cyclo camera_mod

Part 5: Canadian Contributions to Panoramic Photography

THE BACKSTORY:

Cirkut Panoramic Camera Outfit Century 46, No. 8 Century Camera Division, Eastman Kodak Co., Rochester, N.Y. ca. 1908-15 Artifact no. 2013.0126

Figure 1. Cirkut Panoramic Camera Outfit
Century Camera Division,
Eastman Kodak Co., Rochester, N.Y.
ca. 1908-15
Artifact no. 2013.0126

 

After our examination of the Cirkut Panoramic Camera Outfit (Figure 1), one of the first questions that came up had to do with the panoramic photographs. Were there any left? If so, where? Would we be so lucky as to find Ernest Denton’s panoramas and uncover the evidence needed to link them to the newly acquired artifact?

 

Actually…, we were! Beginning about a year and a half ago, some fact finding led me to Karen Ball-Pyatt of the Grace Schmidt Room of Local History at the Kitchener Public Library. Discussions with Karen confirmed the existence of Denton’s 100 year old military panoramas (Figure 2), well preserved, and safely stored in their collections. Our research on the cameras’ provenance, the photographer who used it, as well as careful examination of his photos by Wilhelm Nassau and Dolf Bogad led our team to conclude the links between the camera outfit and Denton’s ‘picture perfect’ panoramas were as close a match as we were going to get. Thanks to Karen’s research on Denton, our examinations of his panoramic photographs and camera, a colourful history began to emerge – the notion of collaborating on a series of blogs really took hold. It is with great pleasure that both Karen and I could actively participate in uncovering the past, reach out to Willie and Dolf, and together share our findings through our Historically Speaking and Collect-Connect blogs.

 

Ernest Denton was my Great-grandfather. We as kids knew him as Pop and he was a wonderful man.

I never knew he was so great as a photographer because he was just Pop to me”.

~ Mrs. Linda Tucker, March 2015.

 

-56th Overseas Battery, Canadian Expeditionary Forces, Petawawa Camp 1916, Denton’s Studio, Kitchener, Canada Photo reproduced with the permission of the Grace Schmidt Room of Local History, Kitchener Public Library.

Figure 2. Panoramic photograph of the 56th Overseas Battery, Petawawa Camp, Ontario, Denton’s Studio, 1916.
Reproduced with the permission of the Grace Schmidt Room of Local History, Kitchener Public Library.

 

CANADIAN CONTRIBUTIONS:

Connon's 1887 patent. Source: Canadian Intellectual Property Office, Canadian Patent Document 30143, Drawings page

Figure 3. Connon’s Canadian 1888 patent.
Canadian Intellectual Property Office, Patent Document 30,143.

 

There are some notable Canadian contributions to the development of 19th century panoramic photography, the technique used for capturing wide views of a scene on one single exposure.

 

The invention of flexible rolled film in the late 1880’s made it possible for inventors, innovators, and manufacturers to combine with a mechanism that rotated a camera about the optical axis of a lens – and this, at the same time as the film advanced passed the shutter. Two Canadians, John Robert Connon and William James Johnston, contributed to bringing the mechanical system to perfection. Advancements in the development of panoramic photography and the design of the Cirkut Panoramic camera enabled photographers to capture wide and elongated scenes on film and photos up to eight feet long that exceed the human eye’s field of view. Both Connon and Johnston obtained patents (Figure 3) for camera designs possible to take 360o panoramic photographs.

 

 

 

 

John Robert Connon (1862-1931) was from the town of Elora, in the county of Wellington, Ontario. He followed in his father’s footsteps as a professional photographer, and is largely credited with the invention of the panoramic camera. In 1887, while using his cycloramic-type camera, Connon took what was likely the first Canadian panoramic photograph (Figure 4), and in 1888, obtained a Canadian patent (no. 30,143) for the invention of the Whole-Circle Panoramic Camera (Figure 3). It is while briefly living in New York that Connon collaborated with C.P. Stirn as the designer of the “Wonder Panoramic Camera”, confirming the photographer from Elora as a true inventor and innovator. In 2007 the Royal Canadian Mint issued a sterling silver coin, ‘celebrating Canada’s technical achievements and the invention of the panoramic camera by J.R. Connon’.

 

An 1887 panoramic view of Elora, Ontario by John Robert Connon. Reproduced with the permission of the Wellington County Museum and Archives / PH 2754.

Figure 4. An 1887 panoramic view of Elora, Ontario by John Robert Connon. Reproduced with the permission of the Wellington County Museum and Archives / PH 2754.

 

Less is known of William James Johnston (1856–1941), especially of his adult life. He was born in Portsmouth, Ontario, but lived in the United States from about 1870 to 1905, first in Wyoming, then in Rochester, N.Y. (Lansdale, PHSC, 2010). While with the Rochester Panoramic Camera Co. (with Reavill et al.) he obtained two US patents for panoramic cameras, one of which is stamped on the inside of the panoramic back of this Cirkut camera (Figure 5). In 1905 Johnston returned to Canada, settled in Toronto where he founded the Panoramic Camera Company of Canada (1907). Johnston died almost penniless in a Toronto rooming house in 1941 (Lansdale, PHSC, 2010).

 

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Figure 5. US patent no. 776,403, November 29, 1904, for having invented “certain new and useful improvements in panoramic cameras”.

 

The take home lesson in this series of blogs has been the wealth of histories and narratives that have been revealed, especially when combining a ‘reading artifacts’ approach to an objects’ textual and iconographic records, no matter where they may be located. ‘Historically speaking’, when taken together, the multiplier effect of collecting, connecting, and collaborating becomes almost undisputable.

 

Note: The evidence found to date strongly support the case this was the Cirkut camera that took the Denton panoramic photographs. As with many historical objects, research at times uncovers more questions than answers. We welcome your comments, contributions, and any new evidence found on the camera, the photographer, and Canadian contributions to the development of panoramic photography.

 


Click on the titles to read the complete series.

 

Part 1: A Cirkut Panoramic Camera and the Photographer Who Owned It

By M. Labrecque, Assistant Curator, Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation Posted February 25, 2015  

 

Part 2: Deciphering Denton: the Kitchener Connection  

By Karen Ball-Pyatt, Librarian, Grace Schmidt Room of Local History, Kitchener Public Library Posted March 4, 2015  

 

Part 3: The Challenge of Dating Denton’s Cirkut Camera

By M. Labrecque Posted March 11, 2015  

 

Part 4: Picture Perfect Panoramics

By Karen Ball-Pyatt Posted March 18, 2015  

 

Part 5: Canadian Contributions to Panoramic Photography

By M. Labrecque Posted March 27, 2015


 

References:

1. Canadian Intellectual Property Office.

2. Connon, John Robert, Application for Patent for Photographic Instrument, Department of Agriculture, Elora, Ontario, August 21, 1888.

