Polson Iron Works Limited

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Polson Iron Works Limited
IndustryShipbuilding
FateCeased operations
PredecessorWilliam Polson and Company c. 1883
Founded1886
FounderWilliam Polson
Franklin Bates Polson
Defunct1919
HeadquartersToronto 1886–1888 and 1893–1919, Owen Sound 1888–1893, ,
Number of locations
Toronto, Owen Sound
Area served
Canada
Key people
William Polson – co-founder, Franklin Bates Polson – co-founder
ProductsFerries
Launching a ship at the Polson Iron Works shipyard.

The Polson Iron Works was an Ontario based firm which built large steam engines, and ships, barges and dredges.[1]

Founded by William Polson (1834–1901) and son Franklin Bates Polson, the firm was incorporated in 1886 and it was one of the original shipyards operating in Toronto.

In 1888 favourable land grants prompted the company to move to Owen Sound, which was then an important port for Canadian Pacific's steamships.

The firm eventually returned to Toronto in 1897 when Owen Sound's town council did not renew the firm's exemption from property taxes. In Toronto the company's ship yard was located on the harbourfront at the foot of Sherbourne Street. In 1914 the company agreed to lease land from the Toronto Harbour Commission to build a new facility in the newly reclaimed Portlands industrial district, but the outbreak of World War I prevented the move.

Some of the vessels constructed by the Polson Iron Works remain in service today. They include SS Bigwin, PS Trillium and MV Kwasind.[2]

The engines and hull of Bonnington, a steamboat that ran on the Arrow Lakes from 1911 to 1931, were built at the Polson Iron Works, and shipped by rail to British Columbia.[3]

The company ceased operations around 1919[4], but the name lives on in Polson Pier, where the company had intended to relocate the shipyard.

Ships built[edit]

Polson was a builder of Motor yachts for the wealthy in Toronto during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

List of Ships built:[5]

Motor yachts[edit]

  • Mockingbird (1886)
  • Vivid (1886)
  • Rescue (1886)
  • Electric (1887)
  • Gypsy (1887)
  • Siesta (1889)
  • Undine (1889)
  • Naiad (1890)
  • Siesta (1892)
  • Undine (1892)
  • Mizpah (1892)
  • Annie C. Hill (1898)
  • Wanda (1898)
  • Bobs (1900)
  • Llaus (1900)
  • Islander (1900)
  • Llano (1900)
  • Ina (1901)
  • Kate (1902)
  • Espanola (1902)
  • Linnea (1903)
  • Mildred (1903)
  • Rambler (1903)
  • Temagami (1905)
  • Wanda II (1905)
  • Wawinet (1904)
  • Keego (1909)
  • Sir Wilfrid (1902)
  • Morning Star (1907)
  • Roberval (1907)
  • Bessie Butler (1907)
  • P.W.D. No. 117 (1909)
  • Kwasind (1912)
  • Wanda III (1915)

Tugs[edit]

  • Conqueror (1886)
  • Pikouagami (1906)
  • Loretta (1908)
  • G.R. Geary (1912)
  • Batchawanna (1912)

Ferries[edit]

  • City of Chatham (1888)
  • Mizpah (1889)
  • Majestic (1899)
  • Algoma (1901)
  • Charles Lyon (1908)
  • Kuskanook

Passenger vessels[edit]

  • Manitoba (1889)

Train ferries[edit]

  • Ontario (1890, for CPR)
  • Ontario #2 (1915)

Patrol boats[edit]

Others[edit]

  • Knapp roller boat (1897)
  • Barge Inenew (1902)
  • Lightship Lurcher (1903)
  • Lightship Anticosti (1904)
  • Hercules (1906)
  • Barge Navarch (1906)
  • Keego (1909)
  • Clinker Shuniah (1910)
  • Fireboat T.J. Clark (1911)
  • Drill Scow MNCO No 6 (1912)
  • Clinker Port Nelson (1913)
  • Dredge City Dredge No 2 (1914)
  • Cyclone (1914)
  • Buoy tender Grenville (1914)
  • Terminals Lighter Hudson Bay No. 1 (1914)
  • Terminals Lighter Hudson Bay No. 2 (1914)
  • Terminals Lighter Hudson Bay No. 3 (1914)
  • Q.H.C. No 51 (1914)
  • Q.H.C. No 52 (1914)
  • Q.H.C. No 53 (1914)
  • Q.H.C. No 54 (1914)
  • Q.H.C. No 55 (1914)
  • Seventy Five (1915)
  • Tornado (1915)

Naval vessels[edit]

Cargo vessels[6][edit]

  • Tento (1918)
  • Asp (1918)
  • War Hydra (1919)
  • War Taurus (1919)
  • War Tamiskaming (1919)
  • Aquila / War Hamilton (1919)
  • War Algoma (1919)
  • War Halton (1919)

Aircraft[edit]

In 1916 Polson Iron Works was involved in the production of the M.F.P Tractor Biplane for MFP Company owned by J.B. Miller, Walter L. Fairchild and Walter H. Phipps.[7] The plane was designed by Walter H. Phipps, owner of Steel Constructed Aeroplanes Co of New York. Fairchild was a monoplane pioneer from Hempstead Plains, New York.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Michael B. Moir. "Polson, Franklin Bates". Dictionary of Canadian Biography. Retrieved 22 March 2012. The steady advancement of the business led to its incorporation on 23 Oct. 1886 as the Polson Iron Works Company of Toronto Limited, with William as president and Franklin as secretary-treasurer.
  2. ^ "Nautical History". Save Ontario Shipwrecks. 2003. Archived from the original on 27 March 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2011. The Iron Works only two existing ships in Toronto are the Trillium (built in 1913, which still ferry's passengers to Centre Island) and the RCYC passenger ferry Kwasind (1913).
  3. ^ Robert D. Turner (1998). Sternwheelers and Steam Tugs – An Illustrated History of the Canadian Pacific Railway's British Columbia Lake and River Service. Sono Nis Press. ISBN 9781550390896. Retrieved 22 March 2012.
  4. ^ "Polson Iron Works Timeline". polsonironworks.ca. 2012. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  5. ^ "List of Ships Built". polsonironworks.com. 2014. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  6. ^ http://shipbuildinghistory.com/canadayards/polson.htm
  7. ^ http://polsonironworks.com/Plane1916.html