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Souvenir Pillow

Curated Submission
Wainwright, Alberta
1930 - 1960
DIMENSIONS in centimetres
44 x 44
Materials & techniques
Synthetic; Printed, fringed, hand-sewn
Textile Museum of Canada purchase
Textile Museum of Canada T90.0031
Souvenir pillows celebrated community identity, personal narratives, and local and national pride. These tourist artifacts were popular in the mid-20th century on military bases. Soldiers often bought ones to send to their mothers, usually featuring a rhyming love poem. They became love letters to “Mom” featuring the name of the regiment or camp where a soldier was stationed – expressions of heartfelt sentiment sent to loved ones before heading off to fight, like the poem that appears on this pillow: “Mother / This world would be / just twice as nice / and twice as happy too / if everybody had a Mother / half as nice as you.”

In 1940, Buffalo National Park was closed in Wainwright, Alberta, in order to create an ammunition storage facility as well as an army training camp. Ten years later, four trains carrying the 1,000 men of the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, and several hundred reinforcements left the camp for South Korea. 
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