National Lock c1915

In 1903 the Fader Screwless Door Knob Co. purchased land on Barrie Road to open a factory to manufacture locks, door knobs and builders hardware.

The property at the south end of Wyandotte Street was known as the Thomson property and sometimes used as a circus ground. One of the Ramsey Carriage Factory buildings from Coldwater Road was moved down and fitted for a factory. By the fall of 1905 the new factory was in full swing employing twenty five hands under the management of H. A. Croxall. The next year the Fader Co., known locally as “The Lock Works”, amalgamated with Imperial Hardware. Co. Toronto and became National Hardware Ltd.  The plant continued to expand its line of quality door locks for the next several years. With the outbreak of WW1 new presses and other machinery were installed and production was switched over to help with the war effort.  In 1915 National Hardware was awarded a contract to manufacture 20,000 shrapnel shells and to complete the order within six months. The company continued to prosper after the war and maintained a staff of 50 to 60 workers until the late 1920’s when the depression took hold of the economy. Many local businessmen invested in the company to help our local economy. In 1928 the company was reorganized as National Locks Ltd. The directors were Mr. Jos. Dunn, H.S. Skinner (Mgr.), D.C. Thomson (VP) who owned the flour mill, F. H. Horne a downtown insurance agent, J.T. Mulcahy and Thomas Wright. In 1930 they bought out the Canadian Locks Co. and moved a rail carload of equipment to Orillia. Despite the effort of some of Orillia’s best businessmen the company closed at the height of the depression in 1934.  This staff photo is not dated but is believed to be c1915. Of interest is the age of several young boys employed at that time.

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