History of Nova Scotia
with special attention given to
Communications and Transportation
1 January 1950 to 31 December 1959
Index with links to the other chapters
AM Radio Broadcast Band Enlarged
In 1950, the legal AM radio broadcast band was expanded by raising the top from 1550 kHz to 1600 kHz. This change could accomodate five additional broadcasting frequencies. The bottom remained at 550 kHz.
D.A.R. Passenger Train Wrecked
Bridgetown Teacher Injured in Crash
Mr. Lyman Trerice of the Bridgetown High School teaching staff suffered a slight concussion when the Dominion Atlantic Railway's Halifax to Yarmouth combination passenger and freight train on which he was travelling was involved in a collision with a C.N.R. locomotive. Mr. Trerice and three other men were taken to hospital. The crash occurred during a blinding snowstorm and both locomotives were badly damaged.
— 50 Years Ago in the Bridgetown Monitor, 29 February 2000
First Diesel-Electric Locomotive
On its first trip on the Montreal-Halifax run, a sleek, streamlined 4,500-horsepower 3380kW diesel-electric locomotive glided into the Canadian National Railways station in Halifax recently, hauling the passenger train Maritime Express.
[50 Years Ago in the Bridgetown Monitor, 28 March 2000]
1950 March 15
Fire Alarm Notification
Notice to the Public — Please refrain from using the telephone when the Fire Siren sounds. This will permit the telephone operators to notify the firemen more efficiently.
Town of Bridgetown
[50 Years Ago in the Bridgetown Monitor, 14 March 2000]
1950 March 28
I'm Movin' On
On this day, Nova Scotian country singer Hank Snow recorded his hit single I'm Movin' On, which quickly went to number one on the country music chart and stayed there for 29 consecutive weeks.
[National Post, 28 March 2000]
1950 March 31
Driver's License Now Costs $1.50
New automobile operator's licenses for 1950 now cost $1.50. The old license expires on March 31.
[50 Years Ago in the Kentville Advertiser, 28 March 2000]
History of Automobiles in Nova Scotia
1950 April 11
Snow Clearing on Public Highway
The men of the Forties formed a snow-shovelling brigade on this day, when it became necessary to move Mrs. Dean Rafuse to hospital. A snowbound Dr. E.K. Woodroffe of Chester had to handle the case by telephone.
[50 Years Ago in the Kentville Advertiser, 25 April 2000]
1950 April 19
Kentville Stops Using Horses
This week the Kentville Town Council took a step that had been discussed off and on for almost 25 years. It was decided to do away with the town horses and use a tractor instead.
[50 Years Ago in the Kentville Advertiser, 25 April 2000]
Three-Digit Telephone Number
In May 1950, the Eaton's order office telephone number in Kentville was changed to 297.
[50 Years Ago in the Kentville Advertiser, 23 May 2000]
1950 May 1
Hennigar Bus Line's New Schedule
The Hennigar Bus Line, between Chester and Kentville, had a new schedule as of May 1st. There will be one run five days a week and two on Saturdays.
[50 Years Ago in the Kentville Advertiser, 2 May 2000]
1950 May 23
Daylight Saving Time in Windsor
The Windsor Town Council agreed that Daylight Saving Time would come into effect at midnight Tuesday, May 23rd, and continue until midnight Monday, September 4th.
[50 Years Ago in The Hants Journal, Windsor, 12 April 2000]
Daylight Saving Confusion
Windsor has decided to adopt Daylight Saving Time on May 24th. There was confusion over the province as practically every town has set different dates for the change over.
[50 Years Ago in The Hants Journal, Windsor, 26 April 2000]
1950 May 29
Henry Asbjorn Larsen sails the RCMP patrol boat St. Roch to Halifax after passing through the Panama Canal from Vancouver; the first ship to circumnavigate North America.
[National Post, 29 May 2000]
Henry Asbjörn Larsen, 1899-1964
News Photographs Sent by Radio
American news photographers made history at Digby by transmitting photographs by radiotelephone (that is, by ordinary radio waves) to a newspaper in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The photographers were accompanying 220 members of the Harrisburg Chamber of Commerce who were visiting Digby.
[60 Years Ago in The Digby County Courier, Digby, 17 June 2010]
1950 September 5
Dominion Atlantic Railway Operations Halted by Strike
Hundreds of railway employees in Nova Scotia affected
The Dominion Atlantic Railway's services came to a full stop on Tuesday morning, September 5th, 1950, as 533 railwaymen walked out in unison with thousands of their co-workers across the Dominion of Canada. 733 DAR employees are involved, with 533 on strike and 180 laid off as a result of the strike. In Kentville, over 100 union members walked out and 35 were laid off.
[50 Years Ago in the Kentville Advertiser, 5 September 2000]
1950 September 8
First Paving of Highway
Joggins Main Street was being improved by Tidewater Construction Company as part of a paving project to hard surface the highway from Nappan to McCarron's Bridge in Cumberland County.
Nappan to McCarron's Bridge
[50 Years Ago in the Amherst Daily News, 8 September 2000]
1950 September 8
Amherst Area Bus Lines
A new parking area, for buses only, was ready for use, Councillor W.W.Brown, chairman of the public property committee, reported to the Amherst Town Council. Cleaned up and divided into sections, the town lot at the rear of the Post Office — off LaPlanche Street — would be available for use by the Amherst, Joggins and Advocate bus lines. Signs for each bus were erected and within a short time a shelter would be built for the use of patrons of each line.
