March 2017

Author 
Jeanette Elliott, Collections Relocations Assitant

The history of Canada spans far more than the 150 years that we celebrate with the 2017 Sesquicentennial. We are a country built by a diverse population, and shaped by extraordinary events set against a vast natural landscape. Our new exhibit celebrates the 150th birthday of our nation by telling the story of London and Middlesex County from 1820 to 1920 - a small and localized portion of Canada’s history. “150 Years: 150 Artifacts” features unique objects and images from our permanent collection that represent key people, stories and events which shaped that century of Canadian history.

One of the most imposing, and heaviest artifacts in the exhibit is London’s first fire bell. The 700 pound bronze bell was ordered from A. Good of Buffalo, New York, and arrived in London in 1848 after being on exhibit at the Buffalo New York fair. The maker’s mark is cast on the outer rim along with the name of London’s Mayor, S. Morrill, Esq. It is believed that the bell was later moved to the new City Hall around 1854, and is now in the Fanshawe Pioneer Village Permanent Collection.

Be sure to check out the “Great Local Ideas” exhibit case where you’ll find an amazing invention patented in 1921 by London business owner Robert Greene. The “Twin Trail” roadway system saw a section of gravel...