A Relic of Port Hope Harbour

The Standard Ideal Company started up in 1903, later became the Port Hope Sanitary Manufacturing Company and finally the name best known to most locals as Crane operated in Port Hope until 1967. What is left of this historical manufacturing plant is slated for removal in the near future for the cleanup of the low-level radioactive waste found throughout the harbour lands.

 

The Standard Ideal Company Limited on Port Hope’s harbour land manufactured the ‘Ideal’ lines of cast iron porcelain-enameled sanitary ware such as bathtubs, shower baths, lavatories, kitchen sinks, slop hoppers, laundry tubs, urinals and closet ranges, steamship and railway car supplies, hospital appliances and factory wash sinks.  Remember the famous ‘Urinor’ the enameled cast iron trough urinal? The last time I saw/used one of these was in a washroom at the local fair grounds! “Confident that it possesses one of the finest plants for the manufacturing of the lines mentioned in the Dominion, it is the largest exclusive cast-iron enameling sanitary works under the British flag. The general offices and factories are located in Port Hope Ontario. Telephones 49 – 81. Branch offices are maintained at Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg, London England, South Africa and Australia.”   The Port Hope Harbor Journal, 1907

Hiram Bush, formerly of the Ideal Manufacturing Company in Detroit, manufacturers of sanitary products established Standard Ideal, Canada in Port Hope, Ontario, 1903. By 1911, the company had grown to 15 acres on Port Hope’s centre pier and was the town’s largest employer with a workforce of 600 men. In 1916, the company defaulted on a 1911 mortgage and was forced into bankruptcy. Sold at auction later that year it was reorganized as the Port Hope Sanitary Manufacturing Company.

 

By 1930, the Port Hope Sanitary Company was acquired by Crane Limited, a Canadian subsidiary of the U.S. firm founded by Richard Teller Crane in 1855. The newest Crane warehouse in Port Hope was constructed in 1958. Crane also established AllianceWare in Vancouver, specializing in porcelain-steel plumbing fixtures and steel signs. A new enameled-steel plant was opened in Stratford Ontario in 1961.     By midcentury, most of the world’s porcelain products were being replaced by enameled cast iron which likely spelled the end for the Crane Port Hope plant in 1967. Much of the plant was demolished in 1971 and other parts of the building used as storage for low- level radioactive waste were demolished in the 1990’s. Today, what is left of the building is surrounded by huge tarp covered mounds of low level radioactive waste awaiting disposal at the Long-Term Waste Management Facility. Crane today is known as the American Standards Brand and has a pottery plant in Trenton and an acrylic plant in Stratford Ontario.

 

A plan in Port Hope to save some of these historical industrial buildings has failed. The largest environmental remediation efforts and the first of its kind in Canada is now underway. The town of Port Hope, the owners of the land and buildings has leased the entire site to Eldorado Nuclear and subsequently Cameco Corp.

Regards, Ranger.

13 comments

  1. I just demolished another customer bathroom here in Montreal and I removed another dusty rose Port Hope “Neu Day” bathtub, manufactured in June 1955.
    I cannot count how many green and pink enameled cast iron monsters I have seen over the years.

    Thanks for filling in the blanks and finally explaining where they all came from.

    Casey Strong

    Like

    1. Casey, thanks for your comment. The attractive old Crane building will soon be demolished as part of the Port Hope harbor ‘Clean Up’. It is so sad that it could not be saved and used for a new purpose.
      Ranger.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Diesel · · Reply

    I have a clawfoot tub that’s stamped with the following: Port Hope F 71. I’m guessing it’s a Crane tub made in this Ontario plant. The “F71” suggests a manufacturing date of February, 1971. Could this be one of the last tubs from this plant?

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    1. Diesel,
      interesting comment, thanks. The Port hope plant was closed in 1967, could the “F71” be a product number?
      I will have to do some more research on this.
      Ranger.

      Like

  3. Anonymous · · Reply

    I also have a F71 tub. Seems to me it was installed in the house the year it was built….1929.
    Not sure what it means.

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    1. Anonymous, I am still trying to find out what the F71 means, a few readers have enquired about this. As production of these tubs started in 1903, your great old tub is very old and unlike the newer models of today, you can really stretch out in them and the ‘claw feet’ on them is very attractive as well.
      Ranger

      Like

  4. Jennifer · · Reply

    I just bought a F-294 cast iron kitchen sink marked Port Hope..
    Would you know the history and year it was made?
    Thank you

    Like

    1. Jennifer, sorry, I don’t know the history of a F-294 cast iron sink made in Port Hope, sounds like a great find.
      Ranger

      Like

      1. Anonymous · · Reply

        Ok…..thank you for letting me know 🙂

        Like

  5. Stacey Randall · · Reply

    Hi Ranger
    We are renovating a house that was built in the late 1930’s. Happened to find the old sink out in the tree line. It is in very good shape – no chips or cracks – just needing the drain plug piece. And have to figure out how to refinish it toy bring it back to its usable glory. It is a
    F – 400 18 x 25 x 8

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    1. Stacey, great comment. Sounds like a great find, wish I had some helpful information to help you.
      Ranger

      Like

  6. […] was made in Port Hope, Ontario. I thought it was older, but I think it was actually made in […]

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    1. Yes the date of 1953 would be about right for this style of sink. Of course, we can’t confirm without data that’s long lost. However, thanks for the link. Your site is a fascinating read.
      Ranger

      Like

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