Andrew Bell Jardine, a native of Perthshire, Scotland, was christened on 28 Dec. 1823. He visited Hespeler, in what was then known as Canada West (now Ontario), in the early 1850s. He returned to Scotland, and in about 1854 brought his family to Canada, first to Montreal and then, in 1862, to Hespeler. Jardine's son, Andrew Bell Jardine, Jr., was born that same year, 1862. In 1870, Jardine Sr. founded A. B. Jardine Co. A. B. Jardine, Jr., joined the company at some point, and eventually took over operations. Jardine, Sr. died in 1903, and Jardine, Jr. died in the late 1930s.
A. B. Jardine Co. primarily made blacksmiths' supplies, including post drills, drill presses, taps and dies, hub borers, forge blowers, "Canadian Giant" power hammers, tire upsetters, tongs, vises, and wrenches. They also made water pumps: the kind with the handle, used for pumping household water from a well. Around 1900 they made Ridgid pipe wrenches under license from Ridgid. They also had considerable success with pipe cutting and threading tools, built on their own patented designs.
At some point the company name changed to A. B. Jardine & Co.; such a change was commonly made when additional partners (such as a son) joined the firm. In patent records dating from 1920 onwards the company was A. B. Jardine & Co., Ltd.
Andrew Bell Jardine, Jr. had four sons: James, John, Wallace, and Harry. The two eldest sons, James and John, took over the company after World War I. The company apparently met its demise shortly after World War II, a casualty of the depressed economy of Hespeler at that time.
Some products are marked only with the Jardine trademark: a diamond with a "J" in the middle of it.
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I am especially interested in woodworking machinery manufacturers from Ontario, and particularly Cambridge, so if you have any information on relevant woodworking machinery companies and products, I strongly urge you to contact the Historian.
- 1871: Lovell's Canadian Dominion Directory of 1871 lists the Galt blacksmith firm Jardine & Co., members John and Walter Jardine. There are no Jardines listed in Hespeler. The only Andrew Jardine was a laborer in London, which is about 60 miles west of Hespeler. Given the fact that several dozen Jardines lived in Ontario at that time, the Andrew in London was likely not the Andrew B. Jardine senior or junior.
1879: The Authorized Catalogue of the First Annual Exhibition of the Agricultural and Industrial Exhibition Association of Toronto, held in September 1879, lists Andrew Jardine as a exhibiting a small drilling machine, a hand drilling machine, and a bolt and nut threading machine.
- 1884: From the Official list of prizes awarded at the grand dominion and thirty-ninth provincial exhibition of the agriculture and arts association of Ontario, held at Ottawa, from September 22nd to 27th, 1884.:
Best assortment of blacksmiths' tools, A. B. Jardine, Sons & Co., Hespeler $4 00
2nd best assortment of drills, taps, dies and rimmers, A. B. Jardine, Sons & Co 2 00
Best radial driller, A. B. Jardine, Sons & Co 6 00
Best collection of iron working machinery, A. B. Jardine, Sons & Co Dominion Silver Medal and 6 00
- 1903: The 1903-03-05 issue of American Machinist has the following obituary:
Andrew Bell Jardine, head of the firm of A. B. Jardine & Co., Hespeler, Ontario, died February 21, eighty years old. Mr. Jardine was born near Glasgow and emigrated to Canada in 1854, settling first in Montreal. He went to Hespeler in 1862, working as a millwright and machinist, and started a small shop in 1869. The business grew rapidly, developing a large Canadian and export business in blacksmiths', boilermakers' and machinists' tools.
- 1914: Aikenhead Hardware catalog listing ca. 1914.
- 1914: The company was not listed in "[County of] Waterloo Outlook 1914".
- 1915: The 1915-11-11 Iron Age had this following brief item:
A. B. Jardine & Co., manufacturer of taps, screw plates, bolt-threading machines, etc., Hespeler, Ont., will build an addition to its plant.
- 1920: A patent search has revealed several patents assigned to this company. So far, all patents found are from between 1920 and 1931; there are very probably a bunch of earlier patents to be found, but it is currently difficult to search U. S. patents before 1920. Patentees for A. B. Jardine & Co., Ltd. include Peter Jardine, Andrew Jardine, and James Valten Jardine. The patents are for threading taps, machine-shop presses, and pipe threaders and cutters.
- 1923: Seen on eBay: a 1923 catalog of "Blacksmiths' tools & machinery" from A. B. Jardine & Co. The catalog is no. B-19 and has 32 pages.
1927 A. B. Jardine Co. catalog B-20 courtesy of Phil Sponem
- Darrell Larue forwarded us some information he received from a descendant of A. B. Jardine. The information included Jardine's full name, Christening date, and when he came to Canada.
- Much detailed historical information here is courtesy of Peter Jardine, grandson of Harry Jardine and great great grandson of A. B. Jardine the elder. Peter contributed information on the timing of A. B. Jardine and family coming to Canada, the changes in control of the company, and the names and relationships among the various Jardine men. He also provided additional information on the products made by the company.
- Several people have emailed to tell us of A. B. Jardine products they own, including taps and dies, hub borers, and adjustable wrenches.