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People and organizations
Canada Science and Technology Museum Library and Archives

Beauchamp, Jacques C., 1928-

  • Person
  • 1928-06-08 -

Jacques C. Beauchamp was born in Ottawa on 8 June 1928. He received a bilingual education in Ottawa schools and then went to McGill University in Montreal. He graduated with a bachelors in civil engineering in 1952. He started with the Department of Northern Affairs and Natural Resources on the restoration of historical sites and bridge designs for the National Parks Branch. Beauchamp moved to the federal Department of Public Works (later Public Works Canada) in 1955 where he worked on the design of structures for the Trans-Canada Highway through the Rockies and bridges in the north.

Beauchamp was a District Engineer in Quebec 1960-1967, where he was responsible for the Trans-Canada Highway in Quebec, Roads to Resources, and other civil engineering work. In 1970 Beauchamp became the Director of Bridge Engineering for Public Works Canada (PWC) in Ottawa and the Director General of Structures in 1987. He oversaw the design, assessment and repair of interprovincial bridges. He had oversight of the skating oval, ski jump and bob sled/luge tracks for the 1988 Olympics in Calgary. Beauchamp’s most important project was the preliminary work on the Confederation Bridge linking Prince Edward Island to New Brunswick across the Northumberland Strait. He was one of the key people in overseeing the preparation of engineering feasibility studies and the first round of tender proposals for the construction of the Confederation Bridge. Beauchamp retired from PWC in 1990.

Davies, Frank Thomas, 1904-1981

  • Person
  • 1904-08-12 - 1981-09-23

Frank Thomas Davies was born on 12 August 1904 in Methyr Tydfil, Wales, the son of school headmaster Richard Davies and school teacher Jessie Starr Davis. He attended local schools and went to the University College of Wales, Aberystwth, to study physics. Graduating with a BSc in 1925, he went to Saskatchewan where he held various jobs before becoming a demonstrator in physics in the University of Saskatchewan. This influenced Davies to go to McGill University where he received a Masters of Science in 1928.

In 1928 he was chosen by Admiral Richard E. Byrd to go on the first Byrd Antarctic Expedition of 1928-1930 as a physicist to gather terrestrial and atmospheric data. This expedition included elements of traditional Antarctic expeditions such as grueling physical effort and dog teams as well as newer elements of radio and aircraft. Like all members of the expedition he received the (US) Congressional Gold Medal in 1930. This gave him the experience to lead the Canadian Second Polar Expedition to Chesterfield Inlet, Northwest Territories (now Igluligaarjuk, Nunavut) on Hudson Bay in 1932-1933. The scientific data it gathered was published in two volumes as the Canadian Polar Year Expeditions, 1932-33.

Davies, who had previously worked for the Carnegie Institute of Washington on terrestrial magnetism, became the Director of the Carnegie Geophysical Observatory in Huancayo Peru. He lived with his wife and two children at the observatory in Peru from 1936 to 1939.

Davies returned to Canada at the beginning of the Second World War and joined the National Research Council. He was seconded to do research for both the Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Navy on the application of ionospheric data to high frequency radio detection and direction finding. Davies was a member of the Canadian Radio Wave Propagation Committee 1944-1946. It became the nucleus of Radio Physics Laboratory (RPL) of the newly-formed Defence Research Board (DRB) in 1948. Davies was superintendent of the Radio Physics Laboratory, then Director of Physical Research and later Assistant Chief Scientist of DRB.

From 1951 to his retirement in 1969, Davies was Director General of the Defence Research Telecommunications Establishment (DRTE) of DRB. Its priorities included Arctic communications, high altitude research using Black Brant rockets and the design and construction of the Canadian satellites Alouette I launched by NASA in 1962 and Alouette II (1965) as well as later research and communications satellites. Davies was involved in each of these projects.

After his retirement, Davies reconnected with the resurgence of American research in Antarctica. He received honorary doctorates from McGill and York University in 1977 as well as medals from the Canadian government. He was a life member of Canadian Association of Physicists and a Fellow of the Arctic Institute of North America. Frank T. Davies died on 23 September 1981 at the age of 77.

