Looking for Barrister Bookcase historical Info

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Forum topic by BeachedBones posted 06-08-2009 06:26 PM 3590 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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201 posts in 3401 days

06-08-2009 06:26 PM

Topic tags/keywords: restoration barrister bookcase information question

I’ve started a significant restoration of a fire damaged section of a barrister bookcase that I have. I’m in the dismantling section and have uncovered a manufacturing label. I haven’t been able to find any information besides a brief history of the company. I’d like to find more detailed information of their barrister bookcases. Pictures, sizes options, value etc. If anybody knows where I can find more information, I’d appreciate it. It’s pretty faded but the label says

“Patented May,1901
The Office Specialty MFG.CO. LImited
Toronto & Newmarket, Ontario.”

Thanks for your help.

-- You know.... I think that old wood needs to be furniture.

1 reply so far

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172 posts in 3273 days

#1 posted 06-09-2009 08:21 PM

Go to the bottom of the page. It was an old catalog from 1896. Maybe they can tell you who bought it?

And a little more info:

newmarket ontario-status and/or history of The Office Specialty Mfg. Co.?


I’m doing some casual research on the CNR, which served the Office Specialty plant within Newmarket until ca. 1970—it appears in timetables through April 1969 but is not programmed in April 1970. I’ve be told that the main plant (south of Timothy Street) be destroyed in a fire. There are some postcard view on my website


I’m in the process of locating the relevant broadsheet articles and will pass along doesn`t matter what I find—hope you can reciprocate.

The building north of Timothy Street surived and is still standing (refer to Town of Newmarket links below).

The article “Canadians at Work”, The Globe and Mail, Sat. Aug. 18, 1956, p. 24 provides brief corporate history of Office Specialty:

  • 1885 Office Specialty established in Toronto
  • 1898 Operates entirely contained by Newmarket
  • 1943 Rochester owners of Office Specialty bankrupt, G.L. Manning representing workforce buys company at public auction.

The Globe and Mail of Friday November 16, 1951 states that shares of Office Specialty will begin trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.


-- Steve, Webster Groves, MO "A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."

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