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Our History


Since 1855


Before the advent of the light bulb and automobiles, there was Samuel, Son & Co.


The company started by two brothers in 1855 and still owned by the Samuel family today has forged a long road into becoming a leader in the metals industry. Catch a glimpse of the Samuel story and the evolving history of the North American metals market.

Explore our dynamic historical timeline:


1855

“M & L Samuel” opens in Toronto
“M & L Samuel” opens in Toronto

Brothers Mark and Lewis Samuel open M & L Samuel, a hardware and metals import/ export business in downtown Toronto, Canada. They set up operations in a narrow corner building known as "The Coffin Block". Toronto’s famous Flatiron Building stands in this location today.


1867

Sigmund Samuel is born
Sigmund Samuel is born

Sigmund Samuel, son of Lewis Samuel, is born in a downtown, working-class district of Toronto, Canada. Sigmund is later to be sole owner of Samuel, Son & Co., Limited.


1881

A move to the expanding financial district
A move to the expanding financial district

M & L Samuel makes its first acquisition of Hall & Company and moves to the center of Toronto's commercial district along Yonge Street. A young Sigmund Samuel joins the firm.


1888

Fire destroys Yonge Street location -- Front Street development
Fire destroys Yonge Street location -- Front Street development

The Yonge St premises are destroyed by fire, but the purchase of rival wholesale hardware firm Risley & Kerrigan allow for expanded inventory and warehouse space near the future site of Toronto's main railway station, Union Station.


1907

New building and warehouse expansion
New building and warehouse expansion

In the early years of the century, M & L Samuel builds a new location. The brick stone building is still found at the intersection of King and Spadina in Toronto.


1929

Growth during depression era – the Waterfront plant
Growth during depression era – the Waterfront plant

After 20 years, M & L Samuel decides to move the center of operations to a larger building along Fleet Street in Toronto, capitalizing on the city’s waterfront trade.


1931

Company re-named as “Samuel, Son & Co., Limited”
Company re-named as “Samuel, Son & Co., Limited”

After 50 years in the business, Sigmund Samuel buys out the remaining company partners and becomes sole owner. He re-names the business Samuel, Son & Co., Limited, which remains to this day.


1940

The beginnings of the Samuel Family’s association with the ROM
The beginnings of the Samuel Family’s association with the ROM

As a founding visionary member of the Royal Ontario Museum, Sigmund Samuel creates the expansive Canadiana Gallery of Art. The Gallery contains one of the largest collections of Canadian artworks, including the historic "The Death of Wolfe". The Samuel family continues this rich history with the ROM to this day, with contributions of the Samuel Hall, the Sigmund Samuel Gallery of Canada, and the Samuel European Galleries.


1955

100th Anniversary
100th Anniversary

Samuel celebrates 100 years and the company is recognized by the City of Toronto for its contributions to the industrial strength of the region.


1956

Expansion into Quebec markets
Expansion into Quebec markets

The first Samuel branch outside of Toronto opens in Montreal, the industrial center of Quebec. Today, Samuel has five locations within the province of Quebec.


1960

New headquarters built in Mississauga
New headquarters built in Mississauga

The city expropriates Samuel’s Fleet Street plant in order to build the Gardiner Expressway. Samuel sees the development opportunities just west of Toronto and builds its new, and still current, headquarters on Dixie Road in Mississauga.


1962

Ernest Samuel becomes President
Ernest Samuel becomes President

Sigmund Samuel, modern day founder of Samuel, Son & Co., Limited, passes away. He is revered for his 73 years of service at the company and his many philanthropical accomplishments. Ernest Samuel, grandson to Sigmund, becomes President.


1963

Samuel Strapping Systems established
Samuel Strapping Systems established

Samuel creates a Packaging division, which manufactures a broad range of steel strapping, hand tools and unitizing equipment. Today, Samuel Strapping Systems & Distribution is Samuel’s largest manufacturing division.


1967

Canadian Metal Rolling Mills (CMRM) established
Canadian Metal Rolling Mills (CMRM) established

CMRM’s extensive manufacturing site opens under Samuel's direction. Over the years, the operation has become part of Samuel’s Roll Formed Products group, a key manufacturing division of the company.


1968

Samuel’s product line expands to include aluminum
Samuel’s product line expands to include aluminum

Aluminum becomes a major alloy used in auto, boat and airplane manufacturing. Samuel’s current day Aluminum Products Group offers a wide range of coil, sheet, plate, and other standard and custom shapes.


1972

Samuel Bothwell & Nelson Steel
Samuel Bothwell & Nelson Steel

Samuel acquires Bothwell Steel, a cold finished bar distributor. In this same year, Nelson Steel, a pickling operation, is also established.


1973

Advancements in Samuel’s product line: stainless steel
Advancements in Samuel’s product line: stainless steel

Stainless steel gains momentum as an ideal material for a host of commercial applications. Today, Samuel’s Stainless Steel Products Group offers an expansive range of coil, sheet, plate, bar, and other standard and custom shapes.