Hydro Electric Power Commission of Ontario

  • Corporate body
  • 1906-1974

The Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario (HEPCO) was special statutory corporation established by the Act to Provide for the Transmission of Electrical power to Municipalities of 1906. Prior to its creation, hydro-electric power had developed as a series of solo ventures, private or public stations powering towns or businesses, but forming no common network. These often operated as monopolies, providing poor services at high prices. In response to these practices, the Ontario provincial government recognized in 1905 that electricity should be consider as ‘public good’ rather than commodity. The Commission’s role was to supply the electrical needs of the citizens of Ontario municipalities, and later to rural areas, at the lowest possible cost. Over the course of its history, HEPCO connected Ontario municipalities to its delivery system through the upgrading of local distribution lines and extension of transmission lines. To supply its clients, HEPCO bought power from private companies and acquired or built its own stations. In 1939, the Power Control Act gave the Commission the authority to regulate other electricity generators. The network extended past the borders of Ontario as HEPCO bought power from American-owned utilities and from private hydro producers in Quebec. As the Commission developed its capacity for thermal and nuclear-generated power starting in the 1950s, it became more self-sufficient and even became a net exporter of power. HEPCO was officially renamed Ontario Hydro in 1974 when the six-man commission that governed it was changed to a Board of Directors composed of a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, President, and a number of directors. Ontario Hydro continued to operate the generation and delivery system until deregulation of electricity market in Canada split the corporation in 1999 into two entities: Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to produce energy, and Hydro One to distribute it on the open market. The deregulation ultimately ended the generation and delivery model established with the creation of HEPCO in 1906.

Lehmann, Fritz, 1936-1994

  • Person
  • 1936-1994

Fritz Lehmann was born in 1936 in Oak Park, Illinois. He received his undergraduate degree at Oberlin College in 1958, and his master’s degrees and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin (1961, 1967). His area of expertise was the history of India and the South Asian region, in particular the role of Islam in the region, technology and its relation to the region`s culture and development, and Urdu language and literature.

He joined the University of British Columbia’s Department of History in 1967, where he was a member of the faculty until his death in 1994.

Throughout his life Lehmann was a lover of railways, especially steam locomotives. Wherever he went, he sought out, photographed and studied railways. In the late 1970s he became aware that very little was known about the locomotive construction industry in Canada. He decided to write a book about this subject and started writing articles on various individual manufacturers. He also collected material on Canadian railways on the macro level. He worked diligently on this project on his own time. However a stroke in 1988 slowed work down and his book remained incomplete at the time of his death.

Otto Pick and Sons Seeds Limited

  • Corporate body
  • 1947-2013

Otto Pick and Marie Jakesova were married in 1935 in the province of Bohemia, in the Czechoslovak Republic. Three years later, sensing the threat of war, they immigrated with their son and Marie’s sister to Canada. They began their life in Canada on a farm south of Caledonia, Ontario. The soil was poor and in 1940 the family moved to Streetsville (now Mississauga), Ontario, where Otto worked in machine shops, eventually starting the Tomart Machine Shop on King Street. When the Second World War was over, he returned to his agricultural background and joined the sale group of Greenland Permanent Pastures. In 1947, he decided to start his own company called Otto Pick Agricultural Services. The company initially worked with the supplier Middlesex Seed of London and orders were sent to a customer’s closest railroad station and paid by Cash on delivery (COD). At this time Otto Pick was the only sales representative. The company moved to bigger premises on Yonge Street in Richmond Hill, Ontario, in 1950. A warehouse and mixing equipment were installed in 1952. Sales agents were hired, covering areas in Ontario and Quebec. Marie Pick kept the company books, entering agent orders, noting delivery dates, price, weight, and other order, customer and banking data. Otto Pick died in 1959. Marie and sons Tom and Martin continued the business, changing the company’s name in 1962 to Otto Pick and Sons Seeds Limited. In 1964, the company built a small receiving and cleaning plant in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The company bought the Southern Ontario Seed Company based in New Dundee, Ontario, in 1966, entering into the seed corn market. It built a warehouse distribution facility in St. Hyacinthe, Quebec, in 1969. The following year the company established Pickseed West in partnership with W. Kent Wiley in Albany, Oregon. The company expanded further in the 1980s, acquiring the following interests: the seed division of Maple Leaf Mills (Hogg & Lytle); Roberts Seeds from Agway Inc. (Albany, Oregon); the Canadian assets of AgriBiotech including Oseco Inc. and Rothwell Seeds Inc; Seed Research (Corvallis, Oregon); and Farm Pure Seeds of Nipawin, Saskatchewan. A distribution facility was established in Sherwood Park, Alberta, in 1986, and a warehousing facility in Abbotsford, British Columbia, in 1997. During this period of expansion, the headquarters was moved to Lindsay, Ontario, in 1993. With the acquisitions, the combined revenue made Pickseed Group of Companies the largest forage and turf seed company in Canada and among the top 5 in the world. The Group was sold in 2013 to DLF Trifolium Landboforingers and is now known as DLF Pickseed Canada Inc.

Parkhill, Douglas F., 1923-1995

  • Person
  • 1923-12-19 - 1995

Douglas Freeman Parkhill was born on 19 December 1923. He received a bachelors in electrical engineering from the University of Toronto in 1949. From 1949 to 1951 he worked for Canadian Comstock Corporation on the frequency change from 25 to 60 cycles in southern Ontario. He worked with Computing Devices of Canada Ltd. in Ottawa as a systems engineer. He was briefly with AVCO of Canada Limited in Toronto as a Supervisor of Engineering before going to AVCO Corporation in Wilmington, Massachusetts, as Deputy Manager of the Computer and Electronic Systems Department. In 1958 Parkhill became chief engineer of the Advanced Development Department for General Dynamics Corporation in Rochester, New York. Working for MITRE Corporation in Bedford, Massachusetts, from 1961-69, he eventually became head of its Satellite Communications Systems.

