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I Want to Ride My Bicycle: The History of Bicycles in 19th and Early 20th century Guelph

The late 1800s saw the emergence of a bicycle craze across Canada. The invention of the "Safety Bike" was partially responsible for the renewed popularity in this form of transportation. Guelphites became a part of this fad. The Middle and Upper classes established a cycling club. Small shops and individuals manufactured bicycles and made repairs. Bike gear was available for men and women - the latter taking to this new mode of transportation with a passion.. 

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The Guelph Carriage Top Company: 1879 to 1923

At the corner of Dublin and Norfolk, once stood the Guelph Carriage Top Company. Also known as the Guelph Buggy Top Factory it managed to transition from buggies to automobiles. with a small workforce, including a woman mechanic during its early years, to produced quality products shipped nationally and even globally. 

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Norway Iron and Steel: An Experiment that Failed

In 1894 William S. Patterson took his plans for a rolling mill to the Guelph Board of Trade. The following year, several of Guelph’s astute business entrepreneurs got together to form a new company. This was Guelph Norway Iron and Steel. 

The stated intent was: "To manufacture iron and steel from ores and from scrap iron and scrap steel and   to manufacture iron and steel into any products of iron and steel and to deal in and sell the same and to acquire land and erect buildings for the purposes thereof and to make all necessary and proper contracts with persons or corporations in connection therewith."

The company set up shop in 1895 but lasted only until the end of 1897, the result of poor economic times and other related factors.

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