Amable Belanger, a foundry apprentice from Levis, was the founder of the firm known today as A. Belanger, Limitee, of Montmagny, Quebec. The year was 1867, but it was not until 1889 that a foundry capable of becoming the nucleus of an important industry was constructed. Thereafter the business grew rapidly.
In 1908, Amable Belanger Sr. handed on the management to his son, Amable, Jr., who modernized the manufacturing methods, built up an efficient sales force and effected a rapid increase in business. His premature death at the age of only 35, in 1913, ended five years of progressive management.
The elder Belanger then engaged Philippe Bechard as General Manager and the following year, at Amable Belanger’s direction, a new company, A. Belanger Limitee, was formed to take over the business. The new firm’s four associates were Mr. Bechard, D. 0. L’Esperance, M.P., J. H. Fortier of Quebec City (afterwards, in 1925-26, President of The Canadian Manufacturers’ Association), and J. C. Hebert.
Production at this period consisted of stoves of all kinds, plows, disc harrows and similar equipment. Extensions onto the main plant were built in 1915 and again in 1919. In the latter year, founder Amable Belanger died.
During the 1939-45 war the production of submarine depth-charges took precedence over peacetime products. The transformation of the plant to its present day proportions began in 1954 with large-scale production of electric ranges. At this time the “Castel” and “Chatelet” series achieved immense success, thanks in part to the television publicity derived from the famous “Maman Plouffe.”
Photo of the main plant of A. Belanger Ltd. In 1960 the Corporation d’Expansion Financiere of Montreal acquired the shares of A. Belanger Ltee and took control of the company as its first industrial venture. The following year Belanger purchased Defrostomatic Ltd. of Granby, closed the Granby works and integrated Defrostomatic’s refrigerator and freezer manufactures into the Montmagny works.
A. Belanger Limitee in its hundredth year produces a complete line of household appliances including ranges, refrigerators and freezers. The foundry operation, wholly owned through a subsidiary, operates as a separate division and produces special castings, by the Meehanite process, for machinery and equipment manufacturers.