Harvey and Company was founded in 1767 under a charter from the British Dominions’ Office.
Unlike other century old mercantile houses in Newfoundland, has its roots in the New World.
By the beginning of the eighteenth century, a thriving trade had developed between Bermuda and the West Indies on one hand and Newfoundland on the other.
The principal trading company engaged in this business was The Bermuda Trading Company, which was formed in England centuries ago, being one of the old adventurer companies so prominent in those days.
The Bermuda Trading Company was dissolved early in the eighteenth century, and their Newfoundland representatives became an independent company which continued the trade by sailing vessels , carrying cod and other Newfoundland fishery products to the West Indian Islands and returning with cargoes consisting of the chief products of the Islands, such as vegetables, molasses, sugar and rum.
Original documents relating to this trade, which was in the possession of Harvey & Company, were destroyed in the Great Fire of 1892, when the Firm’s premises were burnt to the ground. It is certain, however that the firm was conducting this trade in the year 1767, and probably at an even earlier date.
The first Harvey in the firm, the Hon. Eugenius Harvey, came to Newfoundland from Bermuda early in the nineteenth century. He was an uncle of the Hon. A. W. Harvey and Sir Joseph Outerbridge, both of whom subsequently became senior partners in the firm. The Harveys from Somersetshire and the Outerbridges from Yorkshire were among the first settlers in Bermuda a few years after Sir George Somers was driven ashore there in 1609.
Harvey’s Historic Firsts – For over 200 years, the story of Harvey and Company has been an integral part of the history of Newfoundland. They have a long and proud record of pioneering achievement in the Island, both in the field of manufacturing and in the development of Newfoundland’s natural resources. They were the first to build and operate a pulp mill in the island – at Black River in Placentia Bay. From there they exported many cargoes of pulp, particularly to Great Britain. Harvey & company also introduced slate quarrying in Newfoundland – at Britannia Cove. Moreover, it was Harvey and Company, who, under lease from the Newfoundland government, controlled the operation of the first dry dock in St. John’s. Harvey and Company also led the way in the manufacture in Newfoundland of many consumer goods, notably soap, matches, tobacco, margarine, and furniture.
Like all the other old mercantile houses in St. John’s, Harvey and Company have been vitally interested in Newfoundland’s traditional basic industry – the fisheries. The whaling business in Newfoundland, prosecuted by fast steam boats and operated at the start by skilled Norwegian craftsmen who instructed Newfoundland fishermen in the art, was originated by Harvey and Company and was later followed by other firms in this country.
In 1953, Harvey & Company Limited entered into agreements with various equipment manufacturers to become their Newfoundland distributors. The firm opened a branch in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and, in the following year established a similar branch in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Following the establishment of these two branches, a third branch was set up in Grand Falls, Newfoundland.
During the early 1970’s, Harvey and Company broadened its scope by becoming the Newfoundland Distributor for International Trucks.
Today, Harvey and Company is well-known and highly regarded throughout Newfoundland and Labrador as the market leader in the supply of heavy equipment and machinery as well as various other industries including trucking, agriculture, construction and warehousing. We have won numerous awards from the manufacturers we work with and acknowledgement in our own industry.