Cover of Eye on the Future, published by University of Calgary Press

Eye on the Future

Business People in Calgary and the Bow Valley, 1870-1900

by Henry C. Klassen

University of Calgary Press


Non-Fiction: Business and Economy, History

CDN: $29.95


Meet the who’s who of business in Calgary and the Bow Valley during the late 1800 in a meticulously researched, yet eminently readable, history of Alberta economic development.

Calgary and the Bow Valley’s business climates were lively, competitive, and capitalistic in the late 1800s. Eye on the Future sheds light on the challenges of building and maintaining business in this area during this time of vast growth. It provides insight into how entrepreneurs, retailers, manufacturers, bankers, farmers, and ranchers pioneered a booming business world.

In this dynamic and readable study, Klassen considers the obstacles that faced business and civic leaders: how to promote the economic growth of the city; how to create demand for goods and services; how to finance transportation improvements such as streets, bridges, roads, and railways; and how to assimilate substantial social and political change. Weaving a strong cast of determined Albertans together with a study of the climate that supported growth and change, Klassen discusses the successes and failures of businesses in this region.

Ultimately, it is about how a few people—Isaac G. Baker, Agnes K. Bedingfeld, and James A. Lougheed—helped to create the conditions in which Calgary emerged as a city and the Bow Valley an important agricultural centre.

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