Brunswick



Canadian Music Trades Journal, September 1916, p. 75: Musical Instrument Exhibits at Canadian National Exhibition - Exhibition Notes: "A couple of types of the Brunswick phonograph are now on display at the showrooms of the Brunswick-Balke Collender Co., Toronto. These are the production of their own factory at Toronto, the cabinets being in mahogany."

Talking Machine World, September 15, 1917, p. 39: "The Musical Merchandise Sales Co., 80 York Street, Toronto, are handling the Brunswick phonographs. A large part of the enormous Brunswick-Balke-Collender Co. of Canada, Ltd., factory in Toronto has been set aside for the manufacture of Brunswick Phonographs, and no expense has been spared in the equipment to enable the very highest class of work to be done at a minimum cost."



In Roll Back The Years>, Edward Moogk (National Library of Canada, 1975) p.62 mentioned:

"There was no letup in the flood of new companies during 1917, and Toronto continued as the phonograph distribution capital. That year marked the debut in Canada of one of the great names in the industry. The Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company of Canada Limited opened a large factory and introduced the Brunswick phonograph ("not as an interesting mechanical achievement, but as a musical instrument") at the Canadian National Exhibition in its "All Phonographs in One" exhibit, where a million visitors were reported to have looked over the new entry. Although most of its plant was geared to manufacturing phonographs, the company announced that records would soon be on the way.  Brunswick's first distributor was the Musical Merchandise Sales Co. at 80 York Street."

(the following image is from page 63)



Talking Machine World, October 15, 1922, p. 150: "The Brunswick-Balke-Collender Co., this city [Toronto], where the Brunswick phonographs are made for the Canadian trade, has just completed the construction and delivery of a superb period model Brunswick phonograph for one of the palatial homes in Vancouver. This instrument was sold through the Kent Piano Co., of that city. Complete details of design and carving were forwarded to the Brunswick factory."

Talking Machine World, December 15, 1924, p. 188: "Brunswick W. B. Puckett, president of Musical Merchanise Co., Ltd., has assumed the general management of the Brunswick-Balke Collender Co., of Canada, Ltd., with headquarters in this city. The latter organization is affiliated with the parent company, the Brunswick-Balke-Collender Co., of Chicago. Up to the present time the company manufactured for the Canadian maret at its factory on Hanna avenue, which plant was established in Canada in 1903, but its phonograph and record products were distributed by Musical Merchandise Co., Ltd., of which latter firm Mr. Puckett was president. The manufacturing end of the business remains unchanged but the distributing division is now to be amalgamated with the parent business and new office quarters and warerooms have been taken at 358 Bay Street, in which the stock and staff are now comfortably settled."


Billboard for Brunswick Phonographs and Records at Brunswick Hall, 228 Yonge Street, Toronto. A York model phonograph is featured. Source: Toronto Public Library, Fonds 1488; E.L. Ruddy Company fonds.




This machine was for sale at an outdoor antique show May 2009, southern Ontario (photos by KW). It was "Sold by Frank Stanley, Toronto". The Stanley Piano factory was located at 121-135 De Grassi St. and 32-50 Cummings St., and the store at 14 Temperance St., Toronto. Frank Stanley is also an agent for Brunswick Phonographs and Records at 241 Yonge St.

Downright Upright, Wayne Kelly, p. 120: "Stanley acquired the assets of the Cecilian Piano Co. [in 1922]. Two years later, however, the firm failed. Mason & Risch picked up the stock at auction."




Betty Minaker-Pratt contributes the following:

Arthur Zimmerman and I visited Archives of Ontario (AO), Companies Branch, Provincial Secretary where we found the first mention of Brunswick head office at 70 King St. west, licensed to operate in Ontario from the company in Cincinnati, Dec. 1906. Attached is the letterhead showing their start making billiard tables, bowling alley equipment, bar fixtures, Feb 15, 1909 (AO, Companies Branch, BP, AZ). [detail]




Regarding Brunswick, Balke, Collender, and their first production in Toronto by Sept. 1916 (all courtesy BP): CMTJ (Canadian Music Trades Journal), Aug. 1916, p. 95 (Tor. Ref.) - "The Brunswick Balke Collender Co., Toronto ...are bringing out a line of talking machines. These are already being manufactured by the Chicago Factory."

