The Brydons

Scotland to Canada

Harold Franklin Ritchie

Harold Franklin Ritchie

Male 1881 - 1933  (52 years)

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  • Name Harold Franklin Ritchie 
    Born 20 Feb 1881  Bobcaygeon, Victoria Co., Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Residence 1891  Little Current, Manitoulin Dist., Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Residence 1921  York Twp., York Co., Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • He's a broker living on Burton Road.
    Died 22 Feb 1933  Toronto, York Co., Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • cardiac and respiratory failure during operation
      gall bladder trouble
    Buried Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto, York Co., Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I1822  Brydon family tree
    Last Modified 2 Aug 2020 

    Father William David Ritchie,   b. 1 Feb 1855, Ogdensburg, St. Lawrence, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Jul 1934, Allandale, Simcoe Co., Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years) 
    Mother Matilda Jane Johnston,   b. 5 Oct 1853, Peterborough, Peterborough Co., Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Oct 1932, Little Current, Manitoulin Dist., Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years) 
    Married 19 Dec 1876  Bobcaygeon, Victoria Co., Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F1009  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Alice Alberta Brydon,   b. 2 Jul 1882, Gravenhurst, Muskoka Dist., Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Apr 1953  (Age 70 years) 
    Married 10 Nov 1908  Toronto, York Co., Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • At Davisville, North Toronto.
    Children 
     1. Dorothy Kathleen Ritchie,   b. 17 Dec 1909, Toronto, York Co., Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Mar 1960, Toronto, York Co., Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 50 years)
     2. Edith Kathleen Ritchie,   b. 16 Oct 1911, Toronto, York Co., Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1980  (Age 68 years)
     3. Alice Margaret Pauline Ritchie,   b. 2 Mar 1915, Toronto, York Co., Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Aug 1967  (Age 52 years)
    +4. Antoinette Virginia Diana Ritchie,   b. 29 Sep 1920, Toronto, York Co., Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1998  (Age 77 years)
    Last Modified 27 Apr 2019 
    Family ID F586  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 20 Feb 1881 - Bobcaygeon, Victoria Co., Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1891 - Little Current, Manitoulin Dist., Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 10 Nov 1908 - Toronto, York Co., Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1921 - York Twp., York Co., Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 22 Feb 1933 - Toronto, York Co., Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto, York Co., Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    Harold F. Ritchie
    Harold F. Ritchie
    "His nom de guerre, immortal in the annals of super-salesmanship, was Carload Ritchie"
    ...Time magazine, Mar. 06, 1933
    Harold Ritchie
    Harold Ritchie

    Headstones
    Ritchie - Brydon
    Ritchie - Brydon

    Harold Ritchie and Alice Alberta Brydon
    plus Alice's two younger sisters, Cecil Margaret and Mable Olive

    photo by 'Tombstone Canuck', Find-a-Grave.com
    Ritchie - Brydon
    Ritchie - Brydon

    Harold Ritchie and Alice Brydon

    photo by 'Tombstone Canuck', Find-a-Grave.com

    Histories
    Builds Bonnie Babies
    Builds Bonnie Babies
    Glaxo a product sold by Harold Ritchie, husband of Alice Alberta Brydon.
    Some of his other products were Tanglefoot fly paper, Glover's Mange Cure and Fralinger's Salt Water Taffy.

    Obituaries
    'noted industrialist is dead'
    "noted industrialist is dead"
    Obit for Harold Ritchie, husband of Alice Brydon

