Collections
Other Name
PUNKINHEAD
Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1960
Material Type
Artifact
Materials
COTTON, GLASS, LEATHER
Catalogue Number
P20180021002
  2 images  
Material Type
Artifact
Other Name
PUNKINHEAD
Date Range From
1950
Date Range To
1960
Materials
COTTON, GLASS, LEATHER
No. Pieces
3
Length
36
Width
24.5
Description
A. STUFFED TOY, “PUNKINHEAD”, 36 CM LONG X 24.5 CM WIDE. BROWN PUNKINHEAD BEAR DRESSED IN BLUE SHORTS AND SHIRT. BEAR HAS TWO CLEAR GLASS EYES WITH BLACK CENTERS; FACE STITCHED WITH BLACK THREAD CREATING NOSE AND MOUTH; FEET CASED IN BROWN LEATHER STITCHED ON WITH BLACK THREAD. PUNKINHEAD BEAR HAS LIGHTER BROWN SNOUT, CHEST, TOP OF HEAD, AND INSIDE OF EARS. FUR ON BEAR IS MISSING IN PACTHES AND THINNED; BEAR IS MISSING LIGHT HAIR FROM TOP OF HEAD; NOSE IS TORN ON SIDES AND HAS LOSS IN FABRIC SHOWING INSIDE STUFFING. OVERALL GOOD CONDITION. B. BLUE COTTON SHIRT, 11.5 CM LONG X 7.5 CM WIDE. HOMEMADE WITH WHITE MACHINE STITCHING ALONG CUFFS AND HEM; BACK HAS CINCHING WITH WHITE THREAD. FRONT OF SHIRT TIED AT NECK AND OPEN AT FRONT. FABRIC IS FADED; RIP IN RIGHT SIDE; OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION. C. BLUE COTTON SHORTS, 8.5 CM LONG X 9 CM WIDE. HANDMADE WITH WHITE MACHINE STITCHING ALONG LEG-HOLES AND WAIST. SHORTS FADED; TEAR INSIDE RIGHT LEG; OVERALL VERY GOOD CONDITION.
Subjects
TOY
Historical Association
LEISURE
History
ON AUGUST 22, 2018, COLLECTIONS TECHNICIAN KEVIN MACLEAN INTERVIEWED MARG OBERG REGARDING HER DONATION OF “PUNKINHEAD” STUFFED BEARS. OBERG DONATED THE PUNKINHEADS AS A CONTRIBUTION FOR THE UPCOMING GALT MUSEUM EXHIBIT “RECOLLECTING HOME” FROM FEBRUARY 1-MAY 5, 2019. ON THE PUNKINHEAD IN THE BLUE OUTFIT, OBERG RECALLED, “THE MIDDLE-SIZED ONE [IN BLUE I RECEIVED] ’55.” “I GUESS, AS A MOTHER OF ACTUAL CHILDREN, IT’S POLITICALLY CORRECT TO SAY, “I LOVE THEM ALL THE SAME.” AS A CHILD, I WOULD LIKE TO SAY THAT I LOVED THEM ALL THE SAME. BUT OF COURSE, WITH CHILDREN, OFTEN [TIMES], BIGGER IS BETTER. THE LARGEST OF THEM ALL, WHO IS IN STILL THE BEST CONDITION, I WOULD GUESS THAT HE PROBABLY WOULD HAVE BEEN THE MOST LOVED. AS I GOT OLDER, HE WAS ON DISPLAY WITH OTHER STUFFED ANIMALS THAT I HAD ACQUIRED OVER THE YEARS, BECAUSE OF HIS CONDITION, WHEREAS THE OTHER, MORE DILAPIDATED CHARACTERS PROBABLY TOOK A LITTLE BIT MORE OF A BACK SEAT. THEY WERE NOT IN AS GOOD CONDITION. THAT’S A QUESTION THAT I HADN’T REALLY THOUGHT ABOUT. I’M JUST GOING ON [MY] INTUITION.” OBERG ELABORATED ON HOW SHE ACQUIRED THE BEARS, “FOLK LORE WITHIN THE FAMILY IS THAT I WOULD GET ONE TEDDY BEAR EVERY TWO YEARS…MY [MATERNAL] GRANDPARENTS [JAMES “JIMMY” MACINTOSH AND ELSIE PEARL