Page 44 - The Steel Boom Comes to Sydney, 1899
ISSUE : Issue 39
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1985/6/1
certain occupations in which the risk to human life is greater than average." There was the problem of entertaining the workmen. There were a great niamber of drinking establishments, especially at the Coke Ovens and the Pier--and temperance representatives were often at Town Council, demanding the Scott Act be summarily im? posed. They insisted the streets of Sydney were no longer safe at night, Rosslyn Rink had opened and a variety of shows were of? fered, including Gilbert and Sullivan op? erettas. Still it was felt Sydney needed a real theatre, not a skating rink. "Mayor Crowe organized a series of lectures to popularize the study of sanitary science and domestic hygiene, as well as music, language, American literature and authors, world discoverers"--and these were appar? ently well enough attended. Mark Sullivan, writing for the Boston Transcript (quoted in Post), indicated that it was hard to hold onto skilled American workmen. "Syd? ney in its present state of development is about the most hideously ugly and unattrac? tive place in America." It was 24 hours from Boston and "a hundred miles from the knowledge of God." It is small wonder the American workman is willing to come here, induced by free fare and the pros? pect of novelty; it is equally small wonder he is unwilling to stay when he knows work is plenty at home. A corporation founding a new plant must bal? ance the difficulty and cost of collecting and maintaining 3000 workmen in a remote place far from the centres, against the advantages of cheap raw materials. There is no doubt the new steel com? pany would have its entire plant in before this but for the homesick American workmen. Earnest stock promotion began with the plant's founding and the start of construc? tion. Intentionally or not, the newspapers and magazines of the day played an impor? tant role in the success of the sale of stock. Politicians took turns prophesying how great Sydney one day would be. In Au? gust, 1900, Sir Wilfred Laurier said that Sydney "would become not only the Pitts? burgh of Canada, but the Glasgow and Bel? fast of Canada." Fielding and Murray came through the next month with praise for the promoters and the plant. J. B. Longley (N, S. Legislature) in England said, "British capitalists should interest themselves in this great development." Sydney Post, April 27, 1901: "The number of people in Sydney and elsewhere in Cape Breton that are now investing in steel and coal stocks is surprisingly large and in? cludes men in every walk of life, and it is said not a few women.... The craze ap? pears to be prevalent here as well as it is in Montreal and Toronto, where specula? tors have simply gone wild over these stocks." While the act of incorporation had Americans in control, within a year the directorate had enlarged with substan? tial Canadian representation, and the bulk of the money from stock promotion was gen? erated in Canada. As commercial and construction interests turned toward Sydney, the town and the is? land were featured in periodicals such as Canadian Trade Review, Canadian Mining Jouimal, and the Gripsack a travelling salesmen's publication. The Halifax Chron? icle Herald's two-full-paged map of the is? land is entitled "Land of Boundless Wealth, ENTERTAINiyGENT CENTRE OF CAPE BRETON Joe's Vfeirehouse The Rxxl Brporium Cape Breton's Newest and Largest Restaurant SPECIALIZING IN AGED PRIME CUTS OF ROAST BEEF & STEAKS & ONE OF THE MOST UNIQUE SALAD BARS IN THE MARITIMESI (cabaret] OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK 'TIL 3 A.M. Live Entertainment Nightly 424 Charlotte Street 539-6686 539-0408 RESTAURANT CABARET BANQUET FACILITIES ARE AVAILABLE THE SYDNEY SPIRIT.. 200 YEARS OF GROWTH! WATCH US GROW! Let Us Fill Your Next Prescription Now O Locations in Cape Breton to Serve You CAPE BRETON SHOPPING PLAZA 564-8151 MAYFLOWER MALL 539-5080 Operated by Manson Drugs Ltd. (44)
Cape Breton's Magazine