Behind the Steam is the only complete account of a Vancouver icon, the Gastown Steam Clock. Author Daryl Stennett lays out the humour, the pain, and the joy of ordinary people who toiled with extraordinary commitment through design errors, construction mistakes, vandalism, and accidents.
The Steam Clock was originally proposed as a solution to a venting problem created by the use of underground steam pipes in Gastown. The steam pipes required venting and the utility company who installed them wanted to vent the steam through large cement planters. That idea was contrary to the Edwardian re-development theme – and besides, nothing could grow in the planters since the steam would kill anything planted in them. Jon Ellis, in charge of the Gastown planning team, came up with the idea of venting the steam through something more in keeping with the theme of Gastown – a steam clock. However, no one in Vancouver had ever built a steam clock before – so he set out to find a clockmaker willing to give it a try.
Behind the Steam digs deep to reveal the story of how this clock broke the rules and found fame if not fortune. Illustrated by anecdotes, sidebars, and 177 images, the steam clock saga comes alive on the page, grabbing your attention and not letting go until the last anecdote is read.
About the Author:
Daryl Stennett has written widely in business, marketing, and training. As a business systems troubleshooter and computer planning consultant, he knows how to pluck the essence out of a morass of details; getting beneath the surface to discover what is really going on. Since turning his curiosity loose on a Vancouver icon, Daryl has wormed, winnowed, sifted, and analyzed private and public records and memories to find and present how the improbable Gastown Steam Clock came to be.
Behind the Steam is the first of a planned series of “Behind the Scenes” stories.
Daryl resides in Sechelt, British Columbia.