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Manufacturers Index - Beaver Power Tools, Callander Foundry

Beaver Power Tools, Callander Foundry
Guelph, ON, Canada
Manufacturer Class: Wood Working Machinery & Metal Working Machinery

Last Modified: Dec 11 2016 8:49PM by Jeff_Joslin
If you have information to add to this entry, please contact the Site Historian.

Callander Foundry & Manufacturing Co. made the Beaver Power Tools line of woodworking machinery.

The Callander Foundry was established in 1916 by Alexander (Sandy) Callander and three sons plus a silent partner. A 1917 financial crisis related to war-time inflation led to a buyout by the silent partner, but in 1920 the Callander family re-purchased ownership of their namesake business.

In their early years the company manufactured a variety of cast products in iron, brass and aluminum. In 1923 they added machining capabilities so that they could completely manufacture conduit fittings. The company grew quickly over the next decade. In 1933 they reportedly acquired a small company making woodworking tools or machinery but we have not been able to determine the identity of this company. Rapid growth resumed upon Canada's entry into World War II as the company made a variety of products as part of the war effort. At the war's end, the company designed a complete line of high quality home-shop woodworking machines. The Callander Foundry was one of a great many firms that made home-shop machinery at the end of the war, but they were one of the few that survived and thrived because of the excellent quality of their machines.

In 1953, owner Walter Wesley Brydges sold Callander Foundry to American conglomerate-in-the-making Rockwell Manufacturing Co., which had purchased Delta Manufacturing Co. eight years previous. In 1955 the Callander Foundry & Manufacturing Co., Ltd., was renamed to the Rockwell Manufacturing Co. of Canada, Ltd.. The Beaver Power Tool facility became part of the Beaver-Delta Division of Rockwell. There was considerable overlap between Beaver's and Delta's product lines. Some of Beaver's less successful products were discontinued almost immediately but others, such as the CS 3200 bench saw, were manufactured for several years. Gradually, however, the old Beaver Power Tools were discontinued in favor of newer Delta/Rockwell designs.

To summarize, here is the timeline of Callander/Beaver corporate activity.

  • 1916—Callander Foundry & Manufacturing Co. established to manufacture castings in iron, brass and aluminum.
  • 1933—Callander purchases a small company making woodworking tools or machinery. The products were apparently quickly discontinued.
  • 1946 or earlier—Callander Foundry introduces the first products in a line of home-shop machines, branded "Beaver Power Tools".
  • 1953—acquired by Rockwell Manufacturing Co. The Beaver operations in Guelph are renamed the Beaver-Delta Division of Rockwell.
  • 1955—Canadian operations become the Rockwell Manufacturing Co. of Canada.
  • 1971 or '72—the Beaver operations become Rockwell International of Canada Ltd.
  • 1984—all of Rockwell's woodworking machinery operations are sold to Pentair, with the Guelph operations becoming part of Delta International Machinery Corp.
  • 1985—the Guelph operations become the Beaver-Delta Machinery Corp.
  • 1987—Beaver-Delta becomes a division of Pentair Canada, Inc.
  • 2004—Pentair sells their power tools group to Black & Decker, and the Guelph operations became part of Black & Decker Canada Inc.
  • 2011—Stanley Black & Decker sells the Delta brand to Taiwanese manufacturer Chang Type Industrial Co., Ltd. Delta's Guelph operations, the last remnant of the old Callander Foundry business, is shut down.

Do you have more information?

I am especially interested in woodworking machinery manufacturers from Ontario, so if you have any information on relevant woodworking machinery companies and products, I strongly urge you to contact Jeff Joslin.

Other Resources

Information Sources

  • Thanks to Kathleen Wall of the Guelph Museums for providing the following history.

    The Callander Foundry & Manufacturing Co. Ltd. was located on Crimea Street in Guelph. It was started in 1916 by Alex (Sandy) Callander and sons Mac, Henry, and Jack, and a silent partner (in charge of finances). Early in 1917, war-time inflation caused a financial crisis which led the Callanders to sell out to the silent partner. However, after the Foundry was plagued by a general strike for nearly 6 months in 1920, the Callander family became owners once again.

    The Callander Foundry manufactured conduit fittings, grey iron, brass and aluminum castings, and hardware specialties. With eleven employees in 1921, the foundry soon experienced progress and expansion. In 1923, a machine shop was set up to make electrical conduit fittings; by 1926, a new manufacturing building was erected and the foundry enlarged; and again in 1929, the manufacturing building was doubled in size.

    During the Depression years (1933, specifically), a small company making woodworking tools was taken over, and yet another addition was made to the foundry. In 1938, an addition was made to the manufacturers department. During World War II, the foundry expanded in every direction. Among the castings turned out were almost 2,000,000 hand grenades, 800,000 army truck brake drums, machine tool castings, etc. The non-ferrous foundry had to learn to make bronze without tin and special alloy aluminum; they managed to produce over 10 tons of metal per day, alone. At the same time, Callander Foundry assisted with the operation of a marine brass plant in Toronto. The manufacturing department also produced a wide variety of items for use in the war, such as gun and radar components. In 1946, they re-entered the power tool market with new designs of tools which are still in use today. In 1951, oil burners were made under agreement with the Eureka Williams Co. of the United States for their Canadian market. In 1954, the company was sold to the Rockwell Company, which then became known as Rockwell International. In 1984, Rockwell sold the power tool division to Pentair, who then called it Beaver Delta (after the Beaver power tools it made), and then Delta International. The company no longer manufactures in Canada; there is, however, a sales marketing distribution centre for Canada.

