From Telegrapher to Titan

From Telegrapher to Titan

The Life of William C. Van Horne
Knowles, Valerie
Distribution: World
Publication date: 08/03/2010
Format: Paperback 18 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-22250-3
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William C. Van Horne, a true titan of North American business, started his railroad career at the age of 12 working various jobs for the Michigan Central, and crowned it by becoming the president of the Canadian Pacific. He is credited with opening Cuba’s interior by means of railway, greatly expanding Canada’s interests by launching the sea transport division of the Canadian Pacific—with regular luxury liner service between Vancouver and Hong Kong—and completing Canada’s first transcontinental railway. Van Horne was knighted by Queen Victoria for his contributions to Canadian Unity and, more recently, was named Laureate of the Century by the Canadian Business Hall of Fame. A man of many talents, Van Horne was also Canada's premier art collector and one of its leading financiers. In From Telegrapher to Titan, Valerie Knowles delivers a gripping account of this larger-than-life figure.

Author Bio

Valerie Knowles is author of several books, including Strangers at Our Gates: Canadian Immigration and Immigration Policy, 1540–2006.


Given the subject's significance . . . I think Indiana University Press has an opportunity . . . to fill an inexcusable void in both railroad and Canadian history.

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Table of Contents


Chapter One: Growing Up in Frontier Illinois
Chapter Two: Early Career
Chapter Three: Rapid Advancement
Chapter Four: New Challenges and Hobbies
Chapter Five: New Horizons
Chapter Six: Toward the Last Spike
Chapter Seven: Cutting Costs
Chapter Eight: The Final Push
Chapter Nine: All That Grant Was to the U.S.A.
Chapter Ten: Van Horne at the Helm
Chapter Eleven: Art for Art's Sake
Chapter Twelve: Family Matters
Chapter Thirteen: Cuba Beckons
Chapter Fourteen: Building the Cuba Railroad
Chapter Fifteen: Chasing the Money
Chapter Sixteen: Dodging the Grim Reaper


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