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We Cover The Floor: Guelph Carpet

Sold: Not Once but Thrice

Bonnie Durtnall 0 428 Article rating: No rating

Early Guelph offered something many companies could use – water power. It was particularly conducive for the operation of mills – not simply grist mills but woollen and carpet mills as well. Situated in the area referred to as the mill-lands, Guelph Carpet took advantage of whatever power the river could provide to produce its product. For at least a century, under diverse managers, owners and names, it rose to be a one of the largest carpet and yarn companies in Canada. 

We Cover The Floor: Guelph Carpet

Early Owners/Managers

Bonnie Durtnall 0 393 Article rating: No rating
Early Guelph offered something many companies could use – water power. It was particularly conducive for the operation of mills – not simply grist mills but woollen and carpet mills as well. Situated in the area referred to as the mill-lands, Guelph Carpet took advantage of whatever power the river could provide to produce its product. 

Over the century it was in existence, the company rose to be the second largest facility in its line, employing as many as 600 Guelphites in the production of carpets and yarn.

We Cover The Floor: Guelph Carpet Factory - Origins

Bonnie Durtnall 0 613 Article rating: No rating
Early Guelph offered something many companies could use – water power. It was particularly conducive for the operation of mills – not simply grist mills but woollen and carpet mills as well. Situated in the area referred to as the mill-lands, Guelph Carpet took advantage of whatever power the river could provide to produce its product. 

Over the century it was in existence, it rose to be the second largest facility in its line, employing as many as 600 Guelphites in the production of carpets and yarn.

Guelph Carpet and Pattern Manufacturers

Bonnie Durtnall 0 436 Article rating: No rating

Carpet manufacturers have played a role in creating and boosting the economy and profile of Guelph. They have been small, medium and large enterprises. Some, such as the Guelph Carpet and Worsted Spinning Mill were extensive in facilities and employed many Guelphites. Others, such as Clark and Thompson, were small companies that existed only a brief time as carpet makers before changing fields. Clark and Thompson became a dry goods retail store.

No matter what the size, the early carpet manufacturers worked most frequently, if not exclusively, with wool. The size of their work force and their market was also variable. The same applies to what was to change this industry, like so many others - mechanisation and the deskilling of the crafts. 

Victor Canham And Company: Guelph's Hanger King

Bonnie Durtnall 0 477 Article rating: No rating
Guelph has many companies that remain a footnote in its history. While Raymond Sewing Machine Company, and Bell Organ and Piano Company are names people recognize, V.H. Canham & Company is not. In fact, the company’s contributions are forgotten except by those who recognize his genius in creating common domestic products. In other words, Canham made products that housewives and small business owners could use to make their work easier.
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The Guelph Soap Company: Over A Hundred Years Of Production

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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For The Love Of Cars: Guelph's Automotive Industry

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.

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Vulcanization: Guelph's Tire Manufacturers

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.
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