3. George Eastman House, Rochester, N.Y.

4. Lansdale, Robert, The Inventors of the Cirkut Camera and its Parts, Photographic Canadiana, Vol. 36, No. 1, May-June 2010.

5. McBride, Bill, Evolution of the No. 10 Cirkut Camera, Photographic Canadiana, Vol. 36, No. 1, May-June 2010.

6. McKeown, James M., McKeown’s Price Guide to Antique & Classic Cameras 12th Edition, 2005/2006, Wisconsin.

7. Silversides, Brock, Panoramic Photography, Photographic Canadiana, Vol. 10, No. 6, March-April 1985.

 

Acknowledgements:

Much owed to Karen Ball-Pyatt for agreeing to take on this project, for her enthusiasm, invaluable research, and reaching out. To the Grace Schmidt Room of Local History and Kitchener Public Library for sharing their collection of Denton’s work. Special thanks to Wilhem Nassau and Dolf Bogad for making the camera donation possible and for sharing their enthusiasm and knowledge of panoramic photography. Thanks to Bryan Dewalt for his expertise, review and insight, the Wellington County Museum and Archives and the Canadian Intellectual Property Office for use of photos. We would especially like to acknowledge and thank Mrs. Linda Tucker, the Great-granddaughter of Ernest Denton for sharing her memories of ‘Pop’.

Cirkut B&W

Part 3: The Challenge of Dating Denton’s Cirkut Camera

In part two of the story, Karen Ball-Pyatt focused on Deciphering Denton: The Kitchener Connection (click on the link). Part three of the series will focus on the Museum’s Cirkut Panoramic Camera, some history on the Century Camera Company, and the challenges we had in accurately dating the artifact.

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Fig. 1 Panoramic Camera Attachment

 

 

The No. 8 Century Cirkut Panoramic Outfit appears for the first time as a division of the Eastman Kodak Company (EKC) in the 1908 Century Cameras catalogue. The base price for the outfit was $175, and this depended on which lens and what options were selected. The complete camera outfit included the Century camera Model 46 (a 6 ½ x 8 ½ inch view camera), a Series II Centar lens, No. 1 automatic shutter, panoramic attachment, revolving back, double plate holder, crown tripod, and sole leather carrying case.

 

 

 

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Fig. 2 Crown Tripod

 

For panoramic photography, part of the mechanism which rotated the camera is visible in these photos. The photographer would fit the panoramic camera attachment (fig. 1 foreground) to the back of the No. 46 camera (fig. 1 background), and the whole camera rotated on the base of the crown tripod (fig. 2). It was engaged by a gearing mechanism which exposed the film as it traveled past the shutter. In this instance, Eastman Daylight-loading film 8 inches wide, and up to 8 feet long was used. For standard photography, one would replace the panoramic attachment with the double glass plate holder.

 

Founded in 1900, Century Camera Co. took its name for ‘the new millenium’ and produced cameras in Rochester, N.Y. Early production included Century Compact Models (10 to 16), Century Grand, Grand Junior, Long Focus, and Century Stereoscopic Cameras to name a few. In 1903 Eastman Kodak Co. (EKC) acquired shares of Century Camera Co. In 1905 Century Camera Co. acquired the Rochester Panoramic Camera Co., which held patents on William J. Johnston’s panoramic mechanism, including the name Cirkut. By 1907, Century had become fully absorbed as a division of EKC. In Part 5 I will conclude the series by exploring J.R. Connon’s contribution to the development of panoramic photography, as well as Johnston’s patent as it applies to our Cirkut Panoramic Camera.

 

 

The Museum’s Cirkut camera, serial no. 749 and bearing the markings “Eastman Kodak Co., Successors to CENTURY CAMERA CO.” has proven a challenge to accurately date, even with a serial number. After consultations with Mr. Nassau, Mr. Bogad, and George Eastman House, our best approximation using the available information is between 1908 and 1915: the 1908 date for when Century appeared for the first time in their catalogue as a division of EKC, and the 1915 date for when Century became fully absorbed by the Folmer Division of EKC. Both dates are consistent with when Ernest Denton established his studio, his acquisition of the camera, and appearance of his 1916 panoramas of the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

Many thanks to Wilhem Nassau (left) for connecting with the Museum and making the donation possible, Mr. Dolf Bogad for donating the camera, answering our many questions, and Mrs. Karen Ball-Pyatt for her invaluable research and for agreeing to take on this project.

Members of the Cirkut Camera Project met to inspect and discuss Ernest Denton’s panoramic photographs. Thanks to contributions by Mr. Wilhem Nassau (left), Mr. Dolf Bogad (right), and Mrs. Karen Ball-Pyatt, the body of knowledge on the camera and on the photographer have greatly increased. Photo: Grace Schmidt Room of Local History.

 

The military panoramas are carefully preserved in the collections of the Grace Schmidt Room of Local History, Kitchener Public Library. They will be the subject of Karen’s Part 4: Denton’s Cirkut Panoramic Photos, appearing March 18 on Historically Speaking.

 


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Part 4: Denton’s Cirkut Panoramic Photos

by Karen Ball-Pyatt

Available on HISTORICALLY SPEAKING March 18, 2015

Grace Schmidt Room of Local History, Kitchener Public Library

@KPL_GSRHistory


To see more photos of the Cirkut Panoramic Camera, click HERE.


 

References:

1. Lansdale, Robert, The Inventors of the Cirkut Camera and its Parts, Photographic Canadiana, Vol. 36, No. 1, May-June 2010.

2. McBride, Bill, Evolution of the No. 10 Cirkut Camera, Photographic Canadiana, Vol. 36, No. 1, May-June 2010.

3. Silversides, Brock, Panoramic Photography, Photographic Canadiana, Vol. 10, No. 6, March-April 1985.

4. George Eastman House, Rochester, N.Y.

 

Acknowledgements:

Thanks to Wilhem Nassau, Dolf Bogad, Karen Ball-Pyatt, and Bryan Dewalt for their review and insight, the Grace Schmidt Room of Local History, Kitchener Public Library, and Historically Speaking blog.

 

We would also like to acknowledge Mrs. Linda Tucker, the Great-granddaughter of Ernest Denton for taking the time to write back.

 

Photos:

Photos appearing in this article are by the author.

Labrecque / CSTMC

IMG_0267

Part 1: A Cirkut Panoramic Camera and the Photographer Who Owned It

This story follows the Museum’s recent acquisition of a Cirkut Panoramic Camera. It will be told in five parts with the collaboration of Karen Ball-Pyatt, Grace Schmidt Room of Local History, Kitchener Public Library. Together we will trace some of the camera’s history, the photographer who first used it, the Great War, and Canadian contributions to the development of panoramic photography.