[50 Years Ago in the Amherst Daily News, 8 September 2000]
1950 September 15
Minor Train Wreck at Springhill Junction
Canadian National Railways
Officials of the CNR said that a collision between two railway locomotives at Springhill Junction in Cumberland County damaged two freight cars, one of which was derailed. The accident occurred around 6pm. One of the trains had pulled into a siding and the second had just slowed down when they collided. A machinist was needed to untangle the two engines, but damage was not extensive. No one was injured. The accident was under investigation.
[50 Years Ago in the Amherst Daily News, 15 September 2000]
Photograph of the Springhill Junction station
1950 December 13
Swissair DC-4 Crashes at Sydney
Date: 13 December 1950
Type: Douglas DC-4-1009
Registration: HB-ILE (43073)
Year built: 1947
People on board: 11 crew + 20 passengers = 31
Nature: Scheduled Passenger
Phase: Final Approach
Flight: Geneva to New York, diverted to Sydney
The Swissair DC-4 had taken off from Geneva for a flight to New York via Shannon and Gander. Bad weather at Gander forced the crew to divert to Sydney. The aircraft descended too low on final approach and struck a number of poles supporting runway approach lights. Full power was added, but no.1 and 2 prop damage caused the plane to swing to the left. The DC-4 struck the ground in a left-wing-low attitude. The wing was sheared off. Small fires broke out on the left hand side, but were controlled by the crew. About 30 minutes later fire again broke out which destroyed the forward fuselage.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "The impact of the aircraft with the ground while out of control due to failure on the part of the Captain to maintain sufficient height to clear the approach light poles, three of which were struck by the aircraft. After striking the approach light poles, the Captain and First Officer were unable to maintain control of the aircraft due to the malfunctioning of numbers 1 and 2 engines and structural damage to the left wing and flap."
Information excerpted from: ICAO Circular 18-AN/15 (20-22)
Source: Aviation Safety Network website at
1950 December 18
Telegraph Lines Down Nine Days
A severe winter storm on 18 December 1950 created difficulties for mail delivery, transportation, and electric power and telephone companies, especially in the western part of the Annapolis Valley. Telegraph communication between Kentville and Yarmouth was interrupted and was restored only after nine days' intensive work rebuilding the pole lines along the main line railway. Four railway flatcars loaded with about 100 poles each were delivered to Annapolis Royal, and additional poles were being brought in as quickly as possible. The Dominion Atlantic Railway called the blizzard the most damaging storm in its history as far as communication was concerned.
[Kentville Advertiser, 26 December 2000]
1951 June 9
Decision to Build the Canso Causeway
On this day, newspapers reported that the plan to build a bridge across the Strait of Canso had been abandoned, and "within a few weeks" tenders would be called to "fill in" the Strait. This was the decision to build the Canso Causeway.
1954 October 9
First Television Station Goes On Air
CJCB-TV Sydney, the first television station to operate in Nova Scotia (the
17th in Canada), began regular broadcasts this day, on channel 4, using
a 27,800-watt transmitter. The transmitted picture was monochromatic (black and white) only.
Canada's first television station, CBFT-TV in Montreal,
began broadcasting on 6 September 1952.
1954 October 25
First Vehicle Crosses Harbour Bridge
On this day, the first motor vehicle crossed the Angus L. MacDonald bridge over Halifax Harbour. The bridge was by no means finished, but the work has progressed to the point where a truck could be driven across from one side to the other, in places on a temporary deck made of wooden planks. A photograph, of the truck reaching the far end of the bridge, was reprinted in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on 12 December 1997.
1954 November 21
On 21 November 1954, the navy icebreaker HMCS Labrador slipped past Point Pleasant and into
Halifax harbour. In doing so, she made history as the first warship to circumnavigate North America and the first vessel of any kind to do so during a single voyage. It was a notable achievement for a remarkable
1954 December 10
Canso Causeway Opened
On this day, the Canso Causeway, linking the Nova Scotia mainland to Cape Breton Island, was officially opened for regular highway traffic (the railway was still under construction). It is 4,200 feet 1,280m long, and is the deepest causeway in the world.
1954 December 20
Second Television Station Goes On Air
On this day, CBC television station
CBHT began regular operation in Halifax, from temporary studios at College Street School, broadcasting on channel 3 using a temporary antenna and a 56 kilowatt transmitter. The broadcast picture was monochromatic (black and white only). Don Tremaine read the news, and Max Ferguson, well known to radio audiences across the country as "Old Rawhide", was the host of Gazette, a nightly news magazine show with Rube Hornstein doing the weather and Pat Connolly on sports.
"Max Ferguson and I were the first faces to be seen on CBC television in Halifax, Dec. 20th, 1954," Rube Hornstein recalled decades later in an interview for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, printed in the 3 September 1998 issue.
There was no network connection to any other location; CBC Network programs were run delayed (often seven days late, so that a show would appear on the same day of the week — for example, The Ed Sullivan Show would run on Sunday evening, but not the same Sunday on which the original show aired) via kinescope until 1958 when the microwave connection brought the live network to the Halifax area. Kinescope (photographic film made by pointing a movie camera at a TV screen) recordings were used because at that time there was no such thing as a tape recorder capable of handling video frequencies (and it was the considered opinion of many competent technical experts that it would never be feasible to record video on magnetic tape).
CBHT Gets More Powerful Transmitter
A 100 kilowatt transmitter was installed at Geizer's Hill, a short distance west of Rockingham (then part of Halifax County but later the City of Halifax was enlarged to include Rockingham) with the transmitting antenna placed on top of a high tower. This new transmitter extended the coverage of CBHT to the South Shore, the Annapolis Valley, and central and eastern Nova Scotia. This transmitter used vacuum tubes (not transistors), like all electronic equipment of that time.
