It was just over fifteen years ago that I first became interested in the pottery industry of Alberta, and especially Medalta, when Jack Forbes visited the Glenbow Museum in Calgary to select items for a forthcoming exhibit. Much to his and my surprise the Glenbow had few pieces other than a good variety of stoneware products such as crocks, churns, jugs, footwarmers (pigs), bean pots, ginger beer bottles and pickle jars. Hotel china was represented by only two or three pieces, and even the domestic wares consisted solely of a few teapots, pitchers and mixing bowls.
Since no museum in Alberta had a representative collection of the products made by the various pottery factories located in Alberta, the decision was made to build one and from that moment on my interest in the products just grew and grew. Not only did I have the opportunity to add to Glenbow’s collections, but I also had the pleasure of traveling across Canada, meeting many collectors, making new friends, and of course, recording their collections and the ones held by various Canadian museums.
It is the museums and private collectors which I visited that have made this booklet possible. They gave me free access to their collections to make notes and take photographs of the items and the stamps on them. While it is not possible to name every museum and collector that helped me, I would like to specifically mention a few of them.
Museums with fifty or more pieces of Medalta include the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Hull, Quebec, which acquired the Richard and Jean Symonds collection of about 800 items, the Medicine Hat Museum and Archives, the Glenbow-Alberta Institute of Calgary, the Provincial Museum and Archives in Edmonton and the Friends of Medalta Society. The Glenbow Museum, and particularly its photo department, deserves special mention as their staff took many of the photographs of the stamps and other markings illustrated in this booklet.
Again I must limit my list of collectors to those with substantial collections. Beth Anderson, Gordon and Keitha Armstrong, Bill Borgwardt, George Bruinsma, Trudy Cowan, Sid Dawes, Vicki Douglas, Gene Elgert, Jerry Frost, Herb Hlady, Bill Kellett, Guy Levesque, Kathy Malmberg, Ted Nicholson, Barry O’Neill, Gene Sabo, Tony Schlachter, Allan Sulatycyk, Jeanne Tompkins and Enid Yates all freely made their collections available to me for study.
I should be mentioning many others but to list everyone that has written me would be all but impossible. But to each and every one of you goes my thanks as your contributions no matter how small all contributed to the final result.
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