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James Crocket Wilson was born in Ireland in 1841 the son of Samuel Wilson and Elizabeth Crocket. They arrived in Montreal in the spring of 1842, five years before the Irish potato famine hit. While his father had no marketable skills upon their arrival, he taught himself the rudiments of carpentry and mechanics and eventually landed employment with the Grand Trunk Railway making railway cars. He is credited with the design of the first railway snowplough.
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