Cirkut Panoramic Camera Outfit Century 46, No. 8 Century Camera Division, Eastman Kodak Co., Rochester, N.Y. ca. 1908-15 Artifact no. 2013.0126

Cirkut Panoramic Camera Outfit
Century 46, No. 8
Century Camera Division,
Eastman Kodak Co., Rochester, N.Y.
ca. 1908-1915
Artifact no. 2013.0126

 

The format will be a five part series of short blogs. I will begin Part 1, while Karen will pick up Part 2 next week on her Historically Speaking blog. We will alternate weekly thereafter, and share what we know about the camera and the photographer.

 

We may raise more questions than answers, so we encourage readers to contribute. Who knows, perhaps we will make some discoveries along the way?

 

This Cirkut Panoramic Camera Outfit was manufactured by the Century Camera Division of Eastman Kodak Co. of Rochester between 1908 and 1915. The camera outfit was used by Ernest Denton (1883-1957), a well-known photographer in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, and owner of the Denton Photo Studio (1913-1955) in what was then Berlin, Ontario. The camera remained in use throughout Denton’s career until mid-1950’s, when it was sold to Al Pirak, and then to Dolf Bogad in the 1970’s. The ownership history of the camera outfit is therefore (to the best of our knowledge) unbroken; from Denton, to Pirak, to Bogad, and now in the Museum’s collection. Al Pirak actually last used the camera in 1961 to take a panoramic photograph of the Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Board Summer Picnic (Grace Schmidt Room of Local History collection, Kitchener Public Library).

Mr. Nassau stands behind a fully assembled Cirkut camera. This one however was manufactured by the Folmer and Schwing Division of Eastman Kodak. Some interesting history on Century Cameras, Folmer and Schwing, and Eastman Kodak will be touched upon in Part 3.

Mr. Nassau stands behind a fully assembled Cirkut camera. This one however was manufactured by the Folmer and Schwing Division of Eastman Kodak. Some interesting history on Century Cameras, Folmer and Schwing, and Eastman Kodak will be touched upon in Part 3.

 

What is panoramic photography? It is a technique used for capturing wide and uninterrupted views of a landscape or a scene on one single exposure. Improvements in film technology from the first Daguerrotype panoramas in the early 1840’s to flexible rolled film in the late 1880’s made it possible for inventors to capture 360o degree images from one exposure. Panoramic photography became popular in the late nineteenth century when manufacturers combined rolled film with a mechanism that rotated a camera about the optical axis of a lens. A few Canadian innovations brought the system to perfection. The result of these innovations was the ability to capture wide and elongated scenes on film and photos up to eight feet long that exceed the human eye’s field of view. Contributions to the development of panoramic photography by J.R. Connon, W.J. Johnston will be covered in Part 5.

 

 

The connection that brought this Cirkut camera to the Museum was through Mr. Wilhem Nassau, an expert on the history of photography who has had a long-standing relationship with this Museum. He established the Wilfrid Laurier University teaching collection in the 1970’s which was eventually donated to the Museum in 1981, increasing our camera collection significantly. Fast forward to June 2013 and a visit from Willie to Ottawa to show Mr. Bogad’s Cirkut Camera Outfit, and share with us some of its rich history. The camera belonged to Bogad, who lives not far from Willie in Kitchener-Waterloo, and so began our research on its provenance, authenticity, and eventual acquisition.

 

The complete panoramic camera outfit is genuine in every part. The camera, a Century Cirkut No. 8 is worn in the usual spots where one would expect, even the carrying case looks well-travelled, revealing many stories hidden in the 100 year history of this artifact. The date of manufacture, the time when Denton began his studio, even the relative proximity of Berlin, Ontario to Rochester, N.Y. and ownership speaks to the cameras’ authenticity. It changed hands a few times, from Denton’s studio, to (unknown), to Pirak Studio, and then Mr. Bogad of Forde Studio who recognized its value, and would eventually donate the camera to the Museum.

 

I first saw the camera in 1960, and later bought it from Al Pirak in the early 1970’s because of its uniqueness, Denton’s work, and the historical importance of his panoramic photographs.
~ Dolph Bogad

 

When the Museum acquired the camera, the missing link to the whole story were the photos. Making the connection between Denton’s Cirkut Panoramic Camera Outfit and the photos he took would make for an interesting story to tell. Is the story authentic? Did any photos survive? If so, where were they? The search eventually led me to the Grace Schmidt Room of Local History at the Kitchener Public Library.

 

After several emails and discussions with Karen in the Spring of 2014, it turned out the Grace Schmidt Room had in fact some of Denton’s work in their collections. But were they panoramas? A few days later I received from Karen a very nice thumbnail of a military panorama, signed Denton. Wow! In their archives were found over 24 Denton panoramic photos.

 

This physical evidence certainly added a new dimension to the camera. The when and the how this Cirkut Panoramic Camera was used began to emerge. It was 1916 when a 31 year old Ernest Denton would have photographed regiments of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. With the discovery last Summer, on the 100th Anniversary of the beginning of World War-1, the camera began to reveal its history. Regimental photographs of young soldiers prior to their departure for overseas fighting, company and church picnics, family reunions, city views, and police and fire departments. A great reason to reach out, connect and collaborate on a blog. 

 

A note on authenticity: As with many historical objects, we cannot say with absolute certainty this was the camera that took the Denton panoramic photographs. The evidence found to date (Winter 2015) however does strongly support the case. The camera, photographer, photos, and their geographic setting are all linked in time. They combine with an almost unbroken chain of ownership that point to the cameras’ link to the photos. New evidence uncovered in the Fall 2015 now suggests a much stronger link to Denton and proves this camera outfit took the panoramic photographs in the Kitchener Public Library collections – the last remaining panoramic found this past Summer was taken by Al Pirak using this camera.
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 View additional photos of the Cirkut camera HERE.

To see some of Denton’s panoramas, come back next Wednesday for Part 2 on Historically Speaking.


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Cultural Open Data: Mash Up the Past, Explore the Future

Q: What do a thresher, a locomotive and a space sled have in common?

A: They’re all a part of Canada’s national science and technology collection, available to download on the Government of Canada’s Open Data Portal.

Our three national museums, the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, Canada Aviation and Space Museum and the Canada Science and Technology Museum released our first open data sets on the Government of Canada’s Open Data Portal in November of last year. With the second annual Canadian Open Data Experience (CODE) Hackathon fast approaching, the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation is looking forward to seeing the creative, surprising ways coders across the country will mash up data sets to create useful applications for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

Museums have an important role to play in the open data sphere. As stewards of our shared cultural, technological, and scientific heritage, national museums have a duty to ensure their collections are accessible to Canadians from coast to coast to coast. By opening up our collection of more than 100,000 artifacts highlighting Canada’s achievements in science, technology and engineering, our Museums are excited to work with coders, researchers, universities, colleges, businesses, and communities to develop useful and interesting apps for all Canadians.

