Fonds MC68 - McFarlane Wagon Company

Title proper

McFarlane Wagon Company

General material designation

  • Textual record

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  • Source of title proper: Title is based on the contents of the fonds.

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  • 1915-1926 (Creation)
    McFarlane Wagon Company (Nashwaaksis, N.B.)

Physical description

2 cm of textual records and drawings

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Name of creator

(Established in 1830, officially ceased in 1955)

Administrative history

McFarlane's Wagon Works was begun in 1830 by Peter McFarlane or MacFarlane (1803-1872), a blacksmith who had emigrated from Scotland to Fredericton, New Brunswick in 1827. He was succeeded by his son, George McFarlane (1833-1914), and subsequently by his grandson, William L. McFarlane (1865-1932), who incorporated the business as the McFarlane Wagon Company in 1914, and served as its president and manager. Another of George's sons, James Walter McFarlane, acted as company secretary-treasurer. He may have been a designer or engineer for the company. The spelling of the family name appears to have changed since the company was incorporated as the current generation uses the form MacFarlane. In 1955 the letters patent for McFarlane Wagon Company Limited was cancelled.

The factory was located on the MacFarlane Brook in Nashwaakis, New Brunswick (now part of Fredericton). The brook provided water to power the machinery used in the manufacturing process. The factory was switched to steam, and later electric power. An iron foundry was originally part of the complex, but was later moved to Fredericton where it became the MacFarlane, Anderson and Thompson Iron Foundry. Heavy wagons for the farming and logging trades were manufactured, and many varieties of lighter and specially designed wagons, sloven wagons, carriages, sleighs, sleds, snowploughs and replacement parts were also built using local materials wherever possible. At the height of production, over 300 wagons were produced per year and sold to customers as far away as Winnipeg, Manitoba and Ireland.

Custodial history

Information about the custody of these records prior to acquisition is incomplete.

Scope and content

This fonds consists of a folder of documents that were once kept in a three-ring binder. The documents appear to have been used to estimate the cost of parts and labour for manufacturing wagons by the McFarlane Wagon Company. There are lists of the prices of raw materials and parts, with detailed notations of the time taken to build specific parts of wagons. Also included are some detailed designs for wagons and wagon parts for many different purposes, such as the Cornwallis slovens, sloven wagons, farm wagons, crank wagons, spring slovens, gigger wagons, grocery express wagons, lumber trucks, mill wagons, and dump wagons. Sometimes the name of the customer who ordered the wagon is given. Some of the designs are signed with the initials J.W. McF., probably for James Walter McFarlane. A few invoices from suppliers and lists of materials purchased from suppliers are also included.

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated to the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick by Mr. C. Tracy MacFarlane, of Moncton, N.B., on 1 December 1978.


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Restrictions on access

No restrictions

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Finding aids

An inventory is available.

Associated materials

There are some records of the McFarlane Wagon Company in MC300 York-Sunbury Historical Society collection, MS41/13 and MS41/15. The Archives also holds MC3067 Charles Tracy MacFarlane fonds which contains information on the McFarlane family.

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