hide You are viewing an archived web page, collected at the request of University of Alberta using Archive-It. This page was captured on 19:16:56 Dec 08, 2010, and is part of the HCF Alberta Online Encyclopedia collection. The information on this web page may be out of date. See All versions of this archived page.
Heritage Community Foundation Presents
Alberta Online Encyclopedia
Alberta Inventors and Inventions - A Century of Patents homeinfosearchsitemapcontactedukit

Heritage Community Foundation
Alberta Innovation and Science
Canada's Digital Collections
Visit AlbertaSource.ca

Gallivan's Radium Laying Mash for Chickens

1 | Page 2 | 3 | 4

My uncle did the bookkeeping for the store, and pretty well confined himself to a solitary office with his files and a safe. My father, being younger, smaller, but physically stronger, did the muscle work in the store. It fell to Dad to be in charge of the mixing room and its end product, the new laying mash. Dad realized the importance of the undertaking, and how it might help the two families survive economically for the next little while. He decided to take precautions against the competition.

The first thing to do was to keep secret the ingredients of this miraculous product. To that end, Dad made sure that no copies of the recipe were left lying around for curious eyes to see. His copy was in thick pencil in large careful hand-printing on a big piece of jagged cardboard.

The cardboard was thrust through the head of a nail jutting out from beside the door inside the mixing room, and there it stayed for approximately the next 30 years. The amounts of the ingredients were exactly delineated. The printing faded somewhat over the years, and if one had to double-check an amount, it would be necessary to use the heel of your hand to wipe away the fine dust accumulated on the cardboard.

Elizabeth Konklin feeding her chickensThe dust was not dirt, as the mixing room was swept and kept very clean, but the total interior of the room and everything in it was white from the fine dust of the mixed and ground materials. To enter the room was to imagine oneself in the habitation of ghosts; more so if you happened to be there on a mixing day, when dad and his helper were covered—face, hair and overalls—with the white powdery substance.

Farm workers at a chicken houseThe walls and ceiling were white, the stacks of neatly piled gunny sacks were white, and you could write their name in the dust on the large-sized scale where the gunny sacks were weighed. Those rooms were as dusty as the mixing room, but the dust was not as fine, as it was the sweet-smelling dust common to the loft of any barn on any farm. The smell was made up of a variety of odourous ingredients: hay and straw, oats, wheat, flax, bags of barley chop for pigs and oyster shells for chickens, mixed together with the smells drifting in from the open bins in the front of the store, which held samples and small quantities of dog, cat and rabbit foods, and grains we liked to chew on while we were playing.


[<<back] timeline

Albertasource.ca | Contact Us | Partnerships
For more on innovation and invention in Alberta , visit Peel’s Prairie Provinces.
Copyright © Heritage Communty Foundation All Rights Reserved