In September 1969 Parkhill joined the federal Department of Communications in Ottawa as Director General of Policy, Plans and Programs Branch. He became Assistant Deputy Minister (Planning) in 1970 and was responsible for the Canadian Computer Communication Policy. He was also the OECD Panel on Computer Communications Policy which advised governments on changes brought about by computerization.

Parkhill’s final position with the department was as Assistant Deputy Minister (Research) starting in 1974. He was responsible for communication satellites, computer communications, the development of fibre-optic networks, image communications etc. Parkhill was one of the forces behind the development of Telidon, a Canadian public-private videotex and teletext system. Parkhill received the Outstanding Achievement Award of the Government of Canada in 1982 for his work in this area. He died in 1995.

Parkhill was the author of numerous talks and articles between 1956 and 1984 on the evolving role and challenges of computers, computer networks, communication technologies and the role of the federal government in these areas. He also produced fifty-some classified reports on military information systems, military space systems, satellite control systems and other topics. Parkhill was author of The Challenge of Computer Utility (1966) and with Dave Godfrey, wrote Gutenberg Two: The New Electronics and Social Change (1979).

After Parkhill retired from government service in April 1984, he received a contract from the Deputy Minister of Communications to write a history of the development of the videotex/teletext industry in Europe, Asia, the US and Canada. His manuscript on the development of Telidon “The Beginning of a Beginning” was completed in 1987.

Waterous Engine Works Company

  • Corporate body
  • 1874-1953

The predecessor of the various Waterous companies was a foundry established by P. C. Van Brocklin in Brantford, Ontario in 1844. The foundry made stoves and plows until Charles H. Waterous (1814-1892) joined in 1848. Waterous, with his experience as a machinist and founder, enlarged the product line to include sawmills, which became the standard products of the Brantford Engine Works Co. Waterous was the first company to introduce the straight line sawmill, thousands of which were put into operation around the world. Waterous also manufactured portable steam engines. In 1874 Waterous and his sons become the sole owners of the foundry which they renamed the Waterous Engine Works Co. In 1877 Waterous received the right to manufacture the Champion Vertical steam engine which was very popular for agricultural work. Waterous developed a traction engine version of this engine, but in 1890 the company started to build conventional horizontal-boilered traction engines. They were a popular product until demand fell off and the company ceased making them in 1911. By 1887, the company has an office in Winnipeg, and two Waterous sons established a factory in St. Paul Minnesota for the manufacture of fire engines for North-American cities. In 1929 the company bought the Edmonton Iron Works which became the Waterous headquarters for the Canadian West.

The company prospered throughout the early and mid-twentieth century by adding road making equipment to its portfolio. It also acquired patents for pulp-wood grinders, which gave the company an important role, along with screens, beaters, and vats, in the pulp and paper industry. After World War Two, the Waterous family sold their controlling interest in the company to Modern Tool Works based in Toronto. The Koehring Co., an American manufacture of construction and forestry equipment, purchased the Waterous Company in Sept 1953, which became Koehring-Waterous Ltd. In 1988, Koehring-Waterous was acquired by Timberjack Ltd., a forest harvesting equipment manufacturer in Woodstock, Ontario. The final years of the Waterous plant was spent in the production of log skidders, winches and other related tree harvesting equipment. In 1991, Timberjack was purchased by Rauma Repola, a Finnish conglomerate with interests in construction machinery and woodland equipment. On October 6, 1992 an announcement was made of the closure of the Koehring-Waterous plant. The plant’s equipment was auctioned off in February 1993 and the buildings razed in 1994.

Wright, Conrad Payling, 1897-1991

  • Person
  • 1897-1991

Conrad Payling Wright was born in Middlebrough, England. Nothing is known about his family or early life. He appears to have served in the Royal Garrison Artillery in World War I. In 1924 Wright married Esther Isabelle Clark (1895-1990) of Saint-John NB, who became a well-known Maritime historian. After their marriage, she followed Wright to Stanford University in California where he was studying. Coming from a well-established family, she was able to pursue her historical research full-time. She lived in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, while Wright spent much of his time in Ontario. They were still married when she died in 1990. C.P. Wright accepted her posthumous Order of Canada award in 1990.

Wright was the author of “The St. Lawrence Deep Waterway: A Canadian Appraisal” (1935) about the unratified 1932 treaty between Canada and the US to build a deep waterway to connect the Great Lakes to the Atlantic and the benefits that it would provide. Using his accumulated research material as a base, Wright continued to collect a wide variety of information on what became the St. Lawrence Seaway, opened in 1959 and the associated hydroelectric developments. He planned to write a book on the Seaway, but this never came about. Wright did give a number of talks about the Seaway as well as making a number of presentations to various groups interested in the project. He died in 1991.