Western Engine and Supply Company Limited was at 1840 Georgia Street from 1910 to 1912.
John J. Harford organized the business about 1909 to distribute gasoline engines from the Ferro Machine and Foundry Company of Cleveland, Ohio. John Harford was related to Henry Herbert Stevens (1878-1973), a Vancouver politician and businessman.
The business started optimistically.
The Ferro Machine and Foundry Company’s advertisement in 1911 mentioned Western Engine and Supply Company as a distributor.
However, the business did not last, and the company’s name arose during the collapse of the Dominion Trust Company.
“Mr. Stevens’ Reply is Dealt With in Letter; Liberal Candidate Says Federal Member Was Indebted to Dominion Trust Co.” Vancouver Daily World, September 14, 1915, page 2: “Mr. J .S. Cowper, one of the Liberal candidates, in the course of a long letter to the editor of The World, gives further particulars of the dealings of the Dominion Trust Company with Mr. H. H. Stevens, M. P., in connection with which a recent exchange took place between the two men. The letter says In part: “In repeating and extending the charges I made I wish to relieve Mr. Stevens of an alleged innuendo contained in one sentence of the morning paper report. This reads that Mr. Stevens is now being made the subject of a claim by the liquidator of the Dominion Trust for the return of a . . . loan made by Arnold to Mr. Stevens at about the time the Dominion Trust bill passed the House at Ottawa. I am quite aware that, whatever were the negotiations which led to the entry being made in Mr. Stevens’ name at that time, the cash in the transaction had passed previously.” My point In the matter Is that at the very time Mr. Stevens was keeping silence, and of which he said ‘What the Dominion Trust did in its operations had nothing to do with me,’ he was a debtor to the Dominion Trust Company for a debt to secure which, the liquidator has since obtained a mortgage upon his property. I suggest this may have been the cause of his silence at this critical time.
A family matter
“The fact of the matter is the discounting of the Western Engine and Supply Company’s notes in 1911 by the Dominion Trust Company was not quite such an impersonal matter as would appear from Mr. Stevens’ version. It was a family matter made possible by the kindly assistance of the late Mr. Arnold and Dominion Trust funds, probably depositors’ money. The Western Engine and Supply Company was none other than the ubiquitous Mr. H. H. Stevens under a company name. Mr. J. J. Harford, to whom the notes of the Western Engine and Supply Company, duly endorsed by Mr. Stevens, were given, is a brother-in-law of Mr. Stevens. Mr. Arnold obligingly financed the deal, on paper bearing the joint names of the Western Engine and Supply Company and Mr. H. H. Stevens. . . .”