1975

Associated Tube joins Samuel
Associated Tube joins Samuel

Associated Tube, a manufacturer of specialty engineered tubing solutions, becomes a part of Samuel’s manufacturing arm. Operating from a central location, the division currently drives Samuel’s Stainless Steel Tubular Products group.


1978

Bartram Steel acquired
Bartram Steel acquired

Samuel buys Bartram Steel in Montreal, Quebec and Stoney Creek, Ontario. The Montreal office currently operates under Samuel et Fils operations in Quebec, Canada.


1985

Samuel Manu-Tech Inc. is created
Samuel Manu-Tech Inc. is created

The formation of a new company, Samuel Manu-Tech (SMT), combines Nelson Steel, Canadian Rolling Mills and Samuel Strapping Systems. SMT goes public and makes new acquisitions until 2010 when SMT shareholders approve an amalgamation with Samuel.


1990

135 years of Samuel
135 years of Samuel

President Ernest Samuel and over 1700 Samuel employees celebrate the company's 135th anniversary.


1991

Expansion in Strip Steel, Plate Sales and Flat Rolled
Expansion in Strip Steel, Plate Sales and Flat Rolled

Samuel acquires Dofasco's Whittar Steel Strip Division (Detroit) and Wilkinson Flat Rolled Division. Also purchased is Newman Steel – Canada's largest plate distributor, which now operates as Samuel Plate Sales.


1992

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is signed
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is signed

Metal Center News pictures President Wayne Bassett and Chairman Ernest Samuel on its cover. NAFTA opens new trade opportunities within the industry. Samuel also acquires Amari Metals Canada, Nessa (Aerospace), Bainesteel, and 50% of Dominion Bridge.


1994

“The Samuel Way” corporate training program
“The Samuel Way” corporate training program

CEO Bassett and President Samuel unveil "The Samuel Way", a program to orient "employees to the way we believe people should be treated and how we believe the business should be run." These principles guide Samuel’s operations to this day.


1995

Major US and Canadian expansion
Major US and Canadian expansion

In 1995 and 1996, Samuel purchases locations in Texas and a new branch in Central Canada opens. Carbon flat rolled operations are strengthened by acquisitions of Russel Metal’s flat rolled business and the Nash Road plant in Hamilton, Ontario.


1997

Blanking operations established in Central region
Blanking operations established in Central region

Samuel Metal Blanking establishes a service center in Central Canada (Stoney Creek, Ontario). Also in this year, a new Samuel branch for Western Canada is launched in Langley, British Columbia.


1998

Canadian western expansion continues
Canadian western expansion continues

Samuel opens branches in Central and Western Canada, including Alberta and Saskatchewan. A new partnership is formed with Custom Plate and Profile in British Columbia.


2000

A legacy remembered and a new Chair elected
A legacy remembered and a new Chair elected

Ernest Samuel passes away at the age of 70. His legacy of business acumen and philanthropy, along with a love of thoroughbred horse racing, is remembered by his peers and employees. Elizabeth Samuel, a long-standing board member, is elected Chair.


2001

Stamping, Plate and Aerospace developments
Stamping, Plate and Aerospace developments

Samuel acquires the assets of Turner Steel to form Samuel Stamping Technologies and also Blackstone Plate to form Samuel Plate Sales Buffalo. Samuel opens the Baie D’Urfe aerospace metals distribution branch in Quebec.


2003

Stronger ties across borders
Stronger ties across borders

Samuel purchases Sennett Steel of Michigan and folds in the business of Triad Metals, which further adds to the Samuel Midwest organization. Also in that year, a new trading operation, Samuel International, is launched to increase global purchasing.


2005

150th Anniversary
150th Anniversary

The company celebrates 150 years of Samuel and 5 generations of ownership by the Samuel family, making it the longest-running and largest family-owned metal service center corporation in North America.


2006

Mark Samuel succeeds as Chairman
Mark Samuel succeeds as Chairman

Mark Samuel, son of Ernest and Elizabeth, having previously served as both President and CEO of Samuel Manu-Tech Inc., takes over as Chairman of the Samuel Group of Companies. In the same year, major acquisitions take place in Colorado, California, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Mexico.


2007

Wayne Bassett named Service Center Executive of the Year
Wayne Bassett named Service Center Executive of the Year

Wayne Bassett, President and CEO, receives industry recognition for his leadership and record of growth at Samuel. Samuel adds branches in Central Canada, Midwest USA, the UK and China. The Steel Pressure Vessel Group adds a new division, Northland Stainless.


2008

Partnership with largest distributor in Mexico
Partnership with largest distributor in Mexico

Samuel expands sales in Mexico by partnering with its largest distributor: Villacero Joint Venture. Other strategic acquisitions strengthen the manufacturing groups of Carbon Steel Tubular Products, Roll Formed Products and Steel Pickling Services.


Expansion of Canadian flat rolled business & blanking operations
Expansion of Canadian flat rolled business & blanking operations

Namasco Limited of Canada is purchased by Samuel from Klöckner & Co. AG of Germany. The acquisition expands Samuel’s position as the leading supplier of carbon and specialty flat rolled products in Ontario and Quebec, as well as strengthens Samuel’s presence in Western Canada. The purchase includes the Brantford blanking facility, now known as Samuel Metal Blanking, which dramatically increases Samuel’s value added blanking services, including exposed automotive blanks.


