For much of the data which is related in this Chapter, particularly in regard to the early industrial enterprises of Oshawa, we are indebted to Mr. Samuel Pedlar, who was born in England, March 28th, 1833, and came to Canada with. his parents in 1841. The family settled in Oshawa, where his father, Henry Pedlar, conducted a tinplate and hardware business, at the corner of Simcoe and Bond Streets in the building now occupied by the Union Bank. In 1894, when Mr. Samuel Pedlar was sixty years of age, and when his memory reached backwards for half a century of continuous residence here, he published in the local papers an epitome of the various factories and enterprises of which he had personal knowledge, and of those which he could trace from conversation with the oldest citizens then living. In many cases we are giving his account substantially as printed at that time, making only such corrections and additions as subsequent investigation appear to be necessary in order to make the statement as near as possible conform with accepted facts.
J. ROBSON & SONS.
This tanning industry under different ownership, established 1836, is the oldest in the town. Other industries, such as Cleveland’s grist mill, and Gorham’s woollen mill, were erected at the Hollow, now South Oshawa, as early as 1822. Smith’s distillery in 1825, and the advent of the Gibbs family in 1829 and 1832. These industries have all ceased to exist. The tannery erected by Miles Luke in 1836, which Luke and Ash enlarged, and which later was owned by the Bartlett Brothers, and in 1865 was purchased by Robson & Lauchland, who carried on the tannery successfully up to within a few years, it is only fair this old time industry should rank first in the list of Oshawa industries. In 1893 this tannery became the property of J. Robson, Mr. Lauchland retiring from the business. In August, 1899, the old tannery was destroyed by fire, and the firm removed to Cedar Dale.
Though there are no members of the well known Gibbs family in Oshawa at present, a history of the industrial growth of the place would be incomplete without a reference to the long period of years T. N. Gibbs conducted the flour milling business at South Oshawa, and while the owner of the Warren mill, and the part he took in everything during the town’s growth, and also the part taken by his brother, William, when a resident of Oshawa.
THE J. B. WARREN MILL.
In 1837, a well known date in the history of Upper and Lower Canada, this lofty structure was completed. J. B. Warren’s name has ever since been kept fresh in the memory of the people of Oshawa through this famous flour mill, the most popular old time land mark of the town.
This mill has an interesting history. J. B. Warren constructed it out of the choicest timber near by forests could furnish, most of which at this time, is as sound as when the mill was erected. J. B. Warren owned and conducted the mill from 1837 to 1865, Gibbs Brothers from 1865 to 1883, The Oshawa Milling Company from 1884 to 1888, Mr. John Northwood from 1888 to 1891, Mr. Ellis from the latter date to 1892, when the mill reverted to the Ontario Loan and Saving Company, from which date it has been leased and ably operated by Messrs. Campbell and White.
Prior to 1842 all the mail matter for the early village, then called Skae’s Corners, were addressed to the Whitby post office, which was located near Hamer’s Corners, between Skae’s Corners and Perry’s Corners, the early name of the Town of Whitby. This post office was the only one in the township, and none in the then wilderness to the north. J. B. Warren and his brother William were the first postmasters.
Oshawa had no railways in those days. The stages owned by Mr. Weller, of Cobourg, plied daily between Kingston and Toronto, over the Kingston road, and these stages carried the mails.
THE BARTLETT TANNERY.
The old tannery buildings on the road side, east of Thornton’s corners, at this date, (1894), is one of the earliest industries in the township. It is not the purpose to refer to all of the numerous industries outside of the Town of Oshawa, but an exception will be taken in the case of this old time industry, because it is one of the landmarks of early days, and observed by so many who constantly pass along King Street West. The founder, Jonathan Bartlett, like many of the early settlers, was a grand man of the old type, who bore a share in laying the foundation for the after industrial progress.
This industrial history would be incomplete if the name of Samuel Hall were omitted. Mr. Hall was a descendent of the earliest settlers in Oshawa, and in his day was a most enterprising man. He built factories, saw mills, and took an active part in the erection of the store house and elevator at Port Oshawa.. His woollen mills north of the town and other industries in which he had an interest have many of them ceased operations or been absorbed into larger and different industries. Many years ago he passed away. His works it is safe to say, is a living force to-day.
JOHN SYKES & SON.
In 1842 John Sykes came from England and located in Oshawa. His first workshop was erected on the property immediately west of the old Methodist cemetery, King Street West.
In 1852, Mr. Sykes set up the business which he has conducted ever since on corner of Athol and Union streets.
