Dear Lee Valley,
My father spent 40 years dedicated to the E.B. Eddy Company
pulp and paper mill (formerly the J.R. Booth mill prior to
1946 and now owned by Domtar). Before retiring due to ill
health in the mid 1960s, he worked primarily on the log-drive
operations, located on the Lower Ottawa River across from
Parliament Hill on the Hull, Quebec, side.
The slippery, frozen surfaces he worked on called for some
sort of safe footwear. Hence the ice grabbers came into play.
(They were not company issued.)
I joined E.B. Eddy's myself in the late 1950s and worked
into the early 1960s. Having the ice grabbers passed on to
me, I wore them with great success since I did the same job
— three-season operations by the river.
My father acquired these from ice cutters who worked on the
Ottawa River during the winter months cutting ice blocks for
the icebox days of the 1930s and 1940s era.