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Thomas Ahearn - Ottawa, Ontario
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Weathervane
N 45° 23.989 W 075° 41.175
18T E 446290 N 5027595
Quick Description: This drinking fountain, erected in memory of Thomas Ahearn, a pioneer in the field of electric lighting and transportation, is located at the corner of Bank Street and Holmwood Avenue, in Ottawa, Ontario.
Location: Ontario, Canada
Date Posted: 10/8/2019 7:23:35 AM
Waymark Code: WM11EFD
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
Views: 0

Long Description:
Inscription on the drinking fountain:

Hon Thomas Ahearn, P.C.
of Ottawa
Pioneer in the field of
Electric Lighthing
and Transportation
Presented with
Central Canada
Exhibition Association
Gold Medal, 1892

This drinking Fountain
erected
in memory of Hon. Thomas Ahearn
in the year 1949 by
Mr & Mrs T.F. Ahearn

Thomas Ahearn

Thomas Ahearn grew up in Le Breton (LeBreton) Flats, then a working-class neighbourhood of Ottawa, in a family of Irish Catholic immigrants. He attended the College of Ottawa, but he was expelled for misbehaviour and did not complete his formal education. He would go back to school in his seventies to be officially certified as a telegraph and telephone operator. In 1868 Ahearn started work as a messenger at the Chaudière (Ottawa) office of the Montreal Telegraph Company, and in 1873 he moved to New York, where he was employed as an operator in the head office of the Western Union Telegraph Company. This post exposed him to the best management strategies and technologies in the field. Two years later he returned to Ottawa and was appointed the chief operator of the Great North Western Telegraph Company of Canada.

The big break for Ahearn came in 1879 when, together with his friend and business partner Warren Young Soper, he won a contract to install telegraph sets across the country for the Canadian Pacific Railway. The contract provided them with enough capital to form an electrical-consulting company, Ahearn and Soper, in 1882. The following year the young men were awarded a contract to introduce electric lights into the House of Commons. The lights were switched on in January 1884, a full year earlier than at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. In 1887 Ahearn and Soper, who now represented the Westinghouse Electric Company in Canada, incorporated the Chaudière Electric Light and Power Company under a federal charter, which allowed them to conduct business in both Ottawa and Hull (Gatineau), Que. Through his connections to Westinghouse, Ahearn was familiar with the newest technical developments in power generation. Unlike other companies in the field, Chaudière Electric Light and Power invested in an incandescent, alternating-current system, then still experimental and virtually unknown in Canada.

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Website with more information on either the memorial or the person(s) it is dedicated to: [Web Link]

Location: Not listed

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