A History over 65 Years in the Making

If you haven't heard the news yet, through incredible generosity we have recently received an enormous selection of salvaged pulleys, cranks, cogs and hooks used during active mining operations at the Galt No. 8 Coal Mine in Lethbridge, Alberta. For more on that, check out our dedicated page here.

Our vision for these items is to create unique industrial home decor items that help tell the story behind the pieces, the story of coal mining in Southern Alberta and Canadian Pacific Railway's involvement in it. With that in mind, we've laid the foundation for our first piece, and this one will take you back over 65 years ago.

Our first piece will be a pendant light, perfect for your reading corner or above your coffee bar. We'll be using an aluminum pulley from the Galt No. 8 mine we've cleaned up, and will be pairing it with a glass insulator produced by the Dominion Glass Company.

There's an all-Canadian story behind this one. We'll start with the insulator. The Dominion Glass Company Ltd. saw its start in 1913, when a dominant co-operative of Canadian glass manufacturers committed to machine production, The Diamond Glass Company, Montreal, was incorporated. The new entity, Dominion Glass, took over all manufacturing plants under the old co-operative. Dominion Glass manufactured large quantities of bottles, lamp chimneys and other assorted glassware, and offered 5 styles of glass insulators for use on telephone, telegraph and hydro lines.

This particular insulator, a No. 42 (CD 154), was used for telegraph lines. The original charter for telegraph service in Canada was granted to the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1881. CPR looked to retain as much revenue as possible from the service, creating separate departments and sub-companies as needed. While this particular insulator was produced several years later, Dominion insulators just like it would have lined the rail sides, carrying telegraph services to new areas of Canada.

The insulator we're using here was produced using Mold No. 4, and was pressed in 1953 in Wallaceburg, Ontario. Dominion produced all of their No. 42 (CD 154) insulators at their Wallaceburg plant, with a two short exceptions where the machine was moved to other areas of Canada due to demand (approximately 2 months in 1942 and 6 months in 1943). Considered the most beautiful of the Dominion glass insulators, the No. 42 came in a large variety of colors from clear through to pinks, reds, blues, greens and ambers. Production of colored insulators stopped around 1945, and clear insulators became the only varieties produced. Not only were they more expensive to produce, but customer's complaints regarding the attractiveness of the colored insulators to insects nesting within helped push the decision.

The aluminum pulley, salvaged from the Galt No. 8 Mine, was produced by the Monarch Aluminum Company and cast in Cooksville, Ontario. The Monarch Aluminum Company was established in 1946, and has been a leading supplier of component castings for a variety of industries within Canada for 70 years. Now Monarch Fabricating & Die Casters Limited, the company continues to produce cast aluminum components using sand casting, the process used for this particular pulley.

The Galt No. 8 Mine began production of coal in 1934, when the Canadian Pacific Railway sunk the first mine shaft. It's unclear when the operation began to utilize the lighter aluminum pulleys over their initial steel selection, but it was likely shortly after the establishment of the Monarch Aluminum Company.

This pendant light will tell the story of two Canadian businesses, both tied through the Canadian Pacific Railway. It will tell the story of expanding communication and trade networks across the country. The coal mined from the Galt No. 8 Mine would be used to power the CPR locomotives which carried new goods and services to the far reaches of Canada, all to fulfill deliveries and orders organized through the telegraph and telephone networks lining the rail tracks. More than just a pendant light, this will be a unique piece of Canadian history.

Emerson Industrial Design Co has pledged to donate 15% of all sales of Galt No. 8 Mine decor items to the Galt #8 Mine Historic Site Society, a not-for-profit organization committed to the preservation of the site and the development of a Historical Interpretive Centre.

Don't forget to subscribe to our website - subscribers get advance notification of all of our Galt No. 8 decor items. Be the first to know when this pendant light is available!

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