Thornton’s Vision Vindicated

Forty years later, Starr Fairweather, a colleague of Thornton’s and later the director of the CNR’s research and development department, wrote, “His record for a time seemed to be one of failure and disgrace. But like the view of a great mountain which gains in majesty as it recedes in the distance, the accomplishments of this strange man assumed proper perspective with the passage of time. The spirit of the man survives to this day in the sense of purpose of a great railway.”

Henry Thornton

It was Sir Henry Thornton who was one of the first to recognize radio as a dynamic form of communication and who, as President of the CNR, proved how radio stations could be linked together by telecommunications to serve Canadians from coast-to-coast.

As writer d’Arcy Marsh has been quoted “As a direct result of Sir Henry’s ability to see the possibilities inherent in a new medium of expression, the railway did for Canada what she was too pathetic to do for herself”.

Photos Courtesy of the Canada Science and Technology Museum