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

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

Postby Chris Minicola » Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:08 pm

One more from 1889: Programme and compendium of the leading events of Carnival week with Montreal's points of interest and leading business houses 1889
Winter Carnival Feb 4th to 9th, 1889

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

Postby Chris Minicola » Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:39 pm

1893_HardwareMerchandising.jpg
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This is a great resource http://archive.org/stream/hardwaremerch1893toro#page/n1241/mode/2up/search/%22t.+w.+ness%22 from 1893, full of references and advertisements for the company, check out page 466 and 781 especially. There is also information about a branch office in Toronto and the mention of a Mr. Mclaren becoming a partner in the business. There is also mention of T.W. Ness supplying telephones and switchboards to Walkerville, ON and Chicoutimi, QC (also possibly insulators)
The Toronto branch office is interesting. This could explain how the insulator was found in Ontario and even how some NW and BIT Co. insulators were found in London, Ontario and Eastern Ontario.
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Re: New Find? - CD 102 Ness, McLaren & Bate Montreal

Postby Chris Minicola » Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:54 pm

I've verified the Toronto Branch office - from the 1894 Toronto City Directory on page 221:

106 King St. West:
Ness T W & Co, electrical suppplies Reliance Electric Mfg Co

More:
Ness Andrew, lineman T W Ness & Co, rms 203 Richmond W
Ness T W & Co (Montreal), A H Brintnell mngr, electrical supplies, 106 King W
Ness Walter, lineman T W Ness and Co, rms 203 Richmond W

This is interesting, seems they closed the Toronto branch between 1894 and 1897. The location at 106 King Street West in 1895 is listed as vacant, and the two Ness brothers (likely sons of TW) took up the Grocery business:
From the 1897 Toronto Directory:
Ness Andrew A (Ness Bros) b 241 Sherbourne
Ness Bros (Walter S and Andrew A), grocers 100 Gerrard e
Ness Walter S (Ness Bros) b 241 Sherbourne
Mr. Archibald Brintnell who managed the branch the previous year is listed as:
Brintnell Archibald, elect, b 106 Catherine
(Possibly an electrician by the sounds of it)
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Re: New Find? - CD 102 Ness, McLaren & Bate Montreal

Postby Chris Minicola » Tue Oct 08, 2013 4:03 pm

***CORRECTION*** I found more information about the Ness family from the 1891 Census. T. W. (Thomas) Ness was 31 years old in 1891, born in Ontario of Socttish ancestry and his occupation is listed as Electric Supplies. His wife, Alice was 34, of British descent and born in Ontairo as well. Walter Ness, who worked at the Toronto branch and later got into the grocery business there is listed as his brother, 21 years old in 1891 and his occupation is listed as "Electric Machines". Two other brothers are listed: William Ness, 26 whose occupation is listed as Electric Supplies Book Keeper, and John, 28 who was a house painter.

T.W. Ness' children are listed as:
Garry, 8
Archie, 6
Jessie, 3 (Daughter)
William, 8 months.

The oldest child, Garry, was born in Ontario. The rest of the children were born in Quebec, so they had been living in Quebec since about 1885.
----
Checking the 1881 census, it shows Thomas (T.W.) still living at home at 20 years old. The family is located in Vaughan, Ontario near Toronto. His parents are listed as James and Elizabeth Ness who it seems immigrated to Canada from Scotland about 1861. T.W. had 6 brothers and sisters at the time of the 1881 census, and 2 of them match the names of the Ness brothers who ran the Toronto Office of the TW Ness company: Andrew was 9 in 1881 (born about 1872) and Walter was 11 (born about 1870)
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Re: New Find? - CD 102 Ness, McLaren & Bate Montreal

Postby Chris Minicola » Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:56 am

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http://archive.org/stream/buildinginspe ... 2/mode/2up

http://archive.org/stream/direccityonta ... 2/mode/2up

http://archive.org/stream/direccityonta ... 9/mode/2up

Up until 1893 the business was known as T.W. Ness Electrical Supplies.