We encourage developers across the country to have some fun with this unique collection. The data sets cover everything from planes and trains, to tractors and toasters. Each object has more than 80 data fields, including images of the artifact. Already, coders have accessed our data sets to create new search portals for the Museums’ collections, as demonstrated by the Collections Explorer, created by independent coder An-Min Kuo of the Blue Factor consulting group. Moreover, history students in collaboration with Digital Humanities at the University of Ottawa are working with the museum to mine the collection data, producing a student exhibit on the History of Exploration and Surveying in Canada.

The release of open data has also made an impact within our museums. It represents a significant step forward in digital culture and “thinking digital”. It also serves as a base for new museum projects that are already in the works.

As you may have heard, the Canada Science and Technology Museum has recently been closed for extensive repairs. The physical building may be closed, but the museum is active across the county, and these data sets and their many uses help to open up our extensive collection of fascinating artifacts and to facilitate new forms of digital engagement for more Canadians than ever before.

Open Data opens up uncharted opportunities for our country. Our three Museums are excited to be part of the movement, and to be participating in the CODE Hackathon this week. We look forward to working with creative people to discover new and fascinating applications for open data. The possibilities are endless!

By Brian Dawson

David Bissessar and Anita Scott-Harrison at Bruyère Continuing Care, Ottawa, On.

A Community of Support through the ‘Click’ of a Nose

Starting in 2012, curatorial staff at CSTMC began a five year project of collecting ‘new technologies’. We assigned a different theme to each of the five years with the underlying goal of reflecting 21st century Canadian life. For 2014, my colleagues and I set about collecting technologies that related to building families and creating communities. Given the scope of the histories we collect, ‘community’ can be defined quite broadly and in a myriad of ways. For me, however, this idea of community as a support group is best represented in a current collecting opportunity, a 2012 laptop, camera and software program called Nouse. Anita Scott-Harrison, a patient at the Bruyère Continuing Care facility here in Ottawa, had been the first person to test this system:

“When I became paralyzed two years ago, people found it hard to come and visit. (…) I missed speaking with my family and friends. (…) Two persons, a laptop, and new software called Nouse helped turn things around for me. Hillary, my occupational therapist, who thankfully noticed that I was regaining a little bit of head movement, enough to use Nouse. Bill, my volunteer here at Saint Vincent’s, ever so kind and considerate. Bill was in my room one day, listening as Hillary described what would be required. I would need a laptop, the Nouse software, a Wifi account, and email account pre-initialized with my contacts. We would also need to know how to position the laptop when I wanted to use it. Clearly, Hillary would have her work cut out for her! With no hesitation at all, Bill volunteered to add another day to his visits, provided me with a laptop and Nouse, which he installed (and customized) for me.” [1]

 

David Bissessar and Anita Scott-Harrison at Bruyère Continuing Care, Ottawa, On.

David Bissessar and Anita Scott-Harrison at Bruyère Continuing Care, Ottawa, On.

This quote was taken from a testimonial that Anita wrote about her use and experience with the perceptual vision technology called Nouse, or Nose as Mouse, that enables vision-based, hands-free interaction with a computer. The system takes a video sequence as an input, and splits it into the channels corresponding to the motion, colour and intensity components of video. The system begins by performing face segmentation and detection tasks which enables the software to estimate where the face is in the video. Once a face has been detected, the user is required to manually choose the features that he/she wants to be tracked. This is called ‘stereo-tracking’ and the software makes use of the convex-shape of the nose in order to allow 3D face-tracking with the aid of an ordinary web-camera.

The Nouse Cursor is similar to the standard mouse arrow.

The Nouse Cursor is similar to the standard mouse arrow.

Dr. Dmitry Gorodnichy developed the Nouse technology at the National Research Council of Canada (NRC). In 2007 Dr. Gorodnichy founded a company called IVIM Inc. and licensed the Nouse technology from NRC, with the intension to further develop Nouse. This technology has also been approved by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Care Assistive Devices Program. The research and innovation inherent in the development of Nouse, as well as its applications and intended audience, makes this piece a welcome addition to the existing collection of assistive technologies at the Canada Science and Technology Museum.

Clicking with the Nouse software is performed with the assistance of a timer.

Clicking with the Nouse software is performed with the assistance of a timer.

What excites me most about this acquisition, however, is that its history of use and adaptation represents a unique community of care and support. Anita, the donor, became paralyzed in 2012 and moved to Bruyère Continuing Care in Ottawa, Ontario. The Bruyère Research Institute, a partnership of Bruyère Continuing Care and the University of Ottawa, has been a key partner in assisting with the development of Nouse. Anita started using Nouse in 2014 with the support of her occupational therapist, hospital volunteer, family members, and staff from IVIM Inc. These varying expertise and types of knowledge were collectively necessary in making Anita’s use of this software a success. Without each member of this community of support, different elements of her adoption of Nouse would not have been possible.

Acknowledgements:

Many thanks to Anita for having shared her story. Through it we recognize and admire her strength and determination. I would also like to thank David Bissessar for his efforts and dedication to Nouse and for his invaluable support during the Museum’s acquisition process.

Sources:

Anita Scott-Harrison’s Testimonial, http://www.nouse.ca/en/testimonial.php

Nose as Mouse: Assistive Technology, http://www.nouse.ca/

[1] Anita Scott-Harrison’s Testimonial, http://www.nouse.ca/en/testimonial.php (accessed 23/09/2014). This testimonial was written with Nouse.

SAGD steam generators at Christina Lake, Alberta

Collecting the Science, Technologies, and Culture of the Oil Sands

Our guide points to a pink portable toilet, as I make a mental list of technologies that I want to acquire to document everyday life at a Fly-in Fly-out oil sands camp in Northern Alberta. She tells me that the toilet is a symbol of the changing workforce. Now almost 40% of workers at the site are women; they occupy administrative as well as technical positions. This is an important story that shows the transformation of Canadian society that we are mandated to document in the national collection. Yet only 12 % of our natural resources artifacts depict women’s professional lives. Looking at the collection, you would think that 88% of women in Canada still stay at home.

 

Christina Lake in-situ operation. Photo: Cenovus

Christina Lake, Alberta in-situ operation. Photo: Cenovus

I am visiting in-situ oil sands operations with Jason Armstrong, Coordinator of the Canadian Energy Literacy Network. It is an opportunity for us to see and better understand these sites. It is also an opportunity to connect with people in the field, talk about their and our work, and lobby for artifacts. We have a small, but significant collection of petroleum-related objects: prospecting and exploration technologies, drills and drill bits, artifacts from Petrolia, and the Ocean Ranger forensic collection. My focus during this trip is on collecting SAGD (Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage), CSS (Cyclic Steam Stimulation), directional drilling, and hydraulic fracturing technologies.

SAGD steam generators at Christina Lake, Alberta

SAGD steam generators at Christina Lake, Alberta

I also want to provide some social context to these technologies, including gender representation. Who are the people improving, running, and monitoring these technologies? What is their education? What are their values? How do they deal with the constant criticism directed at their industry?

