The Development of Metallurgy in Canada since 1900

The history of metallurgy in Canada since 1900 represents a vast historical topic. This report seeks to provide a coherent summary by focussing on three core themes: the histories of major companies involved in the production of base metals, the nature and evolution of metallurgical engineering, and significant Canadian contributions to the international field of metallurgy. Each theme is discussed in a chapter of this report. This broad overview makes it possible to address fundamental questions, particularly whether Canada experienced a “golden age” of metallurgical research and development that spanned the second half of the twentieth century, and, if so, whether this period has come to an end.

The history of metallurgy in Canada since 1900 represents a vast historical topic. This report seeks to provide a coherent summary by focussing on three core themes: the histories of major companies involved in the production of base metals, the nature and evolution of metallurgical engineering, and significant Canadian contributions to the international field of metallurgy. Each theme is discussed in a chapter of this report.  This broad overview makes it possible to address fundamental questions, particularly whether Canada experienced a “golden age” of metallurgical research and development that spanned the second half of the twentieth century, and, if so, whether this period has come to an end.

This report also seeks to contextualize this overall account by presenting relevant anecdotes and themes in sidebars accompanying the main text. This account has been informed by the writing and guidance of professional engineers familiar with the history of Canadian metallurgy. It represents, above all, the perspective of this community of technical experts, and forms part of an effort to document the history of metallurgy by the Canada Science and Technology Museum (CSTM) and the Metallurgy & Materials Society (MetSoc) of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy & Petroleum (CIM). It is hoped that this approach will serve both as an introduction to the progress of metallurgy in Canada, as well as a starting point for research in other important aspects of metallurgy’s place within Canada’sian diverse culture and landscape. Suggestions for areas of further research are provided in the report’s conclusion.

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