Memories of R.K. MacDonald and His Kin
by Angus Alex Rory
As this is written in 2000, it is hard to realize that 45 years have passed since Roderick Kennedy MacDonald died. Known as R.K., he was one of the pioneer highway builders of Nova Scotia. His early experience came from railway construction, gained under the eye of his brother, Alexander Kennedy MacDoanld (known as A.K.) and his uncle John Kennedy. All three of them were shrewd fellows, Highland Scots to the core, and all three would do well in the world of business.
The Antigonish Casket
13 & 20 September 2000
R.K. MacDonald was born at Copper Lake, Antigonish County, Nova Scotia, in 1881, the great-grandson of Alexander MacDonald, who came to Nova Scotia in 1816. Alexander and his kin were exceptional people — they were descended from a family that had served as the hereditary bards to the MacDonalds of Keppoch, the branch of the Clan Donald which occupied the Braes of Lochaber, especially the region drained by the Spean and Roy rivers. This was one of the most picturesque districts of The Highlands. For generations, Alexander MacDonald's paople had occupied the 'Bohuntin' farm, a rich tract of land in the center of Glen Roy. They were big men, these MacDonalds, full of music, Gaelic poetry, and the lore of the Highlands. Their swords, great claymores that had to be held with two hands, had flashed at Inverlochy, Killiecrankie, Sheriffmuir, Prestonpans and Culloden, and their pipes had played laments every time a Keppoch chief died.
In 1816, 70 years after Culloden, with the Clan system a thing of the past, Alexander MacDonald had come across the ocean with his family, landing at Pictou, Nova Scotia. In October of 1816 he and his children attempted to sail over to Cape Breton, but a severe storm held back their sloop, and they wintered in Antigonish. They made it to Mabou, Cape Breton, in 1817. They found land at Mabou Ridge, from which district they would be given a new name. Forever after, they would be known as the "Ridge" MacDonalds. One of Alexander's sons was Allan (1794-1868) known as "Allan the Ridge." Allan farmed for a time near his father's home, but in 1847 came to Antigonish County, purchasing a farm at Upper South River... Allan had a large family, two of whom were his sons, Alexander and Murdoch.
Alexander farmed at Upper South River, and in the 1880s and 1890s was a regular contributor to The Casket on matters of Highland lore and history. Alexander was the father of Angus MacDonald, known in his time as "Angus the Ridge," whose pipes were heard at the Highland games for many years. One of his sons, the late Hughie MacDonald, lived at Upper South River, where his widow, Catherine (MacDougall) MacDonald and some of his children still reside.
A second son of Allan's, Murdoch (1831-1918), married Mary Kennedy on 11 January 1865. She was the daughter of Alexander Kennedy and Margaret (Chisholm) Kennedy of Cross Roads Ohio, in the southwest corner of Antigonish County. They settled at Copper Lake, truly one of the beauty spots of Antigonish County. There they were to raise ten children.
Kennedy and MacDonald formed in 1903
Margaret (Kennedy) MacDonald kept in touch with her Kennedy brothers at Cross Roads Ohio. Two of these brothers, Alexander and John, went into railway contracting. John Kennedy was to stick with that business. In his early years he met with fair success, but after 1903, the year he formed a partnership with one of his nephews, Alexander Kennedy MacDonald (A.K.), business greatly improved.
In 1903, A.K. MacDonald was just 28 years of age. He was inexperienced, but was full of the energy of youth, and his partnership with his uncle was a roaring success. The firm of Kennedy and MacDonald laid track for the Halifax and South Western Railway. They laid track in Quebec, along the Gaspe coast. They built miles of railway in ontario. But most of all, they laid track in New Brunswick, along the Upper Saint John River valley, and across the Quebec border all the way to Riviere du Loup. In this work, they employed many sons of Antigonish County, not only young men from the Ohio, but lads from Lochaber, James River, Saint Andrews and other districts. Many of these husky men of Antigonish would go to work with Gaelic songs in their hearts, spiking rails to crossties to the rhythms of old Highland songs.
A.K.'s younger brother, Roderick Kennedy MacDonald (R.K.), who was born in 1881, joined the firm at a later date. He was a big-boned lad, 6 feet 5 inches 195 cm in height. In New Brunswick he worked his way up the ladder, eventually serving as foreman. He kept his eyes wide open, learning lessons that he would later apply in ventures of his own...
With the coming of WWI [World War One, 1914-1918] the great age of railway contracting in Atlantic Canada came to an end. John Kennedy, now in his senior years, came back to settle down in Antigonish, and so did A.K. and R.K. John Kennedy himself, the senior partner in the firm, invested heavily in Antigonish real estate. He bought the Trotter home on Hawthorne Street, Crystal Farm at Ogden's Pond, the Kirk department store on the Main, and the Royal George Hotel on College Street.
A.K. MacDonald also made investments. In 1916 he built a home on Church Street, which boasted three fireplaces and more than a dozen rooms. Shortly after he married Mary MacDonald, the daughter of Donald "Kirk" MacDonald, who, from 1885 to the time of his death in 1910, had been the Municipal Clerk for the Municipality of the County of Antigonish...
So, early in 1918 the two MacDonald brothers, A.K and R.K., were doing very well in Antigonish. In that year, in association with C.D. Chisholm, their old friend from the New Brunswick days, they formed Royal Motors, selling Chevrolet automobiles from the present site of Farrell's Ultramar service station...
