN SEPARATORS, ONE IN RIGHT MIDDLE AND ONE IN LEFT MIDDLE. SPILLED INK HAS STAINED THE BOTTOM OF TOP LEFT DRAWER INSIDE. FRAGMENT OF NEWSPAPER ON THE UNDERSIDE OF TOP CENTER DRAWER HAS, “FRIDAY, MAY 23, 1913.”
Subjects
FURNITURE
Historical Association
SAFETY SERVICES
FURNISHINGS
PROFESSIONS
History
DESK BELONGED TO DONOR’S FATHER JERRY YAMAMOTO WHO PASSED AWAY ON OCTOBER 11, 1997. IN MAY 2012, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED DONOR TERRY YAMAMOTO. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WAS EXTRACTED FROM THE INTERVIEW’S TRANSCRIPTION. WHEN ASKED ABOUT HIS FIRST MEMORY OF THE DESK, YAMAMOTO RESPONDED BY SAYING, “WELL… IT GOES BACK TO WHEN I WAS ABOUT ELEVEN YEARS OLD. MY DAD BUILT THE HOUSE, HE BUILT IT ON HIS OWN AND THE FIRST YEAR WE MOVED IN THERE I WAS ELEVEN LIKE WE LIVED IN THE BASEMENT WHILE HE BUILT THE UPSTAIRS. AS FAR AS I CAN REMEMBER THAT DESK HAS BEEN THERE SINCE THE TIME WE MOVED IN SO I WAS ELEVEN SO THAT WOULD BE 1963. IT WAS IN WHAT WE CALLED HIS RADIO ROOM. HE WAS A RADIO TECHNICIAN FOR THE RCMP AND HE JUST HAD IT SET IN THERE FOR HIS MUSIC AS A DESK. YEAH, HE DID YOU KNOW WELL HE FIXED RADIOS HE WAS A RADIO TECH FOR THE RCMP SO HE WOULD TINKER AROUND FIXING RADIOS AND THINGS LIKE THAT. HE WAS ALSO A HAM OPERATOR. [FOR] AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER HE WAS WITH THE RCMP. I WAS BORN IN ‘52, 1952 SO IT HAD TO BE AROUND THAT TIME OR AFTER THAT HE JOINED THE RCMP BECAUSE AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER HE ALWAYS WORKED WITH THEM. HE STARTED OUT AS OPERATING RADIOS THEN JUST WENT ON COURSES AND WHATEVER WITH THE RCMP AND THEN HE BECAME THE RADIO TECHNICIAN FOR SOUTHERN ALBERTA. [WHEN HE STARTED, HE WAS DOING] THE RADIO TRANSMISSION WITH EVERY COP IN THE CARS. AND BASICALLY THE RCMP SENT HIM BACK AND PUT HIM ON TRAINING FOR RADIO TECHNICIAN AND HE WAS WITH THEM UNTIL HE RETIRED. HE LIKED IT BECAUSE HE SERVICED NOT ONLY THE CAR RADIOS BUT ALL THE RADIO TOWERS FOR SOUTHERN ALBERTA. THE ONE THING HE REALLY ENJOYED WAS HE HAD RETIRED AND THEN WHEN THE OLYMPICS CAME, THE SKIING, THE WORLD CUP IN 1980, SECURITY OR WHATEVER. THE RCMP SENT HIM OUT TO OTTAWA ON A SPECIAL, BROUGHT HIM OUT OF RETIREMENT, SENT HIM TO OTTAWA FOR A SPECIAL COURSE AND THEN HE HAD TO HE WAS UP AT LAKE LOUISE AND BANFF AND THEY WERE DOING ALL THE SECURITY ON THE TOWERS AND EVERYTHING.” WHEN ASKED IF SHE REMEMBERED ANY OF THE HISTORY OF THE DESK BEFORE HIS FATHER’S USE, YAMAMOTO SAID, “ALL I REMEMBER IS HIM SAYING IS THAT IT CAME FROM THE FORT MACLEOD RCMP BARRACKS AND HIM AND JUDGE GORE-HICKMAN HAD COLLECTED WEIRD THINGS. BUT ANYWAYS IT HAD SOMETHING TO DO WITH JUDGE GORE-HICKMAN SO I DON’T IF HE ACTUALLY HAD IT IN THE BEGINNING AND GAVE IT MY DAD TOOK IT BUT IT DID ACTUALLY COME FROM THE FORT MACLEOD RCMP BARRACKS. [MY FATHER] AND JUDGE GORE-HICKMAN WERE FRIENDS OF A DIFFERENT KIND AND LIKE I SAY THEY COLLECTED WEIRD THINGS.” WHEN ASKED ABOUT THE DAMAGE ON THE TOP SURFACE OF THE DESK, YAMAMOTO EXPLAINED, “YEAH, THAT WAS PROBABLY MY FAULT, I WAS USING IT FOR MY BEDDING PLANTS AND IT GOT SPRAYED WITH WATER. YOU KNOW I HAD THEM SITTING THERE I HAD A BOARD OVER TOP FOR A WHILE THERE.” ACCORDING TO INFORMATION PROVIDED BY KIM GUNN AND FORWARDED BY TOM EDGAR IN AN E-MAIL AT THE TIME OF DONATION, “THE DESK IS AN OLD RCMP DESK THAT WAS STANDARD ISSUE TO RCMP OFFICES ACROSS CANADA. WHEN THE RCMP GOT NEW DESKS IT WAS GIVEN TO DR. GORE-HICKMAN’S DAD FOR USE IN HIS OFFICE AT THE OLD POLICE STATION ON 5TH STREET. GORDIE REMEMBERS JERRY Y. AND THE DESK BEING IN HIS DAD’S OFFICE. HE SAYS HIS DAD AND JERRY WERE GOOD FRIENDS. GORDIE SAYS THAT HIS DAD STARTED OUT AS A POLICE MAGISTRATE AND THAT IS WHY HIS OFFICE WAS AT THE POLICE STATION.” *UPDATE* AT THE TIME OF CATALOGUING IN AUGUST, 2013, COLLECTIONS ASSISTANT DAVID SMITH DISCOVERED SOME ARCHIVAL DOCUMENTS IN THE TOP CENTER DRAWER. UPON CONSULTATION WITH DONOR, THESE DOCUMENTS WERE TRANSFERRED TO GALT ARCHIVES. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE SEE PERMANENT FILE.
Catalogue Number
P20110027000
Acquisition Date
2011-07
Collection
Museum
Images
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