In August of 1893 the business name changed to T.W. Ness & Co. "Norman W. McLaren is entering into partnership with Mr. T. W. Ness, of electrical supply fame. The firm's new title will be T. W. Ness & Co. The firm's business has more than doubled during the present summer, and they can hardly meet the demand for their specialities despite their increased facilities."

The Ness, McLaren & Bate partnership was announced in the May 18th, 1895 issue of Hardware Merchandising. T. W. Ness and Co. was dissolved and the business name was officially changed: "Thos. Wood Ness, Norman Westwood McLaren and Chas. Bate have been registered proprieters of Ness, McLaren & Bate, electrical supplies, Montreal."

There was a fire that caused 4,000 damage in late August or early September of 1895 causing them to relocate the business. By the end of 1895 T.W. Ness and his family had relocated to Newton, Mass. and he was working for Holtzer-Cabot Electric Company. I would have to guess he sold his share of the company to McLaren & Bate, otherwise, why would he be working for a competing company?

The business no longer appears in the Montreal directory for 1908, but another Electrical supply company appears at the same address so it would seem the business was sold.

This gives a timeline of Mid 1895 to the end of 1907 for the production of insulators with specific mention of insulators in a 1903 busisness directory.

The N.W. & B.I.T. Co. connection gives us an even smaller timeline. The N.W. and B.I.T. Co. name ceased to exist in 1902, so that places production of the Ness, McLaren & Bate insulator (and blotout) within a 7 year window: May, 1895 (when Ness, McLaren & Bate came into existence) to 1902 (When the N.W. & B.I.T. Co. name was changed to BC Telephone Company.)
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Re: New Find? - CD 102 Ness, McLaren & Bate Montreal

Postby Chris Minicola » Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:21 am

Mr. T. W. Ness

T. W. Ness is one of our largest dealers in telephones and general electric supplies. He has recently supplied the town of Granby with a lot of telephones as the company there is adding extensively to its telephone exchange. The increasing business of the Citizens' Co. at Waterloo has also led to a demand for telephone supplies, and among other articles Mr. Ness is supplying them with a lot of "head" receivers for their operators. In Chicoutimi, also, where Messrs. Gray and Co. are putting in an extensive telephone system, the complete outfit is being procured from Mr. Ness, the instruments being all fitted to connect with a central exchange, like the regular Bell offices.

A large exhibit of telephones, switchboards, transmitters, receivers and annunciators has been prepared for the World's Columbian Exhibition at Chicago by T. W. Ness. Part of this was in the Herald window at the time of the recent fire and narrowly escaped being destroyed.

Mr. Ness has also furnished Messrs. Walker, and Sons & Co. of Walkerville, Ont., with a large number of Standard Telephones for their exchange (Hardware Merchandising 1893)

--

A photo of the Electrical Exhibit sent to Chicago by T. W. Ness of Montreal, is circulating among the trade. Besides a number of annunciators, a complete telephone switchboard is also shown. The principal exhibit, however is a display of telephones, which will be exceptionally interesting at the present time, owing to the patents expiring on them in the United States. Main Line Telephones, suitable for 200 miles use, are shown, receivers, Blake and Carbon Transmitters, etc. The warehouse telephones form a prominent feature, as these instruments are now largely used in factories and offices. With this system there is no central exchange required, each telephone having it's own switchboard, and being able to communicate with any or all of the others. These are fully described in a new illustrated catalogue which will be send free to applicants.

--

The Canadian Pacific Railway Company have ordered from Mr. T. W. Ness several large annunciators, which are now in course of construction.

The town of Chicoutimi has been lately fitted up with a complete telephone exchange. Messrs. Guoy & Co. were the contractors, and they procured their complete outfit form T. W. Ness, Montreal.

--
The 117 drop annunciator which is being placed in the new Queen's Hotel by Messrs. McCrae & Watson was manufactured by T. W. Ness, of Montreal.

The Roherval Telephone Company, of Roherval, Que., have been increasing their number of subscribers recently. The telephones and switchboards were all manufactured by T. W. Ness, of Montreal.

The telephone business of the Citizen's Telephone Co., at Sherbrooke, Que., has increased so rapidly that the central operators are now using head receivers. These are bing made by T. W. Ness, of Montreal.

