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University Archives & Special Collections, A-109829. (Patrick Hayes)

Our evolving campus

Tractor Laboratory

This image is one of five photos purchased for the University Archives by the Engineering Trust Fund in 2008.

Students and instructors of a gas engine class pose on bleachers in the original Engineering Tractor Laboratory in January 1924. In the foreground sits a McLaughlin gasoline automobile striped down to its frame and mechanics. In the background you can see the tail-end of a Fokker Albatross D VII (D 7) aircraft suspended from the ceiling.

The plane was one of 22 that came to Canada in 1919 as part of the terms of the Armistice requiring Germany to surrender all the Fokker D VIIs to the Allies. Five of the bi-planes were given to Canadian universities.

It is thought that it was in this general area of the Engineering Tractor Lab that a fire started, resulting in the destruction of the original Engineering Building in March 1925.