Biographical Dictionary of Canadian Engineers

Edited by
Rod Millard

DUGGAN, George Herrick , b. 6 Sept. 1862, Toronto; d. 8 Oct. 1946, near St. Jerome, Que. Educated at Upper Canada College and the School of Practical Science, University of Toronto (CE, 1883), he began his career on the Rocky Mountain Division of the Canadian Pacific Railway at Kicking Horse Pass (1884-85). He spent most of his career with the Dominion Bridge Company becoming chief engineer (1891-1901, 1912-17), vice president (1917), president (1918-36), and chairman (1936-46). Under the direction of Phelps Johnson, Duggan was one of the principal designers and the chief supervising engineer of the rebuilding of the Quebec Bridge--possessing the world's longest cantilever span---completed in 1917. This was his most important engineering accomplishment. He was a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers of Great Britain and the American Society of Civil Engineers. Joining the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers in 1888, he served on its council for nine years, was vice president for five years, and president in 1916. He was also a vice president of the Royal Bank of Canada. In 1920, he was awarded an honorary D.Sc. from the University of Toronto. Honorary LL.D.'s followed from Queen's and McGill Universities in 1919 and 1921 respectively, and, in 1931, he received the Engineering Institute of Canada's Sir John Kennedy Medal. An avid yachtsman, he was instrumental in the founding of the Toronto, Royal St. Lawrence (Montreal), and the Royal Cape Breton yacht clubs. He was an Anglican and married Mildred Scarth Stevenson in 1888. They had one daughter and two sons, both killed in action during the First World War. In 1946, The Journal of the Engineering Institute of Canada noted that Duggan was "not only an engineer of outstanding achievement, but also a leading figure in the period of rapid industrial growth. . . ."

J. Burns