Vogel Prize 2006 – Pauline Desjardins

At the 2006 Annual Business Meeting in St. Louis, this year’s Vogel Prize was presented by Rick Greenwood, Vogel Prize Committee Chair, to Pauline Desjardins for her article Navigation and Waterpower: Adaptation and Technology on Canadian Canals, published in lA, Vol. 29, No.1 (2003), pp. 21-48.

This year’s winner emerged from the 2003 conference in Montreal, which produced the theme issue, Waterpower: The Lachine Canal & The Industrial Development of Montreal. From this well-balanced collection of articles, the prize committee found that one stood out for its organization and its scholarly use of documentary, graphic, and material evidence.

In her article, Pauline Desjardins has produced a multifaceted essay that provides a comprehensive look at the development of industrial waterpower on the navigation canals of the St. Lawrence River and Niagara Escarpment. Her study documents the extent of that development, which has been little studied beyond the Lachine Canal, and it illuminates the differences in character of the industrial effort on the various canals. She also tackles the outstanding questions of power-generating equipment and its evolution, skillfully utilizing data sources that are alternatively rich in detail and obviously contradictory or deficient. The analysis that she has produced is one that makes a strong contribution to the history of waterpower, not just in Canada, but in North America and the world.

Rick Greenwood