- Corporate body
The Fawcett Foundry was opened in 1852 by John and Charles Fawcett on the corner of Main and King Streets in Sackville, New Brunswick as a small tin shop producing stoves. The establishment of the Intercolonial Railway in 1869 allowed the foundry to expand because it gave them a way to ship goods worldwide.
In December of 1893, the original building was destroyed by a fire but was rebuilt in February of 1894. The costs associated with the rebuilding affected employees’ salaries causing a strike later in 1894. Though not free of difficulty, the early twentieth century marked the Foundry’s shift from its beginnings as a tin shop to a wartime materials manufacturer to the enamel stoves and sanitaryware manufacturing for which it became known.
With the business success from World War 1, Fawcett Foundry underwent a rebranding to Enamel & Heating Products Ltd. in 1928. That same year they expanded into Amherst, Nova Scotia with Plant #2, then the next year, Victoria, British Columbia where they bought out the Albion Iron Works Company, Plant #3. Their expansion also allowed Enamel and Heating to keep up with exporting their products internationally, which was increasingly commonplace in the 1930s. They exported to countries including New Zealand, Argentina, and South Africa. Sackville, New Brunswick, alongside the Fawcett Foundry, Plant #1, remained the company headquarters and was under the direction of Dr. Norman A. Hesler. Hesler helped lead the Fawcett rebranding and reorganization, and he served as President and Managing Director of Enamel & Heating Products Ltd. for many years.
Enamel and Heating was very successful with a total countrywide workforce of 800, including 250 employees in Sackville. As well as the foundries they owned several branches including the Fundy and Chapman branches in New Brunswick and a Quebec branch. Representatives of Enamel and Heating presented at exhibitions across Canada – including the Hanrower Exhibition, exhibitions in Vancouver, British Columbia; St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador; Bridgewater and Halifax, Nova Scotia; and the Rand Show and Empire Exhibition in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The company was hit hard by the Depression, but World War II contracts helped keep the Sackville-based company alive. Enamel & Heating Products Ltd. devoted roughly 80% of its operation to fill war orders and even added a new building at their Sackville location to accommodate the increased production of aircraft parts, ammunition boxes, windlasses, and bilge pumps. In 1950 the company acquired the Canadian Car & Foundry Company in Amherst, Nova Scotia. After a year of operation under the name Atlantic Industries Limited, the company was fully absorbed into Enamel & Heating Products and became its Plant #4, housing both steel and aircraft divisions.
Due to changes in South African export policies, Lewis Appliance Corporation took over manufacturing of Enamel and Heating products to be sold in South Africa. The partnership with Lewis Appliances proved fruitful and Enamel and Heating, in conjunction with Lewis Appliances, hosted a contest for their Ellis de Luxe stove in South Africa in 1958.
In 1982 Enamel and Heating closed due to declining popularity of wood heating, the economy of the late 1970s, and competition from larger companies. The province bought out the assets of Enamel and Heating and their closest competitor Enterprise Foundry, also in Sackville, New Brunswick that went into receivership that same year. The old Enamel and Heating buildings were sold to Mount Allison University in 1986 for one dollar and demolished that June. A much smaller foundry opened on the old site of the Enterprise foundry and as an homage to both of the town’s foundries operated under the name Enterprise Fawcett Foundry Limited until its closing after a fire in 2012.