CSS wells at Cold Lake, Alberta

CSS wells at Cold Lake, Alberta

 

I talk to scientists at Imperial Oil, some of the best–and the most humbled–in their field, about decreasing the environmental impacts of the CSS and SAGD. This is definitely on their minds. We talk about challenges around proprietary research and scientific cooperation in a very competitive industry. It is difficult to “collect” what they do, but we try to make a list together: smaller test instruments and crucial parts of larger equipment, the first SAGD test devise, which sits in the corner of the lab (sorry, no photos in the lab), and well monitoring software and communication equipment.

Directional drill bent at 2 degrees to create a horizontal well

Directional drill bent at 2 degrees to create a horizontal well

Precision seamed slotted liner for horizontal  wells. Oil seeps into the pipe, while sand is too large to go through the slots

Precision seamed slotted liner for horizontal wells. Oil seeps into the pipe, while sand is too large to go through the slots

Collecting from a Fly-in Fly-out camp is equally challenging. The camp works as a technological and social system. A piece of technology that we can accession to the collection will never truly preserve this system. The camp employs several hundred people from cleaners and cooks to power engineers. A typical shift is eight to twelve hours, and the people that we talk to, stay at the camp for between seven to eighteen days at a time. There is a gym, a squash court, a music room, a theatre to socialize after work, and there is apparently lots of dating going on too. Any acquisition from a Fly-in Fly out camp will have to include objects related to work but also leisure. We need SAGD and CSS technologies, but we also need a treadmill, and a drum set. And we definitely need one of the pink, portable toilets.

Kitchen at Christina Lake, AB camp open 24-hours

Kitchen at Christina Lake, Alberta camp open 24-hours

 

Illustration 7 – Photo of the first prototype of the SR.A/1 taken around 1948. (Aeronautics, 1949 special issue, p. 55)

Tracking down the story behind our Beryl Jet Engine

When collecting artefacts, museums strive to document them as much a possible. The information thus gathered will allow future researchers to better understand the history of each object and the context surrounding its use. This kind of research connects us to many people and institutions across the country. In the project described below, the lack of information within the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation led me to reach out to the University of Toronto’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. My contact there was kind enough to get in touch with the university’s Archives and Records Management Services.

Illustration 1 – The Metropolitan-Vickers Beryl jet engine owned by the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation No. d’artefact no. : 1969.0269

Illustration 1 – The Metropolitan-Vickers Beryl jet engine owned by the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation, Artefact No. : 1969.0269

This project began as a result of the collection rationalisation project of the corporation. Given its limited storage space, the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation needs to reduce the number of duplicate and / or superfluous items. A jet engine I considered for de-accession is described in the catalogue as an Armstrong Siddeley Beryl (catalogue number 1969.0269). This in itself was puzzling given that the Beryl was designed and produced, in small numbers, by Metropolitan-Vickers Electrical Company Limited of Trafford Park, a suburb of Manchester, England. Correcting the data in the catalogue might be a good idea. More importantly, I could not figure out what this engine, donated in 1969 by the University of Toronto, was doing in Canada’s national aeronautical collection. After all, the Beryl had not contributed in any significant manner to the development of science and technology in Canada. A search of the supplementary information files held by the corporation was of no help. As far as I could tell, the Beryl had been sent here for testing or study. The university might have acquired it directly, either from the manufacturer or a British government agency. On the other hand, the engine might have been donated to the university by Canada’s National Research Council.

Metrovick, as the company was commonly called, was a highly diversified heavy industry firm known and respected for its steam turbines, electronics, electrical generators and equipment, and diesel locomotives. Its facilities were among the largest in Europe. Possibly less known is the fact that Metrovick was a pioneer in the development of jet engines in the United Kingdom, both before and during the Second World War. Building upon its experience with steam turbines, the company developed the first Allied axial flow turbojet, a configuration that dominates today’s jet engine industry, and one of the first engines of this type in the world. The F.2, one of the most impressive and advanced jet engines of the mid 1940s, ran for the first time in December 1941. Flight tested in June 1943 aboard a suitably modified Avro Lancaster four-engined heavy bomber, the F.2 powered a modified prototype of the first Allied jet fighter, the Gloster Meteor, in November of that same year[1].

Illustration 2 – Advertisement for the Saunders-Roe SR.A/1 jet-powered flying boat fighter plane and its Metropolitan-Vickers jet engine. (Aeronautics, September 1947, p. 86)

Illustration 2 – Advertisement for the Saunders-Roe SR.A/1 jet-powered flying boat fighter plane and its Metropolitan-Vickers jet engine. (Aeronautics, September 1947, p. 86)

The F.2/4, a version known from 1945 on as the Beryl, was the power plant chosen for the world’s first jet-powered flying boat fighter plane, the Saunders-Roe SR.A/1. The first of three prototypes of this twin-engined aircraft, affectionately known as the “Squirt,” flew in July 1947. It soon demonstrated excellent flying characteristics[2].

Illustration 3 - The Metropolitan-Vickers F.5 open rotor engine. (Automotive and Aviation Industries, 1 January 1947, p. 21)

Illustration 3 – The Metropolitan-Vickers F.5 open rotor engine. (Automotive and Aviation Industries, 1 January 1947, p. 21)

The F.2 was used to develop the world’s first turbofan, the most widely used type of jet engine in the world today. Better yet, it was used to develop what many see as the ancestor of the open rotor engine, a type of power plant with the best qualities of the turbojet and turbofan engines that could revolutionise the design of future short to medium range airliners. More interesting still, Metrovick came up with a derivative of the F.2 designed for use on ships. An example of this power plant was used as a boost engine on the world’s first naval vessel powered at least in part by a gas turbine. As well, a derivative of the Beryl was the first gas turbine used to deliver electricity to the national grid of the United Kingdom. Sadly enough, none of these engines was produced in any number. In 1947, perhaps short-sightedly, Metrovick put aside its aeroengine design work. It seemingly did so under pressure from the British Labour government, which wanted to reduce the number of aeroengine makers in order to better support them. Armstrong Siddeley Motors, Limited thus took over the development of Metrovick’s latest project, the superb and powerful Sapphire. Now deemed superfluous, the Beryl was soon abandoned[3].

Illustration 3 – Advertisement for the Saunders-Roe SR.A/1 and the Metropolitan-Vickers Beryl. (Aeronautics, November 1947, p. 129)

Illustration 4 – Advertisement for the Saunders-Roe SR.A/1 and the Metropolitan-Vickers Beryl. (Aeronautics, November 1947, p. 129)

The SR.A/1 was abandoned as well. Reengineering its hull to accommodate another type of jet engine would have been expensive. Saunders-Roe Limited had little incentive to do this given that neither the Royal Air Force nor the Royal Navy showed much interest in the SR.A/1, or any other type of flying boat fighter plane. The performance limitations inherent to such aircraft were such that they could never fight in equal terms with land-based or ship-based jet fighters. The loss of two of the prototypes, in August and September 1949, and the death of a pilot only made things worse. The renewal of interest caused by outbreak of the Korean War, in June 1950, and the ensuing fear of a broader conflict soon petered out. The sole surviving SR.A/1 is on display at the Southampton Hall of Aviation. This aircraft seems, however, to belong to the Imperial War Museum of London.

