January 18-27, 2019
Mon, Jan 18, 2016 — Sun, Jan 24, 2016
The Gartshore-Cowie ironworks operated on the Hamilton waterfront from 1870 to around 1904. Foundries like this one used wooden patterns to cast iron gears, pulleys, and parts for steam engines and other machines. This installation of our own wooden gear pattern and its castings came out of our desire, as woodworkers, to preserve the skills and history of our craft.
Built using traditional techniques, Pattern for Gartshore and Cowie captures the motion and spirit of Canada’s first waterworks, a two-story high, 70-ton iron steam pump cast at the Gartshore foundry from the wooden patterns of woodworker/engineer John Cowie.
The Waterworks, which is now on display at the Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology, employed several children to oil its many pistons. This work was hot, exhausting, and dangerous. But, as the story goes, these children sometimes climbed up on the massive machine just for fun, and rode it like a giant rocking horse.
Keep an eye out for Carey Jernigan and Julia Campbell-Such’s upcoming exhibit on the changing pace of work at the Worker’s Arts and Heritage Centre in Hamilton, Fall 2016.
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