July 31st, 2013
The Goulbourn Museum’s “Exceptional Women and the War of 1812″ exhibit is currently on display at the Stittsville Public Library. Read about the bravery of Laura Secord and Maria Hill and see some artefacts belonging to women of that era.
One featured artefact is an old-fashioned curling iron. This item would have been a necessity for upper class women for the purpose of finding a suitable husband and maintaining the appearance of an upper class lifestyle.
Free copies of the Museum’s new booklet “Goulbourn’s Top 12 of 1812″ are also available at our display. The booklet tells the story of 12 exceptional individuals from Goulbourn’s past and details their achievements. Characters such as Andrew Spearman, Maria Hill and John Crozier are profiled.
July 30th, 2013
By Jennifer Adams
This doll was given to a little girl as a Christmas present in 1925. Just over six decades later, in 1991, it was donated to the Goulbourn Museum and has resided in our collection ever since.
Many of you may recognize this doll from our Museum banner at City Hall. It was chosen, along with two other artefacts, to represent our family-friendly site. Even though her paint is peeling and her face is cracked and chipped, this doll’s ability to represent a much loved pastime of many little girls cannot be overlooked.
The mid-1920s in Canada was a time of great prosperity for some, but for others it was a time of poverty. Many families did not have the money to buy their children toys and some children worked so hard in the home and fields that there was not much time for playing. More often than not, if a girl did receive a doll it was on a special occasion like Christmas. Because a child would usually only receive one doll during her childhood, (if they received one at all), she would take extra special care of it. It not only had to last the rest of her childhood but there was also the hope of passing it down to her future daughter too.
This toy, known as a composition doll, reached the height of its popularity in the 1920s -1940s. The heads, and sometimes the limbs, of composition dolls were molded out of sawdust mixed with glue. Their heads were easier to manufacture and less likely to break when played with compared to porcelain dolls. Naturally, these American-made dolls gained popularity and German porcelain doll making companies lost favour.
The decades have taken their toll on this doll but like many women who can recall having a favourite doll, this one would have been loved and cherished by a little girl beginning on Christmas morning, 1925.
Question: At the height of the composition doll’s popularity, what famous person’s look-a-like doll was the most sought after?
Answer: Shirley Temple.
July 23rd, 2013
|Two of the cloth dolls on display at the Goulbourn Museum.|
By Jennifer Adams
Now on display at Goulbourn Museum until the end of August is a wonderful collection of modern made early to mid-19th century style cloth dolls. These dolls were all handmade by members of the Ottawa-based cloth doll club All Dolled Up.
Each doll takes a lot of work to make, as well as time and patience to get it just right. The fine detailing on the faces requires trial and error until the final product matches the doll maker’s vision for the doll.
This style of cloth doll is reminiscent of the toys that girls would have had in the early days of Goulbourn Township when the War of 1812 was still fresh in everyone’s mind.
Among the 12 dolls on display at the Museum there is also a horse, two dogs and a duck. Sitting atop the horse is General Brock wearing his uniform and looking very dignified. Near him are a boy and young man, wearing pioneer clothing accompanied by their dogs and the firewood they have been collecting. The display case would not be complete without the women that also played a valuable role in our nation’s history. They range from a young girl to older women, some wearing pioneer clothing, others wearing gentry clothing. These dolls are shown knitting, collecting food from the fields and doing laundry.
In addition to the Goulbourn Museum, All Dolled Up has also had their dolls on display at art galleries and local functions.
July 8th, 2013
Goulbourn Museum has been like a second home to me over the past four years. My initial involvement began as a co-op student during high school and this led to three years of volunteer service. During those three years I completed the Applied Museum Studies Program at Algonquin College and recently graduated with Honours after completing a four-month internship as Educational Programming Assistant at Goulbourn.
I was extremely pleased to be the successful candidate for the seven-week Collections Assistant position at the Museum which is being offered through the Province of Ontario’s Summer Experience Program. This position will allow me to put various elements from my last three years of learning into practice while at the same time gaining further experience in the area of Collections Management.
My main objective this summer is to assist with the organization of the Museum’s large collection of artefacts. There are a number of tasks that must be completed in order to meet this objective. These tasks include: recording artefact accession numbers and comparing these to the Museum’s collections database, photo documentation of artefacts and recording each artefact’s dimensions and location.
I am excited to be involved with this project and look forward to the upcoming weeks.