Illustrations 4. Photos of the first prototype of the SR.A/1 taken in late July 1947 during test flights made off Cowes, Isle of Wight, England, near the Saunders-Roe factory. (Aeronautics, November 1947, pp. 90 to 92)

Illustration 5 – Photo of the first prototype of the SR.A/1 taken in late July 1947 during test flights made off Cowes, Isle of Wight, England, near the Saunders-Roe factory. (Aeronautics, November 1947, p. 90 )

Given the lack of significant Canadian context for the Beryl and the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation’s limited storage space, I concluded that this British engine would be a good candidate for de-accession, within the collection rationalisation project of the corporation. I made this case to a few colleagues at the museum in late July 2014 and contacted the Manchester-based Museum of Science and Industry to see if it might be interested in acquiring a jet engine designed only a few kilometres outside its doors. For one reason or other, the museum could not get back to me.

In early September 2014, while gathering information for a corporate monograph on the history of the Canadian aircraft industry, I came across a three paragraph article, entitled “Turbojet Gift,” published in the July 1953 issue of the Canadian monthly magazine Aircraft. The first two paragraphs are worth quoting at length:

“This month two turbojet engines will arrive at the University of Toronto, a gift to the Mechanical Engineering Department from Britain’s Ministry of Supply.

This gift is the result of a request made to the Ministry some time ago by the University. The two engines – a Rolls-Royce Derwent I and a Metropolitan-Vickers Beryl – will be used for study purposes. They made the trip to Canada from the U.K. aboard the HMCS Magnificent.”

Illustrations 5 – Photos of the first prototype of the SR.A/1 taken in late July 1947 during test flights made off Cowes, Isle of Wight, England, near the Saunders-Roe factory. (Aeronautics, November 1947, p. 91)

Illustration 6 – Photo of the first prototype of the SR.A/1 taken in late July 1947 during test flights made off Cowes, Isle of Wight, England, near the Saunders-Roe factory. (Aeronautics, November 1947, p. 91)

Duly intrigued by this piece of news, I re-contacted the colleagues I had talked to and went looking for additional information. I also sent an email to the University of Toronto’s Department of Mechanical Engineering to see if it had anything on the Rolls-Royce Derwent and the Metropolitan-Vickers Beryl. My contact found nothing but was kind enough to contact the university’s Archives and Records Management Services. The people there have yet to find anything.

Illustration 6 – Photos of the first prototype of the SR.A/1 taken in late July 1947 during test flights made off Cowes, Isle of Wight, England, near the Saunders-Roe factory. (Aeronautics, November 1947, p. 92)

Illustration 7 – Photo of the first prototype of the SR.A/1 taken in late July 1947 during test flights made off Cowes, Isle of Wight, England, near the Saunders-Roe factory. (Aeronautics, November 1947, p. 92)

My efforts closer to home were not all that successful either. This being said, according to the July 1953 issue of another Canadian monthly, The Engineering Journal, a professor of Mechanical Engineering, E.A. Allcut, had gone to Halifax, Nova Scotia, to take delivery of the Derwent and Beryl on behalf of the University of Toronto. He was apparently there when there were unloaded from HMCS Magnificent, a small aircraft carrier operated by the Royal Canadian Navy. A quick search revealed that Edgar Alfred Allcut (1888-1979) was the long time (1944-56?) head of the department of Mechanical Engineering. A master’s graduate from the University of Birmingham, in the United Kingdom, Allcut had joined the University of Toronto in 1921, as an associate professor of thermodynamics. He retired in 1956 and was immediately named Professor Emeritus. Allcut certainly had an interesting and varied career. Besides chairing municipal and national air pollution committees, in Toronto and Ottawa, Allcut had sat on the National Research Council’s motor fuel committee. He had also advised the government of Ontario on matters of mine safety.

Before the First World War, Allcut managed the engineering and testing department of a Birmingham company located in the shop used a long time before by steam engine pioneer James Watt. During the conflict, he designed numerous machines for testing the materials used in the manufacture of warplanes and their engines. By late 1918, Allcut was chief inspector of materials at Birmingham-based Austin Motor Company (1914) Limited. In 1921, the company sent him to France to reorganise the farm tractor factory operated by the Société anonyme Austin. Allcut had just set up a consulting engineer practice when the University of Toronto informed him he had a job in Canada.

As interesting as all this information was, it added very little to the history of the Beryl jet engine currently held by the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation. This being said, Allcut’s life story is a textbook example of the ties that bind the many subject areas of the corporation (agriculture, aviation, land transportation, mining, scientific instruments, etc.).

Illustration 7 – Photo of the first prototype of the SR.A/1 taken around 1948. (Aeronautics, 1949 special issue, p. 55)

Illustration 8 – Photo of the first prototype of the SR.A/1 taken around 1948. (Aeronautics, 1949 special issue, p. 55)

Further research provided additional information on the Beryl. A look at KE EMU, the Australian-designed collection catalogue of the corporation, showed that this engine was donated in late January 1969. Interestingly enough, it came with twenty other piston and jet engines. The maker and type of one of the latter (catalogue number 1969.0271) are not known. The little information present in the catalogue led me to hope that the mystery engine could be the Rolls-Royce Derwent I mentioned in the articles published in Aircraft and The Engineering Journal. This would be doubly good news. On the one hand, a mystery artefact would be identified. On the other, the corporation would find itself the owner of one of the earliest types jet engines ever put in production. With a few early exceptions, the Derwent I powered the first jet fighter flown by an Allied air force. Introduced in 1944, the Gloster Meteor was a robust and reliable aircraft. A few Canadians serving in the Royal Air Force piloted this aircraft during the Second World War. Again, however, as interesting as this information is, it adds very little to the history of the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation’s Beryl engine. In any event, the exact location of the unidentified engine has yet to be determined.

Indeed, I do not feel any real need to modify the decision that I had reached before stumbling across the three paragraph article published in the July 1953 issue of the Canadian monthly magazine Aircraft. As interesting as it is, the Metropolitan-Vickers Beryl turbojet did not make any significant contribution to the development of science and technology in Canada. Transferring it to another institution thus remains a valid option.

References:

[1] The compressor of an axial flow jet engine is made up of many rows of blades mounted on a rotating shaft that mesh with non-rotating blades fixed to its internal walls. Interestingly enough, American companies with experience in steam turbine design, i.e. General Electric Company and Westinghouse Electric Corporation, also developed axial flow jet engines during the Second World War. Metrovick itself was born British Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company Limited in 1899. It became a British concern controlled by Metropolitan Carriage, Wagon & Finance Company and Vickers, Limited in 1917.

