Bruce Newman

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Bruce Newman, age ~45

Bruce Frederick Newman (24 April 1918 - 27 June 1968) was an engineer with dual Canadian-American citizenship.

Two people are named for him:

Early life

He was born in Elmira, New York, USA, to Clint Newman and Eugenia Swift and later moved to Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He had two younger brothers:

He actually had two university degrees. He began at age 16, according to what his daughter Mary Ann remembers being told, which means he began attending Assumption College in Windsor (now University of Windsor) in Fall 1934 or early 1935. He obtained a general arts degree.

He then went on to obtain a degree in chemical engineering from the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Toronto.

Uncle Jack told me he was quite brilliant. He used to pace when he talked - sound familiar? I think he and you would have been kindred spirits.

— Mary Ann Currie, email to Michael Currie, 22 June 2019

Marriage and family

He married Ruth Coulter on 10 October 1942.

Ruth and Bruce had three children:

Bruce had 10 grandchildren, although he never got to meet them. They were born to his daughters between 1977 and 1987:


Bruce was not able to serve in the war due to his eyesight, according to Sandra Kenzie.

He joined the Association of Professional Engineers of the Province of Ontario as a Professional Engineer on 10 May 1946.

From 1944 to 1949, and again from 1954 until his death in 1968, Bruce worked for Sangamo Company Limited, a manufacturer of electric clocks and meters. Bruce worked on meters, according to his daughter Mary Ann in 2019.

From 1949 to 1954 he worked for Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario (HEPCO) (since 1974 now known as Ontario Hydro). He was headhunted for this role, according to Mary Ann in 2019, and at HEPCO he also worked on electric meters.

Sangamo Company Limited

A Sangamo advertisement, 1958. Taken from The Leaside Story by Charles Clay (1958).

Sangamo Electric Company of Springfield, Illinois, established 1899, made clocks, timers and power meters. Their Canadian subsidiary, Sangamo Company, Limited, eventually acquired Lamb Electric Co.'s Canadian subsidiary, which became the "Lamb Electric Division of Sangamo Co., Ltd." We have also seen motors from "Wagner Electric Division of Sangamo Co., Ltd." and "Wagner-Leland Division of Sangamo Co., Ltd."

Sangamo Co., Ltd. was created in 1911 as the Canadian sales arm of Sangamo Electric Co. In early 1917, manufacturing began on Adelaide Street in Toronto in order to avoid the duty applied to imported meters. On the 1st of January 1932, Sangamo Co., Ltd. acquired exclusive rights to Wagner Electric Corp.'s motor business in Canada, including the right to operate the business under the Wagner company name. Manufacture of Wagner electric motors began in a plant on Stafford Street in Toronto.

The manufacturing space in Toronto soon proved inadequate but the company's finances did not permit a move to better facilities. In 1940, with the company operating at full capacity because of the war effort and with manufacturing space in Toronto selling at a considerable premium, Sangamo was able to sell their existing plant for a tidy profit and build a new plant in Leaside, a Toronto suburb.

This company, originally located at Laird Drive and Eglinton Avenue where a Canadian Tire is currently found, began producing electric meters in 1904. Displayed above their buildings, clearly marking their presence to the public, was a large rotating oval sign. Their electric meters, designed to measure watt hours of hydro consumption, were exported to 16 countries, including Mexico, Portugal, Africa, Central America, and Japan. Sangamo products were designed by Canadians, manufactured in Canada, made from Canadian materials and used by Canadians every day of the year in every province. The company had plants in Leaside and Three Rivers, Quebec, with sales offices in Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg and Edmonton. The Leaside plant covered 180,000 square feet and had employed 825 people. In 1970, Prestolite acquired the Sangamo Motor Division which was located in Sarnia, Ontario. ... Some time later, Sangamo moved to Guelph, Ontario.

— Toronto Neighbourhoods 7-Book Bundle: A City in the Making / Unbuilt Toronto ... By Mark Osbaldeston, F.R. (Hamish) Berchem, Frederick H. Armstrong, Scott Kennedy, Jane Pitfield [1] [2]


Just two months after his 50th birthday, he died suddenly of a heart attack on 27 June 1968. He lived just 18,328 days, 9,393 or 51.2% of them married to Ruth. He had specified that his body be left to science, and it was.



[2] Guelph Past Perfect Online [3]

[3] Vintage [4]

[4], Sangamo History [5]

[5] [6]