Vintage Doll Collection

They have been called “Creepy” by some, and maybe they are, but to the little girls who owned these dolls they were beautiful and loved. Some dolls in our collection date back to the early 1900’s, and despite the ravages of time, still reflect the love that they once gave to their owners. We are fortunate to have as many as we do, and in such good condition despite their age.

The dolls are located on the second floor of the museum in the Mary Hudson Room. Please come by and take a look at them.

117” Composition Doll, painted brown eyes, eyelashes, eyebrows and brown hair, open mouth with red lips showing two teeth. Flexible joints. Original clothing yellow bonnet, yellow and pink dress. mfg by Dee and Cee Company, Toronto circa 1940 (The company name comes from the initials of the two founders. Max Diamond and Morris Cone. Dee and Cee manufactured dolls in Toronto, Ontario from 1938 – 1962. They were acquired by Mattel in 1962)

Doll No 1 standing
Doll No 1 sitting










214” Composition Doll, Movable Sleep Eyes, painted brown hair, with red lips and open mouth. Flexible joints. Original clothing a “Giraffe” Sleeper and white bonnet. Mfg by Reliable Toy Co. Ltd., Toronto circa 1930-40 (The Reliable Toy Company Limited of Toronto, Canada was founded in 1920 by Solomon Frank Samuels, later joined by his brothers Alex Samuels and Ben Samuels. From 1922 until 1955 they began producing their own dolls, first made of composition, later of hard plastic and vinyl. Reliable is best known for their Canadian style Indians and Mounties dolls)

Doll No 2 standing
Doll No 2 sitting










318” Soft plastic head, hard plastic body, arms and legs. Movable blue “Sleep Eyes” painted red mouth and brown eyebrows. Synthetic short curly red hair. Flexible joints. Original clothing plaid dress and white flat shoes. Possibly a “Mary Jane” doll Mfg by Ideal Toy Company Ltd., Toronto circa 1950(Ideal Novelty and Toy Company began in 1906, by 1938 they changed the name to Ideal Toy Company. By the 1930s Ideal had created some of their best known dolls; Shirley Temple, Judy Garland and Deanna Durbin. Ideal dolls are made of wood, cloth, composition, hard plastic, vinyl and magic skin and are of very good quality.  Ideal was first in their industry to make hard plastic dolls after World War II. Not long after World War II ended (1945) new development in plastic material was introduced by doll makers as a replacement to composition. Hard plastic material is durable, could be molded, washed etc.  The Ideal company was one of the first companies to produce dolls made of plastic material beginning in 1946, soon followed by the rest of the industry)

Doll No 3 standing
Doll No 3 sitting











419” Vinyl head, hard vinyl body, arms and legs. Movable blue “Sleep Eyes” with real eyelashes, lightly painted moulded brown hair and single stroke brown eyebrows. Red lips with hole for bottle. Clothes are not original. This is a “Drink and Wet” doll parts made in Hong Kong and assembled and sold by the Ellance Doll Company Inc., Brooklyn, NY circa 1959-1964 (The Ellance Doll Company, Inc. was located in Brooklyn, New York 11211 from 1957 to 1991. They made Walking dolls, Drink N’ Wet Baby dolls, Musical dolls, New Born Baby Dolls, Cloth Rag Dolls and Novelty Dolls. Dolls were made of hard plastic or vinyl in Hong Kong or Taiwan and assembled and packaged in the U.S.A. doll marked 20F-5 or 20F-5 ELLANEE. (Our doll has 20F-5 marking)

Doll No 4 laying flat
Doll No 4 sitting











518” Composition Doll, jointed and movable head, neck, arms and legs. Movable blue “Sleep Eyes” with real eyelashes. Lightly painted moulded brown hair and red painted lips around an open mouth. Clothes appear to be original, but cannot confirm that they are. White dress with reddish patterned bonnet. Possibly a “Babykins Doll” mfg by the Reliable Toy Co., Toronto, ON circa 1941

Doll No 5 sitting
Doll No 5 outstretched











6– 19” Bisque Doll, movable head, arms and legs made of Bisque material sewn onto a stuffed cloth body which extended to the arms and legs. The head appears to be larger than the body and the eyes are large and a noticeable feature. The hair is made of a blond synthetic material. The face is painted with brown eyes and brown wispy eyebrows. The shoes appear to be original to the doll with leather soles. The dress is starting to deteriorate in a normal aging process. Doll bodies were generally a composition, a mixture of sawdust and glue, or stuffed kid leather with bisque arms.

The manufacture is unknown as this type of doll was known as a “Benton Type Doll” which originated in Germany, they were also made in France. These doll started to be made in 1885 and continued in popularity until around 1935.

Doll No 6 standing
Doll No 6 sitting










7- 24” “Baby Darling Doll” Composition head with lightly molded painted blond hair, brown sleep eyes with painted upper and lower lashes, open red painted mouth with two upper and lower teeth, cloth body some may have a tummy Mama crier, composition arms with wide spread apart fingers on hands, composition legs to above the knee, doll is unmarked. Clothing on this doll appears to be the original clothing that came on the doll. This doll was popular between 1924-1930 and manufactured by the Horseman Toy and Doll Co, New York City. (The head mold was used by other doll manufacturers as well. In 1865, Edward Imeson Horsman started a toy and doll company in New York City and became a leader in the doll industry. In the beginning, they produced the trademarked name of ‘Babyland Rag Dolls’ an all cloth doll, a variety of Mama and Baby composition dolls wearing painted or molded hair, wigs, and sleepy (painted) eyes. From 1909 the toy firm used a new production process to make the ‘Can’t break Em’ dolls. In the 1930s Horsman bought the Louis Amberg & Son doll company which was their competitor at the time and continued to make some of their dolls, notably the Vanta Baby.In October 1933 Horsman was purchased and became a subsidiary of the Regal Doll Manufacturing Company. By the 1980’s the Horsman name was sold to an Asian company and produced dolls under the name ‘Horsman Ltd.’.)

Doll No 7 sitting
Doll No 7 laying flat










8– 17” This doll has a soft rubber head with synthetic short blonde hair, sleep eyes with upper lashes, but no brows; open mouth and no teeth. Cloth body with cloth upper arms and upper legs. Lower arms and legs which are bent, are made of same soft rubber as head. Clothing on the doll appears to be original to the doll. Circa 1960-1970 and manufactured by The Star Doll Manufacturing Company of Toronto, ON ( the company was founded in Ontario in 1952. the company was taken over by The Good Time Toy Company in 1970. They used the Star doll molds so without packaging it would be hard to date dolls from this period. The company ceased to exist in 1977.)

