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Deadly Construction: Scaffolding

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Construction sites were one of the most dangerous places to work in late 18th and early 20th century Guelph, Ontario. Ditch digging and working on Scaffolds could be and were fatal. Legislation did not cover scaffolding until 1911. In Guelph, a Scaffold Inspector was not appointed until 1913. This resulted only after the many complaints of the Guelph Trades and Labour Council and several deaths during 1912 and 1913.

Guelph Industries: Northern Rubber

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This is the first in a series of articles on Guelph Industries. Northern Rubber operated from 1920 into the 1940s, manufacturing rubber footwear. What began as a small local operation with about 60 employees grew to  provide work for between 300 and 600.

    All pictures are courtesy of the Guelph Civic Museum

Relief Work

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 The Great Depression spread across Canada, comfortably and unevenly settling in for the  duration of the 1930s. In  Guelph, some employers continued to employ workers. Yet, they did so at decreased numbers and what even the     David Croll, the then Minister of Municipal Affairs called "starvation wages." Companies felt free to...

War Work

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During both World Wars, the entire country became mobilized. Companies that once produced everyday items       were retooled for war production. Guelph was no different than other communities across Canada. It showed its support for the war effort in a number of ways.Citizens and businesses  alike bought War and Victory Bonds, planted Victory Gardens and became “Soldiers of the Land.” 

Birthday Bash at the Museum

Labouring All Our Lives First Anniversary

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On May 1st, 2016, LAOLs celebrated its first anniversary in style. The event was co-partnered by the Guelph Civic Museum. In attendance were local luminaries James Gordon and Phil Allt. Lloyd Longfield, Guelph’s MP, and Nancy Horvath of OPSEU Local 232 also showed up to enjoy the display of artifacts and to join in the conversation on...

 

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Libby, McNeill and Libby: Guelph's Other Pickle Factory

When people in Guelph talk about the “Pickle Factory,” they are referring to the Matthews-Wells factory - once located at Victoria and York. It opened in 1938 and closed in 1968. This was where many young men and women had their first job – often as summer employment.

However, Matthews-Wells was not Guelph’s first “pickle factory. Over two decades before, in 1914, Libby, McNeill and Libby founded in Chicago by Archibald McNeill, Arthur Libby and his brother Charles in 1868 made Guelph its Canadian headquarters.

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The Pipe Mill in the Ward: The Page-Hersey Tube Company

In 1889, an American, Randolph Hersey (1829-1918) founded Page & Hersey Company in Montreal in partnership with E. N. and G. H. Page. It operated out of a then idle tube mill owned by J. C. Hodgson. Located along the Lachine Canal, under Hersey, the tube mill began to prosper. Then Hodgson threw a wrench into the system. When the lease ended, he sold the property to the Montreal Rolling Mills. Hersey and his partners responded by deciding to move the plant halfway across the country to Guelph, Ontario. It was to remain in operation there for close to 50 years.

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