Thursday, April 5, 2012

We used to make things in this country. #86: Canadian Tap & Die Ltd., Galt Ontario

I recently picked up an older 10-24 tap marked "Hi-Speed Galt Ontario." The city of Galt ceased to exist in 1973 when it was amalgamated with several other municipalities to form Cambridge.





A google search took me to the history page of Taylor Tool Canada.  They're a Canadian manufacturer of taps and dies that have been continuously in business since 1918.  I contacted them, only to learn that the tap was likely made by Canadian Tap and Die Ltd., a different company which closed in the mid-Seventies.  All I could find on the web were the following photos of a tap and die set being sold on Kijiji.  




The Wells Brothers Company, which made taps and dies out of Greenfield, Massachusetts, was bought by Greenfield Tap and Die in 1912.  Interesting, the Wells Brothers Canadian company bought Canadian Tap and Die in 1914, assuming their "Little Giant" trade name:


Canadian Machinery & Metalworking, 1914

After 1916, Greenfield Tap and Die (GTD) discontinued the use of the Wells Brothers name in the U.S., although it seems to have continued in use in Canada.  (For instance, in the January 1919 issue of Hardware Merchandising there is an advertisement that reads:  "Wells Bros. Co. of Canada, Limited, Galt, OntarioCanadian Factory of the Greenfield Tap and Die Corporation.")
In 1943 the Galt plant was sold to Canadian interests, where it continued to manufacture taps and dies as well as to act as a sales agent for GTD.  I think it's likely that Can-Tap was that company.  GTD's fortunes declined following the Second World War, and the company had disappeared by the early 1990's. If Can-Tap was still tied to them, this probably contributed to their disappearance as well.

Below, a "Lightning" drill bit made by GTD in Galt:



1 comment:

Mike said...

I have a weakness for Little Giant Tap and Die Sets, I have accumulated several of them from Craigslist. I always thought they were totally antiquated given their huge size and amount of metal in them. However I found a Greenfield /Vermont 2016 catalogue with them 2016 and a 2018 Widia GTD catalogue selling whole sets and replacement under the Little Giant name. Widia GTD has taken over Greenfield/Vermont thus continuing the convoluted hx of the firm.
Supposedly the merits of the design are several, you can adjust the dies easily, you can remove the dies to sharpen them, you can reverse the dies and obviously you can replace them, this according to the catalogue.