Doll No 8 sitting
Doll No 8 laying flat










917” This doll is made of molded soft rubber, no movable joints; stitched short blonde synthetic hair; sleep eyes which look to the side, upper lashes and painted side lashes and brows; closed mouth with a smile. Cloth shoes with leather soles appear to be original, but the clothes are not. “Reliable” is engraved on upper back.(The Reliable Toy Company Limited of Toronto, Canada was founded in 1920 by Solomon Frank Samuels, later joined by his brothers Alex Samuels and Ben Samuels. From 1922 until 1955 they began producing their own dolls, first made of composition, later of hard plastic and vinyl. Reliable is best known for their Canadian style Indians and Mounties dolls)

Doll No 9 laying flat
Doll No 9 Standing










1016 1/2” This doll has a soft vinyl/plastic head with stitched long black synthetic hair; painted blue eyes, upper lashes and brows. Body is hard plastic with jointed shoulders and hips. “Reliable Canada” is stamped on upper body back. circa 1950’s-60’s Made by the Reliable Toy Company Ltd., Toronto, ON

Doll No 10 standing hat on
Doll No 10 standing hat off












11 – 19” This doll is made entirely of soft resilient vinyl plastic, with flexible arms and legs but not jointed. Sleep eyes with painted brows; stitched long, curly blonde hair; detailed hands with dimples and molded finger joints; dimpled elbows and knees. Possibly a Reliable Sally Ann Doll circa 1950s. Note perfect detail in fingers, knuckles, dimples, etc., washable, practically unbreakable, won’t crack, peel or chip.” Her body will bend, but is not jointed, but her head can move from side to side. The clothes are original to the doll. Unable to determine who manufactured this doll.

Doll No 11 sitting
Doll No 11 laying flat










12 – 24” All Plastic/vinyl head and body. Sleep eyes and very thin, faded brows. Thick, molded, wavy, blonde hair, painted red lips and slightly opened mouth. Dis-proportionately large head turns from side to side; flexible arms and legs are not jointed. Clothes are not original to the doll. (Possibly: 1950’s “Ideal” type…..similar to the “1952 Ideal Hugee Girl doll”, manufactured by the Ideal Toy Company. (Ideal Toy Company originally produced teddy bears, they were first in their industry to make hard plastic dolls after World War II. Ideal’s dolls are made of wood, cloth, composition, rubber like magic skin, hard plastic and vinyl and are considered to be of very good quality. Ideal Toy Company was acquired by the CBS Toy Company in 1982, which later went out of business.)

Doll No 12 sitting
Doll No 12 laying flat










13-23” Bisque or composition-type head, shoulders, lower arms and hands. The rest of the body including the legs and feet are cloth. Head has molded, painted hair, sleep eyes with upper lashes, painted brows and lashes, open mouth showing two upper teeth. The bodies were generally a composition, a mixture of sawdust and glue. Very likely a “Horsman-type Doll” circa early 1900’s. Clothes are not original. Manufactured by the Horseman Toy and Doll Co, New York City. (The head mold was used by other doll manufacturers as well. In 1865, Edward Imeson Horsman started a toy and doll company in New York City and became a leader in the doll industry. In the beginning, they produced the trademarked name of ‘Babyland Rag Dolls’ an all cloth doll, a variety of Mama and Baby composition dolls wearing painted or molded hair, wigs, and sleepy (painted) eyes. From 1909 the toy firm used a new production process to make the ‘Can’t break Em’ dolls. In the 1930s Horsman bought the Louis Amberg & Son doll company which was their competitor at the time and continued to make some of their dolls, notably the Vanta Baby.In October 1933 Horsman was purchased and became a subsidiary of the Regal Doll Manufacturing Company. By the 1980’s the Horsman name was sold to an Asian company and produced dolls under the name ‘Horsman Ltd.’.)

Doll No 13 sitting


Doll No 13 laying flat









We are showing the following two pictures to give you an idea of the make up of this doll. Stuffed body and legs. Head and hands attached











14–16” Rubber/vinyl head and body with flexible arms and legs but not jointed. Head has sleep eyes with painted brows, sewn curly, short blonde hair, closed mouth. Dimpled toes and open fingers. Makes a squeak when the stomach is pushed. Clothes are original to the doll. This appears to be a “Generic Doll” massed produced as we are unable to determine any manufacturer.

Doll No 14 laying flat
Doll No 14 sitting











15- 10” Composite doll, flexible arms and legs. Considered a baby doll because of its size and facial expression. Painted face and hair. Blue eyes and red lips. Made by Reliable Toy Co. Toronto, markings on the back of the neck. Doll circa 1940’s (The Reliable Toy Company Limited of Toronto, Canada was founded in 1920 by Solomon Frank Samuels, later joined by his brothers Alex Samuels and Ben Samuels. From 1922 until 1955 they began producing their own dolls, first made of composition, later of hard plastic and vinyl. Reliable is best known for their Canadian style Indians and Mounties dolls)

Doll No 15
Doll No 15












16- 10” Composite doll, flexible arms and legs. Considered a baby doll because of its size and facial expression. Painted face and hair. Blue eyes and red lips with an open mouth showing two teeth. Almost identical to the Reliable Doll #15 in our collection, although no manufacture is specified. Circa 1940’s

Doll No 16
Doll No 16











17 19Soft rubber face, hard plastic body. Doll has sleep eyes, long blond hair and clothing is original. Flexible arm and hip joints, but no knee joint, so doll is meant to stand. We thought that this would be an easy doll to identify, but it proved other wise. There are no manufacture’s markings on the body. Possibly the doll is circa 1970’s

Doll No 17 standing
Doll No 17 sitting











18 – 21” Imitation” Nurser Doll, hard plastic body with rubber head. Sleep eyes with lashes, painted brow, molded brown hair. Open red lips with hole for a bottle. Movable leg and shoulder joints; head turns side to side. Open fingers with molded unpainted nails and joints; open toes with molded unpainted nails. Wearing a pink sleeper under a knitted pink and white sweater with matching bonnet and booties, clothes are not original to the doll. Similar to 1950’s era “Madame Alexander Kathy Baby Doll. The manufacturer is unknown

Doll No 18 sitting
Doll No 18 laying flat










19- 18” Eaton’s Beauty Doll, Made by Armande Marseille of Germany, 390 A. 2 ½ M marked on back of bisque head. Honey blonde mohair wig, feathered brows, blue sleep eyes with real lashes, sleep eyes, open mouth with four upper teeth. Ball-jointed, composition body, with red “Eaton’s Beauty” label on the one-piece underwear beneath a cream coloured chiffon-like dress with pink silk vest. White socks and leather-like ankle boots. Clothes appear to be original to the doll. Circa early 1900’s; in original Eaton’s box.

