Communities thrive when people initiate successful businesses, programs, opportunities and events. Innovators bring new or better ways of doing things to the benefit of others. In southwestern Alberta there is a strong history of entrepreneurs capitalizing on available opportunities and innovators solving the particular problems of this area to improve economic opportunities for everyone.
Though government surveyor John Palliser stated this area was unsuitable for agriculture in the 1850s, the work of many people made farming Palliser’s Triangle possible. Agriculture was much improved with the extensive irrigation systems constructed by companies such as the Galt’s Alberta Railway and Irrigation Company. Lethbridge Research Station staff like Asael Palmer developed better methods for irrigating crops and reducing soil erosion through trash cover. This research complimented the development of better farm tools such as Charles Noble’s cultivating blade and Andrew Briosi’s beet harvester. The Knight’s Sugar Factory helped make the development of irrigation more profitable by producing sugar beets at a good return per acre.
This exhibit illustrates a few of the individuals who saw a need in the community and developed a way to meet that need by supplying products and services or new and better ways of doing things. It also celebrates those who faced hardship and developed strategies to overcome these conditions.
I. G. Baker and Co.
|I. G. Baker and Co. store, Lethbridge. Galt Archives 19891046021-022|
|George Houk and Co. Wholesale Liquor. Galt Archives 19891046033|
By Sven Andreassen
Sven Andreassen is a recent graduate of the University of British Columbia's Master of Archival Studies program. He has been volunteering in the Galt Archives since the summer and curated this exhibit.