In 1918, with the war coming to an end, things looked good for A.K. and R.K. But then came the first of many losses within the family. A.K.'s infant son died in 1918. Later the same year, while the high-spirited A.K. was proudly driving his father around town in a new Chevrolet, he swerved to avoid a sudden danger, only to strike a roadside pole. Murdoch, then 86 years old, was thrown through the windshield. The old man was never well after that, and died on December 10th, 1918.
A.K. himself was not well. For years he suffered from a kidney disease, which grew progressively worse over time. His wife, Mamie, a nurse by training, helped him through his illnesses, and with his trips in and out of hospital. Late in 1921 he took treatment in New York. In December 1921 R.K. MacDonald travelled to New York to be with his brother. R.K. found him in bad shape. A.K. died on December 21st. He was only 45.
R.K. was made executor of his brother's will... The partnership in Royal Motors was wound up, and its assets sold. More difficult to handle was A.K.'s interest, as a partner with his uncle, John Kennedy, in Kennedy and MacDonald. This firm ran a department store at today's 'Kirk Place.' It was the town's leading emporium, but in the 1920s business on the Main was not good. The Maritimes were experiencing a broad economic decline, and young men and women were heading off to the Boston States in record numbers. Many businesses were going to the wall.
In 1927 old John Kennedy, the master railway builder, died at the age of 87, and one year later, Kennedy and MacDonald was wound up. Business was so poor that it was some time before tenants could be found for the property... R.K.'s wife, Mary (Chisholm) MacDonald, died in 1932.
In the middle-to-late 1920s, R.K. took highway contracts, and in these ventures he was to do quite well. Much of the present highway #7 in Halifax County, at the turn of the century often barely passable, was rebuilt by R.K. to meet the standard of the day. By the middle of the 1930s, between contracting and the hotel, R.K. was one of the most prosperous of Antigonishers.
The Royal George Hotel attracted a steady stream of guests. Its dining room, entered through handsome wooden doors with bevelled glass, was the foremost eating destination in the community... There were sample rooms for the fraternity of travelling salesmen... The Royal George was the best there was in town.
R.K. remarried in June of 1935. His second wife, Christine Chisholm, was a first cousin to Mary, his first spouse... In late 1935, R.K. and Christine were in Montreal on a business trip. There they received word that his darlin daughter, Jean Marie, had fallen ill. The alarmed couple took the next train back to Antigonish, but the pedestrian pace of the Ocean Limited was agonizingly slow. At Rimouski, R.K. learned that there was an airfield nearby. He engaged a pilot to fly them to Nova Scotia. Unfortunately, once airborne, the aviator found that a wall of bad weather lay ahead of them, and felt he had no choice but to return to the airfield. Others would have been despondent at this turn of events, but not R.K. He quickly made a deal with a Rimouski taxi driver. They would somehow catch up with the Ocean Limited. The French-speaking chauffeur, this Fittipaldi of the St. Lawrence, was equal to the task. He drove along the Quebec roads at a furious pace, and managed to catch the train at its next stop. His passengers were deposited with an astonished conductor who, only a short time before, had waved goodbye to the same twosome.
In Antigonish, R.K. and Christine heard the dreadful news that little Jean Marie had meningitis... she died early in 1936. R.K. was now left with only one son, Murdoch, but even he was not to be spared serious illness. He was showing signs of multiple sclerosis. Murdoch slowly declined... he died in 1987, at age 69.
[Antigonish Casket, 13 & 20 September 2000]
1955 April 2
MacDonald Bridge Opened for Traffic
On the day it opened for regular traffic, the Angus L. MacDonald Bridge between Halifax and Dartmouth was the second-longest suspension bridge in the British Empire. During the first year of operation, 116,000 pedestrians walked across the bridge and paid the two-cent charge.
1955 April 2
First Electric Transit Service
This was the first day of regular operation of Route 11 of the electric trolley coach system across the MacDonald Bridge between Halifax and Dartmouth. In twenty years the population of Dartmouth nearly tripled, from 15,000 in 1951 to 50,000 in 1971. During the first month of operation, Route 11 carried 74,700 passengers; by August 1955 it was carrying passengers at the rate of more than one million a year. Nova Scotia Light & Power Company, which owned and operated the trolley coaches, paid an annual fee of $5000 to the Bridge Commission in lieu of paying tolls individually each time a trolley coach crossed the span. The trolley coaches drew their power from the usual 600-volt DC overhead wires, which supplied power for the main motor driving the rear wheels, and for the heating, lights, wipers, air compressor, and other auxiliary systems on each coach.
1955 May 14
First Passenger Train
Crosses the Canso Causeway
On this day, the first passenger train crossed the Canso Causeway. This was the first passenger train between Cape Breton Island and the mainland that travelled the entire distance on solid ground, instead of having to be taken across the Canso Strait by ferry between Mulgrave and Point Tupper. This train was operated by Canadian National Railway, and was powered by a steam locomotive.
[Halifax Daily News, 14 May 1999]
Markland Shipping Company
The Markland Shipping Company has been gone for forty years but four people in Liverpool have not forgotten it. J.R. Inness, Charles Copelin, David Chandler and Walter MacLeod all remember the Markland Shipping Company and are organizing a reunion for August 31, 2000. All of them have an affiliation with the company or Mersey Paper which is now Bowater. Mr. Copelin's father, Charles, was the managing director of the steamship company; Mr. Inness was a seaman and second officer on the vessels for years; Mr. MacLeod was a Bowater employee and Mr. Chandler worked in the marine section of Bowater.
