Joseph Burr Tyrrell (November 1, 1858 in Weston, Ontario – August 26, 1957) was a Canadian geologist, cartographer, and mining consultant. He discovered dinosaur (Albertosaurus) bones in Alberta's Badlands and coal around Drumheller in 1884. Canada's Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Alberta was named in his honour.
Tyrrell was the third child of William and Elizabeth Tyrrell. He was a student at Weston Grammar School before graduating from Upper Canada College in 1876 and receiving a law degree from the University of Toronto in 1880. However, after articling for a law firm in Toronto, his doctor advised him to work outdoors due to his health.
He joined the Geological Survey of Canada in 1881, leading or participating in numerous explorations. He led the 1893 and 1894 expeditions into the Northern Barren Lands - down the Dubawnt River - the first visit to the Kivalliq Region Barrenlands by a European since the explorations of Samuel Hearne in the 1770s. His younger brother, fr:James Williams Tyrrell accompanied Tyrrell on the expedition, which included the first European contact with the Ihalmiut, an Inuit people, now almost extinct.
Tyrrell married Mary Edith Carey in 1894 and they had three children, Mary (1896), George (1900), and Thomas (1906). Mary Edith was founder and first president in 1921 of the Women's Association of the Mining Industry of Canada.
In 1894, Tyrrell stumbled upon biographical recollections (11 books of field notes, 39 journals, maps and a narrative) of Canadian overland explorer, cartographer and fur trader David Thompson and, in 1916, published them as "David Thompson's Narrative".
Tyrrell went into the gold-mining business in 1898, a career that would last more than 50 years. He was mine manager of the Kirkland Lake Gold Mine in northern Ontario for many years.
Tyrrell retired to northeast Scarborough on the Rouge River, where he established substantial apple orchards and interest in grafting and breeding. The expanded orchards, later managed by his son George, are now the site of the Toronto zoo.
Honours and awards
Places named for Tyrrell
- Tyrrell Sea (prehistoric Hudson Bay)
- "Tyrrell Arm", the east section of Yathkyed Lake, Nunavut
- Joseph Burr Tyrrell Park, Toronto, Ontario
Institutions named for Tyrrell
- Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, Drumheller, Alberta
- J. B. Tyrrell Senior Public School in Scarborough, Ontario
- Joseph Burr Tyrrell Elementary School in Fort Smith, Northwest Territories, is named after him.
- 1918, Murchison Medal, Geological Society of London
- 1929 Honorary President, Royal Canadian Geographical Society
- 1933, Flavelle Medal, Royal Society of Canada
- 1947, Wollaston Medal, Geological Society of London
- Back Award, Royal Geographic Society
- Daly Medal from the American Geographical Society
- Professional Engineer's Medal from the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario
- Canadian Mining Hall of Fame
- J.B. Tyrrell Historical Medal, Royal Society of Canada
- "Biographical Sketch of J.B. Tyrrell - University of Toronto". Retrieved 16 September 2007.
- "Past lives: Chronicles of Canadian Paleontology Tyrrell and Albertosaurus". Retrieved 2 January 2006.
- Historica minute
- "Joseph B. Tyrrell - Hall of Fame - Life of a Rock Star". Retrieved 2 January 2006.
- A biography by Heather Robertson, 2007, Measuring Mother Earth: How Joe the Kid became Tyrrell of the North, McClelland & Stewart Inc. ISBN 0-7710-7539-1
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Joseph Tyrrell.|
- Joseph Burr Tyrrell at The Canadian Encyclopedia
- Royal Tyrrell Museum website
- Historica’s Heritage Minute video docudrama about Joseph Tyrrell. (Adobe Flash Player.)
- Joseph Burr Tyrrell Papers, Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library