Month That Was – September 1948

Thursday September 2, 1948

Sun Skips Vancouver

Last month was the dullest August in Vancouver history, the Dominion Weather Bureau reported today. There were only 130 hours of sunshine compared with a 40 year average of 262. The previous “dull” was the August of 1944 when 180 sunlit hours were recorded.

 

Friday September 3, 1948

Knife Nicks Neck of Girl in Act

Alice Orton, target in a vaudeville knife-throwing act, narrowly escaped death Thursday night when her father missed his aim and nicked her neck.

The fourth of eight 13-inch knives which are supposed to outline Miss Orton’s sharply figure on a circular board, went a few inches wild and struck her neck, during a wild-west show at the open-air theatre.

Her father, “Tex” Orton, carried on with the act and threw the remaining four knives. She said it was the third close call she has had in the act’s 20 years.

 

Saturday September 4, 1948

Baby Brought Back To Life

A mother here now knows why May 13 spoke of her infant as a “miracle baby.”

Trudy was born to Mrs. Margaret Nystom with “RH” antibodies active in her blood. During postnatal surgery when the RH-laden blood was replaced by “replacement transfusions” the infant’s heart stopped for five minutes and her respiration for 30.

Trudy was delivered by caesarean operation her heart stopped and respiration ceased. To all appearances the child was dead.

Adrenalin brought the heart back into motion, the operation was completed and the child placed in an incubator. It was 30 minutes before respiration resumed.

 

Tuesday September 14, 1948

Known in 6,000 B.C.

Stockholm – (CP) – Hunters and fishermen roamed the forests of central Sweden 6,000 years before Christ, Sten Follorin, young Swedish scientist said in a paper published here recently. The first traces if peasant culture appeared about 3,000 B.C., he said.

 

Tuesday September 14, 1948

Scare for Fisherman

Folkestone, England – (CP) –  A naval mine disposal squad made harmless a 500-pound British sea mine caught in the nets of a Folkestone fishing boat in the English Channel.

 

Monday September 20, 1948

Find “Nudists”

Vancouver – (CP) – Police summoned by phone to a wharf here found two reported “nudists” fully dressed. The mother of the two girls, aged two and three, admitted they’d eluded her at bedtime earlier.

 

Monday September 20 1948

Drunk, Can’t Drive Again for 60 Years

Poole, Dorset, England – (CP) – It’ll be 60 years before Cyril Benham, 27 will be allowed to drive an automobile again.

That was the sentence he got for driving under the influence of liquor. It was alleged he collided with a wall twice, crashed into a closed railroad crossing and wound up against a porch.

 

Thursday September 23, 1948

Cheese Factory Burns

Brockville- Seot.23 – (CP) A Wednesday night fire virtually destroyed the 38-year-old cheese factory at the village of Philipsville, 29 miles northwest of here.  Volunteer firefighters from the village and the volunteer group from neighboring Delta, were able to do little to save the building because of lack of water. Origin of the blaze was unknown. Some equipment and all but the day’s make of cheese were removed.

 

Monday September 27, 1948

Giant Wasp’s Nest

An unusually large wasp’s nest was found by R.G. Saunders, 280 Celina Street, in a beech tree on Park Road North. The nest, mottled grey and brown in color, was pear shaped and measured 15 inches in diameter. It was turned over to Arthur Slyfield librarian of the O.C.V.I.

Around Henry House – Our Paintings in the Study

By Lisa Terech: Youth Engagement/Programs and Digitization Assistant

Throughout the summer, I have been slowly, but surely, working my way through Henry House, photographing and cataloging the artifacts on display in this heritage house.  The room being exhibited as Thomas Henry’s study was my second last room to complete, with some of my favourite artifacts on display; it is great to catalogue artifacts that you love and have great interest in.

The Henry House Study
The Henry House Study

Hanging on the walls are three pieces of artwork: portraits of Thomas Henry, Lurenda Henry, and Buena Vista.

