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Chemical Companies: Spills And Takeovers But No Thrills

Bonnie Durtnall 0 1055 Article rating: No rating

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.

Making Cigars In Guelph

Bonnie Durtnall 0 863 Article rating: No rating
Cigar manufacturing was never a large industrial concern in Guelph in its early years. Imperial Tobacco with its extensive plant and large workforce did not arrive until 1959. The small shops that operated in the city until the end of World War II, rarely employed more 50. In general, they hired between 20 and 50 workers, some part time.  The staff usually consisted of women and youths. They were hired them because of their so-called “nimble fingers,” and, of course, the lower wages employers could pay them. This was common among many industries.

Caleb Chase: Reeve, Mayor And Carriage Maker

Bonnie Durtnall 0 858 Article rating: No rating
Caleb Chase (1838-1903) is recognized by Guelph political historians as one of the city’s mayors. In fact, he was elected to serve the 1863-1864 term replacing George Sleeman. However, Chase was also a tradesman and entrepreneur. He became involved in several enterprises but his best-known venture was his wagon/carriage shop on Woolwich Street.

From Coffin To Casket: Early Burial Box Makers And Casket Manufacturers

Bonnie Durtnall 0 964 Article rating: No rating
When it comes to burial, the choices have always varied. This is also true with the type of vessels chosen to hold the remains of the deceased. Cultural norms and personal preferences play a significant role in selecting the right container. In North America, two common types used for ground burials are coffins and caskets. Although sometimes used interchangeably, they differ in shape and perception.

In Guelph, coffin makers tended to be cabinet makers or carpenters during the early to late 19th century. Later, as funeral directors emerged, caskets became the popular term for burial boxes. Mechanization also came into play together. The result was casket making companies such as the (New) Dominion Casket Company and the Guelph Casket Works.

The Cartledge Knitting Mill: Training Ground for Joseph S. Cartledge, Founder of Guelph Elastic Hosiery

Bonnie Durtnall 0 859 Article rating: 4.0
Guelph has been home to various textile factories. Carter’s Royal Knitting Company, Zephyr Looms and Cartledge’s Knitting Company are a few examples. The Cartledge Knitting Company appeared at about the same time as Carter’s. It, too, was a cottage industry, located in the back of what was one of the oldest houses when it was torn down in 1956. The actual shop behind 27 Quebec Street was, unlike Carter’s a family-operated industry. John (Joseph) Cartledge was to provide the basic training and introduce the skills to his son, Joseph S. Cartledge that was to give him what he needed to take the next step - founding his own business:  the specialized and unique Guelph Elastic Hosiery
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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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