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No Relief From Relief: The Great Depression In Guelph

Bonnie Durtnall 0 150 Article rating: No rating

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.

Picnics In The 1920s And 1930s

Bonnie Durtnall 0 271 Article rating: No rating

Picnics have always been a very popular form of entertainment and celebration for company employees and unions. In the 1920s and 1930s, these affairs were no longer the grand parades they had been in the 1800s and early 1900s. During the 1920s and 1930s, picnics were often excursions out of the city by train or the employees made their way to two popular picnic sites: Exhibition Park and Riverside Park.

WOODYATT: Before Taylor-Forbes

Bonnie Durtnall 0 570 Article rating: 2.0
The partnership of AR Woodyatt and Charles Auld was formed in 1887/88  when they took over Guelph Enterprise Ltd. The company was located in Nelson Crescent where Market Fresh is today. By 1892, Charles Auld decided to leave the company. It soon became known as Woodyatt & Company. In either incarnation, this factory manufactured sad irons as well as household and farm goods e.g., hog tongs, egg beaters, apple peelers, hand measures. Under the leadership of Woodyatt, the company began to expand its line of goods and products and soon would be looking for larger premises.

In 1898, Woodyatt moved his shop to larger premises. He could easily expand his rapidly growing company. Unfortunately, his death in 1901, halted his ambitions. However, a newly formed company, Taylor-Forbes, took over the premises and, building on Woodyatt's foundation, created one of the country's most successful harware manufactories. 

Northern Rubber: From Footwear Manufacturer To Condos

Bonnie Durtnall 0 516 Article rating: No rating
Northern Rubber opened shop in a newly constructed five-storey factory on the corner of Metcalfe (Huron) and Alice Streets in April 1920 with 60 employees. Work on the building had actually started in 1919 as part of a plan by American-via-Quebec entrepreneur, FE Partridge who owned and successfully ran Partridge Rubber Company in Guelph, to expand his tire company into all aspects of rubber production. However, Northern Rubber was to be a separate entity.

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

Bonnie Durtnall 0 519 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.

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