Fonds MC252 - T. McAvity & Sons Limited fonds

Title proper

T. McAvity & Sons Limited fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the name of the incorporated company.

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  • 1879-1961 (Creation)
    T. McAvity & Sons (Saint John, N.B.)

Physical description

4.5 m of textual records

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Name of creator

(company established by 1834)

Administrative history

T. McAvity & Sons Limited can trace its origins to an ironmongers business which James McAvity opened in Saint John in 1834. In 1838 he added to his business by purchasing a hardware shop owned by James Hendricks, a local merchant and his former employer. The McAvity establishments expanded again in 1863 when James' sons, James H. and William, established brass and iron foundries which produced bronze bells, rudder braces for sailing vessels, and other items.

The Great Fire of 1877 destroyed the McAvity shops and foundries, but the businesses were soon revived. The firm shifted its focus from the declining shipbuilding industry to the rising railway industry. The new foundries manufactured plumbing material along with bearings, inspirators, whistles, locomotive valves and other products for the railroads. In 1907 the businesses were incorporated as T. McAvity & Sons Limited.

After the Great War the foundries, machine shop, and head office were brought together in a factory on the outskirts of Saint John that had produced shells for the war. Branch offices of the company were soon opened elsewhere in Canada and overseas (London). In 1955 a foundry was purchased in Medicine Hat, Alberta. G. Clifford McAvity, a grandson of Thomas McAvity, sold the family business to Crane Canada Limited in 1961.

Custodial history

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

Scope and content

This fonds consists of the administrative and financial records of T. McAvity & Sons Limited, dating from 1879 when the firm was reorganized after the Great Fire. It includes minutes of directors and shareholders meetings, general ledgers, statements of profit and loss, records of mortgages and bonds, records of sales, travellers' accounts, inventories, machine tool pattern books, appraisals, stock certificates, and dividend books.

In addition, there are unemployment insurance and workmen's compensation records, statistical reports, correspondence and government reports (some relating to the Second World War years), and a typescript copy of the history of the firm. A few newspaper clippings and several photographs are also included.

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by D. G. Earle, plant manager of McAvity-Crane Canada Limited, Saint John, NB, 10 June 1977. M1977.20

Also donated by P. J. Fitzpatrick, Fredericton, NB, 13 January 1986. M1986.9
T. McAury & Sons patents, 1885-1904


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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No restrictions

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An inventory is available.

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