You Have the Key to My Heart : Love and Locksmithing in the Allan Cushon Collection

Location: Room 301, Murray Library

Curators: Amy Putnam, Stevie Horn


For many years, Allan Cushon was the owner of Saskatoon’s most recognizable locksmithing businesses, Burnett’s Key Shop. He was an avid collector with a keen eye for the unusual. Victorian trade cards, science fiction magazines, Canadiana, advertising ephemera, and all things Sherlockian are only a brief example of the types of items he gathered. Often, his collecting took a thematic bent, with his passion for locksmithing shining through in accumulations of lock-and-key oriented Valentine’s cards and locked-room mysteries. In honor of Valentine’s Day, we have gathered some of the best of these together, visually uniting love and locksmithing as they are so frequently joined by metaphor. We would like to invite you to engage with this collection -- to explore the complex imagery surrounding love, locks, and keys.