Winnipeg in Focus is a database for archival descriptions and digital collections at the City of Winnipeg Archives.

Part p00225 - William Smaill Photo Album – Page 107

Open original digital objects

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

William Smaill Photo Album – Page 107

General material designation

  • Graphic material

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

Level of description

Part

Reference code

p00225

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • [1914 or 1915] (Creation)
    Creator
    Smaill, William

Physical description area

Physical description

5 photographs : b&w, affixed to album page

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator

(1870-1947)

Biographical history

William Smaill was born in Montréal in 1870 and was educated as a chemist and a civil engineer. In 1892, Smaill was living in Acadian Mines, Nova Scotia, but briefly returned to Montréal to marry Jane Robinson Batt, who was from Ireland. In 1894, they had a son, William Hubert, and a daughter, Margaret Kathleen, in 1896. Shortly after this, Smaill and his family moved to Rat Portage (now Kenora), where he worked as a mining engineer and had two more children: Elsie in 1899 and Carlton in 1901.

Smaill was involved in the construction of the Winnipeg Aqueduct that transports safe drinking water from Shoal Lake to Winnipeg. Preliminary work for the aqueduct began in 1914 and included the building of the Greater Winnipeg Water District Railway and the Falcon River Diversion that diverted the waters of Falcon River, which had an unwanted colour, to Snowshoe Bay. The diversion solved the problem of unwanted colouration of the water supply, but had the effect of limiting Kekekoziibii Shoal Lake 40 First Nation's access to the mainland. In September 1914, contracts were awarded to various companies to build portions of the aqueduct. The Northern Construction Company and the Carter Halls Aldinger Company made a joint bid and were awarded contracts 32, 33, and 34 to build over 47 miles of the aqueduct between Indian Bay and the Whitemouth River. The Winnipeg Aqueduct Construction Company, a conglomerate of Northern Construction and Carter Halls Aldiner, was incorporated in January 1915. William Smaill served as the new company’s superintendent, overseeing the construction of its portion of the aqueduct. The aqueduct was completed in March 1919.

Smaill took many photographs of the construction process and believed photography could be used as an engineering tool. He gave a paper to a University of Manitoba engineering class in 1918 titled, “The Uses of the Camera in Engineering Work”. He wrote several other papers on the aqueduct’s construction, including articles for the Excavating Engineer (1915 and 1917) out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the Engineer News Records (1917), out of New York City.

Smaill and his family lived in several places while construction of the aqueduct was underway. These places included Reynolds, Manitoba, the Rural Municipality of Springfield, Manitoba, as well as various camps along the aqueduct’s construction route. Shortly after the aqueduct’s completion, Smaill and his wife moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, where he was involved in the construction of the Ballantyne Pier and the Second Narrows Bridge. Smaill’s son, William Hubert, also an engineer, served in the First World War as a sapper from 1916 to 1918. Smaill’s other son, Carlton, died in 1921. Smaill passed away in Vancouver in 1947.

Custodial history

Part of an album that the Water and Waste Department acquired in a private sale in 2007. It was transferred to the City of Winnipeg Archives in 2016 (accession 2016-13).

Scope and content

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Arrangement

Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

There are no restrictions on these records.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Copyright: public domain.

Finding aids

Associated materials

Related materials

Accruals

Alternative identifier(s)

Citation

City of Winnipeg Archives. William Smaill fonds (A2209 File 1).

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules or conventions

Status

Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Language of description

Script of description

Sources

digital objects (Master) rights area

digital objects (Reference) rights area

digital objects (Thumbnail) rights area

Accession area

Related people and organizations

Related places

Related genres