The Markland Shipping Company was
a steamship company located in Liverpool during the1930s, '40s and '50s. After the death of Izaak Walton Killam, a major shareholder of Mersey Paper, in August 1955, the company and its subsidiary, the Markland Shipping Company, were sold to the Bowater Paper Company in 1956. Bowater already had its own steamship company and transferred Charles Copelin to Bowater's England affiliate in 1957. He was named the managing director of the Bowater Steamship Company.
In 1960 Markland, Liverpool Rover and Liverpool Packet were transferred to England where they had been registered in 1958. The fourth ship, Vinland, had previously been sold to a Hong Kong-based company, ending the Markland Shipping Company's existence in Liverpool.
Mr. Chandler says there are many people who worked for the Markland Shipping Company who are still around and they'd like to bring them together for this reunion. "A lot of them are still alive," he says. "The '50s is not that long ago. We're hoping to attract the attention of former crewmen and their families to come to the museum and meet one another." A bonus to the reunion will be the stories the people will share about their time on the steamships.
Organizers are hoping to attract former crew from Shelburne to Lunenburg counties. In Lunenburg County people from the LaHave Islands to Lunenburg served on these ships.
During the Second World War, the four ships of the Markland Shipping Company and crew were used by the Canadian government to carry cargo. This year's reunion ties in with the Merchant Navy finally getting recognition from the government. Mr. Copelin adds they've also just been given the financial gratuities they deserve. "It's (the reunion) more recognition of what they did," he says. "Not just during the war, but the war was a big part of it. They fought for their country during the war and they are now just being recognized by the Canadian government and given the financial recognition that goes with it."
Currently at the Queens County Museum a display is set up about the Markland Shipping Company. It includes a model of the second Markland, pictures, paintings and uniforms worn by the crew. Mr. Copelin says the Markland Shipping Company was historical in its own way to Liverpool. "That company, although it was owned by the paper company, continued on with the tradition of seafaring out of Liverpool until this company was wound down in 1960."
[Bridgewater Bulletin, 16 August 2000]
Former Seamen Gather for Monument Dedication
Former seamen of the Markland Shipping Company will have a memorial dedicated to them.
7 September 2002
Markland Shipping was a subsidiary of the Mersey Paper Company which employed seamen from Queens, Lunenburg and Shelburne counties. It sailed out of Liverpool from 1929 until 1959. "They sailed all over the world and brought raw materials in," says David Chandler of Liverpool. "It employed a lot of people on the South Shore."
To date, more than 500 names have been collected of men who worked for the company.
Mr. Chandler and Greg Copelin, who were involved in a reunion which took place two years ago, spearheaded a campaign to raise money to purchase a monument and dedicate it to the men who sailed on the vessels. They have raised about $10,000 from former seamen and their friends and relatives who sailed on the vessels. Mr. Copelin is the son of one of the captains.
On September 7, a memorial dedication and reunion will take place at the Brooklyn Waterfront Park beginning at 2:30pm. At that time, the monument will be dedicated to the sailors. "This whole thing touched an awful lot of people over thirty years. And, it had quite an impact on the economy of the three counties," says Mr. Chandler.
The monument will name the ten vessels that sailed under the Markland Shipping Company. It also names the principal captains – including Capt. Murray Kaiser of Conquerall Bank – and recounts a brief history. The structure will also tell of the five vessels from the company that participated in the Second World War in the Battle of the Atlantic. Two of those vessels were sunk by submarines.
The event begins with music from the Mersey Band followed by the unveiling of the memorial, placement of wreaths, inscriptions reading, tolling of the Awenisbe bell and flowers will be thrown in the harbour in memory of the men that were killed in the Second World War. Speakers include Mayor John Leefe, whose father sailed with the company, and Tom Raddall II, who sailed for five summers while he was attending university. Mr. Raddall will recap the company's history. MLA Kerry Morash will also speak. Refreshments will be served at the Brooklyn United Church across from the park.
Mr. Chandler says the location of the monument couldn't be more perfect. The park looks out to the wharf where the vessels once docked.
[Bridgewater Bulletin, 28 August 2002]
1955 November 14
Buying the Winter Supply of Food
On Pictou Island, the winter of 1956 was severe, with about six inches 15 cm of snow falling on November 11th, 1955. On Monday, November 14th, my mother and father sailed to Pictou and bought our winter supply of groceries. This consisted in part of hundred-pound 45 kg bags of flour, sugar, oatmeal, canned goods, baking products, toiletries, etc. These products would last us until spring when the Strait ice would be gone. The total cost for winter supplies was about $350. I can remember our upstairs pantry shelves being stuffed with a large variety of goods... Another big snowstorm occurred on December 10th and lasted into the next day. The island road was blocked with snow and the men were at the wharf hauling Ernie Rankine's ferryboat up onto the shore for the winter...
[Excerpted from the Pictou Advocate, 2 February 2000: "Memories of Pictou Island," author not named. Pictou Island lies north of the town of Pictou in the Northumberland Strait, between Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.]
Telephone Exchange Names
Nowadays (in 2008) telephone exchanges are known only by numbers — for example, 542 (Wolfville), 733 (Louisbourg), 689 (New Ross), 875 (Shelburne), 533 (Guysborough), 295 (Baddeck), and so on. Telephone numbers are stated only in numerical digits, such as 543-7890 or 295-5678 or 555-1212. But once upon a time in North America, including Nova Scotia, many telephone exchanges were named. Telephone numbers used to begin with two letters, which were an abbreviation for a word.
