Nobel Ontario, Canada is a small community that was developed around explosive factories that became apart of Ontario, Canada's history, and had been developed not to far from Parry Sound in McDougall Township, District of Parry Sound. For the most part, Nobel gets it's own name that was directed to the inventor of dynamite that became a major contribution to mining, construction, and atomic weaponry in the mid 1800's. Alfred Nobel was a man of wisdom when he invented explosives in 1835, which had taken effect on the whole industry as new ways were being made in regard to using this type of invention. Further research was taken up on the use of explosives that took shape in building a market that would become used in a wide variety of methods in order to promote the sale of Dynamite. Ways in using explosives became a crucial testing concept as new markets would shortly rise through this process that had impacted a steady market for a number of ways in using explosives.
The Railway Industry had opened up several smaller size station that became major stopping grounds when coal was used as a fuel sources in the early days of opening up Ontario, Canada. In 1901, a side station was constructed that shortly after became known as Nobel Siding for the Canadian Pacific Railway Line. Not much had happened during this time period as Nobel had only been station that had one building for the operators of the Canadian Pacific Railway Line. Railway lines during the later 1890's had been extended across Ontario, Canada, which had opened the door to the North as it was planned for colonization by the Canadian Government, Most of the transportation into Northern, Ontario, Canada, was only being access by the use of boats as water highways became a major contribution for the longest time in the early 1600's to the later 1800's. Water highways had been used by several people since the time that the Canadian Pacific Railway Line was extended and cars had been invented in the early 1900's
By the early First World War it was found that Cordite became a major contributor in producing a smokeless explosive made from Nitrocellulose, Nitroglycerin, and petroleum jelly that was used in ammunition. This resulted in building two explosive factories that were aimed at manufacturing Cordite not to far from Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada, in 1912. The building of these explosive plants was planned by the Treasurer of CXL, Frank Lankford, and his associates that were from the Grubb & Staples, who had secured over 5,100 acres for CXL, which expanded on both sides of the train tracks. Local residents at the time had also been informed about this as plans were being made towards establishing a different economical approach that was far from a ranch or a goat farm. The plans by these investors was mainly aimed at making an explosive manufacturing facility for the production of Dynamite and Blasting Gelatin for the mining industry that was taken shape in Canada. It was also during this time period when a perfect site was laid out which was surrounded by marsh lands that had provided fresh water access from Simmies Lake and Georgian Bay. A railway line that was building during the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway was built through the property and had connected with many different stopping stations which were made along the route from Toronto to Sudbury. The CXL site had to be well chosen as it could not be located to far from Parry Sound as labor was need and had to be built at a safe distance away from any community just in case an explosion was to happen.
Following this development a contract was also issued by the Canadian Military as a result of manufacturing explosives for military use in the out break of World War 1. With this had also came other contracts that had needs for supplies in order to obtain explosives such as dynamite blast caps that were being used by different businesses, which required size 8 Cordite. Manufacturing of Cordite was no easy task as it would require the development of a Gunncotten Plant for the production of Gunncotten. Much of the waste which was produce from the Gunncotten had also been disposed near a swamp for nearly two years and up till 1918. This was in conjunction with the projects that were under taken by the Canadian Explosives Limited that had become a major supplier of manufactured gelatin in Nobel, Ontario, Canada.
The development of this plant had rather contributed a rise in population growth that resulted in building a small settlement town to accommodate the workers at the C.X.L Plant in 1916. This resulted in constructing 26 bunk-houses in order to accommodate the rise in residency due to the boost of economical growth at Nobel, Ontario, Canada. Other amenities were also provided towards this town that included a bowling alley, rifle range, ball field, club house, and a recreation center with docks.
During World War 2, Nobel became reopened as it was being used in the making of explosives once again by the Defense Industries who constructed far more homes in the small community to support the economical impact. The company would additionally open up a plant on the east side of the railway tracks. The town that was built through this economical expansion became known as Nobel due to its major source of Cordite that was produce through manufacturing plants of different sizes.
Nobel became funded through government agencies and investors prior to the out break of making military explosives and dynamite for the mining and construction industry in 1914. The explosive industry was well formed before that when the Hamilton Powder Company was formed to manufacture gunpowder and nitroglycerin in 1862. Much of the products that were manufactured by the company had also been used in the clearing of land to make room for the railway industry that was progressing in Canada and around the globe. It would also be used in other projects as the Lachine and Welland Canal had required the removal of rock that would only be blasted.
The success of this company would also attract investment interest to the area as one of the biggest investors at that time was Lammot du Pond, who purchase shares in the Hamilton Powder Company. He would also additionally become one of their board of directors as he gave way to this company by placing capital towards it's massive expenditure in building manufacturing explosive plants for Cordite production. With 1877, it was the turning point for this company when a contract was made to supply black powder and dynamite for the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway Line. Rivalry was also ongoing which resulted in purchasing the Acadia Powder Company that was once owned by Nobel Industries in 1883. Other merges which took place between this company had also resulted in taking over Ontario Powder Company, Standard Explosives Company, Western Explosives Company, and the Victoria Chemical Company.
The Hamilton Powder Company would additionally continue to expand that resulted in merging with other explosives manufactures to form Canadian Explosive Limited. in 1910. The company had also been divided as Du Pont had received 45% interest in the company and Nobel Industries would obtain 55% of the newly formed Canadian Explosives Limited. With this came the establishment of imperial Munitions Board that had built the Cordite Plant called the British Cordite Limited., which was operated by the Canadian Explosives Limited (C.X.L). The Cordite Plant was officially completed by August, 1917, which resulted in the production of 80,000 Lbs. of Cordite per day, and had also used the same swamp to dispose the Gunncotten Waste Water.
