The era of wooden shipbuilding (1826-1880s) and the development of coal created an industrial complex which in 1883 broadened into the opening of the first steelmaking plant in Canada, the Nova Scotia Steel Co.
New GlasgowNew Glasgow, NS, incorporated as a town in 1875, population 9562 (2011c), 9455 (2006c). The Town of New Glasgow is located on the East River of Pictou, 15 km southeast of PICTOU. It is the largest municipal unit and centre of an urban community of four towns - TRENTON, New Glasgow, STELLARTON, WESTVILLE - and the trading centre for the farming, lumber and fishing counties of Pictou, Antigonish and Guysborough. It was settled originally by Scottish pioneers, but local industries brought tradesmen from European countries whose descendants have blended with the original Scottish populace. Its location at the head of the tidewater made it the trading centre of the surrounding pioneering agricultural area.
The era of wooden shipbuilding (1826-1880s) and the development of coal created an industrial complex which in 1883 broadened into the opening of the first steelmaking plant in Canada, the Nova Scotia Steel Co. The steel company's forged and rolled products supplied central Canadian manufacturers, particularly for farm implements and railway construction. Railway freight car construction began in 1913 and continues. Growth continued through WWI, followed by decline because of the advantage in freight costs held by central Canadian manufacturers.
Population growth over 6 decades had been very slow, from 8917 in 1921. The town's population has been decreasing since the 1980s. Pulp processed from the local softwood stand and the manufacture of automobile tires and rail cars have maintained the labour force since the near total abandonment of the coal industry in the New Glasgow area.