2009

Elizabeth Samuel honoured
Elizabeth Samuel honoured

The newly renovated Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto honours the life and work of long-time Museum supporter Elizabeth Samuel with its rooftop “Liza’s Garden”. In addition to being Chair of The Samuel Group for many years, the late Liza Samuel served the ROM in many capacities, including Chair of the Board of Trustees. Liza Samuel's dedication to her philanthropic work, among which include the creation of the Samuel MRI Centre of the Oakville-Trafalgar Memorial Hospital, continues to serve local communities.


2010

Combined strength through amalgamation
Combined strength through amalgamation

Shareholders approve the amalgamation of Samuel Manu-Tech (SMT) and Samuel, Son and Co., Limited. The move adds a wide range of manufacturing capabilities to Samuel’s company portfolio in both packaging and metal processing.


2011

New directions in emerging markets
New directions in emerging markets

Samuel creates new specialized product groups to serve emerging markets, such as wind energy and solar power. Samuel, Son and Co., Limited currently operates over 100 facilities worldwide in metals manufacturing, processing, distribution and transportation.


2012

System advancements and new acquisitions
System advancements and new acquisitions

Samuel installs a new leveling system at its Nash Road, Hamilton, ON facility, setting a new bar for metal flatness. The Service Center network also expands operations in Tampa, FL, Dartmouth, NS and completes acquisition of Doral Steel, a longtime leader in south and mid-west operations with centers in Toledo, OH and Clinton, TN. At the end of 2012, Frontier Steel Company, a carbon plate distributor and processor in Pittsburgh, PA is acquired. In manufacturing, the acquisition of Stanrail Corporation by the Roll Form Group creates new opportunities for Samuel in the specialization of metal railcar parts and accessories.


2013

Increased market share and dynamic change
Increased market share and dynamic change

In April, the acquisition of Wilkinson Steel & Metals was completed. Wilkinson, with a renowned century-long history and with numerous service center locations, proved to be an ideal acquisition to grow in different markets and offer new options to customers in Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest. Shortly after this acquisition came the announcement of Mr. Bill Chisholm as the new President & CEO of Samuel, Son & Co., Limited. Mr. Chisholm came to Samuel with a distinguished background in the steel industry, serving in numerous executive positions with Dofasco and ArcelorMittal. He succeeded Mr. Wayne K. Bassett, who retired after nearly four decades at Samuel. In 2013, Samuel also announced an expansion of various processing and storage operations, including: Samuel Hayward in Hayward, California, Nelson Steel Pickling in Stoney Creek, Ontario, Samuel Houston in Houston, Texas, Steel Fab in Lebanon, Virginia, and Samuel Atlanta in Alpharetta, Georgia.


2014

Safety Performance Initiatives & Positioning for the Future
Safety Performance Initiatives & Positioning for the Future

In his first full year as President and CEO of Samuel, Bill Chisholm oversaw company growth and instituted a series of performance initiatives to prioritize safety measures across the company. Safety rollouts included the review and modernization of machine guarding across locations, an updated company-wide online training system, and the first annual “Samuel Safety Week” to generate ideas, discussion and action related to improving health and safety. Company revenues increased and other strategic decisions saw Samuel strengthen its position as the largest family-owned metals distributor, and reached the Top 3 in the North American Service Center industry. New facilities and capabilities began operation in Illinois, Manitoba, Virginia, Georgia, and Chengdu (China), and a state-of-the-art facility was announced for Tennessee.


Kim-Tam turns 50
Kim-Tam turns 50

Also in 2014, Kim-Tam Truck Leasing, the nationwide trucking operation of Samuel, celebrated its 50th anniversary. In 1964, Ernie Samuel, then President of Samuel, Son & Co., Limited, recognized that Samuel required an in-house trucking company to efficiently handle the growing volume of metal processing. Kim-Tam Trucking was created as an independent trucking affiliate of Samuel, Son & Co., Limited. The name was derived from the names of his two daughters Kimberly and Tammy.


2015

160 Years of Samuel
160 Years of Samuel

In early 2015, the company launched its enhanced online historical timeline to highlight the people, products, and innovation behind 160 remarkable years of Samuel. 2015 was also an important year for automotive, notably with Samuel’s state-of-the-art metal processing facility in Columbia, Tennessee. Numerous locations invested in new equipment and processing: Plate drilling and cutting equipment at Custom Plate & Profiles in British Columbia, high-definition inspection equipment at Samuel Steel Pickling in Ohio, plasma cutting at Samuel Hayward in California, and advanced sawing capabilities at both Samuel Portland in Oregon and at Basic Stainless in Wisconsin. In addition to service center operations, manufacturing core competencies increased in packaging, roll forming, pressure vessels, tube-making and the pickling of steel. Samuel’s division specializing in stainless steel tubular products, Associated Tube Group, celebrated its 60th year of operation in Canada.



 



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