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John Cabot

John Cabot (a.k.a. Giovanni Caboto), merchant, explorer (born before 1450 in Italy, died at an unknown place and date). In 1496, King Henry VII of England granted Cabot the right to sail in search of a westward trade route to Asia and lands unclaimed by Christian monarchs. Cabot mounted three voyages, the second of which, in 1497, was the most successful. During this journey Cabot coasted the shores of Newfoundland and Labrador, possibly sighted the Beothuk or Innu people of the region, and famously noted that the waters teemed with cod. At the time, the land Cabot saw was thought to be the eastern shore of Asia, the fabled island of Brasil, or the equally fabled Isle of Seven Cities. Cabot and his crew were the second group of Europeans to reach what would become Canada, following Norse explorers around 1000 CE. Despite not yielding the trade route Cabot hoped for, the 1497 voyage provided England with a claim to North America and knowledge of an enormous new fishery.

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Robert Foulis

Robert Foulis, inventor, civil engineer, painter (born 5 May 1796 in Glasgow, Scotland; died 26 January 1866 in Saint John, NB). Robert Foulis is known as the inventor of the world’s first steam-operated fog alarm, which was installed on Partridge Island in 1859. While Foulis never patented or even profited from his life-saving innovation, his invention assisted fogbound mariners for over a century.

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