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Friday, May 24, 2024
Mr. Hugh Davis & Mrs. Margaret Davis  Photo Courtesy of Rodney Davis
  Hugh Davis was born in Dresden, Ontario in 1899. He had a natural talent and interest in machinery. He relocated to Windsor in 1926 and began working as a fireman for the C.S.I.R. and eventually the Canadian National Railway and Grand Trunk Railway systems. He studied extensively on his own and on January 25, 1955 Davis passed his marine engineer’s examination.

On February 8, 1955 Hugh Davis took his first post as a marine engineer on the S.S. Huron. His role as an engineer required that Davis supervise white workers.
Mr. Hugh Davis & Mrs. Margaret Davis – Photo Courtesy of Rodney Davis
  This was a great advancement for workers of colour in the field. He received the support of the Senior Chief Engineer, T. E. Dubin, who directed all staff as follows:
This is to advise that H. Davis, Second Engineer, will be in complete charge of work lay out for firemen – please see that his orders are strictly adhered to.”
Hugh Davis began working on mechanical devices of his own invention. On February 16th, 1954 he obtained a patent, in both Canada and the United States, for his creation which he named the “Tackle Retriever.” The manufacturers of fishing tackle were concerned that the Tackle Retriever would reduce demand for their products and therefore were opposed to its production.

Undaunted Hugh Davis and his wife Margaret began production of the device in their home. The “Tackle Retriever” was popular with fishermen along the Detroit River. Margaret also managed the administration side of the home based business while caring for her family of eleven children.

Please click the following links to view documents pertaining to Hugh Davis.
Certificate of Discharge from the S.S. Huron (Fireman)
Certificate of Competency as Fourth Class Engineer
Patent granted to Hugh Davis for his invention the Tackle Retriever
Sketch of device patented as the Tackle Retriever
Sales Tax License for the Tackle Retriever
Business card advertising Hugh Davis and the Fishing Tackle Retriever
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The opinions and interpretations in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada.


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