Risley & Kerrigan

Toronto, Ontario

The Toronto
Beveled – Gold bronzed, Extra Refined English Cast Steel
Assorted weights: 3-5lbs

Risley & Kerrigan was a hardware company located in Toronto, Canada that operated between 1883 and 1889. It was owned by John T. Risley and James Kerrigan, two Canadian-born entrepreneurs.

The company grew quickly and by 1885, it employed 35 workers in the warehouse and 7 traveling salesmen who helped the company do a large amount of business in the western provinces. The Toronto warehouse was six stories and located at 30 Front St. in Toronto, and in 1886.

Risley & Kerrigan released the first fully illustrated hardware catalog in Canada (by their own account).

However, the company ran into trouble in 1889 as the firm was connected to customs fraud. They were forced to meet with creditors over a reported $150,000 debt and closed soon after.

Risley & Kerrigan Axes

Risley & Kerrigan axes were produced for them by the Dundas Axe Works, using iron bodies and British cast steel for the bits from Thomas Firth & Sons (Sheffield, England).

There were two chopping axes – The Ontario, and The Toronto. Because of the limited production, paper labels, and time period – there are no known examples.

The Ontario
Beveled – Gold bronzed, Extra Refined English Cast Steel
Assorted weights: 3-5lbs

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  1. Risley & Kerrigan Catalog – University of Alberta Libraries
  2. History of Toronto and County of York, Ontario (1885)
  3. The Montreal Herald Feb 2, 1989 – Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec