Treasure Chest Thursday

Geneabloggers suggests daily prompts for writing about family history and I’ll be posting a few of these each week. Today: Treasure Chest Thursday.

We’ve been clearing out my mom’s condo as she moved into a retirement residence last year. I picked up this item, as it evokes a number of things from my childhood.

My mother is a retired ob/gyn and had her office in the lower level of our house. We lived right across the street from the hospital where she did her deliveries, and she operated on Mondays through much of her career. This arrangement was very convenient for a physician who was also a mother, something of a rarity in the 60s.

Dr Mom with the kids, June 1964
Dr Mom with the kids, June 1964

Her office was full of cool stuff. There was a cupboard that contained bars of baby soap, the smell of which still evokes strong memories. I think it was Johnson’s. There was a microscope and slides. There were glass jars of cotton swabs and tongue depressors,  examining tables with rolls of paper to fool around with, and a sort of secret metal door behind a sliding panel that contained financial documents and aging bottles of liquor they’d received as gifts. (My parents drank very little.) I was particularly enamoured with a four-compartment liqueur bottle that looked like this:


She also bought stamps in rolls and had brightly coloured stickers that went on overdue bills (this was before she started billing the provincial health department directly.)

past due stickerThere was a “cool” shoulder rest for her phone:



Not to mention all the magazines in her waiting room, including Vogue, Macleans, and National Geographic.

As I recall Mom had a few of these stainless steel trays, probably for sterilizing instruments. This one was made by Polar Ware, an early manufacturer of stainless steel items, situated in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. After she retired, they became holders of desktop detritus, pens, paperclips, safety pins, etc. I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do with mine yet, but I love the curved surfaces and clean lines.

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