May is International Museum Day 2.0

Piece By Piece — Discovering A Real BlueJeanealogy

Scrubbies Jacket Pocket From 1974May is also spring cleaning time for many of the domesticated. So, when I cleaned out my closet last week and discovered a button that I ‘sort of’ recognized as an artifact from my high school days in Edmonton Alberta, my first instinct in tracking down its origin was Levis. Jeans that is.

I was close, but as it turns out, this button came from a GWG Scrubbies jean jacket purchased in the early seventies.

Confirmation came from The GWG Story, a Great Western Canadian (GWC) Heritage exhibit produced in 2009 by the Royal Alberta Museum with funding from The Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC), and the Alberta Employment and Immigration department.

Piece By Piece tells the story of the Great Western Garment Company, from its beginnings in 1911, through its expansion and eventual purchase by Levi Strauss in the 1960s, to its eventual, perhaps inevitable closing in March 2004.

It’s a facinating story, although at the same time a sad chronicle of the gradual loss of manufacturing jobs in North America that affected thousands of workers, many of whom were immigrant women.

The exhibit features an engaging, easy-to-follow interface, with a rich collection of photographs, and facinating video interviews on nearly every page. Major sections include:

  • A Timeline, organized by decade
  • A History section, broken into six different eras
  • A Labour Force overview, describing the company’s role in employing immigrants
  • A Products section, featuring logos, labels and buttons that I used to identify my jacket pocket button
  • A Marketing retrospective, describing in detail the company’s efforts to connect their brand with various market sectors, including Labour, Families, Rodeo, and French-Canadians

One of the great new features of every VMC project is the education section ‘For Teachers,’ geared specifically to assist Canadian students in discovering the value of history in shaping their view of the world they will one day inherit. This section comes with detailed lesson plans that include learning outcomes and objectives, a list of required materials and other online resources, and some great ideas to get the lessons organized!

Most entertaining are the audio clips from radio and television jingles, set to various musical styles. See for yourself, by visiting this Virtual Museum today!

Also announced during the month of May every year, are funding approvals for new Virtual Exhibit and Community Memories proposals by the VMC Investment Program. If your proposal was successful, and you’d like to request a free initial consultation, please Contact Us by phone or email.