Feature Artifact - Paper Holder

The Jones Pattern Company, shoe pattern makers and designers, operated in Kitchener from the early 1930s until sometime in the 1960s. The company was originally located at 251 King Street West but later moved along the street to 391. This paper holder belonged to Robert McCash (1910-1967) of Galt (now Cambridge), who worked as a shoe designer for the company. Robert later became the company’s manager in the 1950s.



Past Artifact - Advertisement

The John Forsyth Company Limited of Berlin (Kitchener), Ontario began manufacturing shirts and collars for men in 1903. Located at Duke and Young streets, the company also operated manufacturing facilities locally in Waterloo and Wellesley. The Forsyth family was involved in the management of the business until it was sold in 1973. This 1950s advertisement was used in a retail environment to promote the sale of Christmas gifts. 




Past Artifact - Peanut Can

This peanut container from the 1960s was part of the Jack’s Snacks brand produced by Raymond’s Nut Shops. The company was founded in 1935, and the first store was located beside the Lyric Theatre at 124 King Street West in Kitchener. Additional stores and a manufacturing facility were opened by the mid-1940s. The company produced various nut, popcorn, and cheese puff products until it was sold to Borden Limited around 1975.



Past Artifact - Watercolour Painting 

This watercolour was painted by Muriel Violet Seibert (1904-1965) in 1928. Muriel’s parents were Jacob Erb Seibert (1859-1945) and Rachel Ogram (1875-1956), and they owned Seibert House found in Doon Heritage Village. Built around 1850, the house was originally located on Madison Avenue South in Kitchener. Muriel’s younger sister, Emily, was the last owner of the house prior to it being donated to the museum in 1964.




Past Feature Artifact - Brass Plaque 

The J.M. Schneider name has long been associated with Kitchener. Founded in 1890 by John Metz Schneider (1859-1942), the company was originally a butcher shop. In 1911, J.M. purchased 16 acres of land on Courtland Avenue but a meat processing plant was not built there until 1924. This brass plaque was added to the office building entrance in 1942. The Courtland Avenue plant was closed in 2014. 




Past Feature Artifact - Hand-Painted Fine Bone China 

Hand-painted by Louise (Grube) Vogelsang (1883-1927), this fine bone china plate dates to between 1908 and 1916. Louise’s married name is painted on the back of the plate, indicating it was done sometime after her 1908 marriage to Otto Vogelsang (1873-1945). Louise and Otto lived in Berlin (now Kitchener) where he worked as a foreman at Lang Tanning Company.  





Past Feature Artifact - School Pin 

This pin belonged to Henry Brubacher Bowman (1900-1991), a member of the first graduating class from the Elmira Continuation (high) School in 1917. The Elmira Continuation School was first formed in 1896 but closed soon after. In 1914, the school was restarted and occupied one room in what would become Riverside Public School. The first class to graduate consisted of 12 students.





Past Feature Artifact - Portrait of James Cook 

This crayon portrait is of James Cook (1800-1880) from the former Waterloo Township. Crayon portraits were popular from the 1860s to the early 1900s, and were an inexpensive alternative to a painted portrait. The process involved enlarging a photograph onto drawing paper using a weak emulsion, which produced a faint image. The artist would then draw over the photograph with charcoal or pastels, copying the photograph while making it look hand drawn.





Past Feature Artifact - Wooden Trunk Used in Immigration to Canada 

This wooden trunk was used by Maria (Dienesch) Gellner when she immigrated to Kitchener in 1950. Born in Birk, Romania, Maria and her family were ethnic Germans who became displaced persons (refugees) during the Second World War. Maria's first husband was killed during the war, and she sailed to Canada all alone onboard the Beaverbrae. The Beaverbrae brought 33,000 refugees, mostly ethnic Germans, to Canada between 1948 and 1954. 



Past Feature Artifact - Great West Felt Company Children's Boots

This pair of children’s boots was manufactured by the Great West Felt Company of Elmira in the 1920s. Founded in 1910 by Oscar H. Vogt (1868-1927), the company manufactured heavy felt footwear under the brand names of Great West and Polar King. During the 1920s, Great West was one of the largest employers in Elmira. The factory was located at 20 Arthur Street North and the company closed around 1950.