D. Moore Company

Location:119-121 King Street East, Hamilton, Ontario

D. Moore Company buildingThe D. Moore Company was the oldest stove manufacturer in Hamilton enduring long enough to see the region grow from a small town into the premiere manufacturing city of Canada. The origin of the company goes back to the end of the War of 1812 when Edward Jackson, founder, came from the United States settling first in Ancaster, where he started a tinsmith business. His products included pots, cups, eavetroughing and other tinware products. Jackson took on a partner, Mr. Nickerson, who added notions, patent medicines, jewellery and other items to the company’s stock. Jackson moved his company to Hamilton, then a growing village, and took on Dennis Moore as an apprentice, at the tender age of fourteen.  In 1833, Moore became a partner in the firm.

In the early days of the business, Jackson sold his tinware on a retail and wholesale basis. When Moore took over the company after the founder retired, he expanded the business and realized more ambitious plans. In 1821 Moore built a warehouse at the corner of Catharine Street North and Robert Street and the name of the company was officially changed to D. Moore & Company. In 1869, the prosperous company employed approximately fifty people and was able to produce goods valued at $150,000. Jackson eventually died in 1872 and Moore was made Executive Head.

D. Moore Company stoveThe D. Moore Company established retail facilities at 121-125 King Street East, which sold everything that the company handled. This included coal and wood heaters, ranges, tinware, and some imported English enamelware. The head office was located above the store and the tinware was manufactured at the rear.

The market for stoves was continually growing and came to encompass other competitors such as Burrows, Stewart & Milne, Gurney Tilden Company, Bowes Jamieson Company, and the Copp Brothers. In order to remain competitive, Moore sent company representatives across the country to sell his goods.

Moore benefited from the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway, which opened new markets up to the Company. At the turn of the century, such well-known men as John Burns, Merrick, and Anderson were travellers for Dennis Moore. With the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway, John Burns went to Vancouver where he acted as Moore’s distributor. The other two journeyed to Winnipeg where they acted as wholesale agents continuing under the firm name of Merrick Anderson & Company. They lasted until 1917 when Ashdown Incorporated bought them out. A later traveller, W.W. Robinson was given interest in the firm by Moore. In order to satisfy the demands of his customers, the D. Moore Company took its stoves and tinware to the market place on wagons, first using the barter system. When money was not available, the products were traded for skins, pelts, and wool.

In March of 1892 the company was faced with a strike. The stove manufacturing company and the union were at war, and the employees left their jobs. In response, the manufacturers brought in experienced non-union workers. The union successfully bargained with these workers and stopped them from crossing the picket line. The union halted production. In the end, the matter was settled and business carried on as before.

Advertisement for D. Moore & CompanyOn January 10, 1910, an article was printed announcing that the D. Moore Company on King Street near Catharine was sold for $60,000. The head office moved down to the further enlarged stove plant and the manufacturing of tin was discontinued altogether. The facilities of the head office moved further down the street and enlarged the stove plant.

Promotion of the company’s products was extensive through the use of brochures, advertisements, and demonstrations. The store, Greens of Hamilton Limited located at the corner of King and Catharine Streets, held demonstrations for the D. Moore Company. By 1922 the company’s line included electric ranges and cooking stoves as well as the old line of coal and wood stoves. A later line would include hot air furnaces.

Edward Moore, the son of Dennis Moore by his second wife, became Secretary-Treasurer of the firm. W.A. Robinson became a Partner and joined Moore as both Partner and Vice-President. When Moore retired, Robinson became acting General Manager to the company. Mr. W.A. Robinson continued as President until his death at the age of 86 years, in August 1921. After Moore’s death, the company was recognized as a joint-stock company.

Before Moore’s death, the firm had branched out into the electric fireplace grates. By 1922, they were making a wonderful line of electric ranges and cook-stoves as well as the old line of coal and wood stoves. They later introduced a line of hot air furnaces.

Towards the end of the company’s career, it was faced with financial struggles. The central location of the Moore Company was subject to high taxes and was required to pay higher wages to their employees. This increased the cost of electric elements and patents and caused the company to have their back to the wall. In order to stay in business, the company had to find a new location. The financial problems of the company were further aggravated by both World Wars which created higher taxes and limited the availability of materials. Foreign competition followed the Wars, threatening domestic production.

In 1957 an announcement appeared in the Spectator announcing that the Happy Thoughts Foundry of Brantford had purchased Hamilton’s oldest industries. The Brantford Company had taken over the stock-in-trade and good will of the company and foundry belonging to Moore. The company ensured that the stoves would continue to be manufactured at their plant in Brantford. "The name Moore on any cooking device is a recognized hallmark in the kitchens of Canada."


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