A973.13.1 - Elder Thomas Henry
A973.13.1 – Elder Thomas Henry

Thomas and Lurenda are on opposite walls, or, as I’ll joke on tour, staring into each other’s eyes!  I love the portrait of Thomas.  He looks so stately, dignified, and, dare I say, handsome!  The portrait of Lurenda always receives strong reactions from visitors on tour.  She looks to be a very formidable woman from the image.  It was painted in Toronto by HC Meyers, and it appears to have been created based on a photograph.  When our visitors react to Lurenda, I am always careful to remind them that, firstly, it is based from a photograph, and early photograph techniques made smiling rather labour intensive.  I also remind them that Lurenda was rather sick, especially as she was older, and, last but not least, this woman was step-mother to 5 boys, who had 6 boys and 4 girls of her own!  If you had 15 children, you would look formidable as well!

70-L-140 - Lurenda Henry
70-L-140 – Lurenda Henry

I removed the portrait of Lurenda from the wall to photograph it, and when I did, I was able to get a closer look at this image that I have seen almost daily for 3 years.  I couldn’t help but notice how striking her eyes are.  Maybe it’s the work of a skilled artist, but you cannot deny there is wisdom and warmth behind those eyes.

 

Buena Vista, the Conant Homestead, by ES Shrapnel
Buena Vista, the Conant Homestead, by ES Shrapnel

The final painting we have hanging on the wall is of Buena Vista, the homestead to the Conant family.  The home was built c. 1873 by Thomas Conant, best known as the author of Life in Canada and Upper Canada Sketches, detailing the history of his family and a history of the Oshawa area.  The home was located at 1050 Simcoe Street South, the southwest corner of Wentworth and Simcoe Streets.  Premier Gordon Conant was born in this home in 1885, and Thomas Conant housed over 6,000 books in his personal library.  The house, however, was demolished in 1985 to make way for a housing complex.  The complex today is known as Conant Place.

The painting was completed by ES Shrapnel in 1899, the same artists who illustrated Thomas Conant’s Upper Canada Sketches.  Shrapnel (1847 – 1920) was born in England, and eventually settled in Canada, teaching at the Ontario Ladies’ College (Trafalgar Castle) before moving to British Columbia in the late 1880s.   While the painting is, admittedly, outside of the interpretation period of Henry House (set in the 1860s/1870s), the image is one way of honouring another prestigious home, vestiges of Oshawa’s days gone by.

 

Information from the Oshawa Community Archives, and information on Shrapnel from http://www.shrapnell.org.uk and http://www.askart.com

Musing about our Student Musings

As summer is winding down, we will shortly be saying goodbye to this year’s summer students.  Some will continue to volunteer, and others will inevitably return to visit, so it’s not a true goodbye, but we want to take this moment and thank them for all of their work this summer and sharing their thoughts about the Museum and their projects!

Shawn, Emily, and Caitlan, thank you for all of your hard work! All the best for your upcoming school year!

Awesome Students of Summer 2013!
Awesome Students of Summer 2013!

Read their past posts here:

Student Museum Musings – Caitlan

Student Museum Musings – Caitlan

Student Museum Musings – Emily

Student Museum Musings – Emily

Student Museum Musings – Shawn

Student Museum Musings – Shawn

Student Museum ‘Musings’ – Emily

Hi there, it’s Emily again, and I’ve continued the transcribing of the Thomas Henry Correspondence Collection, which I mentioned in my previous post. Through the transcribing and digitizing I have looked at numerous very interesting pieces related to Thomas Henry, and the Henry Family. But there are two pieces in particular that stand out for me within this collection. One of which is a photograph taken by E.E. Henry, the son of Elder Thomas Henry. This photograph is titled a “Spirit Picture,” and contains the image of two men and one women, one of the men however is deceased, being “[b]orn again into the spirit life, July 20th, 1825.” The second piece from this collection that is very interesting is a correspondence letter, which was written by Thomas Henry, June 10th, 1873, and addressed to E.E. Henry. This letter is especially interesting because it is Thomas Henry’s response to the Spirit Picture sent to him by his son.

