Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Working With Collections: Part IV

“The Reindeer Brand” Research Never Ends

In preparing for this series of blogs I decided to search the internet to see what else has shown up since the last time I worked on "The Reindeer Brand". The Google search for "Borden Milk Company" Reindeer once again led to that wonderful resource This resource pointed us to the online publication “The Condensed Milk and Milk Powder Industries” by F.W. Baumgartner, July 1920. So what did we learn?

In 1883 the first condensed milk factory in Canada was built in Truro, Nova Scotia by “The Reindeer Condensed Milk Company.” During the 1880s and 1890s several other milk condensing companies were established mostly in southwestern Ontario. Many of these companies were absorbed by the Borden Milk Company. The most important milk condensing plants included several Borden plants in Ontario and Quebec as well as Truro, Nova Scotia and Sardis (South Sumas), British Columbia. Although the connections of condensed milk, Truro, Reindeer Brand and Borden’s are well established what happens when you Google: “Truro Condensed Milk Company Ltd”? It takes you on a new path to the Heritage Places website focusing in on Mission, British Columbia. Here we discover a picture of the Truro Condensed Milk Company Ltd. located near the railway bridge, circa 1900 – 1910!

That companies acquire, absorb and merge with other businesses makes the study of business history fascinating and complex. With their acquisitions, businesses often acquire the rights to former firm’s names and brands creating a puzzle, a challenge for further research. It never ends. Our wooden box reflects these mergers and complexities - the business tree of who begat who.

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