CMTJ, Sept. 1916, p. 75 "A couple of types of the Brunswick phonograph are now on display at the showrooms of the Brunswick Balke Collender Co. Toronto. These are the production of their own factory at Toronto, the cabinets being in mahogany."

London Free Press newspaper (AO), Nov. 1, 1919, stated that "Woodstock Lands a Big Factory. The Canadian Products Company is manufacturing for Brunswick, in Woodstock as well as Toronto.

Betty Pratt's snapshots of the present Brunswick building with Brunswick painted on the brick on the north facade. The location is Hanna Ave, Dufferin and King area, and the current building is occupied by the restaurant, The Academy of Spherical Arts. Here they have a collection of antique billiard tables.



The south side of the building also has words on the wall, as you saw in the letterhead of Feb. 15, 1909.




Photo (Collection of Bill & Betty Pratt) shows the interior of what we expect to be the Brunswick factory. This supposition is based on the cabinets which have the legs and carving similar to the Ultona. The only other clues that it is definitely Canadian, are the boy's Magic Baking Powder cap, and the Pequegnat clock on the wall. The window arrangement also matches the present building seen from the south. Although new windows are minus the small window panes, we can see the arrangement of 4 sections on the south, and 3 on the east wall.




Winnipeg Tribune, December 22, 1917, p. 28. Made in Canada.



Canadian Furniture World and the Undertaker, January 1918, p. 79.



CMTJ, March 1918 - An announcement is made that Burdick (Burt) Trestrail, W.B. Puckett, and John E. White will establish the Musical Merchandise Sales Co. to distribute Brunswick phonographs in Canada. They are located in the Excelsior Life Bldg., at the corner of Adelaide and Toronto Streets (courtesy BP).






The Globe, January 10, 1920, p. 7. Image digitally enhanced by Hopkin Design.



Toronto Daily Star, March 18, 1920, p. 25 - "There is no reason why everyone should not experience the pleasure of owning this tryly universal and Canadian-made phonograph." Image digitally enhanced by Hopkin Design.



Toronto Daily Star, April 22, 1920, p. 11. Image digitally enhanced by Hopkin Design.



Ottawa Citizen, June 5, 1920, p. 5.



Toronto Daily Star, June 16, 1920, p. 19 - "Made in Canada and a Brunswick product entirely - one of the few Canadian-made phonographs which are built wholly by one factory organization."



Ottawa Citizen, November 10, 1920, p. 7.



Toronto Daily Star, January 12, 1922, p. 7 - "Every Brunswick Phonograph is made in Canada."



Toronto Daily Star, February 14, 1922. "Made in Canada". Image digitally enhanced by Hopkin Design.




A Brunswick pamphlet (collection of Bill & Betty Pratt), Ultona,  patented Sept. 18 1917, pp 1-2, Made in Canada.



Another Brunswick pamphlet (collection of B. & B. Pratt), Ultona, and about 14 other models shown on 2 sides. Made in Canada, distributed by The Musical Merchandise Sales Co, Offices, 79 Wellington St. W. Toronto.



Original ephemera (collection of B. & B. Pratt) dated May 2, 1919, from The Brunswick Balke Collender Co. of Canada Ltd, Toronto. Read This Notice (contents of a packing case for a phonograph).



Original ephemera (collection of B. & B. Pratt), Dec. 6, 1925, Programme at Marlborough Hotel, Winnipeg, Introducing the Brunswick Panatrope. Musical programme listing Brunswick, Columbia, and Victor records.




A Brunswick upright for sale in Calgary, Alberta in 2023.




A Brunswick Panatrope for sale in Taber Municipal District, Alberta in 2023.

Back