Sunday, 31 May 2015

Ann Boulton's Indulgences

Ann Boulton is pictured above with her granddaughters Edna and Ida circa 1916.  She was the matriarch of the Boultons in Manitoba and her ability to build her household from the ground up is amazing to me. The family moved from Ontario in 1892 to begin their life farming near Reston.   Recent cleaning out of her farm home has unearthed the bills and receipts that tell the story of these early days.   They seem to have purchased just about everything on credit and saved the receipts for the paid notes. I don't really know the total cost of some of these items but I am glad that some of their hard earned money was spent on entertainment and ways to make a pioneer woman's life easier.  I'm also glad they weren't thrown out after all these years! 

On June 2, 1903, the Boultons made a deal to pay sixty dollars by the first day of November to purchase a Doherty Organ like the one pictured below on an account with A.H. McLaren.  It appears to have cost them $62 on the first of December to pay this note off. Two dollars would have been the interest, I assume.  Randy recalls it sitting on the front veranda for many years .

March 24, 1897, from R.J. Hulow, Ann H. Boulton purchased a Singer Sewing Machine Number 18767984 in Style  "U.S.A. bak". This website indicates this machine was manufactured in 1874.  I remember Uncle Frank showing it to me years ago and he said he could still get it to work!  Five dollars was due on the machine on June 1, 1897 and the fine print states if this is not paid, the machine must be returned.  As owner of 160 acres of land, she must have been considered a good risk.  

The receipt above is toward the purchase of a washing machine in 1911, I think.  Many of the bills from this period don't use the 0 when writing the year so it may be 1901.  The signature appears to be from McMurchy Brothers.  

Ann's granddaughter Mary (Boulton) Milliken wrote the following description of clothes washing in 1984 for the RM Of Albert History Book Reflections of Time.
Clothes were washed in a hand machine, the handle of which attached to a dolly inside the tub.  When the handle was pushed back and forth, it swished the clothes around in the soap and water.  Two attached, hand turned rollers wrang the water from the clothes.  Water was heated on a boiler on the stove and soap was handmade from lard and lye.  

Although not necessarily an indulgence, this note for the Cream Separator like the one below was important for everyday life.  There is a website here with lots of information on separators.

The bill from G.S. Munroe Company from July 26, 1910 was made out to Miss Boulton.  I presume this would be Susan.  She got 13 (yards?) of gingham for $1.30, 5 more yards for 55 cents, sateen , ribbon, cuff buttons and collar buttons for a grand total of $2.95.  The sewing machine would have been put to use to make the clothing for the family.  

It is so hard to imagine life in the Boulton household over 100 years ago but these scraps of paper bring it closer!

No comments:

Post a Comment