Who We Are
T.S. Simms & Co. has a long history as the foremost manufacturer of quality painting tools in Canada. In fact, the Simms Company has had a well-known tradition of craftsmanship and innovation since 1866. The Company’s solid reputation is due to the dedication of its people and a consistent focus on quality and service.
At Simms, we combine the most modern of automated manufacturing methods with the traditional skills of our craftspeople, often incorporating extra steps, to ensure that our paint applicator products are of the very highest quality. Only the best materials are purchased for our paint brush and roller lines. Several of our patented design plastic trays and roller frames have become the standard for the industry and we have one of the most comprehensive selections of painting tools for both the Do It Yourselfer and Painting Professional.
The Simms Company had its beginnings in 1866 when Thomas Stockwell Simms, an American civil war veteran, invested his soldiers back pay and bonus in a small brush and broom operation in Portland, Maine. This fledgling enterprise was enticed to move in 1872 to Saint John, New Brunswick which at the time was a bustling port city, world famous for shipbuilding.
Thomas Simms was a remarkable man who persisted in the face of many trials and tribulations ranging from the loss of two wives to a disastrous fire of the factory. Despite all of this, he never faltered and the business forged ahead.
He travelled the world and was one of the first brushmakers to visit China in the early 1900s and buy bristle directly from there. Also, he was active in the lay missionary movement. As testimony to his notable efforts and commitment in this latter respect, the Simms Memorial Baptist Church in India continues to this day with a stronger congregation than ever.
The founder’s son, Lewis Wesley Simms took over running the Company upon his fathers death in 1908, and served as President for the next half century. LW was a dynamic man with a commanding presence. He built on the foundation laid by his father expanding the company from regional to national stature and promoting the development of automated brushmaking equipment. He gained national prominence with the industry and Canadian business scene. He had the notable distinction of being President of both the Canadian Manufacturing Association and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.
He was inducted posthumously into the New Brunswick Business Hall of Fame and the Canadian Hardware Houseware Manufacturing Association‘s Industry Hall of Fame. L.W. Simms has been characterized as a visionary leader in business and employee relations.
Mr. Simms became President of T.S. Simms at the age of 24 following his father’s death in 1908. Within three years he was able to double sales making Simms one of North America’s pre-eminent broom and brush applicator manufacturers. L.W. as he was known soon became an advocate for business reform across Canada, traveled extensively throughout North America extolling the virtues of free trade, and campaigned for better treatment of local manufacturers through the Maritime Freight Rates Act. At the time of his death in 1957, he was the only one to have served as President of both the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Manufacturers Association. He was a founding member of the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council and President of both the Saint John and Maritime Provinces Boards of Trade. During his career, Mr. Simms was a member of the Select Committee responsible for drafting the New Brunswick Workmen’s Compensation Act and was credited with implementing many employee benefits well ahead of their common acceptance and application. Mr. Simms was recently inducted into the New Brunswick Business Hall of Fame.”
Assuming the presidency following his fathers passing in 1957, Thomas Stockwell Simms II was at the helm during a period of major developments including the establishment of a machinery division, the acquisition of the Toronto based Boeckh Company a well established Canadian paint brush firm: and Simms association with Mosley-Stone, the leading paint applicator firm in England. Aside from these major accomplishments, he was highly regarded by the Company employees for his friendliness and the personal interest he took in each one of them. He retired in the early 70s and passed away in 1998.
The great grandson of the founder, Thomas Stockwell Simms III, carried on the traditions of quality and integrity on which the Company was founded. As well, the Company has positioned itself well for the future with a seasoned stable workforce, depth of management, colourful, effective merchandising, substantial plant capacity through investments in “state of the art” equipment, and strong emphasis on innovation and new product development.
Today, our head office, customer service, marketing and sales are located in Saint John, NB. Our manufacturing and warehouse facility is in Erin, Ontario.
The company’s success, in no small measure, can be accredited to its reputation for reliability and business ethics and its record of quality and service.