Chinese labourers, part of a Canadian Pacific Railway “work gang,” rest at their camp, erected alongside the tracks in Glacier Park, British Columbia, in 1889. The building of the railway would have suffered greatly without the labour of the approximately ten thousand Chinese workers recruited by the Canadian government between 1881 and 1884. Most of the recruited men came from the province of Canton, in southern China. Chinese workers were typically paid one dollar per day, or about fifty to seventy-five cents less than their Caucasian co-workers. Life as a railway worker was physically demanding. The workers toiled in harsh weather amid rough terrain. Some jobs, such as handling the nitroglycerin used to dynamite rocks, were particularly deadly. Chinese work gangs were usually organized into groups of thirty workers and included a cook, a cook’s helper, and a person to keep track of the payroll. The work gangs operated through the spring and summer, typically shutting down in the late fall due to the increasing cold.