|George Pringle Sanderson,|
Councillor refers to his service
as an Edmonton alderman.
George was born in Eastern Canada and moved west across the Canadian prairies, ultimately to Edmonton, Alberta, nee North West territory. From 1878 into the early 1900's George's principal occupation was blacksmith. But with the proliferation of steam powered locomotion and massive growth in the use of internal combustion engines, demands for shod workhorses and oxen were waning. George turned to the locksmith profession to maintain body and soul.
Metalworking and fabrication skills learned at the forge facilitated George's transition into the locksmith trade. In the beginning George was more or less a traditional locksmith. He copied keys, serviced locking mechanisms, fabricated locks and hasps, reset tumblers and adjusted combinations. But his locksmithing skills evolved further with the proliferation of safes that ensued after the establishment of the province of Alberta in 1905.
George P. Sanderson was long-living proof of the adage about the man who builds a better mousetrap. Right up to his departure from this life in 1939, at any hour of night or day, Edmonton's finest would beat a path to George's door, seeking help opening a blaky safe -- or a safe whose owner was balky about opening.
George said his talent was no secret; it was a gift, a special present from Santa Claus for being born on Christmas Day -- which occurred in 1850 at Carleton Place, Ontario.We know, of course, that George Pringle Sanderson was actually born on Christmas Eve. But he wasn't the sort of a fellow to let a day or two get in the way of a good story -- and there are good stories aplenty about George and his safecracking escapades.