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Photograph of Thomas Ahearn

Thomas Ahearn

Born June 24, 1855 at Ottawa, Ontario; died there June 28, 1938


In his early career Ahearn worked as a telegraph operator and then became the Ottawa branch manager for the telegraph and telephone companies.

In 1882 he started an electrical contracting business with his partner, W.Y. Soper. The business grew and provided Ottawa with electricity, streetcars and street lights.

Ahearn displayed to Canadians a variety of electrically powered devices throughout the 1880s and 1890s.

In 1892 he prepared the first dinner cooked entirely with electricity, at the Windsor Hotel in Ottawa. Ahearn won the first gold medal ever awarded by the Central Canadian Exhibitions Association for excellence in exhibits.

Ottawa got its first electrically heated streetcar in the 1890s.

Sample of inventions patented in Canada by Ahearn

Patent Number Filing Date Title
17669 1883 Fire Alarm Telegraph
38976 1892 Electric Water Heater
39506 1892 Electric Heater
39507 1892 System of Warming Cars by Means of Electrically Heated Water
39508 1892 Apparatus for Electrically Heating an Automatic Water Supply
39916 1892 Electric Oven
39917 1892 Electric Flat Iron