Guelph has many companies that remain a footnote in its history. While Raymond Sewing Machine Company, and Bell Organ and Piano Company are names people recognize, V.H. Canham & Company is not. In fact, the company’s contributions are forgotten except by those who recognize his genius in creating common domestic products. In other words, Canham made products that housewives and small business owners could use to make their work easier.
n 1908, Robert William Gladstone (1879-1951), Henry Burton Sharman (1865-1953) and John N. Lyon of Manitoba, combined forces to form the Ontario Metal Culvert Company. Based in Guelph, this company was to metamorphose into, first an American branch plant of the American Rolling Mill Company (later Armco) called Canada Ingot Iron Company in 1915, in 1931 to Armco Drainage and Metal Products and, in 1946, into Armco Canada Ltd. The company became one of the oldest producers of corrugated galvanized metal culverts and pipes as well as road equipment in Canada.
In 1915, Alex Callander, age 55, left the Taylor-Forbes Company with plans to set up his own foundry business. In 1916, together with five of his six sons, a silent financial partner and a relative - Hugh B. Callander, he opened the Callander and Manufacturing Company, Ltd. On Crimea Street. It was to remain a viable concern right up until it was sold to Rockwell in 1953.
The Royal Carpet Factory operated in Guelph in a few locations starting off with 15 employees in a shop at the corner of Gordon and Essex Streets. At least two Burrows were involved at this time: Alvin and Harry. The company relocated later that year to part of Allan’s Mill. However, the factory location best remembered was at the corner of Norfolk and Paisley where Market Fresh currently stands.
In 1872, Burr and Skinner operated a furniture factory in a newly constructed 2-storey building on the north side of Oxford. With a workforce of between They manufactured a variety of furniture including bed frames. The business did well, expanding in size b in 1880, 1882 and 1886.
The company mainly relied on an Ontario market but produced fine furniture that found buyers from Halifax to Vancouver. Burr Brothers Furniture Company remained active until 1901. It was then bought by a conglomerate - Canadian Furniture Manufacturing, Ltd. They remained in Guelph until 1911 when they closed the factory.