Sunday, October 24, 2010

Museums -- in Lordsburg???

How do you feel when you go into a museum and see on display items that you remember from your grandmother's day? Such as this old sewing machine. My Grandma Minnie used a treadle machine very much like this one.

How about items that you remember your mother using, like this electric roaster oven?

Yeah, we feel about the same way, maybe a little nostalgic, perhaps.

But what about these items? Suzy and I have used them ourselves! Suzy used an IBM Selectric typewriter in one of her offices, and my secretary also had one just like it at one time!

My Dad used an adding machine like the one to the right above, and we found a used one for our own use, very much like the flat one on the bottom shelf.

Suzy had a Brownie Hawkeye like this camera, just left of middle.

And we used a Kodak Instamatic like this for several years.

By the way, that roaster oven up there? Suzy has one very much like that today, and we have cooked Thanksgiving turkeys in it with great results.

When you see things like that, does it make you feel like you ought to be sitting on a museum shelf yourself?

We were visiting the Lordsburg / Hidalgo County Museum in Lordsburg, New Mexico when we saw all that stuff. The Lordsburg Museum is open short hours, and is free. The day we were there, we were the only visitors for the day, and there had been no one in the previous day! We had found the museum quite by accident, just driving around town getting acquainted. We saw this windmill sitting in front of the museum, and knew we had to get some pictures of it for Mike McFall. Incidentally, Mike just wrote about a very "dirty trick" played on him by a computer hacker. Take a look at his blog to see what happened. Shame on somebody!

But the museum told some very interesting stories. For example, did you know there was a very large POW camp in Lordsburg during World War II? It's true, they housed German, Italian and Japanese prisoners.

The prisoners were well treated, better by far than our American prisoners in their countries. They were allowed to work outside the camp, even visiting the town under the watchful eye of their keepers. Italian prisoners even build this big grain elevator in a nearby town.

Others labored at the backbreaking job of picking cotton

You can click on the picture below to read what one German POW said in his own words (translated into English) about the cotton picking assignment.

Our own military were also stationed nearby. This picture shows the USO building where they could go for coffee and sociability, dances and such.

We found the same building still standing, but boarded up like many of the businesses in one more town that the railroad passed by.

There was a room in the museum devoted to a favorite son, Dr. James H. Baxter, who returned to Lordsburg as a pathologist, and served with the Selective Service Board during World War II.

To see more pictures from the Lordsbug Museum, some of them military- or agriculture-related, go to our web album, 2010 Museum Pieces from Lordsburg.

Now, dear friends and family, it's time to take a breather for a while, as we ponder what to do tomorrow in ... Our Life on Wheels!


  1. We owned one of those treadle sewing machines. I didn't master it, but my mother did. It's funny how with things like the selectric typewriters, we almost don't realize that they are obsolete and then suddenly there they are in a museum. And yet most of us used them, and they were a big improvement over older typewriters, such as the one I received as a high school graduation present. I can't remember what kind it was, but it was very clunky and definitely not automatic or self-correcting.

    I enjoyed your post today!

  2. We have motored past Lordsburg many times on the Interstate but have never taken the time to stop there. I remember all those old things you mentioned about in the museum. I have only ever had 2 typewriters & they were both manual, no electric. That's interesting about the military connection in Lordsburg.

  3. Interesting museums! I've never stopped in Lordsburg longer than to get fuel, so it's nice to read about your experience. Thanks for the excellent report and pics.

    P.S. I used an IBM Selectric too!

  4. Seeing things in museums that I have used seems to happen a lot. It always evokes the feeling of nostalgia closely followed by one of getting older then I feel.

    Thanks for the tour.

  5. Wow, looking at all of those things remind me of good times, back in the day!

  6. Great post, Jerry, lots of very interesting stuff. I remember those old sewing machines well as my Grandmother had one exactly like it. Same with those old Brownie Hawkeye cameras! The good old days for sure!

    I never knew that POW's were cotton pickers either! Interesting!

  7. Wow, some neat old items Jerry. Thanks for the WINDMILL and for the LINK....
    Deming New Mexico has a neat museum that has all sorts of different offices set up. There is a dr and dentist office, a telegraph and many others. You can spend a whole day there...Check it out if you haven't already seen it...

  8. It's so weird to see things that I remember having & using that are now considered antiques!!!! Hmmmm, does that mean that I'm an antique too????

  9. "I never knew that POW's were cotton pickers either! Interesting!"

    I had a boss that was held as a German POW near Phoenix that also picked cotton. After the war he emigrated back to the United States and to Phoenix where he lived for many years.


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