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The new mill of Calgary Milling CompanyAlberta is not as well known for its building and construction industry as it is for oil and agriculture. Yet, with the population and economic explosion that occurred in Alberta over the 20th century, an enormous amount of building and construction has been required. The first building and construction invention goes all the way back to 1905, when James McIntyre of Edmonton patented a folding scaffold bracket.

Road construction in ForemostIndependent inventors in Alberta prospered throughout the early 20th century, making improvements to common tools and implements, or inventing entirely new ones. For example, James Milton McGarvey of Morningside, collaborated with John Humes of Parnassus, Pennsylvania to patent a curtain pole in 1909. In Bentley blacksmith Carl Bjornson and his brothers Emil and Sigfred, who worked in Sigfred's welding shop, shared credit for inventing a wrench and a pipe wrench in the early 1920s.

Church under constructionNumerous individuals invented small-scale items throughout the later half of the 20th century—Phillip Wollersheim of Calgary, for instance, invented a material compacting device in 1975—but building and construction patents increasingly became the domain of companies and corporations. For example, Julian Hoveland patented seven inventions for Edmonton-based construction firm Muttart Industries, including a metal jamb structure in 1958, a pressure gun in 1961 and a mastic applicator in 1965. Inventors working for ATCO Structures Inc. (a principal operating company of the Alberta-based ATCO Group) have come up with various transportable structures, such as fold-away metal buildings and the self-packaging portable housing structure.

Partnerships between companies and organizations like the Alberta Research Council (ARC) have also led to new innovations. Together, the ARC and Gienow Building Products Limited created a resource engine, an "intelligent" product modeling and configuration system that has helped Gienow, a Calgary-based window and door manufacturer, to handle growing demands for specialized products.

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