Looking Back


Onoway Museum's Whimsical Memories from Times Past

Many decades ago, coloring books were popular "toys" for young children. In recent years, there's been a resurgence of coloring books, this time definitely aimed at adults.


One eye-catching colouring book in the Onoway Museum collection features Lana Turner, probably one of Hollywood's most popular actresses for many years in the 1940s, 50s and beyond. This particular colouring book is huge - 14" x 11". On one of the final pages, the exceedingly careful young colorer took credit for her fine work but noted that the coloring was done by "Kathleen Petrie and the Crayons"! She couldn't have done it without them.


Lana Turner walking
Piggy bank

Coloring book

Lana Turner walking her dog. The young owner of this book
took infinite care to colour the tiny squares of Lana's jacket
to create a very visible pattern.

Piggy bank

The shiny see-through piggy bank encouraged youngsters
to drop coins in the slot.


If the return of coloring books is an omen, you might want to watch for piggy banks. This was one way to teach young children to save money. There is something satisfying about hearing that clink of the coin as it hits the bottom of the glass or ceramic container. Not all savings banks were in the shape of a pig but it added to the children's fun. This see-through glass bank allowed the child to see his savings accumulate and, because there was no plug on the underside, the only way to get money out was to smash the bank with a hammer. More fun!


Coach John Tyschuk led the Onoway Midgets to the playoffs in the Hi-way 16 West League. The equipment and the rules have changed considerably since then.


In today's fast food culture (and perhaps culture as a whole?) everyone seems to be in a rush; you toss things out then buy something new to impress others. As you hold your paper coffee cup from Tim Hortons or the flimsy plastic one that fits under the trendy coffee pod machine, try to visualize the heavy stoneware that was once commonplace in any restaurant or even at home. It was an investment and was used year after year in restaurants across the province and country.

Volleyball crest
Medalta stoneware mug

Hockey trophy

Brian Bourke was in goal when the
Onoway Midgets won this trophy in 1968-69.

Volleyball crest

In only its second year of competition in
senior high volleyball, both the boys and girls teams
from Onoway topped the league.

Medalta restaurant mug

This heavy mug (made from clay at
Medalta Potteries in Medicine Hat) was not
to be handled lightly.

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Last updated: March 17, 2019