A record breaking year for the Cordite Plant was soon achieved in 1918, when the plant produce 21,450,000 Lbs. of Cordite from its plant. With this came far more expansions when other plants were built as contracts were handed by the Military that resulted in developing a TNT and Shrapnel Loading facility. Shortly after an explosion would erupt within the Shrapnel Loading Plant that claimed the lives of 7 people as working with explosives was serious business.
The year of 1922, was rather filled with hot summers that would end up bringing extreme dry conditions, which resulted in a fire caused by a Canadian Pacific Railway Locomotive that had ignited the dry Gunncotten. This resulted in a fire which became so extreme that flames had lit the night sky like fireworks and had proved to be difficult in extinguishing it. With this had came a major battle when the Canadian Pacific Railway and at least 200 people had gathered to fight these flames at the time. A locomotive was in full force when a large tanker full of water was transported back and fourth to Parry Sound in order for the crew to fight the fire. By that time the fire had burned for nearly 3 to 4 days before the swamp was completed flood by the use of water that came from fight this massive blaze. Fires were not an uncommon thing to have happened between 1922 and 1926, which had force the plant to fully close from these blazes which were relatively small. The small water coarse that had drained into Gunncotten Bay was also commonly referred as Gunncotten Creek that was a waste discharge point for the Gunncotten Plant Operation and would be sometimes found along the creek beds or at the mouth of the bay. Waste of Gunncotten was fairly distributed throughout the creek that would end up along the banks of Gunncotten Bay.
Canadian Industries Limited was a company that became first incorporated in 1927, which it's main line of manufacturing was mostly the production of Cellophane that was a clear material which had been made from cellulose that's used in food packaging. It was also at one point in time that Canadian Industries Limited became the first Canadian producer of Nylon that was a synthetic plastic fibre used as a textile. During the second World War, Canadian Industries would additionally form a subsidiary company known as Defense Industries Limited, that supply explosives and chemical products for war efforts. The new incorporation had six times more employees then that of the Canadian Industries Limited. In 1941, the company was in production of two explosives known as TNT and Cordite that was also place under the Military Explosives Department at this time. Cordite was rather known as propellant as it burned fast to the point where it almost explodes while burning, and the TNT was considered very insensitive as you could throw a case off it from a two storey building and nothing would happen. Cordite was also considered as the primary product which had been used to propel ammunition from 16-inch cannons on naval battleships. The Nobel Plant had additionally 5 lines for the manufacturing of cordite, which each one was service by kneader room, while press rooms extruded Cordite in various shapes and sizes. From here it had went onto the drying room where it would be blended, packed and cased into magazines. Packaging was another heavy job that required standards in order to be shipped, so dummy explosives were place through a tumbling and shock test to see if they would stand traveling in a freight car. Nitroglycerin had also become the main ingredient in Cordite with other elements in order to stabilize it and control the speed it had burn. It was rather made in a batch process within an iron tank that was 6 feet in diameter, with air agitation inside and cooling coils around the outside. Thermometers had also been used in order to control the Temperature, and at the end of this process it had produce 3,300 pounds of Nitroglycerin, in which the fumes had also given awful bad headaches. Disasters were also very common as the roofs of the Cordite was seen exploding that resulted from the rework of scrap Cordite which was place in bags and left out in the corridor to be taken on carts. Some of the scrap had also fallen out under the wheels of the cart and the friction of this had ignited it that resulted in flames and had additionally claimed the life of 5 workers. The construction of the corridor had galvanized tin walls with an emergency fire door every 40 to 50 feet and after this explosion it would be taken off as a flimsy layer was added. This at the time would also provide a safer means of escaping if an explosion was to happen as an employee could easily jump through the wall and escape most of it.
It was also in 1944, when impacts were made towards the community, as the plant's were officially out of production in producing Gunncotten, TNT, and Cordite for the Canadian and British Armed Forces due to the outbreak of D-day. Many of the laid off employees that were place under full time work were now looking for other jobs in order to make some money near Nobel, Ontario, Canada. Another re-opening was later made in 1944, when workers were called back due to a new contract that was aimed a producing Cordite for the United States Armed Forces, which had only lasted till 1946. The closure of this Cordite Plant came to an end when a blaze had taken place on August, 14, 1945, when a grain elevator had some how caught on fire at Depot Harbour. At this point, the blaze would spread to sheds filled with 56 carloads of Cordite that contained nearly four million pounds. After the war this company became apart of an antitrust suit which was filed by the United States against it's two major shareholders known as Du Pont De Nemours and Imperial Chemical Industries which had acquired Nobel Explosives. The result of this incident had rather place major down falls that resulted in the break up of the Canadian Industries Limited in 1954, in which the Imperial Chemical Industries had operated under the CIL. During World War 2, the Canadian Industries Limited had employed nearly 4,000 people from the small town of Nobel at the time which resulted in manufacturing explosives.
In 1960, a clean up effort was made due to environmental impacts that the Gunncotten had contributed from waste that was discharged into Gunncotten Creek and Gunncotten Bay. The control of doing this had additionally removed these deposits which were produce from the Gunncotten Plant when it was running at full force. Other stories from the area results in deformed deer and a dog that had obtained a serious skin disease due to it swimming in the swamp that was used for the waste discharge of Gunncotten in the 1990's. Parry Sound also has a very high cancer rating that has been researched in regards to what maybe causing these outbreaks to occur and some studies suggest that it's the old CXL Plant. The Nobel Explosive Plant has obtained several names within its as it was also referred as the CXL, CIL, DIL and the Canadian Avero Testing Site.