Page 1 of 3

New Find? - CD 102 Ness, McLaren & Bate Montreal

PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 4:33 pm
by Brett Bloxam
I recently picked up an aqua CD 102 insulator embossed on the front with Ness, McLaren & Bate and on the back with Montreal. I haven't seen this insulator before and couldn't locate any documentation on it. Ness, McLaren & Bates were in the telephone supply business in the 1890's in Montreal. They listed "pony" insulators in their supply catalogue. He's a link to it

The mold is almost identical to the NW&BIT Co CD 102 insulators. In the May 1994, Canadian Insulator Collector there's an article by Mark Lauckner that describes on pages 10 and 11 the blot out insulators with a comma on one side and a period on the other. Mark's description is consistent with the Ness, McLaren & Bate insulator.

Let me know if this is new information.

I have included some pictures as well

Re: New Find? - CD 102 Ness, McLaren & Bate Montreal

PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 7:08 pm
by Chris Minicola
Wow, Brett! That is an amazing find!! A completely new embossing. If you're able to make it to the fall swap please bring it along, I think everyone would love to see it.

Re: New Find? - CD 102 Ness, McLaren & Bate Montreal

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:17 am
by Chris Minicola
I did a little more digging. The Montreal city directories are online at

It looks like they were dealing in Telephone and Electrical supplies from about 1889 to 1907.

Ness and Co first shows up in the 1885 -1886 Montreal Directory as Ness and Co, Carlington, Eng. Manufacturers of Thymo-cresol, F.J Prior, sole agent. 759 Craig.

In 1889 - 1890 They are listed as Ness T.W. Dealer in Dodge Wood Split Pulleys, Electrical Supplies, Typewriters, Cash Registers, Copy-graphs and office Specialities 694 Craig, Branch 368 St. James.

In 1890 - 1891 They show up as Ness T.W. Canadian headquarters for Electrical Supplies, and dealer in Dodge Wood Split pulleys. 644 Craig, h (home) 205 Versailles

In 1891 - 1892 They drop everything else and speicalize in Telephones and electrical supplies: Ness T.W., Manufactuere of: Telephones, Annunciators, Electric bells, etc. The CANADIAN HEADQUARTERS for ELECTRICAL SUPPLIES of every description. Tel.: Bell 1100; Fed. 584. 644 Craig St. house 678 Sherbrooke st. (Note they got a phone! actually 2 as there were 2 different competing telephone systems in Montreal at this time and they wanted to service customers on both systems)

1895 - 1896 was the first year they show up as Ness, McLaren and Bate: Manufacturers of Telephones, Annunciators, Electric Bells and Electric Light Supplies, 749 Craig St. T.W. Ness' residence is listed as 211 Mance

In 1898 - 1899 they change address: Ness, McLaren and Bate, Mfrs. of Telephones and Electrical Supplies, Contractors for Electrical Light Wiring, Etc., Bell Tel. Main 1100, Merchants 674. 419 St. James St., Corner Craig

In 1903 - 1904 They change addresses again: Ness, McLaren and Bate Telephones, Telegraph Instruments, Annunciators, Bells, Batteries, & c. Electric Light and Bell Wiring. Repairs a speciality 732 Dorchester, cor Bleury. Long Distance Tel Main 1100

The location looks the same in 1906 but the address changes to 230 Dorchester st. West, cor. Bleury.

In 1908 - 1909 they are no longer listed, but at the same address there is listed the Canada Electric Co (230 Dorchester West) - Canada Electric Co, Lacasse Rousseu, Mngr. Mnfrs, and dealers in Electric Fixtures and Electric Supplies. Office and Factory 230 Dorchester West. Bell. Tel. 722

Re: New Find? - CD 102 Ness, McLaren & Bate Montreal

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:01 pm
by Brett Bloxam
Chris, thanks for researching this company. I'll bring it to the fall swap!


Re: New Find? - CD 102 Ness, McLaren & Bate Montreal

PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:45 am
by Chris Minicola
Great, looking forward to seeing it in person. It might be a long shot but if anyone has the 102 with the comma and blot out it would be nice to compare them side by side.

