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.

43 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?

    Like

    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

      1. Anonymous · · Reply

        The F71- 4.5 or 5 is the stanley model(I am still looking for the year it was made)found in the plumbers pocket book of roughing-in dimensions for plumbing fixtures

        Like

        1. Anonymous, great elusive information. Thanks. We are getting more and more information from our readers. Thanks again.
          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

    Like

    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

  7. Korina Langevin · · Reply

    Hi there,

    I recently bought a bathtub with:

    Port Hope
    F 71
    5
    DEC 25

    Unfortunately it doesn’t have clawfoot feet. I am on the hunt for clawfoot feet for this tub, seems to be a particular type of foot, as the one’s I purchased do not fit. Any information would be helpful. Thank you!

    Like

    1. Hello Korina,
      I would suggest you try this link :

      https://legacyvintage.ca/

      Hope this helps,
      Ranger

      Like

  8. I am redoing my cast iron claw foot tub. The underneath says Port Hope, F71, 51/2, May 22. I talked to a company in Winnipeg that refinishes the inside of bathtubs, and he gave me the following info. The bathtub was manufactured in May 22 (my house was built in 1922, the first occupant moved in in 1923), the tub is 65 inches long 51/2 feet. F71 must be the model no., Port Hope is where it was made, or maybe the Winnipeg subsidiary. Hope this helps someone.

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    1. Cathy, thanks very much for your comment. Your information greatly helps the 2 old guys walking site and our readers. For many years I enjoyed those old ‘claw foot’ bathtubs made in Port Hope and we have received many comments with requests for information on them. Thanks again for your info, it should help many.
      Ranger

      Like

  9. Jacqueline Muccio · · Reply

    In desperate need of help finding proper plumbing and faucets for my 1915 Standard Ideal clawfoot tub. Great tub, exquisite feet but the drain is a mystery and I fear the taps are not actually meant for this beauty.

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    1. Jacqueline, the only place I know of to possibly find your drain and taps is, Legacy Vintage Building Materials and Antiques (Web Site), located on Division Street in Cobourg. This is an amazing shop. If they can not help you, they will likely be your best source for information. Good Luck, that is a beautiful tub and they are very comfortable as well.
      Ranger.

      Like

    2. Could I ask how you know the year of your Standard Ideal tub? I just bought a 1930 home and discovered that I have one as well, but I can not find the date on the stamp under my bathtub. Just “Standard Ideal” and it looks like it says Port Hope under that, and something else I can’t read. Do you have a picture of your stamp?

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      1. Shaunna, thanks for the comment, sorry I don’t have have the answers to your question. Your best bet would be take a picture of the tub and check with an antique dealer, they may have more knowledge and be more familiar with the tub than I.
        Ranger.

        Like

        1. Shaunna · · Reply

          I was asking Jacqueline 🙂 since she was able to find the date on hers. If I knew where to look more closely on the tub, it would help. Or maybe mine doesn’t have a date and it will forever be a mystery lol!

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          1. Shaunna, it is possible the bathtub manufacturing date may be stamped on the bottom of the tub. Assuming the tub is installed, try using a small mirror and a flash light to look under it for a date. It might be a long-shot but if you find it let us know, many readers would sure like to have this question answered, thanks.
            Ranger.

            Like

          2. Oh, I have! I’ve used my camera with light on my cell phone and video taped and took pics of the whole underneath, and back by the taps and drain, and under the rolled rim. I’m baffled! Wonder if it’s possible it wasn’t date stamped.

            Like

          3. Shaunna, okay, I am at a loss for words of advice. It is possible (but unlikely) there was not a date stamp on this tub.
            Ranger.

            Like

  10. Our tub has this on its bottom:

    PORT HOPE
    F 71
    5
    APR 26

    I thought, at first, that the last 2 lines meant 1905, April 26 (probably because Apr 26 is my wedding anniversary and I’ve been well trained NEVER to forget it) but from the above I think I’m inclined to believe now that it means April of 1926. A form for casting iron would require lots of effort and wasn’t likely to be changed daily. Annual makes more sense.
    I think the F 71 is probably some sort of model or product identifier. The ‘5’ I’m not sure about: could be the length of the upper part of the tub which is 5 feet.

