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We Cover The Floor: Guelph Carpet

Sold: Not Once but Thrice

Bonnie Durtnall 0 892 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 0 824 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 1072 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 0 905 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 1019 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 New Idea Spreader Company: Making Manure Spreading Easier

Joseph Oppenheim (1859-1901), a schoolmaster in Maria Stein, Ohio invented  the first modern “widespreading” manure spreader. Locally, it was referred to as “Oppenheim’s new idea.” The name was adopted and the New Idea Spreader Company was born.

Oppenheim died in 1901. His wife, Maria, took charge and aided in this by her eldest son, B.C. Oppenheim, and one of the company’s original employees, and co-inventor, Henry Synck ensured the success of the company. By 1916, the New Idea Spreader had branches in eight states as well as a factory or assembly plant in Guelph.

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Rowen-Ogg: Guelph's Last Shoe Manufacturers

The Rowen family was well known in Guelph for their boot and shoe store on Wyndham Street. Daniel R. Rowen (1847-1927) operated his shop at 16/18 Wyndham during the late 19th century. Lorando (Orlando) Ely Rowan (1875-1920), took over the shop from 1908-to 1909. It was in the following year that L.E. decided to go one step further and manufacture women’s, girls and children’s shoes. He joined in partnership with  experienced American shoemakers, James (John) Ogg, John J. Doherty and Thomas Dowdell to form Rowen-Ogg.

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