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Manufacturers Index - Canada Machinery Co., Ltd.
Last Modified: Oct 28 2017 1:50PM by Jeff_Joslin
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July 1905 Canadian Machinery & Manufacturing News

In 1901 the Chicago-based business G. A. Crosby & Co. opened a plant in Sarnia, which, like its parent, made canning equipment and machine tools, especially presses. By the beginning of 1905 the business had been acquired by Cleveland businessmen W. F. McGuire and C. B. Richards, who changed the name to Canada Machinery Co., Ltd. and invested heavily to upgrade the plant and equipment. By this time their product line included engine lathes, planers, shapers, slotters, and radial drills as well as presses.

In August or early September they suffered a devastating fire that destroyed the factory and inventory of completed machines. So far as we can tell, the company did not rebuild.

This Sarnia-based company should not be confused with woodworking machinery maker Canada Machinery Corp., Ltd. of Galt that was established in 1910.

Information Sources

  • July 1901 The Foundry.
    G. A. Crosby & Co., of Sarnia. Ont., have been incorporated under Canadian laws with a capital of $600,000, for the purpose of carrying on a general foundry and machine shop business.
  • A publication of the USA House of Representatives, Commercial Relations of the United States with Foreign Countries during the Year 1903, in a section on "American industries in Port Sarnia".
    G. A. Crosby & Co., manufacturers of presses, dies, sheets, and metal machinery, employ about 150 men, and ship goods nearly all over the world.
  • 1905-01-12 American Machinist.
    The Canada Machinery Company, Limited, Sarnia, Canada, have the facilities and are open to manufacture, for patentees and others, machines and machinery for the Canadian market.
    The identical item appeared in the 1905-02-02 issue.
  • April 1905 The Labour Gazette.
    Point Edward—The Canada Machinery Co., successors to G. A. Crosby Co., manufacturers of tools, presses, dies and special machinery, was active and is adding to the number of its employees, which is at present nearly 100.
  • July 1905 Canadian Machinery & Manufacturing News.
    The Canada Machinery Co., Limited, Sarnia, Ont., have issued a very neat little booklet containing very handsome illustrations of some of the machine tools made by them.
  • September 1905 Canadian Machinery & Manufacturing News.

    A Serious Loss

    Since our last issue the machine tool interests of Canada have met with a very serious loss in the destruction by fire of the splendid plant of the Canada Machinery Co., Limited, at Sarnia. Besides the building and equipment, a large quantity of machinery was destroyed.

    It was rumored at time of going to press that the company would not rebuild, but in reply to a telegram from Canadian Machinery they wired that this report was without foundation.

    Recently the property was taken over by a new management and a large outlay and much well directed effort expended to place everything connected with the works in first-class running order.

    Canadian Machinery expresses the sympathy with the company in its loss and trusts that with the good times which are bound to prevail in the next few years for machine tool industries the present setback will be fully overtaken.

  • 1905-09-07 The Iron Age.
    The Canada Machinery Company, Limited, Sarnia, Ont., whose plant was recently destroyed by fire, will in all probability rebuild, but not on the present site. The loss by fire is estimated at $80,000. The management of the plant was recently changed and is now in the hands of W. F. McGuire and C. B. Richards, formerly of Cleveland. The plant was erected in the first place by J. L. Bears of G. A. Crosby & Co., Chicago, manufacturers of can making machinery, taken over by the American Can Company. The output of the Canada company comprises can making machinery, lathes, shapers, planers, drill and presses of all kinds.
  • November 1905 Canadian Machinery & Manufacturing News.
    A proposition has been made to Sarnia by Messrs. Richards & Maguire of Cleveland, offering to establish a machinery plant in Sarnia to continue the business of the Canada Machinery Company, which was recently burned out at Point Edward. The offer is to build a plant a maintain a force of 125 to 200 men, with a payroll of $80,000 annually, on condition that the town will supply a site and extend a loan of $25,000 for a period of five years for building purposes.
  • December 1905 Canadian Machinery & Manufacturing News.
    Negotiations are still in progress between Messrs. McGuire & Richards, the former principals of the Canada Machinery Co., of Sarnia, whose plant was unfortunately destroyed by fire in the town of Sarnia, but up to the present no definite agreement has been reached. The gentlemen mentioned are in a position to start a new company and begin operations at once for the erection of new works to employ 125 men and pay out $80,000 to $180,000 in wages annually. They wasked from the town a free site and the loan of $25,000, the latter to be fully secured by mortgage. The question has come up in the Sarnia council and is now in the hands of an industrial committee.
  • From a web page on Australian postal history, specifically R. C. Verney & Sons of Brisbane, tin smiths.

    I emailed the Sarnia, Ontario Library and Ellen Dark, Reference Librarian replied with 10 reprints from the Sarnia Daily Observer from 1902-1904. In her covering letter she stated "Not much is mentioned of the Crosby family" but I could not find in the fine print any real biographical data.

    The most significant facts are summarised as follows: "The business of the company was the manufacture of patent automatic can making machinery, presses and dies for all kinds of sheet metal work" which could be of interest to the Verney Company in Australia; the ground for the company was broken in May 1901; the company was in action initially with ca. 100 employees; great things were expected of the company to aid in the economy of Sarnia, with shipments to England and Switzerland; and, Australia was specifically mentioned with an order; at its undated prime it had 175 men, yet by June 25, 1902 it had closed down, and by December 30, 1904 it had been taken over by the Canada Machinery Company. I could not see any reason to follow-up on my research.