[2] The Beryl was the first of the precious stones series of jet engines developed by Metrovick. Interestingly, the very first ejection seat delivered to an aircraft manufacturer by Martin-Baker Aircraft Company, Limited, one of major pioneers in the field, went into the Saunders-Roe SR/A.1

[3] A turbofan is a type of axial flow jet engine with a fan mounted in front of the compressor. An open rotor engine, on the other hand, is a type of jet engine with two sets of propeller-like blades mounted at the rear that turn in opposite directions. Individuals, families and groups visiting the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, in Ottawa, will find information on these engines in Green Skies Ahead, a fascinating exhibition inaugurated in June 2011.

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Henry Hughes & Son Deviascope ca 1912

Thanks to the good fortune of a local collector, our acquisition committee recently voted to acquire a rare navigational instrument for the national collection. The deviascope is a practical tool for demonstrating the magnetic forces which cause compass deviation on ships and for instructing students on how to compensate for these forces.

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Magnetic deviation describes an array of compass errors caused by a ship’s own residual magnetism. That magnetism resides in the iron and steel parts of the ship. In wooden sailing ships iron parts like nails, bolts, spindles, anchors, stanchions and chains became magnetized by the Earth’s magnetic field. This caused the compass needle to deviate from magnetic north, with the error varying according to proximity to the pole, among other things. Iron or steel-hulled ships had an additional form of magnetism: permanent or hard magnetism caused by the pounding and riveting of the metal during construction. Each ship had “a unique magnetic signature” but that “could change at sea under the pounding of waves or the shaking of the hull by engines, paddle wheels, or screw propellers.”[1] Also, the magnetism of iron hull plates changed polarity after crossing the equator. Finally, “heeling error” occurs when an iron or steel ship rolls changing its magnetic field in relation to the compass and causing “wild oscillations” of the compass card. [2]

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The complex nature of magnetic deviation made it a difficult but essential subject to teach to mariners. In the 1880s, Captain George Beall, Principal Examiner of Masters and Mates to the Board of Trade in the UK, recognized the need for a tool to help mariners to understand the behaviour of the magnetic compass. In 1886 he introduced his deviascope which was immediately embraced by the marine training community. Instructors and other experts produced manuals and textbooks to go with the deviascope – we have examples from 1943 and 1970 though they apparently go back as far as 1886 – and instrument makers created their own versions of the device to meet the demand from teaching establishments.

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This particular deviascope was made in London by Henry Hughes & Son and dates from about 1912. The current owner, Mr. Murray Shaw, acquired it from the Montreal firm of Harrison and Company in 1978. Harrison was a Montreal firm that made and sold scientific, marine and surveying instruments from the 19th century until it closed its doors in 1978. Mr. Shaw is a collector of instruments and lived in Montreal in the late 1970s. Knowing that Harrison’s was closing, he paid them a visit and asked if they had any objects that they might be willing to part with for a reasonable price. They took him into the basement and showed him the deviascope. It was wrapped in newspapers from 1912 suggesting it had languished there for some time. 
Who knows what they would have done with it if Mr. Shaw had not come along when he did. Thanks to him it has been well preserved for future generations of Canadians.

References:

Babaian, Sharon. Setting Course A History of Marine Navigation in Canada. Ottawa: Canada Science and Technology Museum, 2006.

 Brooks, Randall C. and William J. Daniels, “Surveying Instrument Makers of Central Canada,” Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering. 20 (1993) 1037-1046.

Brown, Charles H.  Deviation and the Deviascope Including the Practice and Theory of Adjustment. Glasgow: Brown, Son & Ferguson, Ltd, 1943.

Gurney, Alan. Compass A Story of Exploration and Innovation. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2004.

Grant, G.A.A. and J. Klinkert. The Ship’s Compass. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd., 1970

Kemp, Peter, ed.  The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979.

[1] Gurney, 216

[2] Gurney, 221, 278. See also Charles H. Brown, Deviation and the Deviascope Including the Practice and Theory of Adjustment (Glasgow: Brown, Son & Ferguson, Ltd, 1943) 53-92; G.A.A. Grant and J. Klinkert, The Ship’s Compass (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd., 1970) 119-192 and Kemp, 382-3.

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Collecting an Aircraft and a Community

From the earliest bush planes to post-WWII aircraft, Canada has a long tradition of aerial photographic surveying and exploration. In the 1970s, the newly formed CCRS (Canadian Centre for Remote Sensing) developed a pioneering remote sensing program, which used both optical and radar-based technologies for imaging the earth. Through the RADARSAT program, Canadians took this enterprise into space.

Recently, the curator of Aviation, Renald Fortier and I proposed the acquisition of an aircraft used for some of the earliest remote sensing research in Canada. Many logistical and financial challenges lie ahead, but research into the potential acquisition continues. From 1974 to 2012, the Convair 580 was the experimental platform for radar remote sensing. It performed research for application development in forestry, agriculture, geology, hydrology, oceanography, ice studies, environmental protection, cartography, oil and gas operations, mineral exploration, and arctic navigation.

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Photo: The present location of the Convair 580 at the former hangar for the Geological Survey of Canada now owned by Environment Canada. The CV 580 has a colourful biography – from Johnson and Johnson executive transport in the 1950s to rugged scientific vessel for the Canadian government from 1974-2012. Photo from www.ottawaairportwatch.ca

In the process of researching this proposal, we were struck by the wide range of people, institutions, disciplines, and regions touched and shaped by this aircraft. Many people heard about our proposal and wrote personal, emotional testimonials about their experience with CV 580. As the research progressed, and we heard from people around Canada and the world, we realized we were collecting an entire community, not just an aircraft and its instruments.

Photo: CV 580 as ambassador. The Convair 580 on a 1981 mission with the European Space Agency. The CV 580 flew in missions in over 70 countries and contributed to earth and space-based remote sensing programs in several countries.

Photo: CV 580 as ambassador. The Convair 580 on a 1981 mission to Europe with the European Space Agency. Over the years, the CV 580 flew in missions in over 70 countries and contributed to earth and space-based remote sensing programs all over the world.

Aircraft, instruments, people and places

The CV 580 represents a fascinating integration of the social and material dimensions of scientific practice. The inside of the aircraft could be a vessel from any scientific voyage in history.

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Photo: Inside the CV 580. The CCRS and industry partners such as MDA custom built almost all the instrumentation for the aircraft.