  • Notes 
    • Time Magazine, Monday, Mar. 06, 1933
      Death Comes for the Salesman
      Last week Death came to a squeaky-voiced Canadian named Harold F. Ritchie as he lay on a Toronto operating table. His name is not found on many rosters of the business great, yet he had good claim to the proud title of "World's Greatest Salesman." His Harold F. Ritchie & Co., Ltd. is a globe-embracing network of sales agencies through which such commodities as Rubberset brushes, Tanglefoot fly paper, Glover's Mange Cure and Fralinger's Salt Water Taffy have been broadcast over six continents. His, too, the control of such famed products as Eno's Fruit Salt, Scott's Emulsion, Pompeian beauty cream. And his nom de guerre, immortal in the annals of super-salesmanship, was "Carload Ritchie."
      Harold F. Ritchie was 52 when he died. Appendicitis was the immediate cause, but it was really overwork that did it. He talked day and night, sat up till 4 a. m. if he could get a buyer to listen to him, never walked, played golf, or took any form of exercise, ate only when he happened to think of it (and then in huge quantities). Though he was a devoted family man, he spent less time at home than he did traveling. An air trip around South America to look at his agencies was a routine matter; he once estimated he traveled 125,000 mi. a year. All his traveling was by automobile or plane; trains ran on too regular a schedule for Carload Ritchie. Last autumn he took a trip to the Pacific Coast, insisted on calling on wholesalers in person, sold four carloads of Eno's before he was through. Warmhearted, he would give away anything his friends admired, used to keep 20 or 30 men working till late in the evening and then take them all to a musical show. His own taste ran to sentimental "gypsy" music and Viennese waltzes which he would listen to with the tears running down his plump cheeks. There is reason to believe that Carload Ritchie died on the threshold of a vaster career. Born in the hamlet of Bobcaygeon, Ontario, he used to hang around the local hotel as a schoolboy, eagerly watching the smart traveling salesmen. When he became a salesman himself, it was as a commission agent for more & more old British grocery and drug houses. In 1928 he startled the conservative Britishers in control of Eno's Fruit Salt, whose U. S. and Canadian agent he had been for many years, by buying it (for a reported $10,000,000). Its parent company, International Proprietaries, showed $944,000 earnings in 1931. In 1930 he bought from Colgate-Palmolive-Peet their Pompeian beauty cream business. His partners in the deal were the Shoemakers of Elmira, N. Y., owners of the Frostilla line of beauty lotions, which Ritchie once sold in Canada. In 1931, again in partnership with the Shoemakers, he bought from Scott & Bowne for "several million dollars" their famed old Scott's Emulsion. Thus he was in full stride of expansion when Death overtook him. His executives will carry on the business, but no longer will a squeaky-voiced little man perch on their desks by the hour, no longer will he buttonhole them in thickly carpeted corridors to tell them his newest story.

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      Obituary, The Recorder, Gore Bay, March 2, 1933
      Famous Manitoulin Man Dies Suddenly at Toronto
      By Ken. W. MacTaggart
      Mail and Empire staff Writer
      Harold F. Ritchie, who built a boyhood dream into the greatest organization of its kind in the world, died suddenly last week at the Toronto General Hospital.
      He was 52 years of age. Three days ago he celebrated his birthday. Five days ago, for the first time, he was forced to admit his illness and leave his office. He entered the hospital for a serious operation, but succumbed last week in the operating room.
      Centre of the vast organization which he had created form a one-man, one-office beginning 30 years ago, with offices in cities all over the world, agencies in every country except Russia and controlling corporations known the world over, he was a man of simple manner and possessed with a great good humor.
      He was known as the possessor of an amazing memory, a tremendous ability to handle details of the widespread interests which he held and a warm personal knowledge of the associates whom he had gathered around him. he was exceedingly fond of Canada and Toronto. He had two hobbies: business and his family. He liked fast cars, fast airplanes and motorboats.
      Born in Bobcaygeon
      He was born in Bobcaygeon, Ontario but his family moved to Little Current, on Manitoulin Island, when he was an infant. Here he grew up, went to school, fished, played ball, swam, skated, and first conceived the vision from which his huge commercial and industrial interest were born.
      His father operated a general store. Young Harold was in the store a lot, helping at the counter, running errands. Here he used to meet the travelers, the old-time drummers, who came to "sell" his father two or three times a year. He knew of the long drive in winter, 21 miles across the ice, and of the long boat trip in summer.
      One day, while he was about 12 years old, he heard a discussion about a salesman. Out of it came the comment that the salesman was to receive 5 per cent commission. Harold edged into the conversation long enough to ask, "But what if he had five lines, each with that commission?" An old-timer, seated in the store looked up and said, "That, my boy, is the coming idea."
      Forty years later he told about that, seated in his home after he had come back from England and the purchase of a $10,000,000 company. He also recalled the long hours of rowing wealthy United States sportsmen who came to Manitoulin, to fish. Harold knew where the fish were biting; for a fee he would row the fishermen. Thus he earned vacation pocket money and had a chance to talk about his idea.
      He told about the expensive, time-wasting trip of salesmen across the strait from the mainland to Little Current. He asked why one salesman should not make the trip for two for five or a dozen different "lines," costing only one overhead, using only one man's time?.cutting distribution costs and , thereby, retailers' and consumers costs.

