Library and Archives Canada
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2 m of textual records. 6 technical drawings. 1 map.
Charles Ross, inventor and businessman, was born in 1872 at Balnagown, Ross-shire, Scotland. He inherited the title of Baronet of Nova Scotia and the Balnagown and Bonnington Estates in 1883. In 1895, he moved to Canada where he founded the West Kootenay Power and Light Company (c. 1896) and the Ross Rifle Company (1902), the latter to supply military rifles to the Canadian government. The Ross rifle, controversial from the beginning, was withdrawn fromm active service in 1916 and the rifle factory at Quebec City expropriated in 1917. Ross was a major shareholder in the Patricia Syndicate formed to exploit gold mines in Northern Ontario (1917-19). He was also involved with Mackenzie and Mann in the purchase of mining and railway options in China (1899-1900). In 1917, he moved to the United States where he was an advisor on small arms to the American government and member of the American delegation to Paris (1919). As an inventor, Ross patented numerous improvements to rifles and ammunition, agricultural and hydro machinery and ships' equipment. Fonds consists of correspondence, memoranda, legal papers and clippings, and photographs relative to the private and business life of Sir Charles Ross, and in particular to his estates in Scotland; the West Kootenay Power and Light Company, British Columbia; Chinese business ventures; the Ross Rifle Company; the Patricia Syndicate, and the Ngoro Ngoro reserve, Tanganyika; other business ventures; Ross's personal life; and research material on Ross compiled by F.J. Dupuis. Fonds also contains a map and engineering drawings of rifles and parts of rifles which originated in the papers of Sir Charles Ross.