There were specialized instruments, skills and communications at work, with many changes dependent on the mission, and/or the introduction of new technologies over the years. A few things were fairly constant. There was a station for real-time processing and radar control, a station for monitoring the imagery and many associated recording systems, and stations for flight scientist and mission manager. The crew managed their instruments and stations while coordinating and communicating with colleagues through the vibrations and noise of the aircraft. Research scientist Bob Hawkins flew on many missions with CV 580 since 1978. He recalled the unique social conditions that developed on the aircraft:

“There is camaraderie like I suppose happens in a military unit as everyone focuses on making his part of the task fit and integrate with the rest of the crew.  We are each aware of one another’s foibles yet confident in the ability of the team to come through..” (Personal correspondence, March 2014)

Photo: Doug Percy at the real-time processing station, c. 1990s.

Photo: Doug Percy at the monitoring and recording station, c. 1990s.

For Pilot Captain Bryan Healey, who flew the CV 580 for 34 years, the instruments were delicate passengers in need of special attention:

“The aircraft has operated in the Canadian Arctic and Archipelago out of Inuvik, Frobisher Bay (Iqaluit) and Resolute Bay on many sorties, on ice identification, mapping and behaviour and was a major contributor to the success of the Canadian Ice Service.  For these trips, we have operated in temperatures as cold as -52 C (and high as +45 elsewhere in the world), a bit of a challenge for a CV580 at times not to mention crew and equipment.  In the early years in the Arctic we had electric blankets on certain pieces of equipment so it wouldn’t take more than 4 hours of warm up before flying because the aircraft was often -40 or less inside after cold soaking outside.” [February 2014, correspondence]

Photo: Each piece of equipment had a weight label iin order to create a precise audit of cargo weight for each mission.

Photo: Each piece of equipment had a weight label to create a precise audit of cargo weight and balance of the aircraft for each mission.

Captain Healey also recalls danger for the flight crew working with the early high power C-band transmitter (used to extend the range and quality of the radar imagery):

“Every once in a while this thing would send a lightning bolt
(literally) from the high power conductors to the cage in the rack. We’d get thunder and all, and you could hear it in the cockpit. Of course the back end crew would have the hell scared out of them particularly the first time it happened. Of course there were so many blown IC’s [integrated circuits] and capacitors when this happened the radar was broken and we’d have to go back and land for repair, which was a problem if it happened early in the flight because we’d be over landing weight with the fuel load. Every once in a while Chuck Livingston (the designer of this thing) would have his hands in there and this thing would let go and “Pow”, 50 thousand volts would flash across to the cage. I don’t know how he never got electrocuted. The unit was subsequently retired by Chuck, I’m not sure if it was because of his fear it would blown up the whole radar or it just didn’t prove particularly beneficial to the operation.”

Healey characterizes the CV 580 as a “phenomenal war horse of science and adversity. I use the word adversity with passion because having flown this airplane for 34 years, I know the veracity of this word as it applies to C-GRSC, its’ crew and all the science and people behind it.” [February 2014 Correspondence]

Photo: The heart of the aircraft – one of two Synthetic Aperature Radar (SAR) antennas designed by Chuck Livingston and made by COMDEV, Cambridge, Ontario

Photo: The heart of the aircraft – one of two Synthetic Aperature Radar (SAR) antennas designed by Chuck Livingston and made by COMDEV, Cambridge, Ontario with Dr. Livingstone as Scientific Authority.

In developing the RADARSAT 2, scientists and engineers drew heavily from the CV 580 experience. All of these social and material lessons are now buried deep inside instruments far from the grasp of museum curators. The CV 580 is the last earthly bridge to that history. Frank Carsey, a long-time CCRS user from the Jet Propulsion Lab at Caltech wrote: “Engineers and scientists worked hard, scrabbled for funds, flew out of uncomfortable distant sites, dealt with balky electronics and yet delivered good, insightful science. The CV 580 connects us to those roots.” [Correspondence, March 2014]

References:

Doris H. Jelly, Canada: 25 years in Space, 1988.

Gerard McGrath & Louis Sebert (Eds). Mapping a Northern Land: The Survey of Canada, 1947-1994. McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1999

Gordon Shepherd & Agnes Kruchio, Canada’s Fifty Years in Space: The COSPAR Anniversary, 2008

Photo 2. Land Cruiser dans la mine de potasse K1\K2 de la société Mosaic

Collecting a Land Cruiser

Toyota Land Cruisers are the mining industries’ vehicle of choice. In fact, the mining sector is one of Toyota’s largest clients in Canada. The customized vehicles are made on order in Japan. Their engines and exhaust systems are adjusted to meet air quality standards and operate within requirements of the mine ventilation system. The trucks are durable and require minimum maintenance. Since driving in an underground mine can be tricky, the vehicles have to respond fast to speed change, and allow the driver to maintain precise speed under varying loads and turn around on the spot. The Land Cruiser is the longest running series in Toyota’s history. This vehicle is a legend!

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Photo 1. Toyota Land Cruiser at a mining show in Toronto, 2013

I have been trying to acquire a Land Cruiser for the collection since 2009. It was not an easy task. The large trucks barely fit into an elevator. They go down the shaft in pieces; they are assembled and maintained underground; and they are used for decades. At the end of the truck’s working life, miners salvaged any spare parts, and transport the remains of the vehicle back up the shaft to the surface.

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Photo 2. Land Cruiser in Mosaic Company’s K1\K2 potash mine.

Land Cruisers from an underground mine rarely or never make it to an Auto Trader or Kijiji. My best bet for acquiring an operational Cruiser in a good condition was a Canadian distributor. The Land Cruisers are sold in Canada to the mining industry since 1975 by ENS Industrial, located in Saskatoon. At the time when I contacted ENS, the Museum was working on an exhibition on Potash. The exhibition gave us some leverage. I discussed a potential donation of the Land Cruiser to the national collection with ENS in exchange for sponsorship credits in the exhibition. The vehicles are very expensive, and a donation or even a discounted price would be of substantial value for the Museum. ENS expressed interest. However, since the vehicles are made on order, we would have had to wait over two years to move ahead through the priority list.

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Photo 3. Mock-up of a Land Cruiser in the Potash exhibition

The only option was to appeal to the mining industry. As I mentioned above, it is very difficult to remove the Land Cruiser from an underground mine without compromising the integrity of the artifact. I was asking the industry to go into a considerable expense and inconvenience. Fortunately, the Public Affairs Department at the Mosaic Company proved sympathetic to my plight. The Mosaic PA staff listened to my material culture arguments for saving one of the Cruisers and removing it from the mine in one piece.

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Photo 4. Land Cruiser, 1 km underground, in Mosaic Company’s K1\K2 mine

Although it took months, they finally located a decommissioned, but still complete vehicle for the Museum in the K1\K2 mine complex in Esterhazy – the largest potash mine in the world. The Public Affairs staff then arranged with the miners underground to preserve the truck intact until it could be brought to the surface. Finally in October 2013, the Toyota Land Cruiser arrived in Ottawa, complete, functional, and still full of potash dust.

Photo 5. Toyota Land Cruiser in the collection warehouse

Photo 5. Toyota Land Cruiser in the collection warehouse