II-147485 | Sir Sandford Fleming, Montreal, QC, 1903
Sir Sandford Fleming, Montreal, QC, 1903
Wm. Notman & Son
1903, 20th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
17 x 12 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords: male (26812) , Photograph (77678) , portrait (53878)
Keys to History
Another famous Scot associated with the CPR was Sir Sandford Fleming (1827-1915). Born in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, he came to Peterborough, in present-day Ontario, at the age of eighteen. Educated as a civil engineer, he spent much of his life working for various railroad companies. In 1871 he was appointed chief engineer of the new transcontinental railway, and was in charge of the main surveys from the prairies to the Pacific Ocean. He was appointed a director of the CPR in 1885 and held the position until his death, thirty years later. Fleming was involved in a variety of scientific endeavours besides engineering, and was among other things the designer of Canada's first postage stamp. He was knighted in 1897.
Sir Sandford Fleming was probably the most famous Canadian civil engineer of the 19th century.
An image of this man in his usual working environment would have shown him supervising the construction of a bridge or addressing an international scientific conference.
At the turn of the 20th century, Fleming was a strong advocate of a telecommunications cable from Canada to Australia, which he believed would become a vital communications link of the British Empire. The Pacific Cable was successfully laid in 1902.
Sir Sandford Fleming was a prolific engineer and inventor; besides engineering much of the Intercolonial Railway and the Canadian Pacific Railway, he was also largely responsible for the international adoption of standard time.