When mentioning telephone numbers, novels and stories written in the 1940s and 1950s often use exchange names. There is a 1940 Glenn Miller song called "PEnnsylvania 6-5000," and Elizabeth Taylor starred in the 1960 movie "BUtterfield 8" — both titles are derived from telephone exchange names.
In the 1948 movie Sorry, Wrong Number, starring Barbara Stanwyck and Burt Lancaster, the telephone number BOwery 2-1000 appears repeatedly.
In Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window, released in 1954, James Stewart as L.B. Jefferies makes a phone call to Lars Thorwald's apartment, CHelsea 2-7099. In Hitchcock's North By Northwest, released in 1959, Cary Grant as Roger Thornhill, while at a police station after his arrest for drunk driving, makes a phone call to BUtterfield 8-1098.
In the movie Ocean's Eleven, — released in 1960 but written in the late 1950s — Frank Sinatra as Danny Ocean places a call to DUdley 2-6969. The phone number ELdorado 5-9970 appears four times in the 1962 movie The Manchurian Candidate — also written in the late 1950s.
The phone numbers CRestview 5-1733 and GLAdstone 9281 appear in the 1950 movie Sunset Boulevard, starring William Holden, Gloria Swanson, and Erich von Stroheim. (GLAdstone 9281 is a rare example of an exchange name in which the first three digits are alphabetized.)
In the 1959 movie Some Like It Hot, starring Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe, Joe the saxophone player (Tony Curtis) calls phone number WABash 1098.
In the movie Rebel Without a Cause, released in 1955, Natalie Wood as Judy, while at a police station, tells an officer to make a phone call to LExington 0-5549.
In the movie The Godfather, set in the mid-1940s, Michael Corleone (Al Pacino), in his father's hospital room, makes an urgent phone call to LOngbeach 4-5620. In a scene that was cut from the original The Godfather theatre release, but was included in the VHS trilogy boxed set, Michael calls ORchard 9-9539.
For many years, "LOnesome 7-7203" has been a favourite country and western song. Two other songs with named exchange numbers in their titles, "BEechwood 4-5789" and "ECho Valley 2-6809", have been recorded. (Note: In "ECho Valley", the V is capitalized but not dialed.)
The custom was to capitalize the significant letters to make them stand out – the remainder of the name was irrelevant. PEnnsylvania 6-5000 would be dialed as PE6-5000. LIberty 3-2424 would be dialed as LI3-2424, and JUniper 2-7201 as JU2-7201.
An exchange name is a word that is used to represent the first two (sometimes three) letters of a seven-digit telephone number. (Exchange names had nothing to do with area codes or country codes.) Exchange names had nothing to do with geographical names related to the area served by the exchange, they were chosen solely to match the first two (sometimes three) letters of the name to the first two (sometimes three) digits of the exchange number. The first two letters of the exchange name are the first two digits of the phone number, when they are spelled out on a telephone dial or keypad. So for example, the exchange name "BRoadway" means that the first two numbers of the telephone number are "27", and BRoadway 5-9876 would be 275-9876. The purpose of exchange names was to make telephone numbers easier to remember. The custom was to capitalize the significant letters to make them stand out, the remainder of the name was irrelevant.
In the early 1950s, the telephone exchange in Chester, Nova Scotia, was named BRoadway — for example BRoadway 5-6789 meant 275-6789.
In the 1956 phone directory, Bridgewater numbers were listed as LIberty 3-xxxx, meaning 543-xxxx.
LIberty exchange name
Bridgewater section, Western District Telephone Directory, January 1956
Maritime Telegraph & Telephone Company
AT&T's Officially Recommended Exchange Names
Telephone EXchange Name Project
Get Me PEnnsylvania 6-5000 The names themselves are often deliciously '50s. Like real estate developments, they tend toward the WASPy or the pastoral; nobody seems to have had a phone number beginning with BErnstein, GOmez or SLagheap...
More about Exchange Names In the '50s and '60s the phone company decided that the 2L-5N system was a bust, and switched to ANC...
Great rant: Letter Prefixes or EXchange Names – It was all a mistake?
The Wayback Machine has archived copies of
Letter Prefixes or EXchange Names
It was all a mistake?
by Tom Farley
Archived: 2001 December 05
Archived: 2002 June 07
Archived: 2003 August 03
Archived: 2004 July 24
Archived: 2005 April 05
Archived: 2006 March 12
Archived: 2007 August 09
These links were accessed and found to be valid on 12 April 2008.
Severe Ice Storm Hits
Northern Nova Scotia
Dear editor: On January 6, 1956, a terrible sleet storm hit the Northumberland areas of Springhill, Oxford, Pugwash and Tatamagouche. I was employed by Nova Scotia Light and Power in Dartmouth at that time and, along with all available work crews in the province, we were dispatched to the troubled area. A survey showed that in excess of 1,200 poles had been smashed, and countless isolated power lines were down. The Gulf Shore Road had 46 consecutive poles broken when the wind off the Strait contacted the ice-crusted lines. There were no aerial trucks or pole-setting vehicles then, only eight men to a pole-setting crew with 10-foot pike poles for standing up the timber. For seven straight weeks, all crews worked 10- to 12-hour days, seven days a week. Some areas were without power for weeks and, reading the local newspaper, one could only find praise and respect for those who toiled...
