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THE McCLARY MANUFACTURING COMPANY
The McClary Mfg. Co., is an institution which we think can be truthfully called one hundred per cent Canadian.
In the year 1847 John McClary began his apprenticeship as a tinsmith in a small tinshop in what is now the city of London, Ont., being then 18 years of age and without experience or ability of any kind. Three years later he associated himself with his brother Oliver and began business under the firm of J. & O. McClary. Tinware was of course their line.
In those days there were no railroads and for that matter few roads of any kind which were of use for more than a portion of the year. The population was also very sparse, and the demand for tinware insufficient for a very large business and as a consequence plows were added to their line, the castings being brought from a small foundry which was located in London.
While the demand for plows was brisk the outlook did not appear very bright, so the plow business was abandoned, the little foundry purchased arid added to the business and the manufacture of stoves began. In 1853 the Great Western Railroad was built through London, thus opening up a bigger field for the sale of stoves, and changing the system from
peddling to supplying the goods through dealers in the different localities. In 1879 their first branch warehouse was built in Toronto, and in 1880 a second one in Montreal to be followed by one in Winnipeg. Each year brought increased business and in 1894 a branch was built at Vancouver, one at St.John N.B. in 1901, and one at Hamilton in 1902. In 1909 branches were built at Calgary and Saskatoon and in 1910 one was built at Edmonton.
Needless to say, this enormous business could not be carried on without increasing the plant at London. Years ago the buildings covered every inch of space on the ground, and the entire plant was turned over to the manufacture of enamelware ani other lines which the company manufactures, and an entire new stove foundry built in a different part of the city.
The remarkable development and rise of McClary’s would form a very interesting chapter in any written history of the industrial progress of Canada. To John McClary himself must be given the largest share of the honor since it has been due to his outstanding personality and unusual business foresight that McClary’s stand to-day in the unique and proud position of the largest manufacturers of stoves and ranges in the Empire.
The following are typical makers marks for McClary Manufacturing. It is unknown when the change was made to put the ‘s on the McClary name, some surmise it was after the merger with GSW in 1927 but advertisements suggest possibly in the early 1920’s.
For dating McClary products, go here: http://castironcanada.com/index.php/en/cast-age/mcclary-dating
For a partial list of McClary part numbers, see here: http://castironcanada.com/index.php/en/serial-s/mcclary-part-numbers
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