Jordan spreaders are used by railways for grading, ditching and ballast work along their rights-of-way and for clearing snow during the winter months.
The design was invented around 1900 by Oswald F. Jordan while he was road foreman on the Canada Southern Railway in Southern Ontario, a subsidiary of the New York Central Railway.
Former Canadian Pacific Railway Jordan Spreader, 402818, was built for the railway by the O.F. Jordan Company in 1907.
The Society acquired the spreader in 1967 as one of the first acquisitions for its work train theme. It was delivered to the Canada Science and Technology Museum where the Society has maintained it and recently had it completely restored.
Most of the spreader's above-deck structure is made of wood unlike modern versions which are of steel construction. 402818 is an important part of the Society's collection and is one of the few earlier examples of a Jordan Spreader in existence.