Showing 30 results

People and organizations
Canada Science and Technology Museum Library and Archives

Angus, Donald S.

  • Person

Donald S. Angus lived in Senneville, Québec. He operated the boat “Alert” in the Ottawa and St. Lawrence rivers from 1912 to 1975.

Beauchamp, Jacques C., 1928-2019

  • Person
  • 1928-06-08 - 2019-09-03

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. He died in Ottawa on 3 September 2019.

Burland, Miriam S.

  • Person
  • 1902 - 1996-04-01

Miriam Burland was born in Saint-Lambert, Quebec in 1902. She attended Longueuil High School and studied math and physics at McGill University. Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in 1926, she became interested in astrophysics through Vibert Douglas, a prominent Canadian astronomer. Burland joined the Astrophysics Division of the Dominion Observatory in 1927, where her main responsibility was photoelectric photometry of Cepheid variables using the 38cm refractor. She began to take part in meteor work alongside Malcolm Thomson in 1934, and maintained an interest in the area for over 20 years. Encouraged by Peter Millman, another astronomer who later worked at the Observatory, she organized other observers and reduced the data from their observations. She was transferred to the Seismology Division for the duration of the Second World War. Over her career at the Observatory, she was a member of three Canadian expeditions observing major solar eclipses in 1932, 1954 and 1962. From the mid-1950s until her retirement, she served as the Observatory’s public relations education officer, which involved compiling reports, giving public tours, and answering inquiries. During this time, she also coordinated a meteor observation program in Canada for the International Geophysical Year (1957-58) with Peter Millman, and was in charge of the visual program responsible for observing meteors under the Department of Mines and Technical Surveys and the National Research Council. In 1960, she was among the Observatory’s representatives at the opening of the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory in British Columbia. Throughout the 1960s, she served on the National Committee for Canada in the International Astronomical Union. Burland retired from the Observatory on September 22, 1967. In 1974, the National Museum of Science and Technology acquired the 15-inch equatorial telescope that Burland had previously worked with, and Museum staff continued to consult with her on astronomical matters.

She served as the Secretary for the Ottawa Centre section of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) from 1930-1933, and from 1935-1941 served as the Vice-President, President and Honourary President. RASC awarded her with the Service Award in 1963. She was a regular contributor to the Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and wrote for the “About our Authors” section until 1977. Burland was also a member of the American Astronomical Society and la Société Astronomique de France.

She was also involved in the Zonta Club in Ottawa. She was in charge of the housing committee, and served as president in 1941. She died in Ottawa on April 1, 1996.

Camions à incendie Pierreville Limitée

  • Corporate body
  • 1968-1985

For further information on the company Camions à incendie Pierreville Limitée, please see the authority record for the company Camions Pierre Thibault Inc.

Camions Pierre Thibault Inc.