--

Mr. T. W. Ness has supplied the Montreal Show Case Company with a 5 h.p. Reliance motor.

Mr. T. W. Ness is supplying the Collegiate Institute of London, Ont., with an experimental electrical outfit.
--
Hardware Merchant is pleased to know that T. W. Ness, of Montreal, has had representatives in this city (Toronto) since October installing his Standard telephone and also receiving orders for other lines of electric supplies manufactured and handled by him. His business having grown to such proportions a branch house has been opened up at 106 King Street west, Toronto, where the public are cordially invited to call and quote prices before purchasing elsewhere. Nothing succeeds like success. Mr. Ness seems to be "in the swim" and it is hoped since his well directed efforts at Montreal have compelled him to open up here, in order to more satisfactorily supply the demand for his goods, his Toronto branch may share the good fortune of the older house at Montreal.

--

Norman W. McLaren is entering into partnership with Mr. T. W. Ness, of electrical supply fame. The firm's new title will be T. W. Ness & Co. The firm's business has more than doubled during the present summer, and they can hardly meet the demand for their specialties despite their increased facilities. (August, 1893)
--
T. W. Ness, manufacturer of electrical supplies, has admitted as partners P. H. Davidson, J. E. Adams, J. L. Rankin and N. W. McLaren under the style of T. W. Ness & Co.
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Re: New Find? - CD 102 Ness, McLaren & Bate Montreal

Postby Lee S. » Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:14 pm

I suspect that the "Bate" of "Ness, McLaren & Bate" is the same Charles Bate of Brockville who was more famously known as a cheese exporter (and at one time a co-owner of the Brockville Brewery and Malt House). This Charles Bate died in 1908 after a long illness, which may explain the end of Ness, Mclaren & Bate in 1907/8:

http://archive.org/stream/electricalage ... 0/mode/1up
Mr. C. Bate, Brockville, Ont., has entered into partnership with the firm of T. W. Ness & Co., Montreal, dealers in telephones and electrical supplies. The firm is now registered as Messrs. Ness, McLaren & Bate.

http://news.nnyln.net/st-lawrence-repub ... 200354.pdf
Charles Bate, a leading cheese exporter of Brockville, died Thursday morning after an illness extending over many months. He was prominent in the trade for many years, and though born in England, lived in Brockville and Montreal the greater part of his life. His widow survives.
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Re: New Find? - CD 102 Ness, McLaren & Bate Montreal

Postby Chris Minicola » Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:42 am

Good Work Lee. I also found 2 patents owned by T. W. Ness, one in Canada and the other in the USA.

It seems the Holtzer-Cabot company was producing a line of phones based on the Ness patent and called the "Ness Automatic Telephone System"
These were very appealing to businesses who needed an internal telephone system because no switchboard was required, and no operator, so that translates to savings.
The patent and the fact that Holtzer-Cabot was actively promoting the item may have been the reason for Thomas Wood Ness to immigrate to the United States - there was a 10x larger market there and he was likely making good money licensing his patent to Holtzer-Cabot

First the U.S. Patent (#505,170, dated September 19, 1893)

A picture of some of the example phones with Ness' name on them:
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An advertisement for Holtzer Cabot from 1903 promoting the Ness line of intercom telephones:
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Re: New Find? - CD 102 Ness, McLaren & Bate Montreal

Postby Lee S. » Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:11 pm

Just a couple more references:

http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/imgsrv/ ... 53;seq=670
NESS, McLAREN & BATE, 749 Craig Street, Montreal, have succeeded to the manufacturing and supply business of the old firm of T.W.Ness & Co., and have purchased the entire stock of James L. Rankin, which they intend to dispose of at cut prices.

http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/imgsrv/ ... ;width=680
THE ESTABLISHMENT of Messrs. ness, McLaren & Bate, at 749 Craig Street, Montreal, Que., was recently damaged by fire. The firm has taken temporary premises at 761 Craig Street.
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Re: New Find? - CD 102 Ness, McLaren & Bate Montreal

Postby Ace_31 » Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:57 pm

That's definitely one wicked insulator, great find, thanks for sharing.
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