Guelph had become known for its piano and sewing machine companies, foundries, woollen mills and hardware manufacturers during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Its textiles and clothing companies also made their presence felt. However, Guelph also entered into the less commonly touted chemical industry with E.C. McFarland.
This was the only chemical company located in the downtown core. Fielding Chemical chose to establish its business somewhat outside – on Perth and Norwich, while Hart Chemicals moved into premises on Victoria Road.