  • Corporate body
  • 1908-1991

The origin of the Pierre Thibault company can be traced back to 1908 when Charles Thibault worked as a coachbuilder and blacksmith in Sorel, Quebec. Pierre Thibault, son of Charles, pursued his father’s business in St-Robert, Quebec, for several years before moving to Pierreville in 1938. The company signed a considerable number of contracts during the Second World War and grew in size. It incorporated in 1957, becoming Pierre Thibault Canada Limitée. During the 1960s, it grew to become the biggest manufacturer of fire engines in Canada. Its vehicles were purchased throughout Canada, and even in the United States of America, South America, and Jamaica. In 1968, a family dispute following the death of the patriarch, Pierre Thibault, led to a rift between Pierre’s nine sons and a breakup of the family company. The five elder brothers opened a new company, Camions à incendie Pierreville Limitée, in St-François du Lac. This began a period of intense competition between the two companies. The original company, Pierre Thibault Canada Limitée, later suffered bankruptcies and was sold several times before being bought in 1979 by René Thibault, one of the elder brothers and founders of the rival company. With the purchase, Camions à incendie Pierreville Limitée was renamed Camions Pierre Thibault Incorporated. Camion Pierre Thibault Inc. went on to purchase Camions à incendie Pierreville Limitée in 1985 when it entered bankruptcy, bringing the two family businesses together again. Most operations were moved to the factory at St-François. However, also during this time, three of the Thibault brothers had started their own businesses: Guy created Tibotrac in Terrebonne in 1979; Yvon created Phoenix in Drummondville in 1985; and, Charles-Étienne created C.E. Thibault, also in 1985. In 1990, Camions Pierre Thibault Inc. experienced financial difficulties and was bought by three businessmen in association with the Fonds de Solidarité de la Fédération des Travailleurs du Québec (FTQ). The company was renamed NovaQUINTech. The company Phoenix entered bankruptcy and was purchased by NovaQUINTECH in 1992. Two years later NovaQUINTech grew again when it purchased MCI, a manufacturer of buses and renamed that company Nova Bus. In 1995, NovaQUINTech was reorganized as a division of Nova Bus. This company was sold in 1997 to the American company Pierce, putting an end to 90 years of work by a major Canadian company. Today only work to satisfy warranties is undertaken in the factory at Pierreville, carried out by the company Quebec Inc. (9053 2698), the donor of the archives. The older factory at Pierreville was bought in 2000 by one of the grandchildren of Pierre Thibault, Carl, the son of René, who runs with his wife Marie, the fire engine company Camions Carl Thibault Inc.

Carlisle, David M.

  • Person
  • 1936 -

David Murray Carlisle was born in 1936 in Grand Prairie, Alberta. He studied electrical engineering at the University of Alberta. One summer during his studies, Carlisle worked at Canadian Protective Coating to measure and plot the flow of electricity in oil and gas pipelines. After graduation, he worked another summer for Canadian Protective Coating before leaving to undertake a 3-year scholarship to work at Metropolitan-Vickers Electrical Company and to pursue post-graduate work at the University of Manchester, UK. At Metrovicks, Carlisle rotated positions, spending time in the Computer Lab where the company had not long previously introduced the first commercial computer with all-transistor circuitry. He worked on the large scale AEI 1010 system. Carlisle also had a rotation in the Metrovicks’ sales office. At University of Manchester, he learned to program the school’s Ferranti Mercury computer.

Returning to Canada in May 1961, Carlisle began his career at IBM as a systems engineering trainee just as the company began to sell 1401 computers (first computer where customers could write their own programs in a practical way). After several months of training, Carlisle started work as an engineer at IBM’s Edmonton branch installing 1401 computers. He would learn to install and program all six of IBM’s Electronic Data Processing (EDP) computer lines. Carlisle switched to sales in 1963. He moved to the Toronto headquarters of IBM Canada in 1964, becoming Manager of Commercial Analysis. At this time IBM was retiring its EDP computer lines, replacing them with System/360 computers that were software interchangeable (all could run the same programs and read the same data). In 1966, Carlisle received an IBM Outstanding Achievement Award, was promoted to Marketing Manager, and moved to the IBM Ottawa branch office. In Ottawa, he was involved with large procurement projects meant to improve computation at Government ministries such as Revenue Canada, as well as at companies like Bell-Northern Research.

Carlisle left IBM Canada to pursue a focus on online computer services, joining AGT Data Services in Montreal in 1970 and then at Datacrown in 1971. Both companies were service bureau, providing data processing to companies that could then forego a medium-size computer for their work. Carlisle was Vice-President of Marketing at Datacrown until he left the company at the end of 1978 after its merger with SDL. Infomart, a joint venture between two newspaper companies (Torstar and Southam) hired Carlisle as President and Chief Executive Officer in 1979. Infomart was started to find a solution for electronic publishing and text-search software. However, in 1979 it also entered into an agreement to begin to commercialize the Telidon videotex systems developed by the Federal Department of Communications in response to French and British systems being introduced. In the early 1980s, Infomart described itself as a videotex system operator, a Telidon systems turnkey supplier, and a database search service provider. Carlisle was a principal actor in the dissemination of Telidon and videotex technology in Canada and throughout the world in his role at Infomart. However, Torstar and Southam ultimately refused a deal that would have made Infomart the chosen instrument to commercialize Telidon technology, by, among other means, selling Telidon crown assets to the company. Torstar began cutting costs in 1983 and although Infomart continued to operate at a loss, it was kept afloat while it gradually decreased its videotex operations. David Carlisle was fired on August 3, 1983. Southam bought out Torstar’s share in Infomart and it eventually evolved into a media monitoring business, which was sold to Meltwater in 2017.

