Fonds - Lock Companies of Belleville fonds

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Lock Companies of Belleville fonds

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  • 1839-1985? (Creation)
    International Hardware Company

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Physical description

1.2m of textual records including 1 box of files.
1 large plastic sign
1 key

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Administrative history

Russwin was formed in 1839 by Henry Russel and Cornelius Erwin in New Britain, Connecticut. P & F Corbin was formed in the same city in 1849 by Philip and Frank Corbin in partnership with Ed Doen. The two companies merged in 1902 to form the American Hardware Company which continued to produce locks under the two former division names.

In 1885, William Charles Springer opened a building hardware factory in Peterborough, Ontario. In 1901 he moved to Belleville, Ontario and leased the Chown factory, establishing the Belleville Hardware Company at 237 Pinnacle Street. He left the Belleville Hardware Company in 1910 and after receiving 250 shares worth $100 each for Brass and Steel Goods Ltd from H.C. Hunt, started the Springer Lock Company located at 180 Coleman Street in Belleville. From 1910 to 1917, W.C. Springer was the Managing Director, while Sir Mackenzie Bowell was President. Springer took over both positions after Bowell's death. In 1910, the Belleville Hardware Company changed its name to The Belleville Lock Company.

In 1931, Springer Lock Company was sold to the American Hardware Company and began to make locks under the division name of Corbin Lock Company of Canada. The Belleville Lock Company was also bought out at this time becoming the Belleville-Sargent and Co. Limited.

Both the Belleville-Sargent Lock Company and the Peterborough Lock Manufacturing Company were bought by the American Hardware Company in 1947. In 1956 the American Hardware Company was renamed the International Hardware Company, with the factories in Canada operating under the name IHC of Canada Limited. It continued to manufacture locks at the 180 Coleman location until its closure. The majority of the buildings on the site were demolished in 1989.

Custodial history

Donated to the archives upon the closure of the International Hardware Company of Canada's factory located at 180 Coleman St. At least one Springer catalogue was donated by James F. Gill who had owned it since 1936. Prior to that it had been issued to K.N. Jerose, pattern maker, who had been issued it on August 15, 1930. A later accession (2015-56) included catalogues, photographs and a Corbin sign which had belonged to Emhart employee Robert (Bob) Long, donated by Joan Long. A Corbin key was donated by Gerry Boyce in 2015.

Scope and content

A mix of catalogues showcasing locks and associated building hardware for all the companies involved, but focusing on Corbin. Box of files includes inter company correspondence, newspaper clippings, log books, photographs and shares. A number of other books include a job book for cylinder keys, manufacturing order books and department specific log books. Two awards are also included, 1 for the efforts of a flood control team in 1981 and 1 safety award received in 1960. The fonds also includes a plastic Corbin sign and a key made at the plant.

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Entered by Nicholas VanExan, June 25, 2015.

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