The early mentions of the use of peat go back to Roman times as a fuel in homes.
Peat played a significant role in the European economy. Peatland covers vast areas of northern and eastern Europe. Peat harvested from poor wetlands was often a replacement for wood, both for farm buildings and homes as well as for heating. In Ireland and Scotland, peat is an important energy source.
First peat moss exploitation in the Eastern Townships. After drying in the sun, the peat pulp was cut into small blocks for fuel in the Grand Trunk Railway locomotives for the return trip to the United States.
Construction of a processing plant in Cacouna, in the Bas-Saint-Laurent, where the peat pulp was mixed with crude oil to form fuel.
Energy peat harvested using a hydraulic excavator in the Saint-Hyacinthe area. The peat was intended to heat houses and the lime kilns in Saint-Dominique.
Harvesting of horticultural peat in trenches where blocks are cut with shovels and stacked for drying. The blocks were then cut into chips at the plant and pressed into bales. Toward the end of the period, European-designed machines for cutting peat blocks were brought into Quebec.
'Modernization' of the industry: an important turning point. Producers slowly abandoned the traditional method of block cutting for a method of extraction by vacuum harvesting.
Introduction of growing media with vermiculite and perlite.
The Université de Sherbrooke increased its research on the chemical and physical properties of peat moss. Several peat based processes were finalised: the absorption of used oil and crude oil; the manufacture of light, soundproofing, insulating blocks of cement, and the production of methane.
80's and 90's