Friday, November 11, 2016

COSLETT MACHINERY & EQUIPMENT COMPANY - local success story in our home towns of Fort William and Port Arthur....

It goes without saying that industry boomed here in our Lakehead cities throughout the beginning and middle of the 20th century.  Coslett Machinery and Equipment was one of those success stories along with many others, beginning in the 1920's and possibly before...I have no historical proof before the 1920's however.  The business boomed through the years mainly at 571/573 S. Syndicate Ave. in Fort William and on Lorne St. in Port Arthur with a brief stay at a building at 608 S. Vickers St in 1968/69.  (research by telephone books and Henderson directories). 
One of my all time favorite porcelain advertising pieces was the following United Service Motors sign, which adorned the Coslett Hardware building in the 1920's.
The Coslett Hardware Co. (Coslett Machinery & Equipment Co.) were one and the same.  In 1951 the proprietor was William R. Coslett, and the sales manager was William R. J. Coslett.  (I believe father and son)  They were Industrial Jobbers and distributors for pumping systems and pumps for all types of diesel and gas generating, logging, construction, municipal, industrial and mining equipment, marine diesel and gas engines, market garden equipment for golf links estates etc.  They sold machine tools, woodworking machinery and sawmill supplies, belting, oil filters and batteries, power mowers barn equipment and a plethora of hardware supplies to the general public as well.  They were quite a diversified company.

Here is a newspaper advertisement showing the inside of the store in the 1930s.  To the right is a fairly large (about 1 foot long) mirrored thermometer advertising the company from my personal collection.  Below is the enlarged top portion of this showing phone numbers before the dial telephone system came to our twin cities.  They also had a location at 188 Lorne St. in the downtown area of Port Arthur off Cumberland Street.
As mentioned above Coslett's sold hundreds of different items including Naphtha Gas in bottles as shown in the following two photos (thanks to Russ Wanzuk for allowing me to photograph his bottle).  On the label was also the "United Service Motors" logo, and it also showed their address on Syndicate Ave.  It is quite an interesting bottle with a glass stopper from the 1920s.                       From WikipediaNaphtha is a general term that has been used for over two thousand years to refer to flammable liquid hydrocarbon mixtures. Mixtures labelled naphtha have been produced from natural gas condensates, petroleum distillates, and the distillation of coal tar and peat. It is used diversely in different industries and regions to refer to gross products like crude oil or refined products such as kerosene.  We always used it to start briquettes in the BBQ.

Below is an original invoice from my files from 1928 where Coslett's were selling items to Pigeon Timber Company from Port Arthur.....its fun to compare prices.  Be sure to click on all the photos to enlarge them.
Matchbook Cover 1950's

This is how Coslett's looks today as Henderson Glass.....

Their Port Arthur Store would have been down here on Lorne St.

Here's another angle of the building taken in early spring...note the reflection of the Ogilvie Elevator in the right window.

The photo on the left is the last known location of Coslett Machine...there is a new building there now as shown in the photo but the address was 608 S. Vickers St.
Hotrods and Jalopies hope you enjoyed this post....... Posts to now stand at nearly 3/4 of a Million views.  Thanks for looking all these years.