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Thread: "Gateway to the North", the Muni and the City Archives

  1. #1

    Default "Gateway to the North", the Muni and the City Archives

    With the municipal airport shutdown pending I thought there might be an interest in the City on writing the story of the muni, so last week I went to the City of Edmonton Archives and dropped off some materials on the Mackenzie Air Service Ltd (M.A.S.), Northwest Industries Ltd, Aircraft Repair.

    They were very helpful and advised me that we could get copies (they'd prefer to keep the originals) and/or even borrow back certain donations. I think that's something that isn't generally known and might inspire further donations.



    Some trivia on Edmonton's Northwest Industries:

    - In 1941 they were assembling Fairey Battle aircraft in Edmonton

    - Their Aircraft Repair division once employed 1,000 people "mainly skilled mechanics"

    - they once manufactured airplanes

    - they once even made canoes and boats *


    *per documents my father had saved that we have yet to donate



    Here note the use of "gate" as in "Gateway to the North"...


    "These machines and the men that have manned them have opened the gate to the riches of the North - riches of furs, gold, silver, radium and a host of other precious metals. That gate will stay open now because Canada is realizing the vast wealth of the deposits of her Northland. The aeroplane has become the medium of getting at that wealth....

    Meanwhile the company works hard to pry loose the bond holding Canada's Northern wealth. When these bonds are pried fully away it will mean untold natural resources and wealth for this Dominion of the British Empire. When this is accomplished, much of the credit will belong to the men and machines of Mackenzie Air Service Ltd., for their pioneering efforts in this vast area." - "Air Line to the Arctic", Planesman, 1944 which was reprinted from Intava World March 1942



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    Last edited by KC; 25-10-2010 at 05:41 PM.

  2. #2

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    The gate is still wide open, and better than ever, at EIA.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  3. #3
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    ^ Agree 100%

    However, while I look forward to the City moving ahead, I also fully support remembering and honouring its history. The CofE or Provicial Archives are both great repositories for these sorts of documents.

    Not sure how, but there must be some way to properly honour Blantchford Field as the new development on that property is conceived and built.
    ... gobsmacked

  4. #4

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    90,000 people gathered on the two miles of bleachers on Portage Avenue here in 1939...

    http://archives.cbc.ca/science_techn...s/clips/16901/

  5. #5

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    Here's Leigh Brintnell himself!!! Interesting videos too.

    It also seems that his Mackenzie Air Service Ltd. became Canadian Pacific Airlines when he sold out to CP in 1940 (see wiki link at bottom).


    http://archives.cbc.ca/science_techn...s/clips/16969/

    Leigh Brintnell recalls the early days of bush flying
    Broadcast Date: Sept. 15, 1963

    "Leigh Brintnell was one of the many bush pilots who began their careers during the First World War with the RAF. He earned his entry in the Aviation Hall of Fame by establishing new routes, aiding in the finding of the Eldorado Mine and founding his own airway and aircraft repair company. When CBC interviewer Art Hives asks him in 1963 to compare the reality of those early days with the romanticized vision of bush pilots, he gives us a good look at the day-to-day routine of piloting in the early decades."


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilfred_Leigh_Brintnell

  6. #6

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    And here's a video on Max Ward

    I like how they say that he was breaking the rules as 'air travel was seen as a public service and competition was not in the public service'.

    Sounds like our view of having two airports.

    Wasn't the muni successful and making money (to the point of being the superior competitor to the international) but it wasn't in the interests of the greater good.

    Here's Max Ward - it's a good one to watch

    http://archives.cbc.ca/science_techn...n/clips/16910/





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    Can you imagine, PWA was flying 737's and 727's into this airport with no whining at all. How times change.......
    Make the RIGHT choice before you take your last breath......

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    The gate is still wide open, and better than ever, at EIA.

    Not to quibble...

    The Gateway to the North is a combination of all our transportation assets. While I agree and support that an expanded EIA offering more flight options can only mean good things to the Northern brethren that use our city and facilities...

    ...we must ensure that all transportation assets are coordinated. Roads, LRT/transit/reasonable Taxi options for our visitors, dedicated cargo nodes, etc...

    That was always the fallacy behind the "losing the gateway" status...not only was it a moniker coined in an old Journal article by an Edmontonian, but it always was all assets in harmony...for all major roads for the north lead to or near Edmonton in this part of the world...the Muni...in its day...was just one part of that equation.

    ...all that got lost in the years of rhetoric and the single focus on one asset.
    Tired of being taken advantage of .

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    With the municipal airport shutdown pending I thought there might be an interest in the City on writing the story of the muni,(...)



    .

    I have a copy of this...it may help...

    http://www.questia.com/googleScholar...cId=5006229410
    Tired of being taken advantage of .

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnr67 View Post
    Can you imagine, PWA was flying 737's and 727's into this airport with no whining at all. How times change.......
    Oh...there was whining...plenty of it.


    I remember a noise monitoring display at the terminal...second floor...dosimeters monitoring all flight paths...

    You could easily tell the approach of a 737 or F28...the numbers shot through the roof....

    All this noise monitoring equipment and displays were there for one reason, to validate and prove out the noise impact...directly from complaints...
    Tired of being taken advantage of .

