John Howe, one of the pioneers of crop spraying in Canada and a member of the Saskatchewan Aviation Hall of Fame, passed away March 22, 2012. His family has created a lovely website to commemorate his achievements and those of his company, Praire Flying Service. As his son Marty wrote me, the company
was formed by four R.C.A.F. veterans in the spring of 1946. The principals involved were Bob MacKnight, Paddy Watson, Art Davis and John Howe. Some dusting of orchards in eastern Canada had been done previous to this time, however the spraying of liquid had never been done in Canada. On July 11, 1947 they received a license from the Air Transport Board to operate the “flying water can,” the first licensed aerial spray rig in Canada.
The site has a wonderful assortment of photos from Mr. Howe’s private collection, and is a digital archives of sorts. If you are interested in the history of prairie flying in Canada, crop spraying, or aviation in general, this site is worth a look!