    Like

    1. Terry, thank you for the interesting comment. We have received so many questions about this topic. The factory is now demolished and its history is still a mystery. Will continue to attempt to find more helpful information for our readers.
      Ranger.

      Like

  11. Just demolished a “5 FT-F-35-L” stamped “Port Hope Neuday Made in Canada 1947”. It weighed 320 lbs. Had no choice but to break it up. 😦

    Like

    1. Rickster, sometimes you do what you gotta do. Once had one similar on the second floor of an old farm house, with the weight of the tub, water and myself I sometimes worried about all that weight on the floor. Seems to me it took several men to carry it down the stairs and to the back yard. Put a ‘free’ sign on it and someone appeared happy to take it away! It was a great tub!
      Ranger.

      Like

  12. Mine says
    Port Hope
    F . 73
    5
    Nov. 24

    So… model number? 5 feet, nov 1924 mnfctr date?

    My question is about the legs. 2 are stamped on the inside with L and two with S. Wish I knew what that meant!

    Like

    1. Ross, thanks for the interesting reply. I too wish I knew what that means. Your information is more than our readers and I have been able to find.
      Ranger.

      Like

  13. Scott Howarth · · Reply

    Good to see that this thread is still alive and well. I’m refinishing the exterior of a clawfoot tub made by Standard Ideal Co. Ltd., in 1916. I stripped the paint and uncovered foundry’s name, the date of manufacture (April 8, 1916), as well the founder’s initials — J.H. It’s a long-shot, but I thought J.H. could denote John Helm, or one of his staff. Would “J.H.” be a the proprietor’s initials, or just part of the crew working on the tub that day? Ant help or thoughts greatly appreciated.
    Scott Howarth

    Like

    1. Scott, great comment I wish I knew the answer. It would be great if I could tell you about the initials J. H. There are a lot of questions about the old Standard Ideal building. It has now been demolished.
      Thanks, Ranger.

      Like

  14. Anonymous · · Reply

    Just wondering if our farmhouse double 47 inch sink was manufactured with the Standard company. Would love to know some history related to it. Double sink has a larger deeper basin with Standard P7470 Toronto and shallower basin with 46 Standard P7515 Toronto stamped under each of the basins. Hoping you may help us start our investigation.
    Robin

    Like

    1. Anonymous, sorry I don’t know a lot about the Standard Co. but we do get a lot of reader comments and questions regarding the Crane products. Maybe reader may comment on this. We will pass on any information we get.
      Ranger.

      Like

  15. Thank you for this article. I have been researching Robert and William Cluff, Toronto based business men involved in the forged iron plumbing and heating industry. The information you have here tracks with what I have found, namely that in 1916 they bought the controlling interests in the Port Hope Sanitary Manufacturing Company. Not sure how long they remained involved with the company. I happened to visit the remediation efforts last summer (before I knew about the Cluff Bros connection to the company). I assume the buildings are now gone. Cheers, Kristine

    Like

    1. Kristine, thank you for this great information. Many readers, many questions about this subject. The old buildings are long gone but the site will gradually reappear as green space and open to the public to enjoy. Thanks to our many readers, like yourself, more pieces of this great old Company are coming to light.
      Regards, Ranger.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Jamey Blades · · Reply

    Hello I was renovating a house in Michigan and found an old smaller coal stove, I’ve looked and have had a hard time finding the same one it’s almost a parlor stove but looks french by other designs, is this something that was made by this company? It is cast iron green enamel, maybe ceramic? With what looks like leaves as a design on the top. As I’ve been cleaning I keep finding the same font style F on the cast iron. One being F71. It’s in great shape only top rust on the inner parts any information would he a huge help! I have pictures if needed

    Like

    1. Jamey Blades · · Reply

      Looks to be from the 20s cast iron Stamps include:
      F71
      J058
      A small door with Tiger 71 on the front and on the back F. 64 &a

      Like

      1. Jamie, thanks for the interesting information on the elusive former Crane Factory (recently demolished) in Port Hope. We get so many questions from readers on this subject. Readers, any new information?
        Ranger.

        Like

    2. Jamey, nice to hear from an American neighbor. Hope our readers, especially with pictures, might offer some information for you.
      Regards, Ranger.

      Like

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