Manitoba Historical Society
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MHS Centennial Business: Ash Temple

Ash Temple Limited began operations in 1895. That year Henry Temple entered the dental supply business as the sole Canadian distributor for Consolidated Dental Manufacturing Company, based in New York. He also obtained the patent for what is believed to be the first electric dental engine and began its manufacture. With these two activities he started his dental supply house, incorporated as the H. P. Temple Company Limited. The acquisition of George Pattison’s Montreal dental supply store in 1902 resulted in a name change to Temple Pattison Company Limited.

The company soon expanded geographically, and acquired a number of other related businesses. In 1904 the first Western Canadian branch opened in Winnipeg, with later branches opening in Calgary and Vancouver in 1908, Edmonton in 1912, Regina in 1915, and Victoria in 1929. In 1906 the company acquired two other supply houses - S. B. Chandler Dental Depot in Newcastle, the oldest dental supply house in Canada, dating back to 1859, and the business of Dr. Henry Rae of London, Ontario. When the company opened a branch in Ottawa in 1922 and merged with the Ontario operations of Claudius Ash and Sons of London England, the name changed to Ash Temple Limited, still used today.

Until 1955 the Temple family retained a significant interest in the company. The period 1967 to 1982 was spent under American ownership, but in 1983 a Canadian management group acquired Ash Temple Limited. The operations are now owned by its employees. Michel A. Hart, the principal shareholder, has been Chairman and CEO since 1982.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s the company invested in subsidiaries to manufacture and distribute the most advanced dental products, including anti-microbial products, dentures and office equipment. Today Ash Temple companies operate from 14 full-service centres and three factories located across Canada, with one in the United States. The Manitoba office serves all of Manitoba, Northwestern Ontario and Nunavut. They work closely with dental students and the faculty of Dentistry at the University of Manitoba. In the words of Michel A. Hart, “Although Harry Temple died in 1944, the company still operates according to the founder’s philosophy ... a firm belief that fair and ethical business practices are the only way to sustain customer confidence and loyalty.”

An MHS Centennial Business Award was presented to Al Hunter, Senior Vice President and Branch Manager, by Judith Hudson Beattie on 15 January 2005.

Note: In 2005, Ash Temple merged with Henry Schein Arcona to become Henry Schein Ash Arcona.


Based on the history by J. M. S. Careless as posted on the website of and the publication The Canadian Dental Association 1902-2002 – A Century of Service.

Page revised: 15 May 2011

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