Fonds Acc5028 - Austin A. Scales fonds

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Austin A. Scales fonds

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  • Textual record

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CA PCA Acc5028

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  • 1845, 1914-1989 (Creation)
    Scales, Austin A.

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Physical description

1.14 m textual records

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Name of creator

Scales, Austin A. (1886-1989)

Biographical history

Austin Alexander Scales was born 4 January 1886 in St. Eleanor's, Prince Edward Island to Henry Scales and Gulielma Lefurgey. Austin’s father died when Austin was ten years old, so Austin stayed home from school to help his mother run the farm and to support the four children. Educated at home, with the assistance of a school teacher that boarded with the family, Austin later studied at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College in 1910, and in 1918 he received his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture at Guelph, Ontario.

In 1914, seeing how silver fox pelts were selling for $1,000, he and five others formed the Willow Hill Silver Black Fox Company, selling pairs of breeding stock for up to $25,000. In 1919, Austin worked for the PEI Department of Agriculture for a short time, before becoming involved in the seed potato growing and marketing business. On 19 July 1925, Austin Scales married Lillian Dobson at Summerside, PEI.

In 1928 Austin bought a small grist and power plant, generating and distributing electrical power from waters of the Dunk River near his Freetown home under the name Scales Hydro Electric Company Limited. Also in 1928, he established the well-known PEI company Island Fertilizers Limited. The original fertilizer plant was located west of the railway wharf on the Charlottetown waterfront. In 1946, following a fire, Austin had to re-establish Island Fertilizers, and in 1949 he purchased two wartime airplane hangars and moved the business to Riverside Drive. Management of Island Fertilizers was later passed on to family members.

Associated Shippers Incorporated was established by Austin and others in 1946 to ship potatoes nationally and internationally. At the time of the Second World War, he contracted to supply dehydrated potatoes in the United Kingdom, opening the 250-employee Island Foods Inc. in Summerside. The plant packed large brown tins of chipped potatoes to be sent by the Canadian Government to feed allied troops during World War II.

Austin Scales was a director of the Bank of Canada, chairman of Industrial Enterprises Inc., board member of the Prince County Hospital, member of the Charlottetown Rotary Club and supporter of the PEI Rural Beautification Society. He received an honourary degree from the University of Prince Edward Island in 1972. In 1985, Austin was inducted into the Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame.

Austin Alexander Scales died at age 103 on 19 February 1989. Austin and Lillian Scales had six children: Lillian Joan, David Austin, John Henry, Alan Kent, Brian Dobson (d. 6 Sep 1962) and Nora Eleanor.

Custodial history

Scope and content

This fonds consists of a number of accounting records for Austin Scales' farming operations and his various other businesses, including Scales Hydro Electric Company Limited, Associated Shippers Incorporated, Island Foods Incorporated and Island Fertilizers Limited. There are twelve home accounting journals (1914-1937, 1940-1987) where transactions are recorded as they occur. There are also eleven home cash books (1919-1938, 1941-1989), recording all payments and receipts of business transactions. There are three home ledgers and one partial ledger (1914-1989), posting and classifying transactions. The fonds includes four books of potato car records (1926-1946) detailing to/from whom the load of potatoes was bought/sold. A journal, cash book and ledgers for Scales Hydro Electric Company Limited span 1937-1967. Island Fertilizers Limited shareholders / journals/ ledgers cover 1933 through 1941. There are annual statements for Associated Shippers Incorporated (1931-1944, 1946-1949), Island Fertilizers Limited (1945-1949) and Island Foods Incorporated (1943, 1947-1951). The fonds also includes a copy of the "Journal of the House of Assembly of Prince Edward Island" for 1845.

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  • English

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  • English

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