David Ernest Black, arrived in Calgary in 1903 at the age of 23 with 75 cents in his pocket, determined to find work in Alberta's boom town. Black had apprenticed in Pembroke, Ontario in a watch repair shop, and Louis Henry Doll soon hired him as a watch repairman.
Black set up his own tiny, seven-foot-by-14-foot watch repair shop on Stephen Avenue in 1904, and enjoyed plenty of business from Canadian Pacific Railway workers and passengers. By 1913, Black had a staff of 62, making his the largest watch repair firm between Winnipeg and the West Coast. Black also acted as official timekeeper at many sporting events, including the first chuckwagon races at the 1923 Calgary Stampede, earning him an appointment as a lifetime director of the Stampede. He sold the business to Henry Birks and Sons in 1920. Heritage Park built a replica of his first store in 1965.