Collections
Date Range From
1940
Date Range To
1950
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
COTTON, NYLON
Catalogue Number
P20150013007
  1 image  
Material Type
Artifact
Date Range From
1940
Date Range To
1950
Materials
COTTON, NYLON
No. Pieces
2
Length
18.5
Width
7.2
Description
A: YELLOW NYLON SOCK WITH REINFORCED COTTON TOE AND HEEL. SMALL BROWN STAIN ON BOTTOM CENTRE OF FOOT. CUFF IS SLIGHTLY STRETCHED OUT. B: YELLOW NYLON SOCK WITH REINFORCED COTTON TOE AND HEEL. CUFF IS SLIGHTLY STRETCHED OUT.
Subjects
CLOTHING-FOOTWEAR
Historical Association
PERSONAL CARE
History
THESE SOCKS BELONGED TO ROBERT ALLAN SMITH (THE DONOR) AS A CHILD AND WAS SAVED FOR DONATION TO THE MUSEUM BY HIS MOTHER, PHYLLIS SMITH. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WAS COLLECTED FROM ROBERT SMITH IN AN ORAL INTERVIEW CONDUCTED BY KEVIN MACLEAN ON 5 MARCH 2015. BEGINNING IN THE 1940S, THE SMITH FAMILY RESIDED AT 1254 7 AVENUE SOUTH. PHYLLIS REMAINED AT THE SAME ADDRESS UNTIL HER DEATH AT 104 YEARS OF AGE, ON SEPTEMBER 26, 2009. WHILE CLEANING UP HIS MOTHER’S HOUSE, THE DONOR CAME ACROSS SEVERAL BAGS MARKED ‘FOR MUSEUM’. THE ITEMS WERE USED COLLECTIVELY BY THE DONOR AS AN INFANT UNTIL THE AGE OF APPROXIMATELY 9 YEARS OLD. IN THE INTERVIEW, KEVIN ASKS IF ROBERT HE FELT HIS CHILDHOOD WAS IDYLLIC. ROBERT RESPONDS, SAYING: “I WAS BORN IN WARTIME STILL, AND MAYBE IT WASN’T IDYLLIC FOR MY PARENTS, BUT IT WAS FOR ME. AND THE NEIGHBOURHOODS WERE DIFFERENT THEN. YOU WERE JUST LET OUT THE DOOR AND YOU WENT OUT TO PLAY WITH THE NEIGHBOURHOOD KIDS AND THERE WERE NO CONCERNS THAT THE PARENTS HAVE TODAY. YES, A VERY HAPPY TIME, I WOULD SAY.” ON THE SUBJECT OF HIS MEMORY OF WEARING THE DONATED CLOTHING ARTICLES SPECIFICALLY OR GENERALLY, HE TOLD MACLEAN: “AS FAR AS REMEMBERING WEARING SOME OF THESE CLOTHING ITEMS, IT’S VERY VAGUE…AS I SAY, THE MEMORIES, THEY’RE NOT STRONG ENOUGH TO SAY, ‘OH, YEAH, I DID WEAR THAT’. [I CAN ONLY SAY,] ‘I THINK I DID WEAR THAT’." ON THE SUBJECT OF HOW HIS MOTHER PHYLLIS MAY HAVE SOURCED THE CLOTHING, ROBERT SHARED THE FOLLOWING: “I DON’T KNOW HOW MANY OF THESE THINGS WERE PURCHASED LOCALLY. SOME OF THEM MAY HAVE BEEN PURCHASED IN VANCOUVER, BECAUSE I DID TAKE TRAIN TRIPS WITH MY MOM TO VANCOUVER BECAUSE THAT’S WHERE HER FOLKS MOVED TO AFTER THEY LEFT THE FARM. AND SO YOU’LL FIND THERE’S A SHIRT [IN THE COLLECTION], NOT IN GREAT CONDITION, I THINK IT SAYS WOODWARD’S ON IT…SO IT WOULD HAVE COME FROM WOODWARD’S IN VANCOUVER AND MAYBE SOME OF THE OTHER ITEMS. I DON’T KNOW… [FOR SHOPPING] IN LETHBRIDGE, [IT WAS] JUNIORS, I REMEMBER JUNIORS. FOR CLOTHES, THAT’S THE ONLY ONE THAT COMES TO MIND IN LETHBRIDGE. I REMEMBER THE WOODWARD’S STORE QUITE WELL IN VANCOUVER. IT WAS ONE OF THE FIRST STORES TO HAVE ESCALATORS, I BELIEVE. THEY WERE WOODEN ESCALATORS, WITH SOMEBODY STANDING AT THE BOTTOM TO MAKE SURE YOU DIDN’T GET CAUGHT IN IT. A VERY NOISY THING, CLACKITY CLACKITY, CLACK, VERY NARROW AND THESE WOODEN PLATFORM TYPE THINGS. SO I REMEMBER THAT STORE QUITE WELL. GOING UP. THEY HAD A PLAY AREA FOR KIDS. MY MOM WOULD GO INTO THE MILLINERY DEPARTMENT AND SHE WOULD DEPOSIT ME IN THIS PLAY AREA THAT WASN’T FAR AWAY. AND I REMEMBER LOOKING OUT OVER VANCOUVER HARBOUR AND THAT KIND OF THING. SO I HAVE AT LEAST AS STRONG OF MEMORIES OF VANCOUVER MAYBE AS LETHBRIDGE BECAUSE IT WAS SO DIFFERENT.” ROBERT WAS BORN IN OCTOBER 1940 TO PHYLLIS (NEE GROSS) AND ALLAN F. SMITH, AT ST. MICHAEL’S HOSPITAL. PHYLLIS WAS IN HARVEY, ND AND MOVED INITIALLY WITH HER FAMILY TO A FARM IN THE GRASSY LAKE AREA. SHE MOVED INTO LETHBRIDGE AND ATTENDED ST. BASIL’S SCHOOL IN THE 1910S. ALLAN WAS BORN IN ECHO BAY, ON. HE WAS OFFERED A JOB AT WESTERN GROCERS IN LETHBRIDGE AND MET PHYLLIS WHILE IN THE CITY. THEY WERE MARRIED ON SEPTEMBER 2, 1939. ROBERT IS AN ONLY CHILD AND SUFFERED FROM RHEUMATIC FEVER AS A CHILD. HE BELIEVES THIS MAY BE PART OF THE REASON HIS MOTHER SAVED THESE ITEMS. HE EXPLAINS, SAYING: “I’M AN ONLY CHILD AND THEY WOULD BE MORE MEANINGFUL AND I WENT THROUGH A CHILDHOOD ILLNESS. I HAD RHEUMATIC FEVER. I MIGHT NOT HAVE SURVIVED. SOME OTHER KIDS DIDN’T SURVIVE, BUT I DID.” HE ALSO DESCRIBES HIS MOTHER AS BEING “A SAVER OF THINGS. HAVING GONE THROUGH THE DEPRESSION … THEY SAVED LOTS OF STUFF … ANYTHING THEY THINK THEY MIGHT USE IN THE FUTURE WAS SAVED.” PHYLLIS WAS ALSO A MEMBER OF THE LETHBRIDGE HISTORICAL SOCIETY IN THE 1970S AND WORKED AT THE GALT MUSEUM AS PART OF THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY”. SEE PERMANENT FILE FOR FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS AND COPIES OF LETHBRIDGE HERALD ARTICLES.
Catalogue Number
P20150013007
Acquisition Date
2015-03
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail