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Blacksmiths: The Most Important Tradesmen in Town Part 2

The Decline of the Blacksmith

Bonnie Durtnall 0 1110 Article rating: No rating

When Master Blacksmith John Owen Lynch (1793-1860) arrived from New York in Guelph in 1827, he was facing a considerable challenge. This was a pioneer community. As the only blacksmith, he was expected to help John Galt fulfill his plans to create a thriving community in this wilderness.

There is no doubt that the blacksmith was an extremely important individual in any early settlement. He was the proverbial and indispensable jack-of-all-trades. However, as technology developed and urbanization increased, his role decreased substantially.

Blacksmiths: The Most Important Craftsmen in Town Part I

Bonnie Durtnall 0 978 Article rating: No rating

When Master Blacksmith John Owen Lynch (1793-1860) arrived from New York in Guelph in 1827, he was facing a considerable challenge. This was a pioneer community. As the only blacksmith, he was expected to help John Galt fulfill his plans to create a thriving community in this wilderness.

There is no doubt that the blacksmith was an extremely important individual in any early settlement. He was the proverbial and indispensable jack-of-all-trades. While farmers took care of their own tools to an extent, it was the blacksmith who was educated in making and repairing these same tools to a higher standard.

Biltmore Hats: Post-War Production to 2011

From the War to the End

Bonnie Durtnall 0 1235 Article rating: No rating
In 1917, Fried Grill Hats arrived in Guelph. Their owners, John Fried and Mr. Grills had previously operated out of Niagara Falls and Toronto. By 1919, the company had settled in premises located at 154 Suffolk Street. Thirty hands were at work producing various types of hats. A year later, they sold the business at the price of $45,000 to be paid over 6 years. This was the beginning of one of Guelph's longest operating companies - Biltmore Hats. The company survived the Great Depression and moved optimistically into the Post-War era.  The 1960s and early 1970s were rough, but by the end, Biltmore had found new markets. Yet, as the century ground to an end, Biltmore was once again experiencing troubles. Although it tried, it was not able to make it. It was closed for good in 2011.

Biltmore Hats: The 1930s and 1940s

Biltmore Hats from the 1930s into the 1970s

Bonnie Durtnall 0 1243 Article rating: No rating
In 1917, Fried Grill Hats arrived in Guelph. Their owners, John Fried and Mr. Grills had previously operated out of Niagara Falls and Toronto. By 1919, the company had settled in premises located at 154 Suffolk Street. Thirty hands were at work producing various types of hats. A year later, they sold the business at the price of $45,000 to be paid over 6 years. This was the beginning of one of Guelph's longest operating companies - Biltmore Hats.  Through perseverance, the company made it through the Great Depression and beyond the war years. It was not to close until  2011.

Biltmore Hats: A Major Part of Guelph's Industrial History: From Beginnings to 1930

Bonnie Durtnall 0 1237 Article rating: No rating

In 1917, Fried Grill Hats arrived in Guelph. Their owners, John Fried and Mr. Grills had previously operated out of Niagara Falls and Toronto. By 1919, the company had settled in premises located at 154 Suffolk Street. Thirty hands were at work producing various types of hats. A year later, they sold the business at the price of $45,000 to be paid over 6 years. This was the beginning of one of Guelph's longest operating companies - Biltmore Hats.  It was not to close until  2011.

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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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