Stories From Banting’s Basement: Week 5

Hello again!  

This week was also an exciting week! On Monday, DiAthlete came for a tour of Banting House. The tour was filmed as part of a project DiAthlete is completing for their 100th anniversary of the discovery project. Some photos of this event have been posted on our social media.  

Other than that, I was back in the basement cataloguing more objects for the Banting House collection. Last week, I touched on how to catalogue an object. Today, I wanted to discuss some of the types of objects I get to catalogue.

1. TEXTILES

One example is textiles! Textiles can constitute any woven fabric including blankets, curtains, flags, or clothing. This type of object is rare in our collection. However, I have catalogued one textile in my first five weeks. Shown below is the “Oliver Twist” outfit, that was worn by Teddy Ryder before he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1920.

Another example of a textile here at the museum (that some may recognize) is the Governor General flag in The Hon. Mr. Justice John M. Seneshen Gallery. This flag was given to the museum by former Governor General Roméo LeBlanc in July of 1999 when Banting House was officially recognized as a national historic site.  

Banting House National Historic Site of Canada

2. ARCHIVAL

Another type of object that I have catalogued is archival. This can include paper documents such as newspapers, books, journals, or photographs.

An example I worked on last week was the scrapbook of Gladys Richards. The scrapbook is a collection of archival materials including newspaper clippings, letters, and photographs that convey the history of Strathroy. Amongst these materials was a letter addressed to Richards, signed by Banting.  

Banting House National Historic Site of Canada

Another example of archival material is a comic book. The one shown below is from the series Vidas Ilustres (Illustrious Lives) that spanned the 1950s through 1985. The series featured stories of the lives and work of famous scientists and emphasized the processes of scientific research and discovery. This issue celebrates the life of Banting.

Banting House National Historic Site of Canada

3. METAL  

The final object type I will discuss is metal. Metal objects are perhaps my favourite material to catalogue because this section includes coins. I had the opportunity to catalogue a 1919 coin that was given to Teddy Ryder for his birthday. I was unable to determine what birthday, but can presume it was after his insulin treatment as the coin was stored in envelope that read “”Wishing Teddy many happy birthdays with canaries to sing”. 

Banting House National Historic Site of Canada
Banting House National Historic Site of Canada

Other objects of this material are on display in the museum in the Canadian Hero Gallery. One example is the Memorial Cross that was issued to Lady Banting as a memento of personal loss or sacrifice during the war after Frederick Banting’s death. 

Banting House National Historic Site of Canada

Textile, archival, and metal are just some of the materials I get to work with at Banting House. There are just too many to include in a short blog post.

I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about the types of objects at Banting House! See you next week!

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