  • Thanks to Mickey Brydges for providing the name of the last owner of the Callander Foundry.
  • 1940 Canadian Trade Index.
    Callander Foundry & Mfg. Co., Limited, The, Crimea St., Guelph, Ont. Branch office, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg. Brands, "S & S", "Beaver".
  • 1941-11-03 Steel.
    Guelph, Ont.—Callander Foundry & Mfg. Co., Crimea street, will build foundry addition, 90 x 118 feet, to cost about $30,000, including equipment. William Parker, 36 Glasgow street, general contractor.
  • From a 1946 Electrical News and Engineering.
    Harry D. Callander, vice-president Callander Foundry & Mfg. Co. Ltd., died suddenly at his home in Guelph, November 17th. Mr. Callander was 56 years of age. As vice-president of Callander Foundry, Mr. Callander was one of five sons of ...
  • From a 1948 edition of Machinery comes this snippet:
    Callander Foundry and Manufacturing Co., Ltd., Guelph, Ont., is constructing a two-storey addition, approximately 130 ft. by 90 ft., costing $100,0000, for the manufacturer of woodworking power tools, including lathes, saws of various sizes, planers, jointers and drill presses.
  • From a 1948 edition of Canadian Patent Office Record comes the following snippet:
    N.S. 29074. An oval, in the centre of which is a picture of a beaver, and inside of which oval is reading matter. Design mark. Wares: Shop tools, namely drill presses, lathes, scroll jigsaws, band saws, planers, jointers, shop circular saws, polishing heads, bench grinders, machine tool power transmissions, work benches, jack shafts, shaft hangers, grinding wheels and buffing wheels, sanding discs, bench vices, and parts for all the aforementioned devices. Date of first use in Canada 1933.
  • From a 1948 edition of The Tool Engineer comes this snippet:
    Earlier speakers were W. M. Shaw, Machine and Tool Designer, Callander Foundry & Mfg. Co., Ltd., Guelph... Difficulties encountered in tooling and jigging for a new line of woodworking tools were described at some length by Mr. Shaw. ...
  • From a 1949 edition of Canadian Patent Office Record comes the following snippet:
    N.S. 31946. BEAVER— Word Mark. Wares: Shop tools, namely drill presses, lathes, scroll jigsaws, band saws, planers, jointers, shop circular saws, polishing heads, bench grinders, machine tool power transmissions, work benches, jack shafts, shaft hangers, grinding wheels and buffing wheels. The Callander Foundry & Manufacturing Company, Limited, Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Date of registration: 23rd October, 1948. Date of first use: 1933.
  • From a 1955 edition of Petroleum Refiner comes this snippet: "Rockwell Manufacturing Company has changed the name of its Canadian subsidiary, Callander Foundry & Manufacturing Company, Ltd., to Rockwell Manufacturing Company of Canada, Ltd. "
  • From an advertisement in a 1957 Newsweek comes the following snippet:
    ...Rockwell gas meters, regulators, and other measuring and control devices are made at our Guelph, Ontario, plant which we acquired through the purchase of the Callander Foundry and Manufacturing Company. This company was founded in 1916 as a manufacturer of conduit fittings and gray iron castings, and after World War II broadened its product lines to include Beaver Power Tools. ...
  • From the book Guelph: Perspectives on a Century of Change, 1900-2000, by Rosemary Anderson and Dawn Matheson, and published by the, Guelph Historical Society, has the following snippet.
    Also prospering in the post-war economy was the Callander Foundry on Crimea Street. When war contracts ended in 1945, the firm, still dominated by the second generation of the Callander family, introduced a line of power tools for woodworking and home handymen, designed by the firm's own engineers. Sold under the "Beaver Power Tools" brand, these found a market all over North America. Within five years they constituted over half the production of the plant, and had pushed employment to 330.
  • We have found a handful of Canadian patents granted to people with the surname Callander that are probably related to this firm.
    • Patent CA213309, granted 1921-09-13 to Hugh B. Callander, is for a clamp for metal pipes.
    • Patent CA289145, granted 1929-04-30 to Malcolm Callander, is for a conduit outlet box.
    • Patent CA350179, granted 1935-05-14 to John Scott Callander, is for a motor mounting.
    In addition we have found three Canadian patents that were assigned to this company:
    • Patent CA413342, granted 1943-06-22 to Paul George Rudolf Ringert, is for a conduit box.
    • Patent CA419293, granted 1944-03-28 to Paul George Rudolf Ringert, is for a wire entrance fitting.
    • Patent CA499489, granted 1954-01-26 to William G. Copp, is for a tilt arbor saw.
  • Canadian Trademark 31946 was updated as follows.
    • Originally filed: 1948-10-23
    • Change in title: 1954-09-15, to Rockwell Manufacturing Company of Canada
    • Change in title: 1985-07-18, to Beaver-Delta Machinery Corp.
    • Change in title: 1987-08-07, to Pentair Canada, Inc.
    • Change in title: 2004-10-02. to Black & Decker Canada Inc.