Monday, January 4, 2016

We used to make things in this country. #223: wooden produce baskets

Hard to believe that this product could withstand up to 175 pounds per square inch before bursting.

Oh oh!  I've been using the basket to hold old radio tubes.  Still, ignorance of the law is no excuse! Book him, Danno!

From a time before fruit came wrapped in plastic.  In the very first issue of Canadian Woodworker, dated January 1919, it was announced that Canadian Wood Products Limited was to build a factory at 1000 Gerrard Street East in Toronto.  Designed by the architectural firm of Hynes, Feldman & Watson, the factory would be two storeys high, made of concrete and brick, and boast electric lighting and steam heating, all for the then princely sum of $45,000.

Times were good for wooden products.  In the very same issue we find the following notice:
"J. E. Ray, Canadian Trade Commissioner in Manchester, England, was a visitor to Toronto recently. Mr. Ray is very optimistic as to the prospects facing the Canadian woodworking industry. There is a marked shortage of wooden ware of all kinds in Britain today and British manufacturers are very anxious to secure large quantities of Canadian wood products. As an instance, a Manchester firm asked him to inquire into the prospects of securing 2,000,000 blocks 2 inches square to be used for teaching children the alphabet. There is a marked demand for tool handles,washboards, tubs and wooden toys including blocks, toy houses, wooden trains, cart wheels, checkers and chess sets. Mr. Ray states that the shortage of furniture is very marked and that the stocks of doors, windows and building material are very low. In his opinion the markets of the Old Country are open to Canadian manufacturers for the next three or four years and after that competition will be keener and it will be a case of quality, service and price." 
Jumping forward in time, in December 1955 Canadian Wood Products Ltd. bought an 11,000 square foot plant in Victoria Harbour. Previously occupied by the Great Lakes Fur Dressers and Dyers Limited, the new company planned to expand it to 14,000 square feet and to hire 50 employees.

Sometime since, the company disappeared.

The Acme Paper Products Company Limited may still be in business in North York (Toronto).

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