In 1873, the firm of Mulholland & Baker had existed for 14
years. Specializing in the importation and wholesaling of hardware
and iron goods, the company maintained its offices in rented premises
at 421 St. Paul Street (today, 171 St. Paul Street West) while
its warehouse and yard were situated nearby at 25-35 St. François-Xavier
Street. The firm’s founding partners were Henry Mulholland,
formerly associated with Benjamin Brewster in a hardware concern,
and Joel C. Baker, a newcomer to the business.
When Mulholland and Baker formed their
partnership in April 1859, they declared their occupations as iron
and hardware merchants. During the first decade of operations, they
joined in at least one venture, in 1867, with a manufacturer and
two other hardware merchants to obtain nails. In exchange for the
delivery of iron and machine tools, the manufacturer agreed to supply
each of the hardware dealers with 500 tons of nails per year. In
later years the firm broadened its activities by importing its own
raw materials and by manufacturing nails itself. The scope of the
business is suggested by a description published in the Lovell’s
directory of 1876-1877: “Importers
of hardware, iron, steel, tin, Canada plates, window glass; manufacturers
of cut nails, and also of the new chisel pointed cut nail”.
Their clients consisted of small shopkeepers, as well as merchants,
blacksmiths and farriers who operated in the central and southern
parts of the province of Quebec. The company was dissolved in 1879.