      Vision of Salesmanship
      And so, when he came to Toronto as a young man just attaining his majority, his youthful desire to become a marine engineer was overcome by his vision of salesmanship along new lines. He had heard all types of salesmen, knew methods of approach and closing. From the first day with the Capstan Manufacturing Company he was successful as a salesman. But his vision still persisted.
      "It took a lot of deciding," he told the writer four years ago. 'But I finally did it. I left the capstan people and started out on my own, taking lines to sell on Commission. It was not so easy at first. But more lines would mean more commissions, and, most important, reduction of costs."
      In 1906 he made his biggest stroke when he went to England at his own expense to see manufacturers and proprietors of Eno Fruit Salts. The old, tradition-burdened organization refused to see him. three times he sought access to the directors. He was refused.
      Next year he went back again. other lines, similar to Eno's were selling in Canada. This time he broke through the wall of tradition which had told him that Canada held little interest to the directors. But they refused to consider his commission proposal. He gambled on his ability and declared that if he did not double Canadian sales in one year he would claim no commission. They accepted.
      Next year Eno's sold four times as much volume in Canada as it had the year before. Next year it double again. Twenty-two years later Harold F. Ritchie, who had been turned from the door, purchased the entire Eno's proprietorship. In the meantime he had acquired the world selling rights and had forced the British company into a commanding position in its field.
      Typical of Career.
      That purchase was typical of his career. During those 22 years he had acquired, or was later to acquire, similar companies with which he had first become associated as sales agents. Of others he held the selling rights. Among them are names which are known everywhere; Pompeian, Bovril, Thermogene, Virol, Scott's Emulsion and many more. Year by year he acquired controlling interests, always maintaining the individuality of the new interest.
      Harold F. Ritchie and Company, Limited, always remained the selling agents. The productive interest which he controlled remained distinctive, another sphere altogether from his sales. And yet, with these interests constantly growing, constantly expanding constantly requiring more of his personal attention, he remained close to his early associates.
      And he was intensely human. He didn't like his own name in interviews. He turned reporters to his close friend and director, Sid Screation, or told the reporters to write the story and "leave me out." His advertising staff had to argue him into giving publicity to some of his transactions or trips.
      And he made many trips. His annual average was 125,000 miles to all parts of the world. He recently concluded a 22,000-mile journey by airplane to his South American offices and when he returned he could name every town of any size over which he had passed. That trip was said to be the longest commercial trip by plane ever made.
      He never spared himself and that, physicians state, contributed to his death. For instance, three years ago he found it necessary to visit several United States cities. He left at night by motor car, and was gone four days. His companions were forced to take rests during stops. He didn't he merely bathed, changed and went to work dictating. And the morning of his return he beat them all getting down to the office, fresh as ever, ready for new work.
      Solicitous About Associates.
      This persistence in refusing to spare himself was in direct antithesis to his attitude toward associates. All salesmen in equatorial latitudes were allowed to remain on the "territory" for only two years at a time. Then they were ordered home for six months. And often he would look up from some difficult problem to inquire about so and so in Hong Kong or somebody in Valparaiso, men who had been a bit under the weather at last report.
      As to salesmen, he had no use for "one-call" men. Two attributes were necessary in his man, two characteristics which, he often said, were the two strongest business getters. They were reliability and good character. He said he didn't care how any man could sell, if reliability was not dominant, he did not want him.
      Through this organization of salesmen, he had extended Canada around the world. Canadians, in every main office, are prominent. Each was Canadian-born, Canadian-educated. On every continent, in Great Britain, his Canadian ambassadors carried out his Canadian ideas. Often it had been suggested that transfer of his head office ot New York, London or elsewhere would be advantageous.
      But he remained intensely Canadian. A couple of weeks ago, driving up Queen's Park past the new museum, he turned and said, "It's a lovely city, Toronto is a great city. It is great to come home to it. There is no place in the world just like it."
      Yet it has been said that he was known more widely in London or New York than he was in Toronto. His name appeared often in commercial circles, but he was seldom prominent in Toronto otherwise. His office and his home, very little else, held much interest for him. he spent his leisure hours with his family.
      He was president of the Canadian company bearing his name the British company bearing his name and Harold F. Ritchie, Inc., in the United States; chairman of the board of J. C. Eno, Limited; president of Scott and Browne, Great Britain, and chairman or president of many other organizations.
      In 1908 he married Alice Alberta Brydon, who survives him with four children, Mrs. W. T. Gilmour, and Dorothy, Pauline and Antoinette, at home. he was a member of the Royal Canadian Yacht, National, Ontario and Eglinton Hunt Clubs; the Athletic Transportation, Drug and Chemical and Canadian Clubs of New York and the American Club of London. He was a 32nd degree Mason, a conservative and a Presbyterian.
      A private funeral was held form his late home, Burton Road, Forest Hill, Friday at 2.30 p.m.
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