Doll No 19 standing
Doll No 19 laying flat











20 – 22” Shirley Temple Doll. Made in Canada by Reliable Toy Co. Ltd., Toronto, Ontario. 1934 – 1936. All composition body, jointed hips, shoulders, and neck, composition head with dimples; sleep eyes, lashes, painted brows and lower lashes; blond mohair wig; open mouth showing teeth. Wearing a white dress with blue polka dots and blue ribbon belt; white socks and shoes. In original box. Clothes are original along with the Shirley Temple” Button


Doll No 20 laying flat
Doll No 20- Shirley Temple button on doll











21- 16” Souvenir type doll Hard plastic head with long, dark brown wig, glass brown eyes, lashes and brows, closed mouth. (One eye has actual lashes!) Cloth, stuffed body, arms and legs with hard plastic hands and feet. Cream coloured, long-sleeve dress with matching pantaloons, no socks or shoes. Clothes appear to be original to the doll. Manufacturer and estimated date unknown.

Doll No 21 laying flat
Doll No 21 standing











22 – 15” Souvenir type doll Hard plastic head with long, blonde wig, painted blue eyes, lashes and brows, closed mouth. Cloth, stuffed body, arms and legs with hard plastic hands and feet. Flowered, long sleeve dress with white pantaloons, white socks and white leather-type ankle shoes. Clothes appear to be original to the doll.15 inches tall. Manufacturer and estimated date unknown.

Doll No 22 sitting
Doll No 22 standing











23- 15” Souvenir type doll Hard plastic head with long, blonde wig, painted blue eyes, lashes and brows, closed mouth. Cloth, stuffed body, arms and legs with hard plastic hands and feet. Green, cotton velveteen, long sleeve dress with red tartan trim; white pantaloons, stockings and leather-type ankle boots. Clothes appear to be original to the doll. Manufacturer and estimated date unknown. Since Velcro was used on the dress est date of manufacture would be after 1955.

Doll No 23 sitting
Doll No 23 standing











We hope you enjoyed looking over our doll collection, please visit us at the museum to see these dolls.



Wagon Wheel Tire Shrinker

The Tire Shrinker – Also known as an upsetter, was used to resize and weld buggy tires. When the hub and or spokes dried out from age and dry weather the outer band of iron called the tire would become loose. The tire could be heated and placed in this machine and then upset or squeezed leaving a bulge which was hammered flat and trimmed at the edges. The created a tire that was of a smaller circumference.

Repairing both wagon & buggy wheels and the shrinking & refitting of the tires was a common occurrence. Through natural wear the fellows (wooden piece(s) directly under the tire) of the wheel would wear and the tire would loosen which relaxed the “dish” in the spokes. If not repaired the wheel would shell out the spokes when a turn was made too fast with it. The spoked wheel is only strong if there is a dish toward the outside. This way when side pressure is applied to it during a turn a tight tire will prevent the spokes from bending sideways. Once the dish is lost, there is nothing to prevent this. A temporary cure that was often used was to soak the wheel(s) to make the wooden spokes & fellows swell and thus tightening the tire. This would eventually add to the wear of the fellows and loosen the tire even more. You can see old wagon tires that have been shrunken as they will have thicker spots where this was done. On a small wheel the circumference should be approx. 1/2″ less in the tire than wheel. For a tall wagon wheel the difference would be more. (Sometimes you would have to use the tire shrinker more than once to get the circumference that you needed.)

The shrunken tire was refit while hot. Simply heat the tire in a normal wood fire until when tapped with a hammer there was no more ring to the iron. It was then as large as it will get. You don’t want to fit the tire any hotter than necessary as it will want to burn the fellows. As soon as possible after getting the tire in place you would want to pour water over it to prevent damages to the fellows. (You can see the dish appear in the wheel as the tire cools.)

You can view this artifact when you visit our museum in the Old Blacksmith’s Shop

Wagon Wheel Tire Shrinker


The Livingston Pneumatic Vacuum Sweeper

What is bigger than a breadbox and weighs 14 pounds? If you guessed a Pneumatic Vacuum Sweeper you were correct. It measures 17” long x 13” wide and 8” high and is a beast to push across any carpet. Was it revolutionary? Perhaps but only for a short while until with the coming of electricity the electric vacuum cleaner was invented.

We searched to try and find some information on “Livingston” the manufacture of this unit but could find nothing. All we know is what is printed on the case of the unit:

Livingston Pneumatic Vacuum Sweeper, Ball Bearing No. 6, Patented June 2, 1914”.

Could it be that the outbreak of World War 1 put an abrupt stop to their manufacture, or was it just that they were big and didn’t do a much better job than a carpet sweeper.

We did come across two ads for other units, so there must have been some interest in this type of cleaner.

Pneuvac Co., Chicago, IL (photo #1)
Duntley Sweeper Boston, MA (photo #2)












It is a combination carpet sweeper, with its’ own dirt catcher on the bottom, and a vacuum powered by 3 bellows that were chain driven by the back wheels as it was pushed. The vacuum part had a separate dirt catcher that was accessed by removing the front of the unit, and then tipping it up to shake out the dirt etc. Not a very convenient way of emptying it. We suspect that the carpet sweeper picked up as much as the “Vacuum Sweeper” part did.

