Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Which was Canada's first steam locomotive?

D.M.L. Farr, J.S. Moir, S.R. Mealing.  Two Democracies.  Toronto:  Ryerson Press, 1963

George S. Tomkins, Theo L. Hills & Thomas R. Weir.  Canada:  A Regional Geography.  Toronto:  Gage Educational Publishing Ltd., 1970.

They can't both have been first!

The Champlain and St. Lawrence Railroad first operated on July 31st, 1836.  The British-built "Dorchester" was the steam locomotive.  So, clearly, it operated several years before "Canada's First Locomotive," the Samson in Nova Scotia.  It turns out that the Samson was the first locomotive to run on steel rails in Canada.  Its predecessor, the Dorchester, ran on six-inch pine squares with iron straps spiked to the upper surface.  On such small details do the titles for "first" revolve!

See Mister G's earlier posts:

First steam locomotive in Canada

The Samson

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