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H. A. Clemens Planing Company

Bonnie Durtnall 0 705 Article rating: No rating

Guelph had several planing and lumber mills in the late 18th and early 19th century. These included the Guelph Lumber Company, Knight's and Robert Stewart's.  Among the lesser known companies was H. A. Clemens Planing Mill. It started off as the Electric Planing Mill in 1894. It was then owned and operated jointly by Herbert Clemens and Louis Wideman. In around 1898, Clemens became sole owner. He operated his company until it went into assignment in 1910.

Chemical Companies: Spills And Takeovers But No Thrills

Bonnie Durtnall 0 875 Article rating: No rating

Guelph had become known for its piano and sewing machine companies, foundries, woollen mills and hardware manufacturers during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Its textiles and clothing companies also made their presence felt. However, Guelph also entered into the less commonly touted chemical industry with E.C. McFarland. 

This was the only chemical company located in the downtown core. Fielding Chemical chose to establish its business somewhat outside – on Perth and Norwich, while Hart Chemicals moved into premises on Victoria Road.

Making Cigars In Guelph

Bonnie Durtnall 0 712 Article rating: No rating
Cigar manufacturing was never a large industrial concern in Guelph in its early years. Imperial Tobacco with its extensive plant and large workforce did not arrive until 1959. The small shops that operated in the city until the end of World War II, rarely employed more 50. In general, they hired between 20 and 50 workers, some part time.  The staff usually consisted of women and youths. They were hired them because of their so-called “nimble fingers,” and, of course, the lower wages employers could pay them. This was common among many industries.
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No Relief From Relief: The Great Depression In Guelph

During the last few years of the 1920s, Guelphites were beginning to feel quite optimistic. After the post-war slump, the economy was turning around. Companies were hiring and workers were regaining much of what they had lost. Then, on October 29, 1929, came the crash plunging employers and employees alike into a new economic reality.

One year later, 400,000 Canadians were out of work. Wages were cut and those employed had to live on less pay. Businesses retrenched and the labour movement was brought to a temporary standstill. All levels of Government, attempted to curtail the downward spiral. They instituted various Relief Programs, including Relief Camps, Relief Settlements, Relief Gangs and Relief distribution. Truly, during the 1930s, there was no relief from Relief.

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