  11. #11

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    Not to discourage you but...

    "Gateway to the North" was published about 4-5years ago. Written by Tony Cashman (renowned author and historian) and sponsored in part by Edmonton Airports.

    Copies went to all public libraries and I understand schools.

    It is available at the Alberta Aviation Museum gift shop and may be ordered through other book sources.

    A very good book for both it's accurate look at the history and the excellent photographs through out the book.

    RichardS
    "but it always was all assets in harmony"

    Actually no..."Gateway to the North" came from and Editorial cartoon specific to the Edmonton Municipal Airport that was published by the Journal in 1933.

    If I remember correctly 1933 was the year that Edmonton led Canada in Air Cargo, Passengers and mail.

    I will see if we have hard copy that can be scanned.

    Tom

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    With the municipal airport shutdown pending I thought there might be an interest in the City on writing the story of the muni, so last week I went to the City of Edmonton Archives and dropped off some materials on the Mackenzie Air Service Ltd (M.A.S.), Northwest Industries Ltd, Aircraft Repair.

    They were very helpful and advised me that we could get copies (they'd prefer to keep the originals) and/or even borrow back certain donations. I think that's something that isn't generally known and might inspire further donations.



    Some trivia on Edmonton's Northwest Industries:

    - In 1941 they were assembling Fairey Battle aircraft in Edmonton

    - Their Aircraft Repair division once employed 1,000 people "mainly skilled mechanics"

    - they once manufactured airplanes

    - they once even made canoes and boats *


    *per documents my father had saved that we have yet to donate



    Here note the use of "gate" as in "Gateway to the North"...


    "These machines and the men that have manned them have opened the gate to the riches of the North - riches of furs, gold, silver, radium and a host of other precious metals. That gate will stay open now because Canada is realizing the vast wealth of the deposits of her Northland. The aeroplane has become the medium of getting at that wealth....

    Meanwhile the company works hard to pry loose the bond holding Canada's Northern wealth. When these bonds are pried fully away it will mean untold natural resources and wealth for this Dominion of the British Empire. When this is accomplished, much of the credit will belong to the men and machines of Mackenzie Air Service Ltd., for their pioneering efforts in this vast area." - "Air Line to the Arctic", Planesman, 1944 which was reprinted from Intava World March 1942



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    KC

    Has your Dad been in touch with "Bob Sharples" ex NWI?

    He is in the process of gathering archives on NWI and writing a book on NWI.

    The Alberta Aviation Museum was hoping to move ahead with a display on NWI for 2011/2012 but that will be on hold for a time.

    Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Some trivia on Edmonton's Northwest Industries:

    - In 1941 they were assembling Fairey Battle aircraft in Edmonton
    - Their Aircraft Repair division once employed 1,000 people "mainly skilled mechanics"
    - they once manufactured airplanes
    - they once even made canoes and boats *
    .
    They also assembled Wabco graders, but never were able to earn any profit doing so. The assemblers, accustomed to working with aircraft, remachined any parts that wouldn't quite fit properly, rather than giving the offending part a good whack with a sledge hammer, causing productivity on the grader assembly line to be poor.

  14. #14

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    Aircraft Maintenance #1, became Northwest Industries, became CAE, became SPAR.

    A huge piece of Edmonton's amazing aviation history...some tid bits (trivia).

    Aircraft Maintenance #1 was the largest aviation maintenance facility (aerospace) in 1939/40.

    NWI did all the servicing and winterization on the thousands of US aircraft that flew through Edmonton on the way to Russia! Also all the overhauls for the BCATP and major RCAF refits during the war years. A very high percentage of the employees during the war years were women.

    NWI postwar did overhaul and service for a number of countries including the United States Air Force on the F-84 and other jets! Plus C-54 and C-117 Cargo aircraft.

    NWI built Bellanca bushplanes in the 40s and 50s plus the Northwest Ranger Bushplane in the 60s-70s.

    NWI overhauled ALL the CF-104 Star Fighters in the RCAF, some flew in using the MAPS system.

    Thats just barely touches all that they did before becoming CAE then SPAR.

    There is a book in progress and if the Aviation Museum ever gets more room a major display is planned.

    Tom

  15. #15

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    My dad worked at NWI mid-60's to early '70's. Do you know if the author of the book is looking for information? My dad may be 85 but his still sharp. He remembers stuff I've forgotten.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by kkozoriz View Post
    My dad worked at NWI mid-60's to early '70's. Do you know if the author of the book is looking for information? My dad may be 85 but his still sharp. He remembers stuff I've forgotten.

    See what I can find out

    Tom

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post

    - they once even made canoes and boats *


    *per documents my father had saved that we have yet to donate

    .

    Do you know more about this? I have been trying to find information on it for a while.

  18. #18

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    Came across this site. I think I need to be in a desktop computer to see it properly but looks like an interesting site for old information. Note the Francis Winspear connection in the write up about Northwest Industries.

    Click on the various pages and scroll down for larger view.

    northwest industries | edmonton airport | noorduyn norseman | 1956 | 1166 | Flight Archive

    https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarch...0-%201166.html
    Last edited by KC; 29-07-2018 at 05:59 PM.

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