Select Page

5 Artifacts with Great Backstories At the Surrey Museum

5 Artifacts with Great Backstories At the Surrey Museum

Objects in museums are there for a reason – they have historical significance and a story to tell.  The artifacts at the Surrey Museum are no exception.  In fact, artifacts at the Surrey Museum are even more interesting because they speak to LOCAL history. Here are  five artifacts from the Surrey Museum’s collection.

Gas Mask, The Civilian Respirator


Enemy alien invasions and air raid attacks were a realistic common fear during World War II.  It was common practice for households to have a supply just in case.  Not something you find among bottled water and batteries in present day emergency kits.

This gas mask is part of the Surrey During the War Years collection which features many interesting local war artifacts.

Stay tuned in July for the unveiling of the new First Responders Exhibit.  The exhibit will feature the stories of Surrey’s local, First Responders, heroes: police, fire and ambulance.

Mirroscope (AKA Magic Lantern)


At first glance, it is a lightbox but the story holds so much more. Circa 1910, this one was made in Ohio. They were first fuelled by kerosene and then switched to electric.  Such magic lanterns were often used by missionaries overseas. They projected pictures of Surrey landscapes to recruit people to immigrate.  It makes you wonder how many of our ancestors were moved enough by images on a magic lantern to immigrate here.

Many different cameras and projectors are on display in the Captured on Film section, depicting different methods of technology and reflecting various times in Surrey’s history.

Bee Smoker


A hand tool used to control bee behaviour during hive maintenance and honey gathering. The hanging smoker was filled with wood smoke and placed in the opening of the hive. The smoke drives the bees from the hive permitting the combs to be removed. Smoke initiates a feeding response in anticipation of possible hive abandonment due to fire. When a bee consumes honey, the bee’s abdomen distends, making it difficult to make the necessary flexes to sting.

Our Bee Smoker, c. 1940, is displayed with Surrey farming equipment.  Don’t miss the Surrey Museum drop in Discovery Saturday: Tales from a Honeycomb on August 20 or the Community Bee Garden at Historic Stewart Farm.

BCER Bench


The BC Electric Railway or Interurban brought people from Vancouver to Steveston, Surrey and Chilliwack, running in Surrey from 1910-1950. The backs of seats like this would be flipped when the train was set to go in the opposite direction so that passengers faced the right way.

Interurban service was discontinued when more bridges and roads were built in the Lower Mainland and there was a push across North America for people to buy automobiles.

The bench is housed in the Rivers and Roads display of the Surrey Museum, along with the BCER Punch Clock. After a visit to the Museum, take a trip to the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society.

Pysanky/Pysanka Ostrich Egg


Originating in the Ukraine, these eggs are painted with a stylus and then dyed many vibrant colours. A symbol of life, they are associated with mythical and religious ceremonies dating back to early Pagan times.

Our Pysanky egg, which was received as a gift by our Surrey- based donor, is unusual because it is made of an ostrich egg. Most are made with much smaller chicken eggs.

You can see this big egg in the exhibit Community Treasures: Ukrainians in Canada: 125  The exhibit will feature the stories of Surrey’s local, First Responders, heroes: police, fire and ambulance.


About The Author

Surrey604 Staff

Surrey604 is an online magazine and media outlet based in Surrey, BC. Through writing, video, photography, and social media, we secure an intimate reach to the public. We promote local events and causes.


Recent Posts

Mastering Your Business For Maximum Profit & Success Workshop Event

Published 12/9/2017 in Surrey604 Magazine


This 2-hour event is jam-packed with tools and strategies that you can implement in your business immediately. This is not another fluffy “introductory event” like you may have experienced, it’s designed to get you on the right track to maximizing growth, sales and profit.
This is the first step in getting your Business… read more ❯

Last night I promised you wouldn’t die – I rescind that promise.

Published 12/7/2017 in Surrey604 Magazine

This is the written response to a real event which took place on Tuesday night at the shooting at 148th and 64th. 
Last night I promised you wouldn’t die.

I am now rescinding that promise.

Last night as I was driving home, I came upon what I thought was a car accident scene. I could hear you yelling for help. I could vaguely see your shape lying on the road in the dark.

I saw the… read more ❯

Coffee Lovers – Make Your Next Brew A Level Ground Trade

Published 12/3/2017 in Surrey604 Magazine

level ground trading, fair trade, victoria bc, coffee, taslim jaffer writer, surrey604

Coffee lovers – pay attention!

Stacey Toews and his team at Level Ground Trading are bringing something incredible to the global economy that is lacking in most transactions – something so powerful it changes the way we think about the products we purchase and our consumer impact.

They are bringing the human narrative into the story.

“There is so much of the global economy that has… read more ❯

The World-Wide Inspiration Behind Surrey’s Light Rail Transit

Published 12/3/2017 in Surrey604 Magazine

LRT, light rail transit, transportation city of surrey, city of surrey, taslim jaffer writer, surrey604

Surrey is the second largest city in British Columbia and by 2041 it is expected that another 300,000 residents will be joining our neighbourhoods. One of the top questions from Surrey residents is, “How are we all going to get around?” We want to know what will happen to our roadways and the infrastructure. And we are concerned that if something isn’t put in place soon, we’ll not only be… read more ❯

How Surrey’s Coastal Flooding Affects The Crescent Beach Community

Published 12/3/2017 in Surrey604 Magazine

coastal flooding, crescent beach, city of surrey, taslim jaffer writer, surrey604

Crescent Beach is a unique landmark, a popular destination among residents of Surrey and surrounding areas, and a community with an extensive history. Because of where it’s situated, there have always been changes to its shoreline and beaches from natural forces. The first dyke at Crescent Beach was constructed in 1913 and since then other layers of protection have been added. However, due to… read more ❯