Big Hank and how the CNR was saved

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, December 14, 2018 4:18 PM

Page 5

Mike states: Dad was 13 when he saw Sir Henry's train. As a CV employee (dispatcher's messenger), he knew who the big boss was.

 https://ia902506.us.archive.org/BookReader/BookReaderImages.php?zip=/25/items/canadiantransport1923/canadiantransport1923_jp2.zip&file=canadiantransport1923_jp2/canadiantransport1923_0066.jp2&scale=2&rotate=0

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, December 16, 2018 9:37 PM

It's a sad fact that nearly all Canadians have no idea that it was Thornton and the CNR that started the CBC. Simply not recognized. 

 

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, December 16, 2018 10:16 PM

The Brooklyn Eagle covered the early days of CNR radio in Canada.

 
https://www.newspapers.com/image/57399800/  Eagle’s Alaska Tourists
 
https://www.newspapers.com/image/57400441/                                                           Treasures of Nipissing Mine
 
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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, December 16, 2018 11:22 PM

H.V. Kaltenborn was in charge of the party, met Sir Henry at Jasper. About 22 years later Kaltenborn was broadcasting from the Hotel Scribe.

 
.....more about the Brooklyn Eagle guy on the CNR train
 
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Posted by Miningman on Monday, December 17, 2018 7:50 AM

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 6:36 PM
Tragedy.jpg
 
The Tragedy of Henry Thornton by D'Arcy Marsh
 
Reviewed by John L. McDougall, The Canadian Historical Review, December 1935
 
Sir Henry Thornton came to Canada in 1922 at the invitation of Mr. Mackenzie King and under the joint sponsorship of Mr. J. H. Thomas (p. 13), Sir Edward Beatty (p. 30), and Mr. R. B. Bennett (p. 94). He was worthy of such a diversity of sponsors. He had served his apprenticeship on the Pennsylvania Railroad, rising to the position of general manager of the Long Island. In 1913 he had gone to the Great Eastern of England and had infused new life into it. In the war he had risen to the post of inspector general of transportation of the British expeditionary forces. A huge man, with a tremendous capacity for the pleasures of life ("My, how that fellow could eat" (p.109), his great power had been his ability to develop a spirit of willing co-operation in the men working under him. He saw even the humblest of them as individuals-and not as a source of possible precedents which might be used against him later. He dealt with the trade union leaders in the same way. A great part of his early strength in England flowed from the fact that he was willing to recognize them as equals. He was the first to see that they were not left standing but were given chairs when meeting the boards of directors of the railways. When he came to Canada he used the same formula. 
 
In a very short time he had the enthusiastic support of the rank and file on the system. But his most important task was the essentially political one of winning over the country. His success was such that at the height of his power he had a better press and more enthusiastic support from the general public than any other single individual in public life. 
 
But his magnificent gusto carried its own penalties. He was forced to live at high speed to hide from himself his own spiritual poverty. As his income rose, so did his expenditures, so that he never had any financial backlog to free him from immediate pressures .One gathers also that his second wife, whom he married in 1926, reinforced his natural bent toward free spending and also tended to cut him off from friends of his own age. Inevitably he was drawn into speculation in stocks as a means of increasing his income, and inevitably he lost. 
 
Out of that spectacular rise and the still more spectacular fall, Mr. Marsh composes an unforgettable picture. We see how attempts were made to pin on Thornton the responsibility for results mainly owing to the gathering storm of depression, how he was driven to agree to plans for unified operation by his own financial weakness, and finally how he gathered his strength when he stood up before the Duff commission and declared amalgamation politically impossible. The reviewer confesses to finding it the most moving bit of unconscious propaganda for the puritan virtues of thrift, industry, and sobriety that he has ever read. 
 
Mr. Marsh has shown Sir Henry Thornton against the background of his time, keeping an admirable balance between the interpretation of the character of his subject and the general history of the period. It is not a definitive book upon the subject. The whole question of the capital expenditures of the National system between 1923 and 1931 is not touched on. But anyone interested in general railway history or in the relations between the government of the day and the management of the National Railways will find this book of absorbing interest. It is greatly to be regretted that so good a book has no index. 
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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 6:58 PM

Not sure you could pull this off at the Masters.