Jack Whiting, Dartmouth
[Letter to the editor in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 15 January 1998]
In 1956, Finlay MacDonald was elected President of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters. In 1961, he was one of the founding Directors of the CTV Television Network. In 1986, Finlay MacDonald was inducted into the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame.
1956 June 11
Railways Amalgamated Into CNR
Pursuant to Order in Council P.C. 1956-772 dated May 17, 1956, the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway was amalgamated with several other companies under the name of Canadian National Railway Company, effective June 11, 1956.
National Transportation Agency, Decision No. 310-R-1994
1956 July 14
New Passenger Train Put Into Operation
On this day, The Bluenose, Canadian National Railway's new Edmonton - Halifax passenger train began regular service. Known named passenger trains operated by CN or its predecessors to/from Nova Scotia are:
1 Mar 1898 The Maritime Express Montreal - Halifax
3 Jul 1904 Ocean Limited Montreal - Halifax
26 Jun 1927 The Acadian Montreal - Halifax
28 Jun 1929 Down Easter New York - Halifax
28 Jun 1929 Pine Tree Acadian Boston - Halifax
2 Mar 1930 The Gull Boston - Maritime Provinces
16 Mar 1941 The Scotian Montreal - Halifax
14 Jul 1956 The Bluenose Edmonton - Halifax
1 Jun 1967 The Cabot Montreal - Sydney
[Source: Canadian National in the East, Volume Three (book) by J. Norman Lowe, ISBN 0919487149, October 1985. Published by the Calgary Group of the British Railway Modellers of North America, 5124 33rd Street NW, Calgary, Alberta T2L 1V4.]
1956 September 25
The First Transatlantic Telephone Cable
The first transatlantic telephone cable was officially put into regular service on 25 September 1956.
Begins Commercial Operation
In the winter of 1953 suitable sites to land the cables were chosen in Newfoundland and Scotland. The Scottish site was a few miles south of Oban, and was linked by an improved coaxial cable line to carry 900 inland and transatlantic circuits via Glasgow to International Exchange, London.
On the other side of the Atlantic the cables came ashore at Clarenville, Newfoundland, then crossed the Cabot Strait to Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia. From Sydney Mines to the US border a line-of-sight microwave radio link completed the system; in the town of New Brunswick, Maine, the route branched to Montreal to connect with the Canadian network...
— Excerpted from TAT-1: The First Transatlantic Telephone Cable
In 1956 the first telephone cable was laid between Scotland and Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia. A joint US, British, and Canadian project, it was completed ahead of schedule and was built "to the most exacting submarine cable specifications ever prepared". The deep ocean cable consisted of two cables each including 52 flexible single-way repeaters, while the single shallow cable between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia incorporated novel rigid repeaters developed by the British Post Office...
— Excerpted from “The First Transatlantic Telephone Cables” by Lenore Symons
The 2001 IEEE Conference on the History of Telecommunications (CHT2001)
held 25-27 July 2001, at Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John's, Newfoundland
The Wayback Machine has archived copies of this document:
The First Transatlantic Telephone Cables
by Lenore Symons
Archived: 2001 July 01
Archived: 2002 August 24
Archived: 2003 March 10
Archived: 2004 October 27
Archived: 2005 June 29
These links were accessed and found to be valid on 27 June 2010.
The TAT-1 (Transatlantic No. 1) system design called for two cables, one in each direction. H.M.T.S. Monarch laid the two cables in the summers of 1955 and 1956, respectively, which was then the world's largest cable ship. The links were from Clarenville, Newfoundland to Oban, Scotland. A different submarine system connected Newfoundland to the mainland through Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia. Initial service provided 29 telephone circuits between London and New York, six circuits between London and Montreal and a single circuit split among the three destinations for telegraph and other narrow band applications. The system operated without repeater failure for over twenty years, when it was taken out of service...
— TAT-1 Wikipedia
Transatlantic telephone cable Wikipedia
Reminiscences of TAT-1 Jeremiah F. Hayes
1956 October 20
CBHT Moves Into New Building
The CBC's Halifax television station CBHT moved from the cramped temporary studios at the College Street School, to a new building on Bell Road which was officially opened on this day. With the move into the new building, the level of production of television programs increased significantly. The Don Messer Show premiered on 16 November 1956, as a regional presentation. In 1959, CBHT's favourite fiddle show became a network presentation, Don Messer's Jubilee. By 1961, Don Messer's Jubilee was the most watched television show in the country, outdrawing Hockey Night in Canada and The Ed Sullivan Show. Don Messer's Jubilee continued until its controversial cancellation in 1969. In 2002, CBHT still operates from this Bell Road building.
1957 May 28
Last Eastbound Steam Maritime Express
The last trip powered by a steam locomotive, eastbound from Moncton to Halifax, of the Canadian National Railway's Montreal - Halifax passenger train The Maritime Express was made on this day, powered by locomotive 6163, engineer Chester Marr and fireman A. Kellough, both of Truro.
1957 May 30
Last Steam Trains Halifax - Sydney
The last train powered by a steam locomotive from Sydney to Halifax was train #8, which arrived in Halifax at 7:35am this day; locomotive 6007 Sydney to Truro and 6177 Truro to Halifax. The last steam powered train Halifax to Sydney was #7, which arrived in Sydney at 7:45am this day.
1957 May 30
Last Westbound Steam Maritime Express
The last trip powered by a steam locomotive, westbound from Halifax to Moncton, of the Canadian National Railway's Halifax - Montreal passenger train The Maritime Express was made on this day, powered by locomotive 6177, engineer C.W. Oulton and fireman R. Geldert, both of Moncton.
