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Cominco Ltd.
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Cominco -- aerial exploration

SUMMARY: TRACK 1: May be a radio program. Discussion of Cominco's aerial exploration activities in the north, starting in 1930. Stories about prospecting and flying. Also includes an interview with Bob Walton, Curly Summerville [?] and Doug Burt, interviewed by Dr. Joanne Pepper on August 17, 1977. TRACK 2: The interviews continue.

Cominco -- fertilizer industry

RECORDED: [location unknown], [195-?] SUMMARY: Cominco's involvement with the fertilizer industry; recycling; general involvement; Rossland.;

Cominco -- various : [three recordings on one tape]

RECORDED: [location unknown], [19--]-07-29? SUMMARY: TRACK 1: (1) Skit on the CPR buying Canadian Smelting Works. (2) Interview segment with Cominco's labour relations manager, John Versaneto [sp?]. (3) Continuation of skit. TRACK 2: An off-air recording concerning a United Steelworker strike at Cominco. Maravin McLean, president of the Trail union local, discusses the issues.

Cominco album

SUMMARY: This program marks the return of a series that had stopped for 1.5 years, spotlighting the people and services of the Kootenays and Cominco. This episode includes retirement notices and Cominco historical note.

Cominco auditions : [tape 1 and 2]

CALL NUMBER: T4350:0058 RECORDED: [location unknown], [195-] SUMMARY: Several speakers give a talk about the new Trail Hospital, slated to begin construction in 1954. Purpose of the auditions is not stated. List of speakers on file.;

CALL NUMBER: T4350:0059 RECORDED: [location unknown], [195-] SUMMARY: Discusion of the proposed new Trail Hospital.;

Cominco Ltd. fonds

  • PR-1419
  • Fonds
  • [ca. 1884-1985]

The fonds consists of the records of Cominco Ltd., including those created under its previous name, the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company of Canada Limited. Most of the records were selected by Cominco from its offices in Vancouver and Trail, B.C.

The fonds includes textual records, approximately 8700 photographs, maps, films and sound recordings which include oral histories with former employees. The records document the industrial activities, personnel, and the social history of the communities where the company was active.

Documentary forms include but are not limited to: correspondence; photographs; annual reports; news clippings and scrapbooks; lab reports; payroll records; journals, ledgers, cash books and other financial records; sound recordings of interviews, oral histories and radio broadcasts; transcripts connected with the Cominco oral history project; films (including those of mining operations); maps; informational publications, pamphlets and brochures about the company; engineering and geological reports; subdivision plans and city plans; property/lot plans; and the president's files.

Subject matter includes topics such as mineral exploration, mining, smelting, fertilizer production, research and development, legal matters, finance, personnel and labour relations, public relations and advertising, company history and environmental pollution.

Topics and locations reflected in the records include but are not limited to: Trail area operations at Warfield and Tadanac; the Sullivan mine at Kimberley; the Bluebell mine and concentrator at Riondel, B.C.; the Con mine in Yellowknife, N.W.T.; the H.B. mine and concentrator at Salmo, B.C.; Calgary facilities for production of ammonia, ammonium nitrate and urea; Benson Lake (Vancouver Island) mine and concentrator; the mercury mine at Pinchi Lake, B.C.; the Box mine at Goldfields (Athabaska Lake) Saskatchewan; Wedge copper mine at Newcastle, New Brunswick; Pacific Coast Terminals Limited operations in warehousing, docking, loading and shipping at New Westminster and Port Moody, B.C.

The records document Cominco’s operations in fields such as zinc die casting through the purchase of National Hardware Specialties Limited and its plant in Dresden, Ontario. The records reflect the continuing research and development carried out at Trail, and, after the mid-1960s, at the new research centre built at Sheridan Park, Ontario.

Records of subsidiaries and affiliates include those of operations in the United States and overseas. These include but are not limited to: Cominco Products, Inc. a wholly-owned subsidiary created to carry out fertilizer warehousing, liquid fertilizer conversion and product marketing at Spokane, Washington; the development of phosphate rock mining interests in Montana; the Magmont lead mine and concentrator at Bixby, Missouri; Rubiales mine, Lugo Province, Spain; the Black Angel mine and concentrator, Marmorilik Fjord, Greenland; and Cominco Binani Zinc Limited (CBZL) in India.

Photographs and textual records document the important role played by Cominco, beginning in the 1920s, in exploring the northern regions of the four western provinces and the Northwest Territories. The company pioneered aircraft prospecting which led to the discovery of gold, uranium, oil and copper. Exploration by Cominco influenced settlement patterns and laid the foundation for the creation of an aviation service in northern Canada.

The fonds also consists of records of Cominco’s participation in the Manhattan Project's heavy water production program during World War II. Textual records are contained in series MS-2500. Photographs are contained in series MS-3176, consisting of images which include: primary plant and secondary cell plant, (including construction of, starting in November 1942); the oxygen stripper tower, booster room, cooling tower, boiler plant, and evaporator building. See the files referring to Project 9, Heavy Water, No. 9 Project, or P-9 Project.

Other notable records include those concerning the international dispute between Canada and the United States over pollution from the Trail smelter and its effects on the agricultural lands in the U.S. Cominco was involved in an international tribunal in 1932 (Trail smelter dispute) as a consequence of sulphur-bearing smoke damage to crops. See file of negative filmstrips titled Smoke Control – Mathews films Tribunal Case 1932 [photographs]. Among other topics the photographs appear to include images of areas in Idaho and Washington State. They are possibly connected with MS-2500, box 457, file 1, “Survey of agricultural conditions (Mathews) - appendix D8”, dated 1935.

