Vogel Prize 2012 – Robert W. Passfield


The 2012 Robert M. Vogel prize is awarded to Robert W. Passfield for his article St. Andrew’s Caméré Curtain Bridge Dam, Lockport, Manitoba,” which appeared in IA, The Journal of the Society for Industrial Archeology, Vol. 33, No. 2, 2007. This paper combines engineering analysis, landscape archeology, and social history.

The unprecedented size of the dam, incorporation of a submerged overflow dam and the use of electrically powered equipment all contribute to making this an innovative structure. The environmental setting and economic factors in Canada underlying the large-scale application of technology developed in France are described. Excellent historical engineering drawings support a clear explanation of the technical developments and modifications in design of movable dams. Detailed drawings and photographic images document the St. Andrew’s project and provide a thorough description of the structure and its operation. The narration and figures show modifications undertaken during the life of the dam and the continuing significance of the project to the area and Canada. Robert’s paper combines physical and documentary evidence to convey high level IA. Robert is a public historian and Senior Historian Emeritus, Parks Canada Agency.