Fonds PR1654 - Charles Knight fonds

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Charles Knight fonds

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    • 1926-1957, predominant 1926-1930 (Creation)

    Physical description area

    Physical description

    0.01 m of textual records. – 2 technical drawings

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    Name of creator


    Biographical history

    Charles Edwin Banks Knight was born in 1864 at Port-au-Pique, Nova Scotia. He worked with Charles M. Dawson of the Geological Survey of Canada from 1881-1884, after which he enlisted with the North West Mounted Police (NWMP), working as a blacksmith at the Calgary barracks. He served under Sam Steele during the Riel Rebellion, leaving the NWMP to establish a blacksmith shop at High River, Alberta. He had a homestead north of Okotoks, Alberta with Alex Smith and then married Eliza (Lizzie) Watson (1860-1948) in 1888.

    Circa (ca.) 1890 Knight established a blacksmith shop on the Macleod Trail south of Sheep Creek with partner Dan McDougall. By 1910 he lived in Calgary, Alberta and worked for the Calgary Cattle Company as a livestock dealer. Around 1914 he established his own livestock business in partnership with W.J. Hyde called Charles Knight and Company, purchasing land at Township 22, Range 2, West of the 5th Meridian (22-2-W5) near Okotoks, Alberta. He sold the business in 1918 to J. Jones and established a real estate agency in Calgary with J.J. Westaway called Knight and Company.

    Around 1922 he was working as manager of Rocky Mountain Paint in Calgary, and in 1928 he was superintendent and director of Paint and Products Limited (Ltd.). Knight designed and patented a commercial extraction process for oil sands ca. 1927 called the Knight Tar Sand Recovery Process, and around 1931 he was working as an oil broker.

    He retired ca. 1934 and died in Calgary in 1938.

    Custodial history

    Scope and content

    Fonds consists of records pertaining to Charles Knight’s patent for the Knight Tar Sand Recovery Process and includes correspondence, equipment brochures, chemical analysis reports, equipment inventories, and images from magazines of various oil sand areas. Fonds also includes technical drawings of the Knight Tar Sand Recovery Process machinery.

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    Physical condition

    Immediate source of acquisition

    Mr. Charles Knight, a great-nephew of Charles Knight, deposited these records in the Provincial Archives of Alberta in 1977.


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        The material is in English.

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        Restrictions on access

        Access Conditions: None

        Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

        Use Conditions: Permission for use required. Subject to the Copyright Act.

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        File list is available.

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        Further accruals are not expected.

        General note

        Information for the biographical sketch was taken from Henderson’s Edmonton City Directory, and from Leaves From the Medicine Tree and Our Foothills, located in the Provincial Archives of Alberta Reference Library under location numbers 971.234 L488 PAA and 971.234 M611 PAA respectively. The land owned by Charles Knight is represented according to the Alberta Township Survey (ATS) system.

        General note

        Includes accession PR1977.0178.

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