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Artifacts on display in “Call The Doctor!”

One artifact currently on display in our “Call The Doctor!” exhibit is a white pearl pencil, which is part of a larger set. This pen set was given to Myrtle (Branton) Akins on her graduation in 1942, possibly by someone named Bud Cupe (according to a note left inside the case). Myrtle had just graduated from nursing school and would be a practicing nurse at the Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital during the 1940s. The pen set is a white pearl nurse set and contains a fountain pen, a pencil and a thermometer. The set would have been useful while working at the hospital. The pen set was donated to the museum by Ruth Clark, along with a medicine bottle and other items belonging to Myrtle.

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Myrtle Akins

The pen set was manufactured by Waterman’s Pens, a company that specialized in making pens. In 1883 Lewis Edson had just lost a large sale owing to a pen that overflowed ink onto the client. Edson then invented a fountain pen that would not leak excess ink when not in use. By 1884 Edson created the “Ideal Pen Company” which would be renamed Le Waterman in 1888. In the year 1900 the company received a gold medal of excellence for its pen design at the Paris Expo. Despite the fact that founder Lewis Edson passed away in 1901 the company took off and became one of the biggest for pen manufacturing and selling. However by the 1920’s the old-fashioned Waterman’s was losing out to other, more advanced companies and struggled to keep up. It struggled through the war years and was shut down in 1954. In 1958 the company was bought by Bic and would keep making fountain pens. While the Waterman division was sold several times, it continues to make quality pens.

Came see Myrtle’s pencil, and other neat artifacts on display now in “Call The Doctor!”

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About the Museum

Museum Strathroy-Caradoc opened to the public in 1972. As a community museum we strive to preserve and tell the story of Strathroy-Caradoc, and inspire residents to explore and understand the community around them.

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