I was just looking at google maps to see what the locations look like today. Dorchester Blvd was renamed Rene Levesque Blvd in 2007, so that location is at the corner of Bleury and Rene Levesque Blvd: ... c&t=m&z=16

Craig Street's name has been changed too, in 1976 it was renamed Saint Antoine Street. Also, St James Street is now known as Saint Jacques Street. Confused yet? There seems to be a pattern here of renaming English sounding streets... Anyways, this one is even more difficult to pin down as the two streets run parallel for some distance then they merge.

Re: New Find? - CD 102 Ness, McLaren & Bate Montreal

PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:06 am
by Pony102

What a huge and significant find for the Canadian pony insulator collecting community!! I wish you had found this piece before I published my Canadian pony book a few months ago. Your find would have made a nice addition to the information I printed on the NWBIT pony. Based on your pictures, I would suggest that you have found what is blotted out on Styles II and III of the NWBIT insulator defined in Mark Lauckner's 1994 article and probably solves an ongoing mystery.

It appears to me that the NWBIT was made in a mold that was originally used to make salesman samples or insulators for company advertisement. I would guess that is why the insulator's skirt is thinner than other Canadian ponies. Maybe it was not initially intended to be used in service. When NWBIT put in an order or several orders at different times, Ness, McLaren & Bate didn't have a new mold made but remanufactured the original mold (maybe several times) to fill NWBIT's order or orders.

Your find really excites me and makes me more determined to continue to work to solve the unanswered questions surrounding the NWBIT. Why would Ness, McLaren & Bate blot out all the letters in the mold and leave the comma, found on several styles, and leave the period after the blotted out MONTREAL on the reverse on another style? What glass house produced this product? I do not see a similarity in the NWBIT insulator's glass quality and feel comparing it to other Canadian ponies. Brett, you probably have found the biggest piece to the NWBIT puzzle. Maybe your find will lead the way in solving the other pieces to the puzzle.

Is the skirt on your insulator as thin as the skirts on the NWBIT embossed insulators?

Thanks for reporting your find and the pictures you have provided.

Dudley Ellis

Re: New Find? - CD 102 Ness, McLaren & Bate Montreal

PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:19 pm
by novascotiaglass
That is a sweet find. Just when you think "they" have all been found, something new and exciting pops up.

Great find Brett. Thanks for sharing with the rest of the hobby.


Re: New Find? - CD 102 Ness, McLaren & Bate Montreal

PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:43 pm
by cdnbeehive
Wow... mind boggling... Still proves that there are new things to be found in the hobby.

What is amazing to think is that there could be others out there, and so far not one other has surfaced. I am sure somewhere in a long abandoned landfill in Montreal there are many more, probably buried deep under buildings where no one will ever find them again.

Look forward to seeing it at the swap!

Re: New Find? - CD 102 Ness, McLaren & Bate Montreal

PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:26 pm
by Brett Bloxam
Thank you for all the positive feedback on this insulator and the excellent research and information provided.

The insulator was purchased at a junk shop in Southern Ontario. I wish I had more details on where it was originally found and used but unfortunately the person I bought it off of didn't know where or when he got it. From the inventory, I suspect they buy job lots at auctions.

I was asked about the condition. The only flaw is a tiny nick on the wire ridge. There's some dirt in the top of the pinhole and in the threads. Colour is a little more green than the pictures show.

I was asked for a picture of the base which I have included. It's very thin, similar to the NW&BIT's. The top of the pinhole has a glass dot, also similar to the NW&BIT's

Keep the research and information coming!

Thanks again

Re: New Find? - CD 102 Ness, McLaren & Bate Montreal

PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:07 pm
by Chris Minicola
It was great seeing this new find in person at the show on Saturday. I dug up some more information on the company - advertisements and even a picture of their building:
1890Advert2.jpg (96.45 KiB) Viewed 15652 times

1890Advert.jpg (112.66 KiB) Viewed 15652 times

These are both from 1890: From the "Ladies and Gentleman's shopping guide, Montreal edition containing valuable information for residents and visitors, 1890

By: Huttemeyer, KGC
Available at the Internet archive