Old St. Andrews



Science and Technology



In the nineteenth century as in the twenty-first, science was rapidly on the move. By science I understand all those advances in technology that fed industry and filtered down to the general populace in forms that made ordinary llving different from the past. These advances included steam traffic on the oceans, which meant faster news from Europe; the railroad, the naptha launch and automobile; the telegraph and later the telephone. All of these innovations so essential to modern living at one time made their appearance in St. Andrews, and altered the way in which ordinary citizens lived. Unlike the telegraph and telephone, which were unalloyed goods, the automobile found itself in direct competition with horses. Not all drivers of carriages, and even fewer horses, appreciated the speed and noise of automobiles, and many an accident caused by bolting horses was the result. The automobile was instrumental in improving the roads of the Province, however. Grading and paving were all necessary complements of automobile travel. One of the consequences of good roads was the decline of rail travel. Passenger train service to St. Andrews was cut in 1958. After World War II, the reise of the airplane sounded the death knell to the old days of rail vacations.


The struggle to obtain electricity was critical to the Town's development. detail. This had been promised by the St. Andrews Land Company in 1888 but was never fufilled. While poor little sat and watched from the light of paraffin lamps, dating back a decade or more, the wealthy summer cottagers and the Algonquin became lighted successively first with acetylene gas and then with electricity, which was extended to its cottages as well. The Town was so indigent, in fact, that to avoid tax hikes it voted down a proposal which would have supplied electricity from the Algonquin. Finally, though in 1919 the St. Andrews Electric Company was formed and in 1921 this Company negotiated a deal with the Algonquin which would supply the town with surplus power from its powerhouse on Carleton Street.