If you are interested in this machine it can be seen on the second floor of our museum in the “Pioneer Room”


Livingston No.6 (photo #3)


A look at the bottom with the carpet sweeper in the center. The chain from the back wheels drives the billows (photo #4)
The three billows driven by the back wheels (photo #5)










The opening in the front for vacuumed dirt. Emptied by taking off the front plate and tipping the unit up and shaking (photo #6)
The front plate, a solid one piece of wood with a metal covered opening on the bottom to run across the floor (photo #7)











The back of the front plate with an opening into the catch box of the unit for dirt. the opening was carved through this solid piece of wood. (photo #8)




The Bissell Carpet Sweeper

Another look inside the museum at our collection-

The Bissell Carpet Sweeper

History of the Bissell Carpet Sweeper

A Simple Start: Spilled Sawdust…Anna and Melville’s Crockery Shop

Like a lot of well intentioned people who plan on having a relaxing Saturday, we didn’t really mean to start cleaning—it just happened. In 1876, Melville R. Bissell and his wife, Anna, were running a small crockery shop in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Sick of constantly cleaning sawdust off the shop’s carpet, Melville invented and patented a one-of-a-kind sweeper. It didn’t take long for friends and customers at the shop to ask about buying the sweeper, and when they did, a new business was born


Advertisement for Bissell c1905

A Woman’s World: America’s First Female CEO

When Melville passed away in 1889, there was no question who would take the reigns at BISSELL®. Anna stepped in, making her the first female CEO in America. Anna aggressively defended the company’s patents while also marketing sweepers across North America and Europe. It didn’t take long for BISSELL® to get its first famous fan, Queen Victoria, who insisted her palace be “Bisselled” every week. We like to think the palace attendants were also fans, loving the free time they had thanks to how easy the BISSELL sweeper made cleaning up royal messes.(Wikipedia)


Bissell’s “Prize” Carpet Sweeper c 1915


Heritage Place museum’s Collection – The Bissell “Prize” Carpet Sweeper
Bissell’s “Parlor Queen” with “CYCO” ball bearings. Pat 1908
Bissell’s “Palor Queen” Carpet Sweeper. Made in Michigan last patent date 1908








Patent’s as noted on the bottom of the carpet sweeper.

You can see these artifacts in the Pioneer Room on the second floor


Advertisement c1905


Bissell’s Price $2.50 to $4.00



Bissell’s- “We Sweep the World”

Roller Skates

As I sat down to write about the history of roller skates, I thought it would be an easy task. Not so! For something as simple as a roller skate that I had so much fun on as a kid my internet search provided no results except the following very dry information from the New York Times:

The first modern two-by-two roller skates were patented in 1863 by James L. Plimpton, a New York City furniture dealer. Instead of being attached directly to the sole of the skate, the wheel assembly was fastened to a pivot and had a rubber cushion, which allowed the skater to curve by shifting his weight. A modification in 1866 added leather straps and metal side braces. “At last a roller skater could move around the floor as if he were on ice,” Mr. Turner wrote.”

This description would not suffice as it failed to detail the happiness, pleasure and bruised knees that a pair of roller skates could bring.

I grew up in a city, with lots of sidewalks and streets on which to use my skates. I was perhaps around 8 or 9 when I, along with every other kid on my block received a pair of brand new roller skates from Santa.

Now the good thing about living in certain cities is the lack of snow in the winter, so I was able to attempt using my new skates without a long wait until spring. It looked so easy, but alas it was not. Time was required to strap and fit them onto your shoes. Sneakers, I found out, wouldn’t work as well as a pair of good old ‘Buster Brown’ hard sole leather shoes.


Skate Key

The skate key was without a doubt one of the most important parts of the roller skate, for without it, all you could do was to look down at a pair of very useless new shiny skates. The key helped to adjust the length of the skate to fit your shoe, and once on your feet would work well to adjust the front clamps to fit snugly around the toe of your shoes. The back leather straps were fairly easy to put on and tighten to the desired fit.



Once the desired fit was obtained then you were ready to take off and skate with your friends, well almost. Maybe not as easy as it looked.

It’s like your first time on ice skates. Your balance is off and your feet want to fly out from under you. You couldn’t ask for help, because what 9 year old boy needs help, or would ever admit to wanting help.

I finally managed to get the hang of skating and was fairly steady on my feet and able to manage to skate a fair distance, that is, until I met my demise…the sidewalk crack!

Those cracks between the large concrete sidewalk slabs were as wide and deep as the Grand Canyon. Yes there were many that were small, narrow and fairly visible, but then there were the big ones! And on my first attempt, down I went, hurting both my knees, out stretched hands, and mostly my pride. Others too, would fall as they attempted to make it across this divide, only to be looked at and laughed at by those who mastered the crossing.

I never really became a great roller skater as so many others did. In time many of us who were unable to master the art of roller skating decided to take our skates apart and make box scooters out of them. Now this was the best part of my roller skating days. All you needed was an old orange crate or another wooden box left out behind the local grocery store, a hammer, some nails and a few other additional pieces of wood. The skate key was used to take apart one skate. The front part of the skate was nailed to the front of your board, and the back part of the skate t the back of the board.

This was something that I could finally master along with the other kids who were not great roller skaters. As a group, we would cruise the sidewalks and streets on our homemade box scooters. A new form of freedom was found.

Building a Box Scooter

Years later I went to a roller rink which had form-fitting shoes with the rollers attached, but unfortunately my attempts at this were no better than my old fashion metal skates. The worst part of a Roller Rink, was that falling down was witnessed by all around you as you sat there embarrassed, trying to figure how to exit the rink gracefully.

And that’s my story of “Roller Skates”. If you have your own experiences, please share them with us. If you want to look at an old pair of Roller Skates and reminisce, visit us at the museum.








Eatonia, sold by T. Eaton Company















Signature Quilt of 1926

The 1926 Lyn Signature Quilt

For some reason in the spring of 1926, the Lyn Women’s Institute undertook to make a signature quiltto be sold that autumn at their annual bazaar. Funds generated by such an enterprise were used for a variety of community works, and perhaps a special need was felt to supplement improvements rendered to the Lyn Cemetery. In any event, each signature or inscription was sold for 25¢ and a half dozen quilters of the Institute coordinated by Mary Shipman to maintain a consistency of embroidery, accommodated the requests as received.

