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Manitoba Business: Massey-Harris Company Limited

The Massey-Harris Company, manufacturers of agricultural implements, was formed by the 1891 amalgamation of the firms of A. Harris Sons & Company and the Massey Manufacturing Company. Its origins in Manitoba started in 1879, when A. Harris Sons had established a branch at Winnipeg, with L. M. Jones as manager, at the corner of Market and Main Street, bringing their merchandise from St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1891, A. Harris Sons merged with the the Massey Manufacturing Company, which had been established in 1847. When the Canadian Pacific Railway came to Manitoba, its enabled the firm to establish branches at Brandon (1881), Rapid City (1882), Pilot Mound (1883), and Nelsonville (1883).

Originally the firm had specialized in plows, harrows, and wagons. In 1882 the firm constructed a new building on Princess Street, which enabled them to broaden their product line to include binders. Following the 1891 merger, the larger company opened six branch headquarters across western Canada, with the Winnipeg office dedicated to sales in Manitoba and eastern Saskatchewan, and employing 75 people in an office and warehouse, plus 25 travelling salesmen. It maintained 265 local agencies and stocked a full line of agricultural implements manufactured at its facilities in Toronto, Brantford, and Woodstock.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Massey Building (294 William Avenue, Winnipeg)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Hochman Building / Harris Block (154 Princess Street, Winnipeg)

Sources:

The Story of Manitoba by F. H. Schofield, Winnipeg: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1913.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 8 June 2013

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