In the valley of the creek off Union Street were a number of industries, prior to 1852. Many years ago they ceased operations, being absorbed into other industries. Moscrips foundry, Spauldings brewery, and Nichols’ grist mill and distillery were ancient industries. The old white building (wood) on the corner of Union and King Streets, now occupied by Thos. Hall, was Nichols’ store and residence. The painter employed by Nichols mixed his paint well, for on the Union Street side of the building the words “City Cash Store” can be seen at the present time. This ancient premises with its old time willow trees bending over the creek at the bottom of the garden, is a familiar land mark of the Oshawa of old.
This furniture industry is the outcome of a small cabinet shop erected by R. Wellington in 1843. Mr. Wellington came from England. From the start his business more than kept pace with the capacity of his factory, consequently after a few years he purchased the site of the Luke Brothers’ works, and erected an extensive establishment. On his subsequent retirement from business the works were purchased by Luke Brothers, who for a great many years have continued the industry.
In 1844 this old time cooperage industry on the corner of Duke and Prince Streets was founded by John O’Regan, an intelligent Irishman. He came to Oshawa in 1842. The present business is continued by his son.
In this connection it should be mentioned that Patrick Wall, who settled in the town in 1839, was the pioneer cooper. He came to the place to supply barrels to the J. B. Warren and other flouring mills. Mr. Patrick Wall is still living, a testimony to the health of his adopted town, where for nearly sixty years he has been a stately figure. (1894)
In 1846, Martin Bainbridge, an Englishman, came to Oshawa and established the carriage and blacksmith business, since continued by his son William. Lacking only two years, this business had been continued in the same family a half century, in 1894.
In 1846 the village must have been a bright place. Smith’s Gazeteer, issued in Toronto in 1846, gave an illustration of King Street, Oshawa, the only place illustrated in the Gazeteer. There must have been a cause for showing this preference for the village.
In 1850 the village was incorporated, and became separated municipally from the Township of Whitby. The names of the first councillors were J. B. Warren, Silas B. Fairbanks, Patrick Wall, T. N. Gibbs, R. Moscrip.
THE WARREN TANNERY.
In 1855, Robert B. Warren purchased the John Amsberry premises, a blacksmithing and tool factory, and converted it into a tannery. After Mr. Warren retired from business, it was continued by other members of the Warren family. In 1866 William Warren, brother of the founder of the tannery, became the owner. The day he came to Oshawa he was ordered to the front with his company to meet the invaders in the Fenian raid in that year. Mr. William Warren and his brother. Robert B. Warren, were sons of William Warren, customs officer at Whitby port. William Warren, jr. continued the tannery business till 1893, in all twenty-seven years. The Warren family from the beginning about forty years. In 1893 Charles Knees became the owner.
GRAND TRUNK R.R.
The Grand Trunk Railway was completed between Toronto and Oshawa in 1856. On the 25th of August, in that year, an excursion train filled with leading citizens of Toronto, made a run down to Oshawa station. The village authorities made a holiday for the people, and they turned out en masse, everyone regarding the event as having an important bearing upon the progress of the village.
From 1885 till 1912 many meetings were held by the various towns between Belleville and Toronto, with a view of securing additional railway connections, particularly with the C. P. R. It can well be understood the general delight experienced when this was finally accomplished in 1912. The C. N. R. main line was built in 1909, thus completing our connection with the continental railways.
The carding and woollen mill of Ethan Card, the Warren distillery, Hugh and Alexander Munroe’s factory, all on the raceway, and Butterfield’s fanning mill factory east of the raceway. All these industries ceased operations many years ago, being absorbed in one way or another into the larger and more modern industries of the town.
This carriage industry began about the year 1856. This year Joseph Craig, his brother, Hercules Craig, and Mr. Hepburn brought out the business carried on by J. D. Hoitt and Mark Currie on the east Of the corner now the site of the Western bank. Later Joseph Craig became sole owner and located on Bond Street. Mr. Craig came to Oshawa in 1844. At first he worked for J. D. Hoitt in the Munroe factory, on the raceway, and worked for a great many years at the Hoitt & Curry shops.
CEDAR DALE WORKS.
In 1862, the Cedar Dale works were erected. Mr. A. S. Whiting, the founder, came to Oshawa about the year 1850, a few years later, say 1852, he took an active part in the organization of a well known industry, the Oshawa Manufacturing Company. In 1858 A. S. Whiting and E. C. Tuttle as partners began the manufacture of farming hand tools, scythes, forks, and other implements, which was carried on by them in the Oshawa Manufacturing Company works. It was the same industry which was later transferred to Cedar Dale.
In 1867 Mr. Whiting took Mr. John Cowan into partnership, Mr. Cowan buying Mr. Tuttle’s interest in the business. The firm name became Whiting and Cowan. In 1872 the firm name became the A. S. Whiting Manufacturing Company, and continued so up to the death of Mr. Whiting in March, 1876, when Mr. R. S. Hamlin conducted the business.
