Thursday, October 10, 2013

Vanished Tool Brands: Beaver Tradesman



I found this package of utility knife blades in a thrift store.  Apparently "Tradesman" was Beaver Lumber's store brand, made for them by some unknown (but hopefully Canadian) tool manufacturer.  Somehow, I doubt I can depend on the Lifetime Warranty.

The brand was originally applied to "Axes and parts therefore; hammers, staplers; socket sets and sockets; wrenches, pliers, screwdrivers, nutdrivers; saws and blades; planes, torches, soldering tools, glue guns; snips, knives; marking, measuring and levelling tools, namely tape measures, levels, squares, chalklines, marking gauges, stair gauges, bevels and plumb bobs; clamps and vises; tool pouches, aprons and work gloves; power tool parts; counter sinks; saws and blades; sandpaper; grinders."  Given the size of the Beaver chain (see below), you'd think Canadians would be tripping over these old tools.  However, it's the first example I've ever seen.  A google search turns up only one person in New Brunswick selling some wood chisels with this brand.  Where did they all go?




Dating back to 1906, Beaver Lumber was once Canada's fourth largest building supply chain.  I can well remember going there with my dad when I was a kid.  The company was founded in Saskatchewan, but spread across the country to include 130 stores at its height.  Below, from another hardware package I turned up, indicating that the company was eventually headquartered out of Willowdale (Toronto) Ontario:


Beaver Lumber was finally purchased by Molson, the Montreal brewing giant, in 1972, which sold the retail chain to Home Hardware in 1999.

The original Beaver Lumber office and store in Wolseley, Saskatchewan is now a heritage building operated by the local museum.  It was restored in 1980 to be as original as possible.


Source:  Canada's Historic Places

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