26. Wheel bender

26 - Wheel bender

ca. 1905-1916

Nampa and District Museum

This metal bender was used by the Pasko Brothers Blacksmith Shop, located along the Grouard Trail in the early 1900s. It was used to shape the metal band that wraps around wooden wagon wheels, as well as many other tasks. This tool was foot pedal operated. The Grouard Trail was an important overland route from the town of Grouard to Peace River. It originated in the 1700s as a war trail for the Cree natives, as recorded by Alexander Mackenzie in 1792. In 1905, the newly established Province of Alberta, committed money and labour to the improvement of the road. It seldom had lasting effects though, as the traffic over the road was such that no amount of money could ensure reasonable conditions in all weather. The road had numerous ranches and stopping places along it, some very humble, to provide breaks for weary travelers. The trail fell out of use almost immediately once the railway was established in 1916.