Memories of Local Mica

Standard
Memories of Local Mica
 -
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
26 Oct 1909, Tue  •  Page 1

Mica seems to have been a big industry … much of the work seems to have been done by women — except for all the men working in the mica mines.I expect General Electric used mica as insulation material as well as sight lenses in fuses due to its transparency.

Storeroom Stories: General Electric D-12 Toaster

25 years ago the late Miss Lillian Smith of Perth donated a now century old six ledger book to the Perth Museum. The ledger was originally part of the American Mica Mining Company operating in North Burgess Township during 1864-65. This pay roll lists the names of many well known district families. To say nothing of showing the differences in wages paid miners 100 years ago and today.The first name entered in the ledger is that of Thomas Stapleton, a blaster.

For the week ending September 24, 1864, Thomas received $5 for four days work at $1.25 per day. Thomas McPharland, pitman, was paid $4.80 for a six day stint at 80 cents a day. John McPharland, a dresser, worked one day that week for 30 cents. For the week ending October 1, Owen Powers, foreman, was reimbursed to the tune of $7.50 ($1.25 per day). G.N. Randall, superintendent of the cutting and directing, was paid $3.21 per day, definitely “top brass” earnings. But he was still far from the class of engineer F. Poole (F. Poole and Associates) whose salary was $6 per day. A. Castle, described as a “superintendent” was paid $1 per day and granted $8.35 in “expenses” from Montreal to the mines. It may be that Mr. Castle was some sort of supervisor whose duties were dignified with a fine sounding title somewhat like discreetly referring to today’s garbage men as “sanitary engineers”.One hundred years ago the company paid out an average of $219 per week in wages and salaries for 104 days work and a work day was ten hours long. This means that the hourly rates were as follows: blaster, twelve and a half cents; pitman, eight cents; dresser, three cents; foreman, twelve and a half cents; superintendent of cutting and dressing, thirty two cents; engineer, sixty cents.In the interests of genealogy, a reproduction of the names in the list on the ledger is given:Foremen: Owen Powers and Peter PowersBalster: Bernard BernsPitmen: Pat White, Peter White, Michael McPharland (#1), Michael McPharland (#2), Thomas McPharland, Francis McPharland, Lawrence Russell, Thomas Stapleton, Thomas Darcy, Michael Darcy, Owen McCann, Michael Carrens, John McNamee, T. Queen, Alexander Parks, Thomas Burns, Arthur Donnelly, Hugh McShane, Hugh Kelly, Michael White, John Ryan, William Whitelaw, James McLade (this could have been McGlade).Striker: Peter MartinBalsters: John Donnelly, Thomas Donnelly, Pat K. Morgan, Arthur Fagan, Thomas Drennan, Michael Hanley, Joseph Bennett, Henry Miles, Pat Quinn, Lawrence Russell, Owen Loy

Joann Voyce My parents never mentioned that. I do remember the Mica mine on the extension of Bridge St when we picked berries where all those houses are now

 -
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
01 Feb 1907, Fri  •  Page 10

1906-A mica-splitting industry of the General Electric Company was being carried on in J. R. McDiarmid’s Newman Hall at the corner of Bridge and William Streets. Gardiner’s Creamery was built on Mill Street. Concrete sidewalks were being laid on many town streets.

If you are a game of thrones fan you will look at this and say “dragon glass!” Nope.. as you know we had many mica mines around here and here is proof..Carly England found a real cool chunk of mica in the garden wall.. An homage to those of days gone by.

Linda Gallipeau-Johnston They used mica as windows in wood stoves back in the 40’s and I read the contents to an eye shadow and mica was on the list of ingredients – you just never know!!

 ‘We used to roam around among the hills hunting for this mica, which we knew as Isinglass. The hills seemed full of it. We’d make large collections of it for our playhouses. We’d make windows of it never once thinking that one day it would become the great value it now is. People don’t know the vast wealth that is hidden away in these mountains. They have not even begun to scrape the edges of the wealth’. –1880

Carleton Place genealogy.. Mica Factory partner which was on Bridge Street–Clipped from The Ottawa Journal, 27 Mar 1899, Mon, Page 6


This woman (and tractor) are posing in front of the stone building at the corner of Bridge and William Streets – once the Opera House, a mica factory, and later, Brewer’s Retail in Carleton Place.

Lost Ottawa· July 29, 2019 ·  Mica seems to have been a big industry in Ottawa, Hull and the Valley, and much of the work seems to have been done by women. Workers for the mica division of the General Electric Company posing in front of their building in Masson, early 1900s.

 -
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
28 Jul 1909, Wed  •  Page 4

David Dunlop 17 Beech Street off Preston (now 95 Beech) was a mica sorting plant in 1915/1916. Ottawa Citizen and Morning Journal advertised for young men and women to work in the plant. Now an industrial condo, I found pieces of mica in what is now the condo front garden.

 -
The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
28 Feb 1955, Mon  •  Page 10

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s