Fonds MS-2-723 - John Paterson fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

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John Paterson fonds

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  • Textual record
  • Graphic material

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1908 - 1973 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

2.5 cm of textual records
93 photographs : b&w ; 24.5 x 28.5 cm and smaller
8 photographs : colour ; 24 x 21 cm and smaller
55 negatives ; 11.5 x 3.5 cm and smaller
2 contact sheets, with 40 images : b&w ; 20 x 25.5 cm and smaller

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1887 - 1973)

Biographical history

John Paterson lived in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, for many years and played a significant role in the arming of Canadian merchant ships during World War Two. He was born on 23 June 1887 in Wick, Scotland, and moved to Paisley when he was 14 to work in the shops and drawing offices of Fleming and Young. He later earned a diploma in engineering from Paisley Technical College and sailed as 5th engineer on Johnston Line Ships, bringing cattle to Liverpool. After working on cargo ships in the Mediterranean he took his Extra Chief Engineer's Certificate in London and then moved to Port Glasgow, Scotland, to gain experience in naval architecture. Following World War One, he moved to Canada and worked at the Welland Canal in Ontario until 1921, when he moved east and became superintendent of Dartmouth Marine Slips at the Halifax Ship Yards, a position he held for 37 years until his retirement in 1958. He was active in his community, serving on the Dartmouth town council, the municipal school board, the ferry commission and the Dartmouth Rotary Club. He also served as an elder in St. James United Church, a member of the North British Society, and a director of the Dartmouth Boys Club. Following his retirement, he consulted with shipping interests and taught at the Dartmouth Marine Engineers' School. Paterson was married to Hilda M. Long, from Ireland, and had four daughters. He died in 1973.

Custodial history

Records were donated to Dalhousie University Archives by Vera Adlington, daughter of John Paterson, in accession (80-98) on November 25, 1998.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of photograph albums, newspaper clippings, and manuscripts relating to the life of John Paterson.

Notes area

Physical condition

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Language of material

  • English

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Restrictions on access

There are no access restrictions on these materials. All materials are open for research.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Materials do not circulate and must be used in the Archives and Special Collections Reading Room. Materials may be under copyright. Contact departmental staff for guidance on reproduction.

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Further accruals are not expected.

General note

Preferred citation: [Identification of item], John Paterson fonds, MS-2-723, Box [box number], Folder [folder number], Dalhousie University Archives, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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