International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

Brand Development in Quebec’s Cast Iron Stove Industry:1900-1950
Lisa Baillargeon, Patrice Gélinas

From the turn of the 20th century and up to the 1950s, many stove manufacturers operated in Canada during what has been labeled as the “glorious and golden age” of cast iron stove manufacturing (Laberge, 1980). Famous brand names remain in collective memory to this day, including Bélanger, McClary, Moffat, P.T. Légaré, and l’Islet. This paper studies brand development in the Canadian cast iron stove industry over this period to fill a void in the Canadian literature. Few papers exist on cast iron stove brand development and the thin literature covers mainly the U.S. market over the 1815-1875 period (Harris, 2008). Several clues point to the existence of deliberate branding activity at the largest Canadian foundries beyond efforts to differentiate stove types, models, sizes, names and designs. Canadian stove branding would have followed in the 19th century’s footsteps of the largest U.S. manufacturers who managed “to sell customers a full line of stoves covered by a unifying brand name that conveyed a promise of common quality” (Harris, 2008, p.720).This paper is the first to explore cast iron stove brand development in Canada. It contributes to the literature on Canadian foundries and on brand development in Canada in the first half of the 20th century. More specifically, we found that stove brand development evolved gradually in Canada, much as it had, starting a bit earlier, in the United States. Indeed, U.S. practices appear to have catalyzed stove brand development in Canada while the stove industry was consolidating and while Canadian consumerism and real purchasing power were increasing.

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