MACINTOSH] GIFTED [MY FIRST] TO ME AT CHRISTMAS WHEN I WAS 3 YEARS OLD. AS FAR AS I AM AWARE, IT IS A MERRYTHOUGHT PUNKINHEAD, AND IT WOULD HAVE BEEN PURCHASED THROUGH EATON’S…THE PUNKINHEAD WAS KIND OF A CHRISTMAS MASCOT. IT WAS VERY APPROPRIATE FOR MY GRANDPARENTS TO GIVE IT TO ME AT CHRISTMAS. EATON’S WAS A VERY PROMINENT DEPARTMENT STORE IN LETHBRIDGE AT THAT POINT IN TIME, AND MOST EVERYBODY DID THEIR CHRISTMAS SHOPPING AT EATON’S. WE DIDN’T HAVE ANY OTHER (AT LEAST THAT I WAS AWARE OF, AS A CHILD GROWING UP) DEPARTMENT STORES. WE DIDN’T HAVE THE WALMARTS. EATON’S WAS THE PLACE TO GO. SO, [MY FIRST] ONE WAS FROM WHEN I WAS 3 YEARS OLD.” “WHEN I WAS A CHILD, GROWING UP IN LETHBRIDGE, I DON’T BELIEVE THAT [MY GRANDPARENTS] HAD THE DISPOSABLE INCOME TO BE GENEROUS. IN THOSE DAYS, CHILDREN WEREN’T EXPECTING AN AWFUL LOT. WE GOT ONE GIFT FROM OUR GRANDPARENTS, AND SANTA WOULD ALWAYS BRING A FEW. I DON’T EVEN RECALL IF OUR PARENTS GAVE US ANYTHING. IT WAS JUST SANTA, AND WE ALWAYS HAD OUR CHRISTMAS MEAL ON CHRISTMAS EVE, AT MY GRANDPARENT’S HOME. AFTER THE DISHES WERE ALL CLEANED UP, AND WE’D HAD OUR MEAL, THEN THE CHILDREN WERE ALLOWED TO OPEN OUR PRESENTS, OR OUR ONE GIFT, FROM THE GRANDPARENTS. THAT WAS EVEN MORE OF A CULMINATION OF THAT TENSION, FOR CHILDREN, WAITING FOR CHRISTMAS. IT WAS ALWAYS A VERY EXCITING TIME. I AM ASSUMING THAT I HAD SOME SORT OF AWARENESS OF PUNKINHEAD, SO, OF COURSE, [I] WAS VERY EXCITED TO GET ONE.” “[THERE WAS] LOTS OF CARRYING THEM AROUND. AS A CHILD, I DIDN’T HAVE A FAVORITE BLANKET OR ANYTHING. IT WAS MY TEDDY BEARS. I LIKED, ALWAYS, TO HAVE SOMETHING SOFT AND FUZZY UP AGAINST MY FACE, AND AGAINST MY NOSE. THEY WERE JUST THE RIGHT SIZE THAT I COULD HANG ON TO THEM WITH ONE HAND, AND RUB MY NOSE AGAINST THEM. THEY WERE A SECURITY FEATURE. AGAIN, BEING MADE OF NON-WASHABLE SUBSTANCES, THE WOODEN STUFFING AND THE LEATHER SHOES, THEY WEREN’T WASHABLE. MAYBE WITH THE NOWADAYS, MOTHERS CAN THROW THE STUFFIES IN THE WASHING MACHINE AND REFRESH THEM, AND THE FIBER IS A LOT MORE [DURABLE]. THEY’RE PROBABLY SO RATTY-LOOKING BECAUSE OF BEING CONSTANTLY WITH ME–-HAVING TEA PARTIES WITH THEM, AND JUST GENERALLY PUTTING THEM IN STROLLERS AND TAKING THEM OUT AROUND THE NEIGHBORHOOD. THEY WERE VERY WELL GUARDED. WE NEVER HAD ANY PETS IN THE HOUSE TO COME AND CHEW THEM UP. ALL OF THEIR DISTRESSED LOOK IS FROM LOVE. “WHEN THE BIG ONE CAME, THAT WAS A BONE OF CONTENTION, BECAUSE WITH ALL OF THE FOUR BEARS IN THE BED, THERE WAS HARDLY ROOM FOR ME [TO SLEEP]. I HAD BEEN, ON OCCASION, FOUND ON THE FLOOR, BECAUSE THERE WASN’T ROOM FOR ME IN BED. THAT WAS A “NO-NO.” MY PARENTS SAID, “NO, IF ANYBODY GOES ON THE FLOOR, IT’S THE