" Get those azaleas outta here"

Excerpt from the Tragedy of Henry Thornton
 
Sir Henry's ball had landed in a clump of trees and his position was hopeless; so hemmed in with timber was he that it looked as if he would have either to pick up or lose heaven knew how many strokes ploughing his way out. Other players had stopped, curious as to what he would do. He hesitated for a moment, looking at the appalling lie of the ball. Then he made up his mind–it was no good being President of the Canadian National Railways for nothing–and spoke a word to the caddy. The boy put down his bag and started off for the club house at the double. Presently he came running back, with two men following him, carrying a crosscut saw. A few minutes later a large tree crashed to the earth and Sir Henry took his mashie. There was one less tree at Jasper, but the President won his hole.
 
 
 
 
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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 8:00 PM
Excerpt from Maclean’s
Jasper Park Lodge was launched just before the first world war, when Fred and Jack Brewster put up four canvas cabins on the shores of Lake Beauvert. The Brewsters are a Banff clan known as Canada’s “royal family of the Rockies.” Fred’s father started as a guide in 1880 and with his six sons soon cornered a major share of the Rocky Mountain tourist trade. Early this century Fred and his brother Jack came to Jasper where there were more trees and fewer Brewsters. After the war tourists flocked to Jasper in such numbers that Fred and Jack couldn’t cope with the business. They knew that CNR President Sir Henry Thornton was anxious to provide some competition for the CPR’s grandiose Banff Springs and Lake Louise hotels. They persuaded him to look over their tent development. Sir Henry took one look and said, “This is the place!” 
 

 

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 9:17 PM
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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, December 19, 2018 3:45 PM

Miningman

 

 

Headphones were available for the passenger who wanted some entertainment! Such a thoughtful feature but hygiene would be a problem. 

Headphones

Jones Family Railroad Hobby YouTube Channel
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu9gt9Q9RF-Hwq7xWciVcWg/

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Posted by Firelock76 on Wednesday, December 19, 2018 4:01 PM

Hygene wouldn't have been too much of an issue with those headsets, just a wipe-down with some rubbing alcohol, or any kind of alcohol, and problem solved!

I'm sure there was plenty of some kind of alcohol on those trains!   Whistling

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, December 28, 2018 10:31 AM
 
The start of the CBC TV. The CBC Radio however remains very popular.
 
The video is for fun
 
 

CBC TV history 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Posted by Miningman on Friday, December 28, 2018 2:13 PM

It was an uncertainty for sure if Government ownership was the right thing to do. Good reading as to how it all came about and Thornton' pivotal role.

 https://www.fadedpage.com/books/20170135/html.php

Excerpt:  
 
The majority and the minority reports of the Royal Commission to Inquire into Railways and Transportation in Canada strongly recommended that the railways, while owned, should not be run by the government. The majority report concluded that “for all these reasons our recommendation is that the idea of government ownership and operation be not entertained.” The commissioners advised “that the three undertakings, the Canadian Northern, the Grand Trunk and the Grand Trunk Pacific, be united in one system” to “be handed over to a board of trustees to control and manage on behalf, and on account of, the people of Canada.” Detailed regulations as to the character of this independent body were submitted, and stress was placed on its non-political, permanent and self-perpetuating features. This independent body was to be subject to the orders of the Railway Commission.
 
From these recommendations legislation followed, in which the Canadian Northern was acquired in 1919 (9-10 Geo. V, c. 13), the Grand Trunk Pacific in 1920, and finally the Grand Trunk in 1922. The system was practically unified in 1921, but it was not until the following year that Sir Henry Thornton was appointed as president, and the whole brought under one head. The history of government ownership is largely the history of the Thornton régime.
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Posted by Miningman on Friday, July 05, 2019 11:47 PM

Now that both our Nations birthday celebrations are over with it's gives us time to look at how we benefitted each other. 

Sir Henry Thornton was an American. His contribution to Canada and forging together multiple complicated bankrupt railroads, 2 of which were transcontinentals and one a key railroad in the centre, the Grand Trunk, was an incredible accomplishment. 

His true legacy is today's modern CN.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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