The quilt itself measuring 5’9” x 7’4”, was prepared from 10” square blocks of bleached cotton and backing of the same all enclosed by a simple band, hand sewn half inch hem. The batting is most likely cotton rather than wool because the quilt has withstood many washings without any puckering. The actual quilting, i.e. the tieing together of the face, batt and back of the quilt, was achieved by use of a simple windmill fan pattern inscribed in 13 horizontal rows including diagonal rows set at 45°. The outline of each fan as well as each inscription was embroidered on each quilt block before assembly of the whole. The outline of each fan was then quilted in white thread by hand. Although the quilt containing 504 inscriptions from 111 complete fans and 30 fan fragments along its borders, represents $126.00 income by subscription. From two inscriptions, it would appear that quilting occurred during May and June 1926. One corner inscription commemorates the “Brockville Old Boys Re-Union” of 1926, whereas another was contributed anonymously as “A Friend”.

Name Identification is on the following pages

The Inscriptions were listed in sequence as they appear on the quilt proceeding row by row and taking names in each fan in clockwise fashion. Any identifying details provided to the right of the inscription have been noted. (Families Magazine Vol.22 No 4. 1983 written by G.A.Neville)

Page 1

page 2

page 3

page 4
page 5

page 6


Page 7

Page 8

Page 9

Page 10


Edison’s 80 rpm Records



Early Edison Record with a stamped Label

Edison Disk Records

They’re rare, but they’re not exactly in demand. You rarely see them, and, when you do, you’re more likely to remark upon their size (“Oh, my goodness. That record must be a quarter of an inch thick!”) than you are their contents (“Oh, cool! Vernon Dalmart’s ‘The Wreck on the Southern Old 97.’”) These records are actually 1/4 inch thick.

We are fortunate to have five of these early Edison Recordings in our collection, four of them prior to 1921 with the stamped label in the centre.

Record 1

side A Brighten The Corner Where You Are by Chas. H. Gabreli no:8054L

Side B A Mighty Fortress is Our God by The Calvary Choir no:80504R

Record 2

Side A Rocked in the Cradle of the Deep by J.P. Knight basso and choir with orchestra Frank Croxton no 80072L

Side B The Bloom is on the Rye by Henry R. Bishop, Tenor and Baritone with orchestra John Young and Frederick J. Wheeler

Record 3

Side A Old Folks at Home by Sigmond G. Foster

Side B Annie Laurie by Anna Case

Record 4

Side A Jesus Lover of my Soul – mixed voices with orchestra Metroplitian Quartet

Side B The Glory Song – Tenor and Baritone with orchestra John Young and Frederick J. Wheeler

Record 5 Paper Label produced after 1921

Side A Not Half Has Ever Been Told- mixed voices with orchestra Metroplitian Quartet no. 80703L

Side B Oh Day Of Rest and Gladness mixed voices with orchestra Metroplitian Quartet no. 80703R

On the Left an Edison 1/4″ thick record, on the right a normal 78 rpm Record

Edison discs were, as their name suggests, the brainchild of Thomas Edison.

The early cylinders were great, because they gave everyone a place to start. But when the rest of the world raced off with 78s, shellac and steel needles, Edison put his faith in the fat, flat cakes that bear his name, revolve at roughly 80 RPM and are made of condensite that’s been sprayed onto a celluloid base and bonded to a wood-flour core. And they can — or, at least, should — only be played with a diamond needle, affixed to an Edison player.
In terms of quality, durability and fidelity, Edison discs were so superior to other companies’ 78s that it wasn’t even funny. But they said that about Betamax tapes, too.

Edison released his first discs in 1912, although his personal preference appears to have been for cylinders. They were cheaper to produce, after all. But Emile Berliner’s discs had been devouring an ever-larger part of the market for pre-recorded music for more than a decade, and Edison could see the way the wind was blowing.

The first Edison discs — indeed, the first 10 years’ worth of Edison discs — rate among the most distinctive-looking discs ever produced for the mass market, because, unless you look carefully, they are utterly undistinctive. Black discs, black moulded labels. Even with all the advantages of modern lighting, it’s difficult to make out what you’re about to listen to. Early on, gray highlighting was added to the lettering on the disc, but it was dropped because of the cost. It was 1921 before Edison approved paper labels for his discs, and even then there were troubles, such as his apparent reluctance to use glue to affix them to the discs.

According to the most complete modern catalogues, there were more than 26,000 releases on the label between Edison Records’ birth in 1912 and its closure in 1929.

A company catalogue published in 1924, that’s 495 pages filled with tiny type that lists releases by artist name, song title and musical style. And they are distinguished (at least according to that same worthy tome) from talking-machine records because “they are true representations of vocal and instrumental music as produced by living artists. They are not mere shadows. They are the very substance of the living music, alive with all the emotions of the living artist. They are produced through a medium, not by it.”

An Edison Recording with a paper label produced after 1921

Myriad artists recorded for Edison. Early country connoisseurs do seek out the aforementioned Vernon Dalmart. But the Edison catalogue offered up a variety of artists, including vaudevillians John Orren and Lillian Drew; Hawaiian guitarists Helen Louise and Frank Ferrera; comedians Billy Golden and James Marlowe; soprano Rachael Grant; pianist Carlos Valderrama; the Jazzarimba Orchestra and the Green Brothers Novelty Band; Van Avery, “the Original Rastus;” Gilbert Girard with his animal impressions; and The Three Vagrants.

There is no way of knowing how many Edison discs exist today, let alone if the titles that are to be noted online, selling on eBay or safely reposing in an archive some place, represent the mere tip of an iceberg of extant copies, or the last bold survivors of a long-exterminated pressing run. In terms of musical impact, perhaps it doesn’t matter whether there’s just one copy of the New York Military Band’s “American Eagle March” out there or a thousand, so long as that one has been digitized for posterity, so no one can accuse us of being cavalier with our heritage and so it will always be there should someone need to hear it.

That’s not the point, but it’s better than nothing. Collectors of 78 RPM and related fields of records endeavour to create and maintain censuses noting everything from the estimated number of copies that are “out there,” to sad lists of the records that are known to have existed once, but which have yet to be rediscovered. Blues collectors are especially punctilious in that respect; Edison collectors, not so much.

A number of what would have been termed “hot” titles did appear; the catalogue notes such early pioneers as the Frisco Jass Band, Red Nichols, Red & Miff’s Stompers, Chas. Matson’s Creole Serenaders, Clarence Williams and Eva Taylor, the Five Harmaniacs, Viola McCoy, Fletcher Henderson and Josie Miles. In fact, if you really want to get archaeological about it, the very first recorded mention of the word “jazz” came courtesy of an Edison disc, a 1916 effort by baritone Arthur F. Collins and tenor Byron G. Harlan, “That Funny Jas Band From Dixieland.”

