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list price: $24.95
edition:Paperback
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category: History
published: Jan 1991
ISBN:9781550170467

Spilsbury's Coast

Pioneer Years in the Wet West

by Howard White & Jim Spilsbury

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post-confederation (1867-), radio, history
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $24.95
edition:Paperback
also available: Hardcover
category: History
published: Jan 1991
ISBN:9781550170467
Description

When Jim Spilsbury, B.C's most famous pioneer entrepreneur, teams up with master storyteller and literary craftsman Howard White, the result is a spell-binding romp up and down British Columbia's rugged coast; eighty years of fascinating anecdotes and memories distilled into 190 pages.

Jim Spilsbury grew up in a tent on Savary Island, squatting on crown land. His story is one of the classic "rags-to-riches" stories in Canadian history. As well as being as brilliant inventor and an ambitious, astute businessman, he had the intangible gift of being in the right place at the right time. In 1923, at the age of 18, primed with a correspondence course in electrical engineering, Jim Spilsbury began building sophisticated radio telephones. Fishermen bought them, loggers bought them, and eventually homesteaders, explorers and even governments bought them. "Radio boomed," Spilsbury recalls, "and it carried me with it."

As we follow Spilsbury in his adventures, we meet Frank Osborne, the genius engine-builder; Emil Gordon, the obsessive flamboyant Powell River salesman who sold everything from refrigerators to cows; Red Mahone, the obstreperous Boathouse cook and Spilsbury's own bizarre family, including his rifle-toting mother who cut her hair like a man's and golfed on the beaches at low tide.

Howard White, himself a child of BC's backwaters, brings the voice of authority to Spilsbury's amazing tale. A rare gem of authentic storytelling - it flows fast and bright, like a mountain stream.

About the Authors

Howard White

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Jim Spilsbury (1905-2003) was born in Findern, Derbyshire but came to the BC coast in his infancy and remained there all his life. He began manufacturing small radios in the 1920s and in 1941 founded Spilsbury and Hepburn Ltd, later Spilsbury and Tindall Ltd., one of Canada's best known radio-telephone manufacturers. In 1943, Spilsbury founded Queen Charlotte Airlines which merged with Pacific Western Airlines in 1955. He also authored several books including Spilsbury's Album, and The Accidental Airline.

Author profile page >
Awards
  • Short-listed, Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice BC Book Prize
  • Short-listed, Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice BC Book Prize

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