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Manufacturers Index - Oelschlager Brothers
History
Last Modified: Oct 14 2018 12:55AM by Jeff_Joslin
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In about 1900 the Oelschlager Brothers of Baden, Ontario, were established by William and Henry Oelschlager to manufacture woodworking machinery and Corliss engines. Although they achieved some sales success, they were carrying a heavy debt and the brothers were not good businessmen.

From 1901-08-07 Wellesley Maple Leaf

In about 1900 or '01 the Oelschlager Brothers received substantial orders from Buffalo Tool & Machine Co., which had recently opened a branch in Toronto, about 60 miles east of Baden. The brothers failed to deliver because of their financial issues. Two officers of the Buffalo business, Charles Hood and Andrew J. Snow, visited the Baden business and were convinced to invest in order to provide some cash flow. Helping with the sales pitch and also agreeing to put in cash was Oliver Master, a Baden broker who had already invested in the business. There followed a remarkably complex series of financial maneuvers, including the new investors taking control of the business, followed by the 1902 establishment of a new business, the Baden Machinery Manufacturing Co., Ltd. That firm was incorporated to manufacture engines and boilers. It is not clear whether this new business was meant to completely supersede the Oelschlager Bros., but in any event the underlying problem of poor management was not addressed and the new business also foundered.

In the aftermath of Baden Machinery Mfg. Co. going into receivership, Hood and Snow were ordered by the receiver to pay the money they were supposed to pay for the shares in that company. It appears that they had provided cash that went to the Oelschlager Brothers and when the new company was formed they were given shares in proportion to their original investment even though that firm had gone under; the two men had paid other money as well to settle various debts of the business and they felt they had more than earned their shares. Hood and Snow counter-sued and the resulting legal battle went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada which, in a split decision, ruled against Hood and Snow.

Information Sources

  • The firms of Oelschlager Brothers and Baden Machinery Mfg. Co. would hardly be known to exist except for the resulting lawsuit. Much of the information here is from various legal websites that rehash the results of the Supreme Court ruling. A good representative example is the CanLII page on the ruling. Another is the writeup in the Ontario Weekly Reporter.
  • September 1902 Canadian Electrical News reports that W. Oelschlager of Baden had been elected president of the Canadian Association of Stationary Engineers. "Mr. W. Oelschlager, president of the C.A.S.E., is a member of the firm of Oelschlager Bros, 0f Baden, Ont., engineers and machinists and manufacturers of Corliss engines, wood-working machinery, elevators, etc. Within a short time this firm have built up a splendid business. They have now on order six Corliss engines, two elevators, and six carloads of wood-working machinery. They make Corliss engines from 30 to 100 h. p. Mr. Oelschlager has always taken a deep interest in the success of the C.A.S.E., and the honor now bestowed upon him is Well deserved."
  • The name of the names of the brothers come from the reports of the Supreme Court decision.