Browse "Inventions and Innovations"

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Accommodation

Accommodation, first successful steamboat built entirely in North America. It was launched 19 August 1809 at Montréal, its engines having been constructed at the Forges Saint-Maurice, Trois-Rivières.

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Canada

The term artificial intelligence (AI) refers to the capacity of a machine to simulate or exceed intelligent human activity or behaviour. It also denotes the subfield of computer science and engineering committed to the study of AI technologies. With recent advancements in digital technology, scientists have begun to create systems modelled on the workings of the human mind. Canadian researchers have played an important role in the development of AI. Now a global leader in the field, Canada, like other nations worldwide, faces important societal questions and challenges related to these potentially powerful technologies.

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Avro Arrow

The Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow (the Arrow) was a supersonic interceptor jet aircraft designed and built in the 1950s by A.V. Roe Canada (Avro). The Arrow was one of the most advanced aircraft of its era, helping to establish Canada as a world leader in scientific research and development.

Though the Arrow was widely praised for its power and beauty, the program was cancelled in February 1959 by the government of Prime Minister John Diefenbaker. This resulted in the loss of at least 25,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Many believe that the Arrow’s cancellation was a betrayal of Canada’s aerospace industry. Others assert that the jet was extravagant and had little chance of competing with impending innovations. At best, Avro and the Arrow were historic examples of Canadian ingenuity and intriguing case studies of unrealized potential.

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Babiche

Babiche is a type of string traditionally made by Indigenous peoples from rawhide and had multiple uses, such as to lace snowshoes, fishing nets, drumheads and the like. Though typically considered a French Canadian term, babiche is an Algonquian word, loosely translating to “cord” (in Mi’kmaq, ababich) or “thread” (in Ojibwa, assabâbish).

Article

BIONESS

BIONESS (Bedford Institute of Oceanography Net and Environmental Sampling System) is a multiple-net sampler for ZOOPLANKTON and micronekton (pelagic animals 1-10 cm in length). It uses a new design concept, with nets arranged horizontally rather than vertically, as in earlier multiple-net samplers.

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Birchbark Canoe

The birchbark canoe was the principal means of water transportation for Indigenous peoples of the Eastern Woodlands, and later voyageurs, who used it extensively in the fur trade in Canada. Light and maneuverable, birchbark canoes were perfectly adapted to summer travel through the network of shallow streams, ponds, lakes and swift rivers of the Canadian Shield. As the fur trade declined in the 19th century, the canoe became more of a recreational vehicle. Though most canoes are no longer constructed of birchbark, its enduring historical legacy and its popularity as a pleasure craft have made it a Canadian cultural icon.

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Calendar

In Canada the Gregorian calendar is in use under the terms of the 1750 British Act for Regulating the Commencement of the Year, and for Correcting the Calendar Now in Use, which switched the official English calendar from the Julian to the Gregorian form in 1752.

Macleans

Cloning Sheep

For more than a decade, scientists have been using genetic technology to produce biologically identical copies, or clones, of animals. In theory, cloning can be used to improve sheep and cattle breeds by ensuring that the animals' most desirable genetic characteristics are passed on.

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Dating in Archaeology

 For those researchers working in the field of human history, the chronology of events remains a major element of reflection. Archaeologists have access to various techniques for dating archaeological sites or the objects found on those sites.

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Early-Warning Radar

Air-defence radar stations were first established in Canada along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts in 1942, but were dismantled following the defeat of Germany and Japan in 1945.

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Five Digital Technologies and their Challenges

In the span of several decades, digital technologies have changed how Canadians work, communicate, consume products and access information. Although technologies like self-driving cars and the Internet of Things may seem advanced, many such tools are still in their early stages. With the growth of the digital economy, digital technologies will continue to present opportunities and challenges. Here’s a look at five of these technologies and some of the risks that come with them.

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German Furniture

Furniture of Germanic derivation has come to Canada as a result of emigration from Germany and from Pennsylvania (see GERMANS). Traditional German furniture in Europe evolved over several centuries to serve the needs of ordinary, primarily rural, people.

Macleans

Green Driving Machines

From the outside there was little to distinguish the sleek Toyota Prius from any other car on the streets of Timmins, Ont. But when the driver turned the key, it was clear this was no ordinary sedan. The only sound as the Prius pulled away was the gentle hum of an electric motor.

Macleans

High-Tech Artificial Limbs

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on March 13, 1995. Partner content is not updated.

Adele Fifield was just 13 years old when a doctor told her that she had cancer in her knee - and that surgeons would have to amputate her left leg. "My initial reaction was disbelief," recalls Fifield. "For days, my ears seemed to ring from the shock.