The Aubrey Mattingly Collection in the Canada Science and Technology Museum
With Bob Moore
If you're old enough to have attended a Bytown Railway Society meeting in the 1970's or early 1980's, you might remember Aubrey Mattingly. He was a very quiet person, born in 1911, always pleasant to chat with. Little did we realize that Aubrey was an avid observer of the changing railway scene in Canada from the late 1920's until he passed away in November 1983.The collection consists of:
Over this period of time, he photographed and collected photos of the changing railway scene - whether they were the little 4-4-0's on New Brunswick branch lines, the Asbestos & Danville roster, trains that passed by his homes in St. Lambert or Stittsville, steam and diesel in the Rockies, Prince Rupert, or a host of other locations across Canada and the United States. Photo-by-photo, he slowly built a large collection - over 8,000 images in total! In talking to him, few of us realized how large a collection of railway pictures he had amassed over 70 years.
Fortunately, the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa acquired his photo collection. Since May 2002, we have gone through the collection photo-by-photo, negative-by-negative, creating a detailed electronic catalogue of the contents of this collection. Ultimately, the catalogue and the photos will be incorporated into the Museum's website for public access.
Black & White Prints & Negatives 1,642
This is a large collection by any standards, but its real value is in the content. Aubrey was taking pictures at a time when railroad photography was very much in its infancy. He lived most of his life in Stittsville, Ontario, but also spent some time during the Second World War in St. Lambert, Quebec. Thus his collection is strong on Ottawa and the Ottawa Valley as well as the south shore of the Montreal area around St. Lambert, St. Bruno and the Eastern Townships.
A view of the CPR station at Stittville, Ontario, on July 12,1920. The auto is a 4-90 Chevrolet touring car owned by the late-George Llewellyn. The corner of the original Canada Central railway station is to the left of the picture - it was torn down in the summer of 1928.
Brand-new CPR 4-6-2 2385 is west of Carleton Place, Ontario, with the Pembroke local en route to Ottawa in April 1942. No. 2385 was built by Canadian Locomotive Company in late-March 1942. This is a timeless scene which has disappeared for ever. No. 2385 spent most of her service life on western lines and was scrapped in May 1960.But Aubrey was very conscious of the changing railway scene he was witnessing. He carefully documented the changeover from steam to diesel, particularly at CPR Ottawa West and also the technological change which saw the disappearance of the many small stations in this area such as Stittsville, Ashton, Carleton Place, Richmond, Westport, and Galetta.
Clearly, Aubrey was most interested in steam power as there are many roster- type shots that appeared in many other collections across North America. But from time to time, he did step back and take pictures of the entire train and at all times of the year.
Canadian Pacific's busy Ottawa West yard hosted G1 Pacific 2222 and D6 Ten Wheeler 546 in October 1936. They were scrapped in November 1956 and April 1945 respectively.He made notes on his negative envelopes and by meticulously cross checking the negatives against the prints good information has been recorded concerning locations, dates, and details. However, many pictures raise questions as we do not have the full story on each image. Members of the Ottawa Railway History Circle, particularly Bruce Chapman, have been particularly helpful in helping to find answers. In the months ahead, we hope to get more answers.
We are currently digitizing the images so they will ultimately be readily available. We are fortunate in having access to this collection in Ottawa and anyone wishing to do so should contact Antony Pacey, Manager of Library and Information Services at the Canada Science and Technology Museum Corporation, PO.Box 9724, Station T, Ottawa, ON K1G 5A3; tel (613) 991-4975; fax (613) 990-3636;
In carrying out this cataloguing we feel we have got to know Aubrey quite well. This is an object lesson for all of us in that we should ensure that our treasured pictures are properly taken care of so that future generations can enjoy them and learn from them. Aubrey, we salute and thank you.
Canadian National 2-8-2 3408 hustles a string of outside-braced boxcars at St. Bruno, Quebec, during the war years. No. 3408 was built by ALCO in 1913 as Grand Trunk Railway 503, and was removed from CN's roster in September 1953.
Canadian Pacific constructed 4-6-0 2445 in February 1913. She was renumbered 445 in September 1913 and lasted until the end of the CP steam era, being retired in July 1960. She is seen hauling a passenger train on the Kingston and Pembroke line at Clarendon, Ontario, in the 1950s.
CPR G5b Pacific 1231 powers the Chalk River subdivision west way freight, leaving the interchange with Canadian National at Arnprior, Ontario, in 1959. No. 1231 was the last of 30 G5b Pacifies built by Montreal Locomotive Works in 1945-46. Nos. 1216 and 1231 were unique in that they were constructed with welded boilers. Eventually the G5 class totalled 102, with 1301 being completed in August 1948. No. 1231 remained on the roster until March 1961. Six of the 102 G5 Pacifies escaped the torch (1201 is stored in Ottawa, and 1238, 1246, 1278, 1286, 1293 are preserved in the United States ... the 1293 is in active service on the Ohio Central Railroad).Bytown Railway Society, Branchline, April 2004.