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JB Armstrong And Family: From Carriages to Automobiles

Bonnie Durtnall 0 674 Article rating: No rating

Carriages were the main form of transport for individuals and businesses alike in Guelph during the 1800s. Blacksmiths were responsible for the horses that pulled them. They also made repairs to the carriages, wagons and carts used for carting goods and conveying people in, around and out of Guelph. Among them, the Sallows family remains the most recognized for their work in this trade. They had a large shop at the corner of Gordon.

However, blacksmiths did not make carriages. In Guelph, this trade fell to several individuals. Those who had shops included Charles H. Thain – who is better known for his agricultural equipment and Robert Anderson. However, the most prominent and successful Guelphite in this competitive trade was J. B. Armstrong, son of Robert Armstrong.

We Cover The Floor: Guelph Carpet

Sold: Not Once but Thrice

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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 0 678 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 0 923 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

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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. 

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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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