After leaving Infomart, Carlisle formed a corporation (Network Videotex Systems Ltd, later renamed Acuna International Inc) that consulted on videotex to many companies in North America, developed and sold a new videotex server software system based on IBM PCs, and participated in the development of 9 separate videotex system operations projects. In 1997, Carlisle joined Price Waterhouse Coopers and ran their service for the Year 2,000 date change problem. After this project ended, Carlisle retired. He described his experiences in the world of early commercial computing in Canada in a memoir called Videotex America.

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.

Douglas, Althea, 1926-2018

  • Person
  • 1926-12-25 – 2018-10-21

Althea Cleveland Douglas (née McCoy) was born on December 25, 1926 in Moncton, New Brunswick. Her parents were George Thomas E. McCoy, a railroad executive, and Anne Robinson (Chapman) McCoy. The family relocated to Toronto, Ontario, and she obtained a senior matriculation from Branksome Hall School before moving to Montreal, Quebec, to study at McGill University. Her academic pursuits include a Bachelor of Science in mathematics, physics, and dramatic production; a Master of Arts in English and Dramatic Literature; and various courses in French language, archives/records management, and history. She married J. Creighton Douglas in 1948 (also known as Creighton Douglas). Althea worked as a costume designer for 10 years in Montreal and in New York before she began to work at McGill becoming first a lecturer in the English Department from 1947 to 1959, a Research Editor for the Burney Project in the Department of English beginning in 1960, and an Archivist for the Penfield Collection at the Neurological Institute from 1978-81. She relocated to Toronto in 1982 after Creighton started working for IMAX and opened “Althea Douglas Consultants” where she worked as an independent researcher, editor, and writer. She also began working for IMAX, at first as a part-time contractor for about three months in 1984 in order to edit a set of four standard manuals. However, as each theatre required a specialised manual to account for the host country’s technological context, a different manual was required for each system in operation. By 1985, she had edited 20 manuals and had learned to use AUTOCAD in order to streamline the development process and to create a manual that was easily updated. Her most notable works for the company included revising the manual “Design Facts (for IMAX and OMNIMAX Theatres)” and writing both “Design Considerations for an IMAX Theatre” and “Design Considerations for an OMNIMAX Theatre.” (First editions c. 1987; second editions c.1991). While employed there she traveled to Mexico, Japan, Europe, and Nigeria. She also, in her personal time, obtained a C.G.(C) Certified Genealogist designation from the Genealogical Institute of the Maritimes (1989), and worked for the national headquarters of the Girl Guides of Canada to establish an arrangement structure for their archives, a catalogue database, and to produce digital finding aids. When she closed her consulting business in 1991, she relocated to Ottawa, Ontario and worked as a professional genealogist. She has numerous publications credited to her, including “A Catalogue of the Burney Family Correspondence 1749-1878 (co-authored with Joyce Hemlow and J.M.M.Burgess), “Canadian Railway Records: A Guide for Genealogists” (co-authored with J. Creighton Douglas) including its revision and expansion, and several articles in various genealogy journals. She also was a member of the Association of Canadian Archivists, Association of Professional Genealogists (United States), Society of Genealogists (England), Ontario Genealogical Society, New Brunswick Genealogical Society, and Toronto Area Archivists Group. She won a Canadian Council Award category 6 and 7, and Canadian Council grants from 1961 through 1965.

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.


  • Corporate body
  • 1991-1997

For further information on NovaQUINTech, please see the authority record for the company Camions Pierre Thibault Inc.

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.

Pierre Thibault Canada Ltée

  • Corporate body
  • 1908-1979

For further information on the company Pierre Thibault Canada Ltée, please see the authority record for the company Camions Pierre Thibault Inc.

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