Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Canada's 1955 future

Macleans magazine bought this map from the Canadian government. It is from 1955 and details "100 Important New Resources That Will Help Make Canada's Future Bright And Prosperous" - 1950's booster-ism at its finest.
Here is a close-up view showing details such as petro-chemical and nickel leaching plants near Edmonton, a nationwide microwave net for TV, far-reaching rural electrification, gas turbine locomotives and a money tug of war with the United States.  
Sample text from the title block
"Yesterday many of the places shown here were barren rock, desolate tundra or virgin forest. Tomorrow they will pour out a swelling flood of nearly all the materials needed by modern man...."
I'm not sure if the colors (green, yellow and red-ish) mean anything (elevation?) or if that's just an artistic effect. Also, the leaf-like channels within the Great Lakes are a strange touch.

The Macleans article has a nice selection of items from the map showing which predictions were good (tar sands oil) and which were overly optimistic (potash.) Some other interesting items not covered in the article:
  • "Flying laboratory” carries ½ ton of electronic equipment in simultaneous search for many minerals.
  • Latest rust-resistant wheat developed at government lab in Fort Garry, Man.
  • Continent’s first turbo-prop airline service.
  • 2,250-mile gas pipeline from Alberta to Toronto-Montreal at cost of $300 million.
  • 19 new river valley conservation programs in Ontario.
  • $60 million for world’s largest transatlantic telephone cable built by Canada, U.S.A., U.K.
  • Atomic reactor at Chalk River for research into peaceful uses of atomic energy.
 I included that last item because I spent time in Chalk River as a graduate student and got to know some of the nuclear plant workers.

A complete list of all 100 resources can be found here, while a larger version of the map is here.

1 comment:

James Echols said...

The "leaf-like channels" within the Great Lakes are shipping routes from Duluth, Port Arthur, Thunder Bay, Ashland, etc. You can follow the path to the Atlantic. Nice find.