Sir Sandford Fleming

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Sir Sandford Fleming

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland
Death: Died in Halifax, NS, Canada
Cause of death: pneumonia
Place of Burial: Ottawa, Ottawa Division, Ontario, Canada
Immediate Family:

Son of Andrew E. Fleming and Elizabeth A. Fleming
Husband of Annie Jane Fleming
Father of Frank Andrew Fleming; Sandford Hall Fleming; Minnie F. Fleming; Lilly Frances Exshaw; Jeanie Fleming and 3 others
Brother of David Fleming

Occupation: engineer and inventor, Chief Engineer, Canadian Pacific Railway, Pacific Cable to Australia, First Canadian Postage Stamp, Invented Standard Time for North America,
Managed by: Kris Fenwick
Last Updated:

About Sir Sandford Fleming

Father of Standard Time

Born January 7, 1827, in Kirkcaldy, Scotland. At the age of 18, armed with a little formal training in surveying and engineering, Fleming emigrated to Canada. Fleming and his older brother, David, arrived in Peterborough by horse-drawn cart on June 17 1845, where Sandford made his home with Dr. and Mrs. John Hutchison. Sandford Fleming contributed much to this area. His drawings and maps accurately depict the community as it was in the mid-1800s, and his copious diaries provide enlightening detail. In turn, this community enriched his life - his wife Jeannie Hall, whom he married in 1855, was a Peterborough native, and the daughter of Peterborough's sheriff.

Nationalist and imperialist of talent, vision and energy, he was responsible for a wide variety of projects central to Canada’s scientific, academic and cultural life. Fleming designed the "Three-Penny Beaver," Canada’s first adhesive postage stamp, in 1851. In 1858, as chief engineer of the Northern Railway, he first proposed a railway to the Pacific. Many years later, he played a leading part in its construction. He also proposed the present system of standard time, by which the world is divided into 24 equal time zones. It was adopted in 1884. Fleming died July 22, 1915, at age 88.

(Source: The Edmonton Sun, Jan. 1, 2005)

Canadian Engineer and Inventor. Fleming who was born in Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland, in January 1827, later became a well-known Canadian civil engineer and surveyor. A leading historical personality, he is best remembered for his work in the development of the Canadian Railway. At the age of 18, Fleming immigrated to Canada on April 24, 1845, on board the 'Brilliant,' first settling in Montreal, Quebec, then Ottawa, Ontario, and finally Halifax, Nova Scotia. As a surveyor his first job was as a railway poster, surveying the Ontario, Huron, and Simcoe Railways. In 1863 he became the Chief Engineer responsible for the completion of the Intercolonial Railway, which connected Québec with the Martimes. The completion of the project was done in 1876. In 1871, he was appointed the Chief Engineer of the Canadian Pacific Railway and was put in charge of the survey of the line in Western Canada through the Rocky Mountains. He chose the Yellowhead route through Edmonton, Alberta, and Jasper, Alberta, in 1872, but this route was never utilized by the Canadian Pacific Railroad, so a closer survey was done and land near the United States border was picked instead. After leaving the Canadian Pacific Railroad in 1880, he continued to act as a consultant for the company, later finding and surveying the Kicking Horse Pass on the railway’s southern route through the Rockies. Fleming was also a noted inventor and was known as the 'Father of Standard Time.' In 1879 he came up for the idea of the new time which divided the earth into 24 separate time zones and also helped to standardized time on railways in Canada, as well as adding safety and efficiency to there operations. It was introduced in 1884 and took effect on January 1, 1885. Fleming also served as the Chancelloer of Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, designed the first Canadian stamp in 1851, known as the 'three sided beaver penny stamp,' designed an early-in-line skate in 1850, and in 1849 he founded the Royal Canadian Institute in Toronto, Ontario. In 1897 he was knighted on the occasion of the Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee for his hard work and contributions. Fleming died in January 1915. After Fleming's death several organizations and parks were named in his honour including the Sir Sandford Fleming College in Peterborough, Ontario, and Lindsay, Ontario.

(Source: FindaGrave)

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Sir Sandford Fleming's Timeline

1827
January 7, 1827
Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland
1856
1856
Age 28
ON, Canada
1858
November 20, 1858
Age 31
Toronto, ON, Canada
1860
1860
Age 32
Toronto, ON, Canada
1861
June 6, 1861
Age 34
Toronto, ON, Canada
1864
1864
Age 36
ON, Canada
1869
October 8, 1869
Age 42
Ottawa, Carlton, ON, Canada
1871
1871
Age 43
Ottawa, ON, Canada
1872
1872
Age 44
Ottawa, ON, Canada
1915
July 22, 1915
Age 88
Halifax, NS, Canada