A013.4.449 - Spirit Photograph
A013.4.449 – Spirit Photograph

The elder Henry’s response to his son is a very interesting read after looking at the Spirit Picture, because being a Christian Minister, one could assume that Thomas Henry has very firm beliefs in regards to the spirit word. The correspondence letter sent to E.E. is strongly worded, long, and firm, scolding his son for taking part in what Thomas believes is unsavory activities. Thomas states in his letter, “I do not dispute but what the picture has been taken. It is not of god, in my humble opinion, But of the Divil[SIC], and show very clearly to me a falling away from God, and disbelieving his word.” Thomas Henry continues through his letter to argue to his son the abomination that is the Spirit Picture sent to him, and writes of the story of King Saul, Samuel, and the Medium at Endor.

Ebenezer Elijah Henry, from the Oshawa Community Archives Collection
Ebenezer Elijah Henry, from the Oshawa Community Archives Collection

The relationship between Thomas and E.E. Henry is very fascinating because after scolding his son through this letter, and yet Thomas ends is letter by writing, “you might have taken the old prophets picture, and now I would not wonder, but what Dr. Taylor and his medium might get a picture of some of your friends if so send me one.” In another unrelated letter from this collection E.E. writes to his father, “you well know you have left me out in the cold as it were, and I have had to paddle my own canoe for myself. You have as you say in your letter helped all the rest, but me, and now you tell me that I am the favorite. Well God knows I am glad and hope it is so.” It seems to me that parental approval was one of, if not the most important aspects of life for Victorians. And that the Spirit Picture may have been a way that E.E. was seeking that approval by showing to his father his work.

 

This collection has been fascinating to go through, and has helped me understand the Henry family, and Victorians, much more than I had before by the digitizing and transcribing of these letters and pictures.

Memories of Mr. Joseph Wood

By Melissa Cole, Curator

Throughout the summer months the museum has been very busy with research and writing for our latest publication on Robinson House.  I was writing a small part about the collection and exhibits at Robinson House throughout the years and I wanted to highlight past exhibits that had been on display from 1970 to today.  Summer staff member Caitlin and myself were trying to determine what exhibitions were displayed at Robinson House so we decided to go through the old Oshawa Historical Society newsletters in the archives – we were not only successful at finding out about past exhibitions but we also found other interesting stories such as this one about the Oshawa Street Railway.   This little excerpt is from an interview with Mr. Joseph Wood that took place with Norah Herd the archivist at the Oshawa Community Archives in the 1960s.

Mr. Wood retired from the Board of Works in 1964 this interview took place after his retirement.

Before the turn of the century, Oshawa’s main streets were evil-smelling mud holes filled with water after every rain.  Simcoe and King Streets were unsafe to drive over because they were full of deep ruts.  Large stoned were used to fill them in but traffic would displace them.  Driving to the railway station from the centre of town without mishap was almost impossible.  A wagon taking a load of trunks to the station might lose one or two of them enroute. 

The Commercial Hotel, from the Oshawa Community Archives
The Commercial Hotel, from the Oshawa Community Archives

 

In 1920, the streetcars operated on Simcoe Street from Rossland Road to the Lake, and the fare was five cents.  At that time also, the Oshawa Railway tracks ran along King Street for a block each way from Simcoe Street.  The motorman would alight and switch the streetcar east on King Street and travel the one block to the Post Office where he would pick up the mail to be taken to the railway station.  This was the old Post Office at King and Wellington, which later became known as Ontario Street.  Then he would drive to the Commercial Hotel, one block west of Simcoe.  This hotel was the biggest and best one at the time.  Then the streetcar backed up to the Four Corners, switched again to Simcoe Street and then continued south the C.N.R. Station where passengers and mail were deposited, then south again to the Lake.  Quite a ride for a five cent fare.