The Stevens, Turner And Burns Co Page

Stevens, Turner And Burns Foundry And General Manufacturing Co. Ltd, London, Ontario

Stevens Manufacturing Coy., London, Ontario

Stevens And Burns Co., London, Ontario

Stevens, Turner And Burns Co., London, Ontario

 

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In 1873, a young man by the name of Thomas Allin Stevens, just 23 years old, opened a plumbing shop with his partner William Turner on Richmond Street, in London, Ontario. Stevens was a skilled maker of brass valves, gauges and fittings. ThenIn 1876, the business became Stevens, Turner and Burns, with the addition of James Burns, and their services were expanded to plumbing, gas fitting, and brass finishing.
When the municipal waterworks went out for tender in 1878, it was an opportunity for the small shop to think big. Competing with more than 120 tenders, Stevens, Turner, and Burns was awarded the job by the London Public Utilities Commission. They were paid $194,000 for the reservoir, hydrants, valves, pipes, and pipe laying. They worked hard for it, literally carving the waterworks out of the wilderness as they built London's very first reservoir, pump house, piping system and hydrant network.
By the early 1880s, the company was in the steam engine business. Their Western Empire portable steam engines were widely advertised in The Farmer's Advocate as early as 1880. The advent of the steam engine launched Stevens, Turner and Burns into a whole new venture. Engines were built in the foundry and machine shop on Richmond Street to power the waterworks that Stevens, Turner and Burns had installed just a little more than a year before. After that, the company turned to manufacturing steam engine powered farm machinery for the Canadian northwest.
In 1887, Stevens, Turner and Burns had their first taste of "branching out". Tom Stevens' oldest son, John, moved to Winnipeg and established The John Stevens Company, which sold the mobile steam engines and plumbing supplies in western Canada that his father's company manufactured in London, Ontario.
The operations of Stevens, Turner and Burns ceased in 1894. Then in 1908 the Empire Manufacturing Company opened, established by Tom Stevens and partners J.R. Minhinnick and George Trudell. In 1920, the company's name was revised to Empire Brass Manufacturing Company (Emco) and 1946 the company went public.

 

 

 
Unknown model Hydrant

 

Front view
Nozzles: 2x 2.5", 1x monitor flange
Model: Mathews patent
Date: Unknown
Back view
Side view

Bonnet view
4 bolts in bonnet
arrows and 1, 0

Cast on front:
MADE BY STEVENS MFG COY
LONDON ONT

 

 

 
Walkerton "W" model Hydrant

 

We know very little about the Walkerton Waterworks. We know that the Mathews Pattern hydrants were installed. This fire hydrant was manufactured by Stevens & Burns. If you have any information about these hydrants, please e-mail us.

 

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72 COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION
WALKERTON, Bruce co., (3,075). In operation since 1891; owned by
municipality. Supply: pumped from springs, 1 mile distant, to reservoir
and into mains; steam power used, maximum, 50 h. p., average, 6 h. p.;
boilers in duplicate. Reservoir: one of 300,000 gal. capacity. Distribution:
C. I. mains, 4 in. to 8 in.; 52 hydrants: 360 services, galvanized
iron pipe. Pressure: ordinary, 55 lbs; fire, up to 130 lbs. Financial:
total cost of plant, $45,000; annual maintenance, $2,744; revenue,
$4,000. Rates: flat rate, $4 and upward per dwelling according to
number of rooms; bath room, $5. Bruce Herald

 

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Front View
Nozzles: 2x 2.5"
Model: Mathews Pattern
Date: ~1891

Back View
The letter W is cast on the front and back of hydrant.

Side View

Bonnet View
The bonnet is bolted to the hydrant with 4 square head bolts.

 

 

 
Kingston City Spec Hydrant

 

We know this from an excerpt from the Canadian Architect and Builder, May 1888

'The following were the successful tenders for materials to be used in extending the waterworks system of Kingston Ont:- Cast iron pipe and special castings from A. Garthshore, Hamilton; pig-lead from Jas. Robertson, Montreal; hydrants and valves from Stevens & Burns, London. The cost of labour will be about $40,000'

We know very little about the Kingston WaterWorks or the Kingston Hydrants. We do know that Kingston has had water in mains since 1849. The water service was provided by a private company called the Kingston WaterWorks Company. By 1886, it was evident that the Company was struggling to provide an acceptable level of service to Kingston. They could not provide enough water for the existing system and hydrants. It was at this time that Kingston had 20 new hydrants and 20 old hydrants. On October 1, 1887, the City of Kingston took over control of the waterworks and created a public water system. We do not know who made the old Kingston hydrants, but we believe they are a Mathews Patent Hydrant model. Many of these old hydrants still remain installed in Kingston. We do know that some hydrants were provided to the city of Kingston by Stevens, Turner and Burns of London.

There are two known variations of the Kingston hydrant. One model has a tab cast on the barrel to attach chains, as well as a logo on the back. The other model does not have the chain tab nor any other markings on the barrel. We are not sure which is older and which is newer. Since most hydrant models started out very decorative and ornate, and then later became more simple and plain, we can assume that the model with chains and logo is the older model.

The logo model has a more triangle shaped bonnet, and a deeper bonnet fluting. It has the four bonnet bolts aligned so that there is one in front, one in back, and one on either side. Looking at the hydrant front, three nuts are visible.

The plain model has a more rounded looking bonnet, and less deep bonnet fluting. It has the four bonnet bolts aligned so that there are two in the front and two in the back. Looking at the hydrant front, only two nuts are visible, the two in back are hidden by the two in front. We prefer this arangement.

 

Fire hydrants and information provided courtesy of Lincoln Osborne and Utilities Kingston.
Front view
Nozzles: 2x 2.5", 1x 3.5"
Model#: Unknown
Date: Unknown
V.O.: Unknown
Back view
Nozzles: 2x 2.5", 1x 3.5"
On barrel back: KW logo
The hydrant logo is the letter K superimposed onto the letter W. This could represent "Kingston Water", "Kingston Waterworks", or "Kingston Works".

 
Front view
Nozzles: 2x 2.5", 1x 3.5"
Model#: Unknown
Date: Unknown
V.O.: Unknown
Back view
 

These photos show a cut away view of the boot, valve, and threaded barrel bottom. Photos provided courtesy of Lincoln Osborne and Utilities Kingston.

 

 

 
London City Spec Hydrant

If you have any info about this London, Ontario city spec hydrant, please let us know. All we know about this hydrant is what is written above. It is based on the Mathews Patent design hydrant and built by Stevens, Turner and Burns Co of London.

 

Front view
Nozzles: 2x 2.5", 1x 4.5"
Model: Mathews patent
Date: Unknown
Back view
Nozzles: 2x 2.5", 1x 4.5"
Model: Mathews patent
Date: Unknown
Side view
Nozzles: 2x 2.5", 1x 4.5"
Model: Mathews patent
Date: Unknown
Bonnet view
Nozzles: 2x 2.5", 1x 4.5"
Model: Mathews patent
Date: Unknown

 

 
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City of London Waterworks logo on back of hydrant
Many of these hydrants had an operating nut weather cap on them.. For some reason our model does not have this weather cap. We are not sure if it was always like this, or if it had one and it was removed at one point.

We do not have one of these hydrants in our collection. We have included it here for historical reference only.
Front view
Nozzles: 2x 2.5"
Model: Mathews patent
Date: Unknown
This hydrant is from an unknown location.


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