IRL, created in 1958, is a supplier to professionals in Forestry, Mineral Exploration, Drafting, Survey, Engineering and Safety Industries. We strive to provide our customers with exceptional customer service, high quality supplies and to ensure prompt accurate delivery of orders.
IRL Supplies is based in Prince George, BC, from this location we ship all over the world. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.
IRL Supplies was started by Industrial Forestry Service (IFS) in 1958. It was legally incorporated on January 5th 1959.
The name given to the company on incorporation was Industrial Photographics Ltd. The reason for this name is that at one time most of the reproductions for forestry use were done photographically and most of the reproductions were from aerial photos used in forestry.
On November 8, 1963, Industrial Photographics Ltd. changed it's name to Industrial Reproductions Ltd. to reflect the changes in the predominant types of reproductions such as blueprinting and the changes in types of reproduction processes that were becoming available, in particular the Xerograpic process. The store at this time was located in the 300 block of Vancouver St, across from the old Odeon Theater downtown.
In 1969, Tony & Rina Romeyn moved their young family from Vancouver to Prince George with a management agreement to run Industrial Reproductions Ltd. Tony had extensive experience working in and supervising at reproduction companies in the lower mainland during the 50's and 60's. A number of years later, Tony purchased the company.
Through the '60's and 70's Industrial Reproductions had a very large reproduction department with multiple large format blueprint machines. In the late 70's and early '80's new equipment was purchased allowing reductions and enlargements of people's prints to be made in addition to all the other copying services.
The predominant part of the business became the retail sales of tools used in forestry planning, layout and 'cruising' work. Items such as compasses, clinometers, map cases measuring and sampling tools filled the shelves. Many of the products inventoried back then are still used today.
Mining/mineral exploration supplies were also a part of the business, although it is a very cyclical industry so our sales into this area varied from year to year.
Backwoods was an 'outdoor accessories' department of IRL and had been in existence since the early days of IRL selling outdoor gear like sleeping bags, tents, tarps and miscellaneous camp and camping supplies, it was more seen as a 'brand name' of sorts of the company. Backwoods in the mid '80's however was transformed into a camping and backpacking supply store by Rob Romeyn, in that time product lines were expanded and added to, we carried a large selection of tents, backpacks, sleeping bags, backpacking mattresses, stoves, clothing, jackets, hiking boots, cookwear, and all sorts of other miscellaneous camping and backpacking supplies. In it's height Backwoods also carried a selection of climbing gear such as ropes, caribiners, harnesses, climbing shoes as well as mountaineering gear like picks and crampons. Backwoods ended up occupying more retail space than IRL did for a while. Backwoods came to an end in the late '90's as the number of stores carrying general camping supplies increased and larger, national specialty stores became more common.
1987 Saw the addition of IRL Signs when Industrial Reproductions teamed up with Sign Painter Gerry Deboer. Eventually Gerry decided to strike out on his own again and we maintained our portion of the business that we had built. Our signs business has it's own website: www.irlsigns.com
In 1989 IRL Computer Center was opened as the new evolution of the home computer was really beginning to take off. At the time, most people did not have personal computers at work or at home. Unfortunately in 1998 as the economy slipped and computer manufacturers saw more profits in selling direct, IRL closed the computer business.
In 2004 Rob Romeyn took over as General Manager of IRL Supplies as Tony announced his limited involvement (or semi retirement) in the company.
In October of 2006, Industrial Reproductions Ltd changed it's name once again because we had, for many years already, been referring to ourselves as IRL (Industrial Reproductions Ltd), a minor 'tweek' to make the name complete and IRL Supplies Ltd was now our legal name.
May of 2011 saw the first ownership change of IRL since the '60's. On Tony Romeyn's full retirement, Rob Romeyn purchased IRL Supplies and it was reincorporated as IRL Supplies (2011) Ltd, although we still maintain the old name of "IRL Supplies"
Today IRL Supplies is predominant as ever in it's marketing of new and innovative products for professionals in Forestry, Mineral Exploration, Drafting, Surveying and Safety. We pride ourselves on being able to look after our customers needs in a timely and professional manner; being innovative and always seeking for better tools and ways for our customers to do their work and sourcing hard to find items through our network of vendors.