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Orville Newton Gilbert (1878-1957)

Gilbert and FamilyPioneer and Alberta innovator Orville Newton Gilbert was born in Nebraska where he worked as a salesman for the Rumely Machine Company. A franchise in Manitoba brought him north, before he moved to Calgary in 1911 to establish Gilbert Farm Lands, a real-estate company, with his two brothers. The Gilbert family business dealt mainly with the settlement of Canadian Pacific Railway land in the Rosebud, Alberta area.

After the demand for land fizzled, Gilbert bought a farm where he raised sheep for wool. He was married with four children, and with the help of his family, his venture boomed. By 1928 he had 1,500 head of sheep. Perhaps because of his earlier work for a machine company or like so many early settlers in Alberta he was not content with the hard work necessary for success, Gilbert indulged his enterprising nature. In 1936, he patented a harvester-stacker, an alternative to the traditional method of harvesting wheat designed  to increase farming efficiency and productivity.

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