For the most part, however, Edison’s A&R department targeted its output at an audience that appreciated waltzes and foxtrots, accordion music and polkas. The Russian pianist and composer Sergei Rachmaninov was an admirer of Edison, and he recorded many sides for his label. Other classical bodies followed him, for they agreed with Edison’s own determination that the Edison disc was a sonic step above anything available on cheaper or more popular record labels, which might be why the entire edifice came crumbling down in 1929.

As other technologies advanced, Edison’s remained the same. He pioneered what, by the day’s standards, were long-playing discs, but he refused to either share his technology with other manufacturers or adapt his own so that Edison discs could be played on other gramophones. As other companies’ prices came down, Edison’s went up.

As recording techniques improved, Edison’s stayed the same. Add to that the fact that the inventor was more or less deaf as a post, and you can feel the frustration in his son Theodore’s oft-quoted recollection of old Thomas listening to competitors’ records with the volume turned up full, and the speaker rattling with distortion: “He became so deaf that he couldn’t hear that good electrical reproduction was possible.”

It was 1929 before Edison finally agreed to make “compatible” records, by which time he had already decided to get out of the record business. The last Edison discs were produced at the end of that same year, by which time the company’s market share had shrunk to a fraction of what it had once been. (information taken from various sources)


The paper Label of an Edison record produced between 1921 and 1929











Frozen Charlotte Doll

Frozen Charlotte Dolls

Frozen Charlotte is a name used to describe a specific form of China Doll made from c. 1850 to c. 1920. The dolls had substantial popularity during the Victorian Era. The name of the doll originates from the American Folk Ballad, Fair Charlotte, based on the poem “A Corpse Going to a Ball” by Seba Smith, which tells of a young girl called Charlotte who refused to wrap up warmly to go on a sleigh ride because she did not want to cover up her pretty dress; she froze to death during the journey.

The Frozen Charlotte doll is made in the form of a standing, naked figure moulded as a solid piece. The dolls are also sometimes described as pillar dolls, solid chinas or bathing babies. The dolls ranged in size from under an inch to 18 inches plus. The smallest dolls were sometimes used as charms in Christmas Puddings. Smaller sizes were very popular for putting in Doll Houses.

Frozen Charlotte dolls were popular during the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the United States. Smaller versions of the dolls were also known as penny dolls, because they were often sold for a cent. Most were made in Germany. (Wikepedia)


The Log Canoe

This canoe was made from a solid white cedar log by Indians from the Devil Lake area near Westport, Ontario.

It was made by placing hot stones on the log which turned the wood into charcoal. It was then scraped out and more hot stones added until the desired shape and size was achieved. The outside was then shaped by hewing and scraping until it was shaped like a canoe.

It was purchased from the Indians by Matt Wilson’s grandfather in the late 1800’s and used by the family in many area lakes for fishing and trapping. It was passed down through the family and when Matt Wilson moved to Lyn in 1940, he brought it with him and used it to trap muskrats on the Lyn Pond.

It was stored in a barn behind the museum for about 40 years and was donated to the Museum by Matt’s son, Brent, in 2003.

The wood has been carbon-dated and is approximately 285 years old, which would place it as being made in the early 1700’s


The Grandfather Clock

Grandfather clockalso called longcase clock, tall pendulum clock enclosed in a wooden case that stands upon the floor and is typically 1.8 to 2.3 metres (6 to 7.5 feet) in height. The name grandfather clock was adopted after the song “Grandfather’s Clock,” written in 1876 by Henry Clay Work, became popular. The first grandfather clocks featured a Classical architectural appearance, but a variety of styles have enjoyed popularity over the years. One form of early pendulum clock was wall-mounted but, because of its heavy lead weights, probably difficult to secure. It is believed that the grandfather clock was developed to support these heavier clock mechanisms. (Encyclopedia Britannica)

The history of our clock is somewhat interesting:

This Grandfather Clock was built by Brockville resident John Oscar Adams Fenton (1856-1949) in 1930. He built it for his second cousin Dorothy Hayes Fenton as a gift for her 16th Birthday. The wooden case of the clock was built from old wooden church pews and church organ parts.

Because of the Great Depression, money was in short supply, thus the works and Westminster Chimes were installed later in 1937. The works and chimes were supplied by local jeweller, Allan Hayes.

The Grandfather Clock was donated to the Heritage Place Museum in 2017 by Donald Ruston UE, son of Dorothy (Fenton) Ruston.






Fragonard Perfumes

Box Set of Three Feminine Fragonard Fragrances

Fragonard Perfumes

The beginnings of the historic ‘Fragonard Parfumeur’ began in Grasse, France shortly before the First World War. By the 17th century, Grasse was the capital of perfume production with its ideal climate for the cultivation of roses, jasmine and other essential flowers that were used to make attractive fragrances. More importantly to the development of the Fragonard Perfumery, Grasse and it’s French Rivera charm, was becoming a popular destination for tourists. Entrepreneur and a perfume aficionado, Eugène Fuchs, opened his own perfumery in 1926 based on the idea of selling fragrance directly to the tourists. He named it in homage to the renowned 18th century French romantic painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806); a fitting tribute to the son of a master glove maker and perfumer who was born in Grasse, the city Fuchs also hoped to commemorate for its refinement of arts.


Zizanie, Moment Volé and Belle de Nuit fragrances – names of the original fragrances were inspired by their namesake’s paintings, such as Moment Volé and Belle de Nuit

Fuchs’ spirit and enthusiasm behind the success of his perfumery has grown under the help of four succeeding generations who have all contributed to Fuchs’ passion and design. For example, under the direction of Fuchs’ grandson Jean-François Costa, Fragonard went through a rapid expansion and modernization. Additionally, in 1978, Costa opened the Musée des Parfums, located on the top floor of the original perfume factory in Grasse that celebrates the role of perfume production in the culture and history of Grasse.  The museum is open to this day.  Currently, Fragonard is run by Costa’s three daughters; they have opened additional production in Eze and Paris, as well as greatly expanded the retail line in not only selling fragrances and perfumes, but also eaux de toilettes, cosmetic products, soaps, shower gels, old-fashioned bath salts, scented candles and home fragrance diffusers.