1957 July 27
Last Steam Train on Musquodoboit Railway
On this day, the last train pulled by a steam locomotive operated the round trip Dartmouth - Upper Musquodoboit. CNR locomotive 3409, engineer E.P. McLaughlin of Truro and fireman Reid Cameron of Halifax.
1957 July 30
First Diesel Passenger Train
On this day, the first passenger train to be powered by a diesel-electric locomotive operated the round trip Dartmouth - Upper Musquodoboit, 69 miles 111 km. On this railway line, freight trains had been powered by diesels for about a year.
on Musquodoboit Railway
1957 October 4
Russia Launches First Satellite
The first man-made satellite — Sputnik 1 — was sent into orbit around the Earth by Russia, in "what may be the opening of the interplanetary travel era." CBC Television News said tonight a radio signal believed to have come from the Russian Earth satellite has been picked up in Halifax. In a newscast at 11:00pm ADT on October 4th, the CBC's Halifax television station broadcast the sound of the staellite's radio signal. Listeners heard a rapid series of dots for ten to fifteen seconds. Sputnik emitted strong 3/10-of-a-second beeps clearly audible on 20 megacycles 20 megahertz. The CBC said a Halifax amateur radio operator picked up the signal.
[Front page, the Toronto Globe and Mail, 5 October 1957]
1958 February 20
Digby County Power Board to sell generating plant
Digby ratepayers voted 40-2 to approve the sale of Digby County Power Board's hydroelectric generating plant on the Sissiboo River to the Nova Scotia Power Commission. The approval was the final step for the municipally-owned Power Board; the quarter-million dollar deal had already been approved by the other partners, the Municipalities of Digby and Clare, and the Village of Weymouth.
— The Digby Courier, 20 February 1958
Sissiboo River Wikipedia
Digby County Wikipedia
1958 July 1
Coast to Coast Television Network
On this day, a special program was telecast to mark the opening of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's new coast-to-coast microwave service for transmission of television programs. With microwave links completed from Victoria on Vancouver Island to Sydney on Cape Breton Island, a distance of more than 4,000 miles nearly 7,000 km, Canada had the longest television network in the world. The link with the province of Newfoundland, 70 miles 110 km across the Cabot Strait from Cape Breton, was completed a year later.
1958 October 2
Bicentennial Highway Opened
On this day, the Bicentennial Highway was officially opened for traffic. About 23 kilometres in length, it runs west and north from Joseph Howe Drive in Halifax to Fall River. The name commemorates the 200th anniversary of the first meeting, on 2 October 1758, of the first elected legislative assembly in what is now Canada. It was built initially as a two-lane highway – one lane in each direction, separated only by a painted centerline. In the late 1980s two additional lanes were built, and the Bicentennial Highway now has two lanes each way, separated by a "Jersey barrier" – a continuous concrete wall about 110cm high placed between the northbound and southbound lanes. The Bicentennial Highway is now the southern section of Highway 102.
Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 26 August 2003, and other sources
1958 December 1
North East Margaree Telegraph Office Closed
The recent closing of the telegraph office at North East Margaree has relieved Mrs. Margaret Lydia Ross of her duties as part-time telegraph-telephone operator for the Canadian Department of Transport.
But there is no indication that Mrs. Ross plans to protest the government action.
For, after all, her record of sixty years' continuous service is the longest ever established in the department and it is just possible that she may have been contemplating retirement anyway.
Mrs. Ross, who is 92, began her career as an operator at the age of 32, when a telegraph office was installed in her home.
When the expansion of telegraph offices began to decline, in districts where there were no telephone lines the government continued to maintain telegraph services, but such situations have become fewer and fewer.
Lessening demand for such services, and the consequent lack of revenue has led to closing of a number of Cape Breton offices and the station at North East Margaree is one of them.
Transport Minister George Hees has announced that a suitable plaque commemorating Mrs. Ross's record is being prepared for presentation to the veteran operator.
On December 1, 1958, Mrs. Ross retired from the position...
[Cape Breton Post, 9 April 1959]
Online Source: http://www.rootsweb.com/~nscbg/CBP_1950s_Stories.htm
CBHT Satellite Transmitters
Satellite transmitters (then known as Rebroadcasting Stations), for retransmission of CBHT programming, were installed at Liverpool (CBHT 1), Shelburne (CBHT 2) and Yarmouth (CBHT 3). These extended the coverage of CBHT to most of the South Shore of Nova Scotia.
$4.00 per Person in Bridgetown
In 1959, there were four places of lodging in Bridgetown: Carleton Inn and Motor Court, Colonial House, Newton's Tourists, and Whitman's Guest Home. Rates were $2.50 - $4.00 per person, and $4.00 - $6.00 per two people.
[Where to Stay in Nova Scotia, 1959 edition]
[Bridgetown Monitor, 4 April 2000]
Index with links to the other chapters
Go To: History of Telegraph and Telephone Companies in Nova Scotia
Go To: History of Railway Companies in Nova Scotia
Go To: History of Electric Power Companies in Nova Scotia
Go To: History of Automobiles in Nova Scotia
Go To: Nova Scotia History, Chapter One
Go To: Nova Scotia in the War of 1812
Go To: Nova Scotia Historical Biographies
Go To: Proclamations: Land Grants in Nova Scotia 1757, '58, '59
Go To: Statutes of Nova Scotia, 1805, edited by Richard John Uniacke
Go To: Home Page
Latest update: 2014 October 23