Curator’s Corner

Gloves then and now

Submitted by JD Jeffery

I have been going through information on the many postings that are out there on the Coronavirus; government sites, business postings through the Chamber and Facebook, and news channels. It all comes down to stay home and be safe especially now that the virus has come to the valley. At the museum, we have this in mind and have closed our doors to visitors. Originally we were going to reopen April 7 but upon review, we will remain closed till things get better.

I have reflected on the past when the province, country and world have been effected by great disasters. I wanted to research in our vault to see how things were portrayed and I realized that we have information like hotel ledgers and mining records, personal experiences or life histories, and artifacts that portray life in the valley; but not disasters. We have lots of newspapers highlighting weekly and big events like the World Wars; but, reading everything takes too much time to summarize.

I was reminded that most things have either happened before I was born or have been far enough away that it was only a news broadcast. One person pointed out that polio was a major epidemic that effected many people in the generation before mine. From there I started to review how the population has grown, what people would do and what they wore.

In the early 1900’s in the valley, there were fewer people with large homesteads or ranches. People had more physical jobs and worked together in smaller numbers like 10 or less. The mines had a large number of workers but they were remotely located in the mountains. When people got together it was only a few times a year; Christmas parties, summer dances or harvest parties. At these functions or even every day, they were mostly dressed from chin to ankle to cover any skin and the ladies always had gloves on.

Now we wear vinyl gloves and wipe everything people touch. Phone or text a friend instead of meeting them and be safe. See you later at the museum.

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