Fonds F 127 - Barber Turbine and Foundries Ltd. fonds

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Barber Turbine and Foundries Ltd. fonds

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CA ON00009 F 127

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  • 1872-1955 (Creation)

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Physical description

6.3 m of textual records
83 photographs : prints and negatives

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Administrative history

Barber Turbine and Foundries Ltd., founded in 1867, manufactured water turbines in Meaford, Ontario, eventually moving some operations to Port Colborne, Ontario which operated under the name of Barber Hydraulic Turbine Ltd.

The Barber Turbine & Foundries Ltd. of Meaford, Ontario, was founded on July 1, 1867, when Charles Barber bought the Georgian Foundry. He immediately began making water turbines and produced his first, named the Canadian Turbine, in the company's founding year. This turbine won a bronze award for best water wheel at the Philadelphia Exhibition of 1876. Around the turn of century, a Swedish company by the name of Boving opened a branch in Lindsay, Ontario. By 1928 it had run into financial difficulty, and in 1929 sold out patents, designs and equipment to Barber Turbines.

Charles Barber's son Tom took over the business from his father, and Charles Barber's grandson, Herbert Hall (son of Charles Barber's daughter and a Mr. Hall, a draftsman at the foundry) took over the business after Tom Barber's death. He operated the foundry until October of 1966, when he sold it, mostly to local shareholders. In February of 1967 it became a limited company, and Herbert Hall served as a consultant until his death later that year.

In 1973 the machine shop operations and the foundry operations were separated. The former was transferred to Port Colborne, Ontario, while the latter remained in Meaford operating under the name of Georgian Bay Foundry Limited (name changed September 26, 1973). This company continued to operate until 1987 when the foundry was again sold. On December 23, 1987, the foundry began operations under the name of Georgian Bay Kennedy Limited. As of December 1989, this corporation was still in business, with its head office in Owen Sound, Ontario. The machine shop went to Port Colborne in 1973. It was to operate under the name of Barber Hydraulic Turbine Ltd. This company was originally incorporated by Ontario as Eleven Fifty- Five Leslie Ltd. on January 28, 1971. The name change to Barber Hydraulic Turbine Ltd. occurred February 19, 1973. The head office for the corporation was in Toronto, Ontario. However, by January of 1980, the head office was in Port Colborne, Ontario. This corporation was dissolved on September 14, 1981.

Barber Hydraulic Turbine Inc. was incorporated on October 11, 1984. The successor to this company is called Barber Water Power Products, in operation as of December of 1989.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of records created by Barber Turbine and Foundries Ltd. during the course of everyday business. These include: financial records, management records, engineering and design records, reference material, Tom Barber's school notebooks, and photographs. Fonds contains the following series: GENERAL ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL RECORDS, 1872-1955 (SERIES A): Journals, 1882-1943 (Series A-1) Ledgers, 1882-1909 (Series A-2) General Ledger and Transfer Sheets, 1844-1954 (Series A-3) Accounts Sheets, 1910-1943 (Series A-4) Day Books, 1882-1899 (Series A-5) Cashbooks, 1909-1933 (Series A-6) Bills Books (Payable-Receivable), 1889-1939 (Series A-7) Local Accounts, 1915-1943 (Series A-8) Timebooks, 1888-1940 (Series A-9) Bankbooks, 1885-1934 (Series A-10) Shop Order Book, 1843-1955 (Series A- 11). MANAGEMENT AND ENGINEERING RECORDS, 1901-1950'S. (SERIES B): Blotter copy letter books, 1901-1909 (Series B-1) Trip Diaries (engineering and job notes), 1901-1950's (Series B-2) Design Notebooks, n.d. (Series B-3) Rust Furnace Company Engineering Plans, n.d. (Series B-4) Turbine Installation and Repair Record Books, 1872-1928 (Series B-5) Miscellaneous, n.d. (Series B-6) REFERENCE MATERIAL, N.D. (SERIES C): Trade journals, catalogues, manuals, advertising booklets, n.d. (Series C- 1) Tom Barber School notebooks and engineering notebooks, 1897, 1910-1911 (Series D) PHOTOGRAPHS (PRINTS AND GLASS SLIDES) (SERIES E).

For a more detailed description, use this link to the Archives of Ontario's descriptive database:

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Fonds was donated to the Archives of Ontario in April of 1971 by the company.


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Some records are available on microfilm.

Restrictions on access

Glass plate negatives are closed for conservation reasons. Copy prints are available for consultation.

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Copyright held by creator. These materials cannot be published without permission of the copyright holder.

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For a more detailed description, use this link to the Archives of Ontario's descriptive database:

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