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Port Hastings Museum and Archives

Rug


Accession number: 2001.716.01
Category: Floor covering
Date: before 2001
Materials: Fibre
Measurements: 114 cm L x 86 cm W
Narrative: This rug depicts the ferry connecting Cape Breton Island to the mainland of Nova Scotia via Port Hastings. The ferry carried railway cars and cars across the Strait; the first ferry was the S.S. Mulgrave but when could not longer accommodate the traffic, the Scotia I was built. The Scotia I, however, was no match for the wait times caused by increased traffic during the Second World War led to a proposal to build a causeway. Begun in 1952, the Canso Causeway connecting Port Hastings to Cape Porcupine was completed in 1955. This rug was made by hooking dyed yarn through a burlap backing fabric. The loops of coloured yarn create a design on the front of the rug. Although there is evidence dating hooked rugs back to the third and seventh centuries CE, hooked rugs did not appear in great numbers in Nova Scotia until the mid-1800s; wool and cottons would have been required for warm clothing and floor coverings would have been a luxury reserved for the wealthier members of society. Scraps left over from quilting or textile work were cut into strips and hooked into burlap backing using crochet-type hooks. Prior to hooking, the burlap was inked with a design. The designs varied from simple to elaborate depending on the experience and creativity of the artist as well as the prospective location of the rug; formal rooms and parlours often were decorated with floral-patterned coverings while kitchens contained carpets with geometric patterns. These rugs served as decorative utilitarian objects which could be found in homes across the province.
Description: Hooked rug-style wall hanging depicting a ferry boat in the water as the focus. In the background are houses and trees. Cloudy sky above. Dowel attached. Rug is rolled up.