Northern Electric Company Limited Wooden Telephone Box

Northern Electric Company Limited Wooden Telephone Box

The Northern Electric Company, established in the late 1800s, was a revolutionary enterprise that pioneered Canada’s telecommunications production and innovation. Founded in Montreal, Quebec (later expanding to other locations, such as Bellville, Ontario), Northern Electric went through a historic evolution from a small Canadian telephone equipment supplier to the architect of a budding world of networks. Under a few different company names (i.e. Northern Electric,  Northern Telecom Limited, Nortel) numerous products, such as radios, televisions, amplifiers, speakers, switchboards, and telephones were manufactured and sold on a massive scale.

Sketch of a Wooden Coffin Shaped Telephone

Wooden wall phones were one of the first telephone models available to the public and had a long lifespan in rural Canadian households. For example, the long and bulky coffin shaped wooden wall mounted telephone box was one the first telephones put into wide circulation. The three-box telephone was another popular wooden model that did not house the phones features in a large coffin shaped box, but rather in 3 separate wooden boxes. Both these local battery powered magneto phones were manufactured until the early 1960s, and remained in service well into the 1970s despite the evolution of household telephones.

Our collection houses a Northern Electric Company Limited wooden telephone box that I speculate to be the top or upper box of a three-box wall mounted telephone. This upper box would contain the magneto or electric generator that produces the electricity required to ring the bells of the party being called. The middle box would contain the phone’s transmitter, and the bottom box would contain the batteries that would have powered the phone and a protruding flat or inclined horizontal surface that would allow for the jotting down of notes while using the telephone.

Northern Electric Company Limited Wooden Telephone Box

Curling Irons /Curling Tongs

Curling Irons /Curling Tongs

Curling irons or curling tongs are far from being a modern invention. In fact, these hairstyling tools have been around for centuries and were used by early Babylonian, Assyrian, Persian, Greek and Egyptian civilizations. Often used to signify wealth and beauty, Persian and Greek nobles used iron or bronze rods, that were heated over a fire, to produce impressive hairstyles, and for Egyptian nobles, stylish wigs. Even Babylonian and Assyrian men crimped and curled their beards with basic curling irons.

Curling Tong – Circa 1920s

Sir Hiram Maxim, a US-born citizen of England, who gained hundreds of patents for various military, household, health, and beauty industry inventions (i.e. the maxim machine gun, a light bulb, an asthma inhaler, and a mousetrap) is accredited with patenting one of the earliest  curling iron designs in 1866. By 1921, many more patents were materializing.

Frenchman Marcel Grateau is acknowledged as the official inventor of the curling tong. In 1872, Grateau revolutionized hair styling when he invented the “Marcel Wave” as alternative hairstyle to the long curls that were in trend at the time.

The curling tong he invented, and used to create the “Marcel Wave,” still closely resembled the curling irons used by ancient civilizations. Over time, only the handles of curling tongs and the size of the metal barrel varied from one tool to another;  handles would often be made of different types of wood, or more expensive models would have  nickel-plated handles and floral embellishments. However, curling tongs were still designed with metal barrels that needed to heated over gas burners. Many accidents resulting in burnt or damaged hair occurred as the heat of the metal tongs was difficult to control, even in the hands of trained operators. A problem which was solved with the invention of an electric curling iron, which was easier to control the apperatus’s temperature and therefore safer to operate.

Curling Tongs with Wooden Handles And a Small Barrel -Circa 1920
Retrieved From Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia,”Edna Fearon Models the Marcel Wave,” (accessed March 09, 2017)








Washing Machines and Washboards

One of The Many Washboards in The Collection. “Economy Glass” Washboard Manufactured by the Canadian Woodenware Mfg. Company of St. Thomas Circa The 1920’s

Washing Machines 


Prior to the 1800’s, the idea of powered washing machine was just beginning to come to fruition. That being said, the “scrub board” or “washboard” has arguably been around for ages. The traditional washboard were made out of a rectangular piece of wood that had a series of ridges for the clothing to be rubbed upon. Whereas, later washboards still had a wooden fame, but its ridges were made out of metal. Yet, rubbing, wringing, and lifting water-laden clothes and linen was a daunting and time consuming task. To ease this chore, numerous washing machines models were being patented during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

For instance, New Yorkers Amos Larcom and Nicholas Bennett and Canadian John E. Turnbull are just a few of the long list of names associated with the development of the washing machine in the early 1800’s and onwards. In 1858, William Blackstone of Indiana built a washing machine for his wife that was the first official washing machine model made for convenient use at home to remove dirt and stains. In 1907, the Hurley Electric Laundry Equipment Company out of Chicago invented the “Thor” washing machine which was the first commercially sold electric-powered model with a galvanized tub and an electric motor.


We house three washing machines in our collection:



A hand crank washing machine manufactured by the Boss Washing Machine Company out of Norwood, Ohio. Run by the companies president Conrad Dietz, they produced and developed models from hand-operated wooden machines to electric-motorized metal washers.

A wooden Dolly Washer that was water powered. While we do not know what company manufactured this model, we do know that it was patented in 1916.

Lastly, a wooden hand operated model manufactured, circa 1908, by the Michigan Washing Machine Company out of Muskegon, Mi.



Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Camera

Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Model

Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Camera 

The Kodak Brownie Hawkeye camera was one of the many Kodak ‘Brownie’ cameras that Eastman Kodak (Rochester, NY) manufactured between the 1900’s and well into the 20th Century. These cameras shared the ‘Brownie’ name, but ranged from box cameras, to folding cameras, and later, movie cameras. Kodak Brownie box cameras were sold at inexpensive prices to the average consumer who took ‘everyday’ photos.

The Hawkeye model debuted in 1949 and its production lasted through 1951. This Bakelite box camera produced twelve 2¼” by 2¼” images on 620 spool film. It sold extremely well and acquired popularity for its sleek design and simple minimalist features, such as a single-element non-focusing meniscus lens and a simple rotary shutter that were easy to operate. Its size and weight were great for your average user and had a convenient strap at the top.

