Selwyn Blaylock became president of CM&S on April 28, 1939. Photo: Trail Historical Society

Selwyn Blaylock became president of CM&S on April 28, 1939. Photo: Trail Historical Society

Trail Blazers: Remarkable pioneer of the mining industry

Trail Blazers is a weekly feature in partnership with the Trail Museum and Archives

On this day in Trail history, Selwyn G. Blaylock was appointed to be president of the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company Limited (CM&S, later Cominco, now Teck Resources).

April 28, 1939, Blaylock replaced James J. Warren as president, causing major changes in the company’s structure with many recognizable names receiving promotions like Ralph Diamond, R.C. Crowe, and James Buchanan.

Blaylock’s legacy is involved with bringing the company out of the Depression, navigating the Second World War, CM& S’ involvement in the Manhattan Project, the formation of unions, and more.

He was a powerful, business-minded man and he heavily influenced how the company is still known today.

Blaylock is one of the most recognizable names from City of Trail history due to his long service in the industry. He retired in 1945.

Selwyn Blaylock

Born in Paspébiac, Que., Blaylock attended Bishop’s College School in Lennoxville, Que. In 1899, he obtained a B.Sc. from McGill University.

After graduating, Blaylock moved west and obtained work as a surveyor for the Canadian Smelting Works in Trail. Two years later, he became the company’s chief chemist, but soon moved to Nelson to become general superintendent of the Hall Mines Smelter, then general superintendent of the St. Eugene mines.

In 1908, Blaylock joined the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company. In 1919, he became the company’s general manager. In 1922 he became director, vice-president in 1927, managing director in 1938 and president in 1939.

Blaylock worked at the smelter until six months before he died in Trail in 1945.

He is buried in Danville, Que.

Selwyn Blaylock Honours

Inducted into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame;

Awarded the McCharles Prize from the University of Toronto for outstanding work in Canadian Metallurgy;

1928, awarded the James Douglas Medal for Metallurgy by the American Institute of Mining and Metallurgy;

1930, presented with an honorary degree by the University of Alberta;

1935, awarded the Inco Medal by The Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy for outstanding work in mining and smelting;

1944, made an honorary member of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers;

1944, Gold Medal of the Institute of Mining and Metallurgy of Great Britain;

1948, the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum established the Selwyn G. Blaylock Medal. It is presented annually to an individual that has demonstrated distinguished service to Canada through exceptional achievement in the field of mining, metallurgy, or geology;

1961, Blaylock Creek was named in his honour. Blaylock Creek is a stream located 17 miles from Elkford.

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