Orville Newton Gilbert (1878-1957)
Pioneer 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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