In 1950, Kodak introduced the Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Flash model. This model was the same as the Kodak Brownie Hawkeye but added a new feature to the existing design, a “Kodalite Flasholder” accessory that synchronized with the shutter. Production of the Flash model seized in 1961, but both models are popular collector’s items, as well as fun and efficient cameras that photographers still enjoy using today.


Railroad Lanterns and Lamps

Railroad Lanterns and Lamps

Lanterns and lamps were used daily as a tool of the trade for railroad workers in the past. They were the best means of communication when operating and directing trains. These lanterns communicated signals  between trains, stations, and workers, since loud working environments and the distance involved in train operations negated communication by speaking or yelling.

Railroad Kerosene Lantern With Clear Glass Globe and Wire Caging

Railroad lanterns and railroad lamps serve two separate ways of signalling. Railroad lanterns have a globe surrounded by a metal frame or caging and a fuel source, originally oil and later kerosene. A railroad lantern was portable and was an effective light source that could be easily seen at night from a distance. The railroad worker would swing and move the lantern in different ways according to what message he wanted to send.  For instance, to give a stop signal, the lantern would be swung back and forth horizontally across the tracks and the signal to proceed was to move the lantern up and down vertically.

In addition, different coloured globes or lenses, of both the lanterns and lamps, were used to mean different signals. Red, Blue, Yellow, and Green and Clear/White, had its own significance. For example, a lantern with a blue globe was hung on equipment to mark that wasn’t to be moved. A lantern with a green globe was used by switch tenders to indicate that the switches were aligned properly and to proceed with caution.

Railroad lanterns are often classified into five different categories. These are: fixed globe lanterns, tall globe lanterns, short globe lanterns, conductors’ lanterns, and inspectors lanterns.

Unlike lanterns, railroad lamps were designed to be stationary and were made out of sheet metal or cast metal. While they may have handles on them for transportation, they were generally larger than lanterns and had lenses to magnify the light, rather than a globe. Additionally, while lanterns were primarily used at night, lamps were used during the day as well as the night.

A Railroad Signal or Marker Lamp
Further Investigation Needed to Identify Correctly

Railroad lamps include: marker lamps, switch lamps, classification lamps, crossing-gate lamps, semaphore lamps, and each were mounted in different places and gave different signals.  Marker lamps, for example, were hung on the last car to signal the end of the train.  Whereas, switch lamps were mounted to a railroad track switch and would indicate, using specific colours, which position the switch was set to.


“PIPER TORONTO” engraved on the top of the lamp

Sad Irons

Sad Irons 

The forebears to modern electric irons, flat irons or smoothing irons, later modified into what is more commonly known as ‘sad irons,’ were constructed by blacksmiths in the Middle Ages.

Sad Irons With Metal Handles

‘Sad’ is an Old English word for “solid,” and the term “sad iron” is used to distinguish heavy flat irons, usually weighing 5 to 9 pounds. The heft of a sad iron would proportionally effect the amount of heat held in the iron, and consequently how well the fabric would be pressed flat. The base of a sad iron is triangular shaped with a pointed tip to make it is easy to iron around buttons. They were heated on an open fire or a stove, and their metal handles had to be gripped with a thick potholder, rag, or gloves while ironing.

Detachable wooden handles were added later to sad irons in place of the soldered metal handles. Wooden handles would stay cool while the metal bases were heated. Sad irons, circa 1900, featured an asbestos lining, under a removable hood that fitted over the heated “core,” and prevented heat from traveling up into the handle and burning the hand of the user.

Canadian Sad Iron From Taylor and Forbes Company Limited (Guelph, Canada) #2 Model with Detached Wooden Handled
Sad Irons With Detachable Wooden Handles

The Great Herbal Balm ‘Zam Buk’ Tin

The Great Herbal Balm ‘Zam-Buk’ Tin

Zam-Buk is a healing antiseptic ointment or embrocation that was advertised to help soothe and heal: cuts, bruises, burns, scalds, sprains, piles, pimples, eczema, leg, sores, ulcers, ringworm, chapped hands, sores, insect bites, chafing, chilblains, rheumatism, and cold sores. Zam-Buk had several formulas but was sold with antimicrobial and analgesic properties from ingredients like camphor and eucalyptus oil.

The Great Herbal Balm Zam-Buk Tin

The origins of Zam-Buk can be traced back to the early 1990s and was founded by Charles Edward Fulford of Leeds, England. The geneses of the products name, Zam-Buk, is unknown but is believed by some to have its roots from a town in South Africa. However, this theory remains unproven.

The ‘Zam-Buk’ name and product acquired widespread recognition and popularity from its original use on rugby and football pitches in Australia and New Zealand. First aid officers would apply the antiseptic to injured players, cleansing their wounds and eliminating the chances of infection. The term ‘Zam-Buk’ would come to mean the first aid officers, rather than the treatment itself. The ointment was used extensively in the sporting world and was advertised as being “unequalled for sportsman.”

This cure-all balm found itself on Canadian pharmacy shelves circa 1903, and sold with great success. Manufacturing efforts discontinued in 1998.


Coleman’s Model 4A Gasoline Iron

Coleman’s Model 4A Gasoline Iron


Coleman’s Model 4A Gasoline Iron in “Cool Blue” Enamel

Coleman, originally known for making lanterns, made over 30 different models of irons from 1929 to 1948. The myriad of fuel iron models manufactured by Coleman came in an assortment of enamel coloured finishes, such as turquoise, green, red, tan, and black. Perhaps the best known and most commonly found today is the “Cool Blue” enamel Coleman’s 4A gasoline iron.

The Coleman’s No. 4 iron was a short-lived follow up to the No. 3 that was quickly redesigned as the 4A iron, devised for enhanced efficiency. It became an instant success. The Coleman 4A gasoline iron was much lighter than the previous ‘sad irons’ and no longer required to be heated on the stove or by charcoal.

Label reads “Model 4A Instant Lite Coleman Lamp and Stove Co Limited Toronto, Canada”

Instead, the pump was used to build up pressure in the fuel tank and a match was lit underneath the iron, making a flame inside the iron that would distribute the heat on the surface. Despite these benefits, fuels irons made ironing a potentially dangerous job. They had a very real possibility of causing a fire or exploding. Gas-pressure irons, that had been manufactured as early as 1900, were eventually replaced by electric-powered steam irons, circa the 1970s, as an affordable and safer alternative.

Coleman Iron Trivet