Canada 150 Edmonton Trivia Contest – Communications

This post has the answers for last week’s trivia questions on Communications. The next set of questions on Industry in Edmonton are now available!

Welcome to the Canada 150 Edmonton Trivia Contest! Today we’re releasing the next set of 10 questions – Industry in Edmonton. Sets of 10 questions will be released every Friday between now and June 23.

Questions can be answered using this online form and completed forms are entered into two draws. See full contest details, including prizes, in our March 14 blog post.

Once upon a time the western frontier, and Edmonton, was isolated. In fur trade times it took nearly three months to travel from York Factory on the Hudson Bay to Fort Edmonton by canoe and York boat. In the steamboat era the trip to the railhead at Winnipeg was up to three weeks – when the river was flowing and high enough. Even with the railway arriving in Edmonton (well Strathcona really) the trip east (and the mail) still took a week or more.

Innovations to modern technologies keep shortening the time to travel and to convey information between Edmonton and the rest of the world. This generation expects (and receives) near instantaneous information flow. Pundits still ask – does it limit our isolation, however. How much of our growth is driven by our ability to connect and transport our goods and ideas around the globe? Within the city, the sharing of information (both between staff and with the citizens) is one of the highest priorities – see the Open Data Portal to see how far we have come. This week’s questions and answers document some of the milestones along the way.

1. The first airmail delivery in western Canada was made July 10, 1918. Who was the pilot?

A. Wop May
B. Kenneth Blatchford
C. Roy Brown
D. Katherine Stinson

EA-10-1246 First Airmail Flight in Western Canada July 10, 1918
EA-10-1246 First Airmail Flight in Western Canada July 10, 1918

This was a promotional stunt for the Agricultural Fair where aviators like Stinson highlighted the practical applications of the new technology. Actually, airmail service was several years away.

2. The Edmonton Bulletin was this city’s first newspaper. In what year did it begin publishing?

A. 1880
B. 1886
C. 1892
D. 1900

3. Which local paper won a Pulitzer Prize in 1938?

A. The Edmonton Bulletin
B. The Edmonton Journal
C. The Edmonton Capital
D. The Edmonton Sun

4. When did local television station CFRN sign on?

A. 1950
B. 1954
C. 1958
D. 1960

5. Sunwapta Broadcasting had a structure outside of their offices in west Edmonton. What was that structure?

A. Totem Pole
B. Giant Milk Bottle
C. Giant Baseball Bat
D. Giant Cowboy Boot

6. According to local historian J.G. MacGregor, when was the first telegraph message sent to Edmonton?

A. 1873
B. 1880
C. 1888
D. 1892

EA-10-669-6 Alex Taylor c. 1905
EA-10-669-6 Alex Taylor c. 1905

Alex Taylor was the federal government contractor who brought the telegraph to Edmonton. He obviously liked what he saw here and stayed on to help develop a number of new innovations in the city. Among his businesses (with various partners) were the electrical power plant, the telephone exchange, and the Incline Railway.
7. Before the train came from Calgary to Strathcona, how was the mail delivered?

A. Passenger Pigeon
B. Pony Express
C. Stagecoach
D. Airmail

EA-10-1269 Edmonton - Calgary Trail 1889
EA-10-1269 Edmonton – Calgary Trail 1889

Although it took passengers, the stage was mostly for the transportation of freight (including the mail). The trip took 5-7 days, depending on the state of the trail. The seating area was covered, but was not considered comfortable. Overnight stays at stopping houses (private accommodation with meals) was sometimes available otherwise the passengers and drivers camped along the way.

8. When was the first telephone system installed in Edmonton?

A. 1884
B. 1888
C. 1892
D. 1902

EA-10-1792 Edmonton’s First Telephone Operator c.1884
EA-10-1792 Edmonton’s First Telephone Operator c.1884

Given that the first telephones had no dial (or keypad) an operator was necessary to connect the lines between receivers. Some switchboards had hundreds of connections, others (including party lines) had shared connections so everyone could get the news at the same time – sort of like social media.

9. When did the City agree to buy the Edmonton District Telephone Company?

A. 1892
B. 1902
C. 1904
D. 1908

10. Which radio station in Edmonton was the first to broadcast a football game?


EA-600-3812b Early morning D.J. CKUA announcer Jack Hagerman
EA-600-3812b Early morning D.J. CKUA announcer Jack Hagerman

Good luck with the next batch of questions about Industry in Edmonton, you have until Thursday, June 22 at midnight to answer them and be entered in the contest!