BEARS.” THEY WERE A HUGE PART OF MY LIFE.” “I NEVER DID LET THEM OUT OF MY SIGHT LONG ENOUGH, AS A CHILD. MY PARENTS KNEW HOW IMPORTANT THEY WERE, SO IT HAS TO BE THAT MY PARENTS HAD THEM STASHED AWAY SOMEWHERE, FOR WHEN I WAS OLD ENOUGH OR INTERESTED ENOUGH TO GET THEM BACK. THEY MEANT AN AWFUL LOT TO ME, BECAUSE THEY WERE GIFTED TO ME BY MY GRANDPARENTS. I SPENT MANY HOURS IN THEIR HOME. MY MOTHER WORKED OUT OF OUR BASEMENT. SHE WAS A CERAMICS TEACHER, AND SO SHE WAS ONE OF THE FEW WOMEN, IN THE EARLY ‘50S, THAT WAS EARNING AN INCOME. I HAD SUCH A FONDNESS FOR MY GRANDPARENTS, AND THEY WERE ONLY BLOCKS AWAY FROM OUR HOME, THAT I SPENT MOST OF MY DAYS THERE.” “THE CLOTHING IS NOT ORIGINAL. THE ORIGINAL SHORTS WERE JUST A LITTLE PANT IN A FELT FABRIC, AND THE FELT WAS NOT STURDY. IT GOT ALL SHREDDED, AND FELL OFF. MY GRANDMOTHER REPLACED THE CLOTHING ON ALL OF THEM.” “BUT NOW, THE NEWEST OF THEM, THE ONE WITH THE RED PANTS–-THE REPAIRS ON HIS SNOUT ARE NOT CONSISTENT WITH THE WAY MY GRANDMOTHER WOULD REPAIR THEM. I THINK I REPAIRED THAT ONE MYSELF. MY GRANDMOTHER HAD PASSED AWAY WHEN I WAS 13, AND, BY THAT POINT IN MY LIFE, IT WAS ONLY THE LARGE ONE THAT I HAD KEPT OUT. I BELIEVE THAT ONCE MY GRANDMOTHER HAD PASSED AWAY, AND THEN WHEN I REVIVED BRINGING THESE ONES OUT A NUMBER OF YEARS LATER, I DID A VERY ‘MICKEY MOUSE’ JOB OF REPAIRING HIM. THE OTHER ONES WOULD HAVE BEEN REPAIRED BY MY GRANDMOTHER.” “WHEN MY HUSBAND AND I WERE FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO GET GRANDCHILDREN, AT CHRISTMAS TIME I WOULD PUT UP [THE BEARS]. I WOULD MAKE A LITTLE TEDDY BEAR DISPLAY AT CHRISTMAS TIME, AND THE GRANDCHILDREN WERE INTRODUCED TO THEM. THEY DIDN’T MEAN ANYTHING TO THE GRANDCHILDREN WHEN THEY WERE YOUNG. THEY HAD THEIR OWN TEDDIES. THEY JUST KNEW THAT THEY WEREN’T ALLOWED TO TOUCH THEM.” “THE MUSEUM IS IN THE PROCESS NOW OF DEVELOPING A NEW EXHIBIT FOR THE BEGINNING OF NEXT YEAR, 2019, AND I MADE THE CHOICE TO VOLUNTEER MYSELF TO BE PART OF THAT EXHIBIT. I BELIEVE THAT SOME OF THESE ITEMS MIGHT BE BENEFICIAL TO BE A PART OF WHAT I DEEM TO BE “HOME”. MY TWO CHILDREN DON’T HAVE ANY DESIRE TO ACQUIRE ANY OF THE OLD THINGS THAT MEANT SOMETHING TO ME, PARTICULARLY AS A CHILD. THAT I UNDERSTAND, BUT I ALSO UNDERSTAND THAT LETHBRIDGE IS WANTING TO CONTINUE TO ACQUIRE ITEMS THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO LETHBRIDGE’S HISTORY, AND THE HISTORY OF THE PEOPLE THAT LIVE IN LETHBRIDGE.” FOR MORE INFORMATION INCLUDING THE FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTION, PLEASE SEE THE PERMANENT FILE P20180021001-GA.
Catalogue Number
P20180021002
Acquisition Date
2018-08
Collection
Museum
Images
Less detail