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Transportation

InBlood warrior, circa 1905ventions in transportation in Alberta are captivating for their ability to trace the changing ways in which a century of Albertans have gotten around a vast and changing landscape. Patents filed in 1905 and 1906, for instance, provide a snapshot of a time of transition—a patent filed in 1906 by Ira Sellers of Edmonton for a horse harness buckle  came one year after Ernest Large of Calgary invented a pneumatic tire for motor vehicles.

HistoGleichen, Alberta ferry, circa 1900-1908rically, large-scale vehicle manufacturing has not been extensive in Alberta and, consequently, independent inventors have a larger presence in the patent record than companies and corporations. Over the century, therefore, Alberta's independent inventors have produced many ways to improve the different types of vehicles that Albertan's have needed. Ole Toreson of Bittern Lake, for example, invented a door for grain cars in 1918, while in 1937, Robert Paterson of Taber invented a means to convert an automobile chassis into a wagon. In 1967, Harvey Nesbitt of Calgary, invented an oil dipstick illuminator.

In addition to illustrating the changing nature of transportation, numerous Train wreck north of Innisfail, Alberta, May 1905 transportation inventions have been created to fit the province's diverse and often challenging ecology. Water transportation accessories, such as Albert Peterson's 1948 driving device for boats, are joined by inventions designed to alleviate the problems of winter driving, including George Garson's 1953 patent for a frost shield assembly. One of Alberta’s most successful inventors, Bruce Nodwell, patented several devices related to his Nodwell tracked vehicles, which were originally built in order to deHomemade snowmobile, Endiang, Albertaal with marshy land in northern areas of the province, and which have since been used for difficult terrain around the world.

Over the last century, inventors have also been fascinated with travel in Alberta's skies. AlthThe first Jaycopter, 1959ough they did not register a patent for their invention, John, George and Elmer Underwood from Krugerville built a flying device in 1907 that almost beat out the Wright brothers for a powered aircraft (although it looked more like a flying saucer than an airplane). Later, in 1941, Wilfred Brintnell patented a type of aircraft landing gear, and, in 1957, Peter Jacobs patented one of Alberta's most famous inventions, a helicopter training device, called the Jaycopter.

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