T. McAvity & Sons (Saint John, N.B.)

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T. McAvity & Sons (Saint John, N.B.)

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company established by 1834


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.


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