Alberta 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
Independent 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.
Numerous individuals invented small-scale items throughout the later half
of the 20th centuryPhillip Wollersheim of Calgary, for instance, invented
a material compacting device in 1975but 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.
"Movin On" by Dorothy Field
Copyright © 2003
Heritage Community Foundation All Rights Reserved