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D. McKenzie Machinery Company: One of Guelph's Forgotten Companies

Bonnie Durtnall 0 705 Article rating: No rating

Machine shops are not a new invention. However, the term “machinist” dates back only to the early 18th century and the growth of the Industrial Revolution. These makers of machines and engines found increased popularity after Englishman, John Wilkinson (1728-1801) constructed a machine capable of boring engine cylinders in 1775 and an American, David Wilkinson (1771-1852), invented the first Lathe capable of mounting and driving a machine’s master screws in 1798. This marked the beginning of the age of the machinist.

In Guelph, blacksmiths and mechanics were sufficient for a time and continued to provide basic services for foundries and early industrial concerns. However, in the early 20th century, machinists increasingly were called upon to provide tools and equipment solutions for Guelph’s industries. Among the growing concerns at that time, is the little-known company operated by Daniel McKenzie and his partner, James Andrew Taylor.

F.E. Partridge Rubber Company: Changing The Face Of the Retail Tire Market

Bonnie Durtnall 0 1004 Article rating: 5.0

In 1916, rubber tires were becoming essential for both bicycles and automobiles. Companies sprung up to respond to the increasing demand for these products. In Guelph, while several companies began to produce rubber tires, only one remained in operation for several years. This was the F.E. Partridge Rubber Company. It was to leave a lasting imprint on the tire industry when it made the decision to retail its tires in hardware and harness shops. This introduced a way for small tire companies to expand their market while offering offering several retailers a new lease in life. 

Vulcanization: Guelph's Tire Manufacturers

Bonnie Durtnall 0 647 Article rating: No rating
Guelph was quick to embrace the automotive craze of the early 20th century. Although it never did manage to produce automobiles, it did more than satisfactory in manufacturing a variety of car components – a trend that continues today. However, in the early 19th century, where it increased factory size and employment was in the production of tires. Several tire companies were created to meet the needs of the  growing automotive industry. Interestingly enough all set up their shop in the same structure on Metcalfe (Huron) Street.

For The Love Of Cars: Guelph's Automotive Industry

Bonnie Durtnall 0 634 Article rating: No rating
In the 19th century, Canada began to produce automobiles. The first Canadian-made vehicle was steam-propelled. This was the famous Taylor Steam Buggy built by Henry Seth Taylor in Stanstead Quebec. It was seen crashing around the Eastern Townships in 1867, clearly marking Canadian confederation. And crashing is the right word. The car suffered from a problem. Taylor had failed to include brakes in his design.

Guelph flirted with car production with the Gilson and Jules 30. The manufacturers were more serious and showed greater longevity when it came to tire production and the manufacturing of automotive components.

The Guelph Soap Company: Over A Hundred Years Of Production

Bonnie Durtnall 0 723 Article rating: No rating

In early Guelph, as with most pioneer communities, soap tended to be made at home. However, for many women who were brought up to believe a lady’s hands should be soft, home made soap was not desirable. Bought soap – particularly imported French soaps, were the answer.  With more goods available and an increasingly urban society, store-bought soaps (among other items) became increasingly common. The entire supply chain was shortened even further when a Guelph manufactory  the Guelph Soap Company or Guelph Soap Works began to produce soap.

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