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Thanks for those suggestions, Barbara. It's great that TPL has links for all those city directories! And thanks for including the reference to the Canadian Magazine article in your blog - I had read it with great interest. Could I prevail on you for help with one more thing? Articles on the Ottawa firm say Robert Parker had been in the business in Montreal with his (unnamed) brother to whom he had sold his interest before coming to Ottawa in 1876. I had determined the brother was Thomas who had a son Robert (age 12 in the 1870 census) and the business was British American Steam Dyeing and Scouring Works, prop. T. Parker, according to an ad in Lovell's 1868 Montreal Directory. I had come to believe that Robert Parker's business in Toronto was continuation of Thomas' when I came across your blog saying the same. Indeed, if Thomas founded the Toronto business in 1876 as you write, then rather than brother Robert selling out to him it was more a case of the two brothers selling off the Montreal business to each start a new business for their sons to continue. Now, what would really help me tie a bow on that early history is if you could provide a source for the information that Thomas founded the Toronto business (and that the year was 1876.) I did not see a mention of Thomas in the Canadian Magazine article. Do you recall where you learned about Thomas? Here is a link to the 1868 Lovell Directory ad for the business in Montreal:
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Ottawa history fans seem only to know about the Parker's business founded in Ottawa in 1876 by Thomas' brother Robert, and few know there were two. (It appears the brothers sold off their Montreal business to launch these two new enterprises.) R. Parker and Co. of Toronto established an Ottawa Branch at 211 Sparks St. in 1911, in competition with the Ottawa Parker's at 260 Sparks. That continued through 1923, after which there was only one which appears to have been an continuation of Ottawa-based business, and modern-day Parker's history pages link it to Ottawa origins. I'm looking for the history of Parker's in Toronto say 1922-1930. Did this huge business really get absorbed by its Ottawa cousin? Or was it the other way around? Or...? You might enjoy this photo from Library and Archives Canada of a (Toronto-based) Parker's Dye Works Truck in Ottawa, June 1922 (MIKAN 3382063)
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Apr 16, 2019