Charles E. Saunders bigraphy, stories - Canadian biologist

Charles E. Saunders : biography

February 2, 1867 - July 25, 1937

Sir Charles Edward Saunders, (February 2, 1867 – July 25, 1937) was a Canadian agronomist. He was the inventor of Marquis Wheat.

Born in London, Canada West, he received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto in 1888. From 1888 to 1893, he specialized in chemistry at summer school at Harvard University. In 1891, he received a Ph.D from Johns Hopkins University. He married Mary Blackwell.

Saunders Secondary School in London, Ontario is named for him and other members of his prominent family, including his father, chemist William Saunders.

Before 1900

1894 Saunders opened two studios in Toronto, announcing that in addition to accepting commissions for concerts and recitals, he was available to train students in voice and flute.

1895-1896 Became a columnist in The Week, writing about various aspects of music.


1920 90% of the wheat crop in western Canada was Marquis.

Dr. Saunders also applied his methods to barley, oats, peas, beans, and flax, introducing several new varieties of each.

He wrote extensively on the subject and many of his thoughts on cereals were presented to scientific conferences and societies and printed in scientific magazines.

1922 After suffering a physical breakdown, Dr. Saunders resigned his position. He moved to Paris with his wife.

1922-1925 At the Sorbonne, he studied French literature.

1925 He returned to Ottawa briefly, but in 1928 he moved to Toronto. Though retired, he continued to lecture on Marquis wheat and the French language.

1928 Essais et vers, a collection of Dr. Saunders' French essays and poems, was published by Louis Carrier and Cie, Les Editions du Mercure, in Montreal and New York. The work received critical acclaim in the French press, especially in Quebec.

1934 Dr. Saunders was knighted by King George V for his contribution to agriculture.

1937 Dr. Saunders died in Toronto. Tributes to him came from around the world. In The London Daily Express, his obituary read: "He added more wealth to his country than any other man. Marconi gave power. Saunders gave abundance. Great lives, these!"

Charles Edward Saunders was born in London, Ontario, on Feb. 2, 1867, son of William and Sarah Agnes Robinson Saunders. He received his early education in the elementary and collegiate system in London and his university education at the University of Toronto, Johns Hopkins University, and the Sorbonne. He married Mary Blackwell of Toronto in 1892.

Saunders began an academic career as professor of chemistry and geology at Central University, Ky., in 1893. Within 2 years, however, he turned to a musical career in Toronto, where, in addition to acting as an agent, he gave lessons in singing and flute playing and wrote as music critic in a newspaper. His musical career was not a financial success, however, and in 1903 he accepted appointment as Dominion cerealist at the Experimental Farm in Ottawa. The new work was not a break with family tradition, for Saunders's father had founded the system of experimental farms established in Canada, and his brother, Percy, had done considerable work in cross-breeding strains of wheat.

Saunders turned enthusiastically to his new tasks. Following up his brother's research, he developed Marquis wheat in 1904, a variety which showed marked superiority in milling quality for bread flour over other varieties popular in western Canada. Marquis had the advantage of maturing 10 days earlier than its competitors - a factor of great importance in the Canadian wheat belt. The Indian Head Experimental Farm in Saskatchewan raised Marquis wheat for seed, and by 1909 its use was widespread. By 1920 90 percent of the wheat grown in western Canada was Marquis. However, Marquis was not resistant to stem rust. In seeking newer and better varieties Saunders developed three other strains of wheat - Ruby, Garnet, and Reward - specifically adapted to prairie conditions. He was also responsible for improved varieties of oats and barley.

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Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine