Thursday, December 16, 2021

Canary in the Coal Mine

Hello Everyone,

I'm a bit late with my post today.  I've been shoveling the newly fallen snow before it becomes Sierra cement.

Have you heard the phrase, "Canary in the Coalmine?"  I have Jim Shore Christmas ornaments in my canary carrier.

This carrier held 12 canaries as they were carried down into a gold mine here on the West Coast.  In the East, they would have been placed in a coalmine.  The foothills of Northern California have a rich history of gold mining, and my assumption is it was used here in gold country.  The canaries were placed around the interior of a mine as they are very sensitive to toxic gases, particularly carbon monoxide.

I found this carrier in an antique store ages ago.  I knew exactly how I was going to use it for display.  This is my favorite Santa given to me by my dear friend QuiltSue from England.  This Santa keeps all of the other ornaments in line by holding court every day.

The ornaments are very colorful and full of detail.

In doing my research for this post, I found this apparatus.  The canaries that were found bottoms up, were placed in this resuscitation device.  So, I'm hopeful that some of the sweet little birds survived.  I'm also hopeful that some of the birds saved a lot of lives.

I'm going to take a big breath of mountain air and celebrate the great outdoors.......while I'm shoveling.  Hopefully I won't go bottoms up!



  1. Love your Jim Shore display. Very clever to use the canary carrier.

  2. I love your history lesson with the canary cages and resuscitation box. Very cool display piece!

  3. Interesting that they would have more than one per mine. I had not thought of that. Darling carrier, had never seen one.

    1. Some of the mine shafts in my area were very long with many off shoots. It would be my worst nightmare to be trapped underground.