T. H. Blair – Intercolonial Railway (1886).
“One of the conditions between the Canadas and the Maritime provinces upon Confederation was the building of an inter-colonial railway that would connect the regions. This condition was even written into the British North America Act, 1867.
The federal government provided assistance for the building of the Intercolonial Railway, but often had to take out loans from Britain to ensure its completion.
Sir Sandford Fleming was involved with the creation of these railways, which took part mainly in the 1870s.
He also notably invented Standard Time Zones around this period, which created the idea of a uniform time within 24 different geographic regions separated by 15 degrees longitude around the world.
This system worked in opposition to having an infinite number of local times in a particular region, which had been the norm until Fleming devised his system during the late 1870s. (It was presented at an international tribunal in 1884 and adopted.)
Local time, which had been adequate before people traveled long distances by train, caused chaos whenever passengers tried to figure out the correct arrival and departure times at particular stops along a rail line.
For instance, one could now travel a fairly short distance rather quickly by locomotive, only to discover that the time at his destination was either many hours ahead or behind the time set at his original departure point!
The Intercolonial was finally completed in 1876. In 1879, the Intercolonial absorbed part of the preexisting Grand Trunk Railway.
Sir Sandford Fleming also created Canada’s first postage stamp in 1851.”