Tuesday, June 4, 2013

We used to make things in this country. #111: Smith & Stone Inc., Georgetown, Ontario

I recently found this packaged night-light at a thrift store:

Digging through assorted drawers in my shop, I found other S&S electrical products:

In 1919 William Smith and "Benny" Stone founded Smith and Stone in Georgetown, Ontario.  The company was created to make electrical wiring devices to supply the huge demand as access to electrical energy spread across the country.  The original factory was originally constructed from an existing building called "The Glass Gardens":

c. 1910.  Source:  Halton Images
In 1923, they installed beehive kilns to make their own porcelain, replacing these with a continuous tunnel kiln in 1935, the first in Canada.  In 1936, they were also the first company to use the dry mix method for making porcelain, although filter pressed clay continued to be used for some products until 1945.  In 1944, the company was acquired by Duplate Canada Limited.  By 1948, they had expanded into the manufacture of electrocardiograms, radar equipment and vending machines, and in 1954 created a separate company, Vendomatic, to focus on the vending machine line.  In 1953, the main factory occupied 175,00 square feet, more than double its original size.  In 1956, Smith and Stone moved into thermoplastics.  The company continued to focus on wiring devices over the following decades, but also turned to importing at least some of their products:

The company closed its doors in 1992 and the factory was subsequently demolished.  Google Streetview shows its location as a fenced-in lot grown over with trees and brush.

Thanks to the Esquesing Historical Society for the information above.

A Smith & Stone machine.  Source:  Halton Images

Assorted pictures of the company at The Georgetown Vault


Anonymous said...

Great products they were.My father , a lifer at Double Diamond S , gave me a 1936 catalogue No. 6. and a few other pieces.
M Hansen

The Duke said...

If you'd like to scan any pages from the catalogue and send them to us, we'd be happy to post them!

Unknown said...

Were you able to get a hold of any smith and stone catalogs. I have been looking for pdf copies for a while and have not been able to find anything

Mister G said...

I found some assorted pictures here; http://www.thegeorgetownvault.com/smith-and-stone.html

Unknown said...

Thanks, I’ve seen these pictures as well. I just wish I could find a full catalog somewhere. I have gotten into collecting old switches, receptacles, and other electrical stuff as I have been doing work on my older house and really enjoy reading older catalogs.