Fonds PR1358 - Leigh Brintnell fonds

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Leigh Brintnell fonds

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    • 1917-1977 (Creation)
      Records dating from after Leigh Brintnell's death relate to his induction into the Aviation Hall of Fame and publications relating to his career.

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    Physical description

    5 photograph albums and other material

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    Biographical history

    Wilfred Leigh Brintnell was born August 27, 1895 in Belleville, Ontario to Herbert Eugene and Emma (Dunning) Brintnell. He received his education in Bellevue, Kingston, Ontario and at the Ontario Business College. In 1917 he joined the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) in Canada, and instructed for the RFC and the Royal Air Force.

    After working for the Ontario Provincial Air Service, Leigh joined Western Canadian Airways Limited (Ltd.) in 1927, first as a pilot, then became a general manager. In 1931, Leigh left Western Canadian Airways and formed Mackenzie Air Service Limited (Ltd.), which was based in Edmonton, Alberta; the airline carried food, clothing and medicine into the North, and hauled ore out. The business was sold to Canadian Pacific Railways (CPR) in 1940, and Leigh helped CPR acquire other small airlines that eventually formed Canadian Pacific Airlines.

    Brintnell founded Aircraft Repair Limited (Ltd.) in 1936, to service planes from Mackenzie Air Service; Aircraft Repair Ltd. was one of the repair and maintenance facilities of the British Commonwealth Air Training Program during the Second World War. The business was incorporated as Northwest Industries in October 8, 1943. Leigh was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his contribution to the war effort. Leigh left Northwest Industries in 1947 to operate Arctic Air Lines, an aerial photographic survey company, which he did until 1952. Leigh was later president of L.B. Oils Limited. He retired in 1965.

    Leigh and his wife Carolyn Barton (née Mitchell, later Wilkin) (1909-1998), married on May 27, 1935, and together they had two children, Robert Leigh and Carol Ann (Omoth).

    Leigh died January 23, 1971. He was posthumously inducted into the Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in 1975.

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    Scope and content

    The fonds consists of magazines, magazine articles and newspaper clippings, photographs of family and friends, and airplanes, flights and destinations, certificates, programs and invitations, correspondence, presentations and speeches, photograph albums containing over 550 photographs of airplanes, aerials views, Indigenous peoples, and locations in Northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories including Aklavik and Great Bear Lake, and two transcription discs of CKUA programming about Northwest Industries Limited.

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    Physical condition

    Immediate source of acquisition

    Records were purchased by the Provincial Archives of Alberta from Carolyn Wilkin, Brintnell’s wife, in 1979. Additional records were deposited in the Provincial Archives of Alberta by Carolyn Wilkin in 1983.


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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.

        Finding aids

        File list is not available.

        Associated materials

        Information about Leigh Brintnell can also be found in the Provincial Archives of Alberta under the following numbers: GR1978.0065/31, an interview with Stanley McMillan, GR1978.0065/39, an interview with Mrs. W.L. Wilkin (Brintnell's wife), PR1979.0374, copies of films by Stanley McMillan and Leigh Brintnell, and PR1989.0030/3742, an interview between Leigh Brintnell and John Davids.


        Further accruals are not expected.

        General note

        Information for the biographical sketch is from the records, from the “Alberta Inventors and Inventions: A Century of Innovation” website,\_biography.htm, accessed December 8, 2004, from They Led the Way: Members of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame: 25th Anniversary, 1973 to 1998, which is available in the Provincial Archives of Alberta Reference Library, 629.130971 T42 PAA, and from the Provincial Archives of Alberta Information files. The photographs can be located in the A file of the Provincial Archives of Alberta reference prints under the numbers A.5800 to A.5894.

        General note

        Includes accessions PR1983.0183 and PR1979.0128.

        Physical description

        Includes 264 photographs, 0.12 m of textual records, 6 postcards and 2 audio discs.

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