Imperial Oil grew from a one plant operation in Sarnia Ontario in 1911, with a capacity of 4,000 barrels per day, to five refineries across Canada, producing 30,00 barrels per day in 1920. The work force was comprised of pipefitters, machinists, masons, boiler makers, stillmen, pumpers, workers in barrelling, casing and shipping. An 84 hour work week (six 12 hour days and a 12 hour Sunday shift every other week) was the norm in those days.

Information taken from "Canadian Working Class History", Chapter 11 "Solving the Labour Problem at Imperial Oil" by H. M. Grant

Imperial Oil Dartmouth payday Friday, noon, March 5, 1920
payday on Friday, noon, March 5, 1920

clearing land for more storage tanks 1919
The refinery was in operation but work continued in 1919 with horse-drawn wagons, steam-powered shovels and men clearing the land for more tanks to store the refinery's products. The only access was by water via a ferry across from Halifax.

the ferry Wilfred C. bringing construction workers to Imperial Oil Dartmouth, Sept 21, 1920
The ferry "Wilfred C." bringing construction workers to new pier at Imperial Oil's Imperoyal Refinery in Dartmouth, September 21, 1920

Imperial Oil 1919 - filling building and barrel loading ramp.
February 14, 1919 - Tom O'Neill, right, and his men pausing for a picture almost a year after the refinery started up on February 18, 1918. Shows filling building and barrel loading ramp.

Barrels onboard "Ellen Vair" from Imperial Oil Dartmouth. 1919
Barrels of Imperial Oil Limited products onboard "Ellen Vair" for trip to Newfoundland, from Imperial Oil's Imperoyal Refinery in Dartmouth,1919

Doctor F. Malcolm, visiting physician, in first-aid room of Imperial Oil refinery Dartmouth 1920
In 1919 Doctor F.F.P. Malcolm was hired to replace "Doc" James, who had been the onsite doctor during construction of the refinery. He set up a first aid-room where all employees could be examined. With the end of construction and the end of the Spanish Flu Epidemic his services where eventually phased out. Doctor Malcolm is photographed in the first-aid room in 1920.
Information taken from "Historic Eastern Passage", chapter 9 by John Boileau

Dartmouth's first ambulance was provided by Imperial Oil's Imperoyal Refinery, photo taken in 1920
Dartmouth's first ambulance was a Model T Ton Truck, provided by Imperial Oil's Imperoyal Refinery, photo taken in 1920

"When Imperoyal was up and running, there were no ambulances in Dartmouth, and only a horse drawn one in Halifax. Given the refinery's location, management asked company headquarters to provide a motor ambulance, which they did. The vehicle was put to good use on several occasions and was appreciated by everyone who worked and lived in the area."
taken from "Historic Eastern Passage", chapter 9 by John Boileau

garage, taken from the main office, Imperial Oil's Imperoyal Refinery in Dartmouth June 9, 1919
garage, taken from the main office,
Imperial Oil's Imperoyal Refinery
in Dartmouth
June 9, 1919
garage at Imperial Oil's Imperoyal Refinery in Dartmouth 1920s
garage at
Imperial Oil's Imperoyal Refinery in Dartmouth
1920s

employees parked along Pleasant St. opposite the main gate, Imperial Oil's Imperoyal Refinery in Dartmouth, 1920s
Pleasant St. opposite the main gate, Imperial Oil's Imperoyal Refinery in Dartmouth
employees parked along Pleasant St. opposite the main gate, Imperial Oil's Imperoyal Refinery in Dartmouth, 1920s
employees parked along Pleasant St. opposite the main gate, Imperial Oil's Imperoyal Refinery in Dartmouth, 1920s
View of Imperial Oil refinery Dartmouth, NS 1920
View of Imperial Oil's Imperoyal Refinery in Dartmouth, 1920
the garage is outlined in green
View of Imperial Oil refinery Dartmouth, NS December, 1925 the main office is outlined in purple
View of Imperial Oil's Imperoyal Refinery in Dartmouth, 1925
the main office is outlined in purple, the garage in green
View of Imperial Oil refinery Dartmouth, NS December, 1925 Crude stills and bubble towers
View of crude stills and bubble towers
Imperial Oil's Imperoyal Refinery in Dartmouth, 1925

View of Imperial Oil refinery Dartmouth, NS December, 1925 looking east from steam stills
View looking east from steam stills, December 1925
Imperial Oil's Imperoyal Refinery in Dartmouth
Main dock at Imperial Oil's Imperoyal Refinery in Dartmouth, April 21, 1930
Imperial Oil's  Dartmouth main office (outlined in purple) March, 1931. The building would remain at this location until the mid 1960s
Imperoyal Refinery's main office, outlined in purple, the garage outlined in green, photographed March, 1931.
Imperial Oil's Dartmouth main office is outlined in purple. Mechanical shop and fuel oil tanks March,1931
Imperoyal Refinery's main office is outlined in purple. Mechanical shop and fuel oil tanks March,1931
Re-run stills at Imperial Oil's Imperoyal Refinery, Dartmouth, March 1931
Re-run stills at Imperial Oil's Imperoyal Refinery, Dartmouth, March 1931
Dartmouth Imperial Oil refinery looking north at crude stills. Woodside-Imperoyal United Church, 11 Everette Street is outlined in green
Imperial Oil's Imperoyal Refinery in Dartmouth looking north at crude stills. Woodside-Imperoyal United Church, 11 Everette Street is outlined in green
looking east, Dartmouth's Imperial Oil refinery tank field March 1931
tank field, looking east,
Imperial Oil's Imperoyal Refinery in Dartmouth, March 1931
aerial view Imperoyal Oil Refinery 1930s
Imperial Oil's Imperoyal Refinery in Dartmouth 1930s.
Imperoyal Village is outlined in red, Fort Clarence is outlined in green, the main office is outlined in purple, the original tanks in the tank field are outlined in yellow. The blue dot indicates the location of the temporary construction camp for the workers who built the original refinery.
Aerial view of Imperial Oil's Dartmouth Refinery, looking northwest towards Halifax 1931
Aerial view of Imperial Oil's Imperoyal Refinery in Dartmouth, looking northwest towards Halifax 1931.
The Acadia Sugar Refinery is outlined in red, Georges Island is outlined in green, Nova Scotian Hotel and CN Station is outlined in purple.
Aerial view of Imperial Oil's Dartmouth Refinery, looking east, 1940s. The main office  is outlined in purple.
Aerial view of Imperial Oil's Imperoyal Refinery, looking east, 1950. The main office is outlined in purple.
Aerial view of Imperial Oil's Imperoyal Refinery, Dartmouth 1930s
Aerial view of Imperial Oil's Imperoyal Refinery in Dartmouth,1940s.
Imperoyal Village is outlined in red and Woodside-Imperoyal United Church, 11 Everette Street is outlined in green