Welcome back to the March edition of 50 in 50, where we are highlighting 50 artifacts from our collection in the 50th Anniversary year of the Transcona Museum's opening. There will be one post a month until October highlighting the collection. This month all of the items highlighted come from our Archives.
Dugald Train Wreck Printing Plates
On the night of Monday, 1 September 1947 at 9:44 PM, one of the worst railway disasters in Canadian history took place in the small village of Dugald, MB. The tragedy would claim the lives of 31 people and injure another 81 victims. You can read more about the wreck on one of our other blog posts 70th Anniversary of the Dugald Train Disaster. These printing plates enable the museum to put a face to the name of the victims of the crash. According to our records, the donor received the plates from a neighbour, who may have gotten them from the Winnipeg Tribune.
Transcona News Negatives
This collection of negatives that were taken by the Transcona News during the 1960s. They feature day-to-day life in Transcona, such as car accidents, children playing, sports teams, important events, award winners, parades and more. There are over 5,500 negatives in the collection. When we received the negatives, they were stored in paper envelopes with a year and a date. We used that information to search through the Transcona newspapers, which we also have in the Archives, and were able to positively identify people, places, dates and even the issues and pages that some of the negatives appeared in the news.
Springfield- 1st Rural Municipality in Manitoba 1873 - 1973
This book can be found online here. We have this particular copy in our Archives for another reason: it belonged to John Russel Armer. He was employed with the Grand Truck Pacific Railway in 1912 and later transferred to the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway as Chief Draughtsman, Mechanical Department in Winnipeg. He would work at CNR Transcona until his retirement in 1949. Within his copy of the book are numerous notes written by Armer found throughout the book. These include numerous references to Transcona and the Springfield Area. He also placed a personal index in the back of this book with a connection to his life, the Henderson family, Transcona residents, as well as a family tree of the Gunn Family. The photograph above has notes written about Dr. Peake and a literary group that he ran out of his home.
Bank of Toronto $5 bill
This five-dollar bill was issued by the Bank of Toronto in October 1929. Banks used to be able to produce their own bills to be used as legal currency up to the end of 1944. After that date, they were withdrawn. The Bank of Toronto has been in Transcona since 1911. The Transcona Museum is currently housed in the third Bank of Toronto building in Transcona, which was built in 1925. Three years later this banknote was issued by the Bank of Toronto. Bank-issued bills can still be used today, however, they would be sent to the Bank of Canada and destroyed.
Transcona War Efforts Committee Cigarette Acknowledgment cards from Servicemen 1939-1945
During the First World War, delegates from every organization in town pulled together and formed the “Transcona War Efforts Committee.” Together, they put forward efforts to raise money for every request the government asked for, a mobile canteen, the Red Cross, the Lord Mayor of London Fund, and Victory Loans. On behalf of the Town, the Transcona War Efforts Committee sponsored the ship, the H.M.C.S. Transcona. “Tag Days” and “Whist Drives” were held to raise money in support of the war effort. The money raised was donated to the War Efforts Committee to purchase cigarettes, playing cards, magazines, clothing, and phonograph records, which were sent overseas to local men and women in the service as well as to the “adopted” crew and officers of the H.M.C.S. Transcona.
Cards and letters were kept by the War Efforts Committee and were donated to the museum in 1980.
Come back in April for Artifacts #16-20
Arnold Clearwater Fonds, Transcona Museum Archives.
"Canadian Chartered Bank Notes", Wikipedia, accessed 20 March 2018.
George E. Olive Fonds, Transcona Museum Archives.
Jim Smith Fonds, Transcona Museum Archives.
John Russel Armer Fonds, Transcona Museum Archives.