Kerosene Can Shingles

Kerosene Can Shingles

Kerosene Can Shingles

In answering the question 'What Use Are Metals To Me?' for our spring 2015 exhibit, I can't help but think of one of our site's coolest, yet least-considered features - a kerosene can roof. I think of it as it reminds me of how the recycling of our essential mined materials is not a modern concept.

Back in the early years of the Britannia Mine, self-sustainability was a way of life. Not through concerns about climate change or our ecological footprint, but because there was no choice. And the residents learned to make good use of old 'junk'.

Before the railway came through Britannia Beach in 1956 and the highway in 1958, the only way in and out of the community was by steamship. That meant everything had to come in by boat. Vancouver was several hours away. A quick trip to your hardware store of choice wasn't an option. For a start, there were only the two Mine-owned company stores to choose from. And given the isolation and need to import all goods by boat, items were expensive.

Coming back to today and some observant visitors may notice the roof of the old Pipe and Welding shop, but I suspect that for the most part it goes largely unnoticed. After all there is the imposing Mill 3 that grabs your attention. But if you happen to read this before a visit to the Museum then I urge you to check it out when you are here.

We don't know too much about the roof other than it is made of kerosene cans. These cans would have been common at Britannia, as residents used the fuel for heat and/or light. With an industrial building in need of a new roof, some bright spark took the notion to flatten the cans and turn them into shingles. They have lasted for many years and are holding up well despite being rusted. In terms of adding character to the site, these shingles are one of my favourites. 

Header photo: courtesy of Denise Corcoran




Also in Museum

Mill Photo Display --
Mill Photo Display -- "Mill Stills"

June to September

"Mill Stills" is a temporary photo instillation in our Machine Shop that showcases the Mill's story of innovation and mining.

Annual General Meeting
Annual General Meeting

June 19th, 2019

The Britannia Mine Museum Society invites its members to attend its Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, June 19th, 2019, from 3:30PM to 4:30PM.

Family Fun Weekend
Family Fun Weekend

May 25th & 26th, 2019
Come and celebrate BC Mining Month at the Britannia Mine Museum.  Featuring temporary mineral exhibits, interactive 3D visual mining technology, photo booth, drilling demos and much more. More details will be coming soon!