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Blacksmiths: The Most Important Craftsmen in Town Part I

Bonnie Durtnall 0 1045 Article rating: No rating

When Master Blacksmith John Owen Lynch (1793-1860) arrived from New York in Guelph in 1827, he was facing a considerable challenge. This was a pioneer community. As the only blacksmith, he was expected to help John Galt fulfill his plans to create a thriving community in this wilderness.

There is no doubt that the blacksmith was an extremely important individual in any early settlement. He was the proverbial and indispensable jack-of-all-trades. While farmers took care of their own tools to an extent, it was the blacksmith who was educated in making and repairing these same tools to a higher standard.

Biltmore Hats: Post-War Production to 2011

From the War to the End

Bonnie Durtnall 0 1319 Article rating: No rating
In 1917, Fried Grill Hats arrived in Guelph. Their owners, John Fried and Mr. Grills had previously operated out of Niagara Falls and Toronto. By 1919, the company had settled in premises located at 154 Suffolk Street. Thirty hands were at work producing various types of hats. A year later, they sold the business at the price of $45,000 to be paid over 6 years. This was the beginning of one of Guelph's longest operating companies - Biltmore Hats. The company survived the Great Depression and moved optimistically into the Post-War era.  The 1960s and early 1970s were rough, but by the end, Biltmore had found new markets. Yet, as the century ground to an end, Biltmore was once again experiencing troubles. Although it tried, it was not able to make it. It was closed for good in 2011.

Biltmore Hats: The 1930s and 1940s

Biltmore Hats from the 1930s into the 1970s

Bonnie Durtnall 0 1334 Article rating: No rating
In 1917, Fried Grill Hats arrived in Guelph. Their owners, John Fried and Mr. Grills had previously operated out of Niagara Falls and Toronto. By 1919, the company had settled in premises located at 154 Suffolk Street. Thirty hands were at work producing various types of hats. A year later, they sold the business at the price of $45,000 to be paid over 6 years. This was the beginning of one of Guelph's longest operating companies - Biltmore Hats.  Through perseverance, the company made it through the Great Depression and beyond the war years. It was not to close until  2011.

Biltmore Hats: A Major Part of Guelph's Industrial History: From Beginnings to 1930

Bonnie Durtnall 0 1323 Article rating: No rating

In 1917, Fried Grill Hats arrived in Guelph. Their owners, John Fried and Mr. Grills had previously operated out of Niagara Falls and Toronto. By 1919, the company had settled in premises located at 154 Suffolk Street. Thirty hands were at work producing various types of hats. A year later, they sold the business at the price of $45,000 to be paid over 6 years. This was the beginning of one of Guelph's longest operating companies - Biltmore Hats.  It was not to close until  2011.

Keeping In Tune: The Bell Organ and Piano Company

Bonnie Durtnall 0 1136 Article rating: No rating

Bell Organ and piano were once one of the largest employers in Guelph. Founded in 1864, they remained a viable concern until they were finally closed in 1934. In fact, Bell pianos were found in parlours around the world. Queen Victoria was the proud owner of one of their models. The employees suffered a variety of blade-related accidents common to factories where machinery was not guarded. This lead to the formation of the Piano Workers' Union in 1902 - the first of its kind in Canada. 

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I Want to Ride My Bicycle: The History of Bicycles in 19th and Early 20th century Guelph

The late 1800s saw the emergence of a bicycle craze across Canada. The invention of the "Safety Bike" was partially responsible for the renewed popularity in this form of transportation. Guelphites became a part of this fad. The Middle and Upper classes established a cycling club. Small shops and individuals manufactured bicycles and made repairs. Bike gear was available for men and women - the latter taking to this new mode of transportation with a passion.. 

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The Guelph Carriage Top Company: 1879 to 1923

At the corner of Dublin and Norfolk, once stood the Guelph Carriage Top Company. Also known as the Guelph Buggy Top Factory it managed to transition from buggies to automobiles. with a small workforce, including a woman mechanic during its early years, to produced quality products shipped nationally and even globally. 

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