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David Findlay of Paisley, Scotland, migrated to Canada and settled in Perth, Ontario, in 1858. Finding that Perth had little work to offer in his trade of moulder, he moved on. With the nonchalant athleticism of the time, he walked the 21 mites to the village of Carleton Place, found that a good moulder could make a living there, and started a small foundry in an old log barn.
Having a total capital of only $30, Findlay had to make most of his own equipment, including a stone-built cupola for smelting iron and a cupola blower. The latter was operated by teams of horses borrowed from neighboring farmers, and hitched to a merry-go-round contraption.
For almost 20 years the Findlay forge produced ploughs and any castings which were needed in the community; and in 1876 David Findlay began the manufacture of stoves. They were an immediate success, as an editorial in the Carleton Place “Herald”, October 16, 1879, attests: “Since the cold mornings have set in we have given Mr. Findlay’s new stove a trial. With one or two sticks of hardwood it will keep up a moderate heat all night, and can be used for either coal or wood.”
Findlay was helped in the foundry by his sons, two of whom, David and A Findlays stoveWilliam, bought the business in 1889. Their father died in 1890, by Which time Findlay stoves were known all over Canada.
David and William operated as a partnership under the name of Findlay Bros., later as Findlay Bros. Co., Limited. In 1932, when members of the third generation were moving into positions of responsibility, the name was changed to Findlays Limited.
David Findlay served as President until his death in 1934, when he was succeeded by Wm. Findlay. On Wm. Findlay’s death in 1944, D. Douglas Findlay became President. He was succeeded by D. Hamilton Findlay, the present President and General Manager, in 1956.
Findlays Limited was purchased in 1965 by Corporation D’Expansion Financiere, of Montreal, becoming a partner in the Corpex Group of industries comprising insurance, construction, appliances and plastics. Management personnel remains unchanged.
Today Findlays Limited manufactures electric and gas ranges, refrigerators and freezers, coalwood stoves and heaters, oil-burning stoves and space heaters, gas space heaters, warm air furnaces and winter conditioning units, and produces cast iron hollow ware and gray iron castings.
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