The fonds also consists of records of subsidiaries, affiliates, and predecessor companies, including the West Kootenay Power and Light Company Ltd. and the Canadian North-eastern Railway Company (previously Portland Canal Short Line Railway).

The fonds consists of the following six series: MS-2500 Cominco selected records; MS-3176 Cominco photographs; AAAA1498 Cominco films; AAAA1499 Cominco sound recordings; MS-0888 Summary of the history of Cominco; MS-0015 Cominco papers.

Cominco Ltd.

Cominco perspectives

RECORDED: [location unknown], [197- or 198-?] SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Discussion of modernization/expansion project at Cominco, including sales and production. [TRACK 2: Unrelated recording; not accessioned.];

Cominco perspectives

CALL NUMBER: T4350:0062 track 1 RECORDED: [location unknown], [1980?] SUMMARY: Four advertising spots that feature: Cominco's favourable safety record; research and development; and regional economic expansion.;

CALL NUMBER: T4350:0062 track 2 RECORDED: [location unknown], [1980?] SUMMARY: Endorsements re: Helen Smart's employment at Cominco as a secretary. Two takes.;

Cominco photographs

The series consists of photographs which document Cominco’s industrial activities in British Columbia, across Canada, and internationally. It also documents the social and cultural life of the communities where the company was active, and the staff who worked for the company.

Predominant subjects of the records include the following: industrial operations and town scenes at locations including Trail, Kimberley, Riondel (Bluebell mine), Yellowknife (Con mine), Pinchi Lake, Salmo (HB mine), New Brunswick (Wedge mine), and Saskatchewan (Box mine); early exploration in the north; research and development on products; fertilizer, ammonia and potash production; personnel, particularly senior staff and directors, with biographies; company housing; U.S. and overseas industrial operations; hydro-electric power production and plants; Project 9 (Heavy Water or No. 9 Project or P-9 Project). As this list is not exhaustive, the file list should be consulted for details on subject matter of the records.

The approximate date range of the photographs is 1900 to 1980. However, few records exist prior to the 1920s; and, with a few exceptions, those that pre-date the 1920s are inferior copies of photographic prints.

The series consists primarily of black and white prints but also includes negatives, transparencies, (black and white and colour), and a small number of glass lantern slides. The series also consists of a small amount of textual material, including correspondence, press releases, descriptive information on index cards, and biographical writing on senior staff, company directors and other personnel records.

Many of the photographs were used by Cominco’s public relations and advertising staff. The company produced a periodical which had numerous name changes, including “Cominco Magazine” and “the Orbit.” The photographs were used in the production of the magazine, and for press releases, newsletters, and information booklets and brochures about Cominco.

Most of the records appear to have been maintained by Cominco in a photo library and they are marked with the creator’s classification codes and numbers. For the most part the meanings of these codes are uncertain; meanings can sometimes be inferred. Sometimes meanings are made explicit; for example, “MMP” for Miscellaneous Mines and Projects.

Cominco program in Spokane

RECORDED: Spokane (Wash.), 1982-04-12 SUMMARY: Mark Marcolin of Cominco Electronic Materials Inc. speaks to a group. U.S. Congressman Thomas Foley speaks on the same topic.;

Cominco slide tour

RECORDED: [location unknown], 1977-08 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Soundtrack for an educational slide-tape presentation describing Cominco operations "at home and abroad". [TRACK 2: blank.];

Cominco strike, 1974 : [radio spots]

RECORDED: [location unknown], 1974-09 SUMMARY: A series of six radio announcements discussing and updating issues in the Cominco strike. Cominco labour relations manager John Jovaneto [Versaneto ?] is heard in one of the spots.;

Cominco tour

RECORDED: [location unknown], [197-?] SUMMARY: TRACK 1: Soundtrack for a slide-tape presentation examining Cominco operations around the world. [TRACK 2: blank.];

Cominco's 75th anniversary

SUMMARY: TRACK 1: A memento of Cominco's 75th anniversary. Recording of a ceremony held in Butler Park, Trail, B.C. Tape [?] is dedicated to Mr. Mark Marcolin and introduced [?] by Gordon Brady, Manager of CKQR Castlegar. [TRACK 2: blank.]

Day with a miner : the way it was

RECORDED: [location unknown], [197-?] SUMMARY: Soundtrack for a slide-tape presentation describing the daily routine of a miner at Kimberley's Sullivan Mine. Features specific Cominco employees by name.;

Expo -- CPR Cominco pavilion

RECORDED: [location unknown], 1965-10-05 SUMMARY: A discussion of the Sullivan Mine's [proposed?] involvement in the [CPR?] pavilion for Expo '67 in Montreal.;

James Richardson interview

SUPPLIED TITLE OF TAPE(S): James Richardson : Lardeau Valley, 1950-1966 PERIOD COVERED: 1950-1966 RECORDED: [location unknown], 1980 SUMMARY: TRACK 1: James Richardson gives a description of general physical geology. Review of early exploration in the Duncan Lake region. Cominco develops Duncan Mine. Describes old-time residents of Howser. ;Molybdenum mine being developed near Trout Lake. Joe Gallo was a local mine promoter. Early Howser as recalled by Billy Clark. Possibility for large mines to develop. [TRACK 2: blank.];

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