In 1886 the Cedar Dale industry became the property of Mr. Chaplain, of St. Catharines, Ont., in conjunction with his industry in St. Catharines. These works had been continued till 1899. The Cedar Dale works was a monument to the memory of A. S. Whiting.
The tannery erected by Mr. King in 1863, on the site of the skating rink, was an extensive industry for about ten years. Mr. King in later years had been devoting most of his time looking after his properties.
He was said to have been in 1894 the largest individual taxpayer in the town.
THE ONTARIO MALLEABLE IRON COMPANY.
In the year 1872 the Messrs. Cowan, and certain skilled workers in malleable iron from the state of New York, and others, founded one of the most important and successful industries in Oshawa, in fact in Canada. The town voted this industry a bonus of $5,500, with the understanding that a certain number of hands would be employed. From the start the enterprise gave evidence of great prosperity, and soon the stipulated number of hands they employed were more than doubled, and later more than quadrupled, and for many years the pay roll for wages had been largely in excess of any other industry in the town. The quality of its manufacture and the extent of the industry contributed immensely to Oshawa’s stability and industrial progress.
William F. Cowan came to Oshawa in 1862. That year he set up a general store, with a branch in Prince Albert. Mr. Cowan from the start took an active interest in everything pertaining to the welfare of the then village. He was the means of his brother, John Cowan, giving up business in Toronto, in 1867, and engaging as co-partner with A. S. Whiting in the Cedar Dale Works. William F. Cowan and his brother John have been eminently successful as business men, and during the many years they have been citizens of Oshawa they have been hospitable entertainers at their home, and liberally aided industries and institutions to an extent unknown by the general public.
ONTARIO LOAN COMPANY.
The Ontario Loan and Savings Company (an Oshawa institution) was established in 1873. Its first President was Dr. McGill, the second T. N. Gibbs, the third W. F. Cowan, Secretary-Treasurer, T. H. McMillan.
STEAM FIRE ENGINE.
In 1873 the town issued debentures amounting to $7,000 to purchase a steam fire engine.
THE OSHAWA STOVE COMPANY.
In 1873 a number of spirited citizens of Oshawa organized a joint stock company to manufacture stoves.
This industry began operations with about thirty hands.
The town granted a bonus of $5,000. Owing to competition of larger concerns elsewhere the business did not succeed.
In 1880 a new company took over the premises, which under the management of Mr. J. S. Larke continued the business for a number of years. In 1894 Mr. Larke’s partner, J. Bales, managed this industry.
In the vicinity of the works, “The McGill Manufacturing Company” erected a foundry. Dr. McGill, president, P. Thornton manager. The business ran on for a number of years, and closed down.
In 1875 Rev. A. B. Demi11 erected the college buildings. The site commands an excellent view of Oshawa, Lake Ontario, and Grand Trunk Railway, and intervening hill and dale. The town gave this institution a bonus of $3,000.
COULTHARD-SCOTT CO. LTD.
In 1877 William Dickie and Mr. Jas Kennedy, the latter had been employed at the Masson works, began the erection of these extensive works for a manufacture of agricultural implements. In 1882 the premises passed into the ownership of Messrs. Coulthard & Scott, both of whom had been interested, or engaged, in the Masson works.
This business has been conducted by the present owners about 12 years. The average number of hands employed are about thirty, at times sixty have been employed.
Mr. Walter Coulthard is said to be the oldest and most experienced maker of seeders and drills in Canada. Mr. Coulthard during his about 20 years residence in Oshawa, has given much of his time to municipal work, and the town’s general advancement.
W. J. HARE’S FOUNDRY.
This industry dates also from 1877. Mr. Hare came to Oshawa in 1866. For a number of years he was employed at the Joseph Hall works. In 1875 he took charge of the moulding shops of the .Masson works, then being started, and in 1877 he set up his own business. This industry, small at the beginning, has gradually increased, giving employment to about twelve hands. Mr. Hare was first deputy Reeve of the town for the year 1894.
In 1877 the town voted to issue debentures to the amount of $13,000 to pay off Board of Education debts, and in the construction of new school ‘houses and enlargements.
THE McLAUGHLIN CARRIAGE COMPANY.
In 1878 Mr. Robert McLaughlin came to Oshawa, but before entering upon a description of his industry it would be only doing justice to an old industry, to say that these works before Mr. McLaughlin became the owner, were the outcome of an industry established by the Fuller family in 1837. The year which saw the finishing touches put upon the J. B. Warren mill also witnessed the arrival of a family which played an important part in Oshawa’s industrial progress. Thos. Fuller with his four sons, set up the chair and bedstead business on the site at present occupied by the Queen’s Hotel, on the corner of Simcoe and Bond -Streets. In 1845 Thos. Fuller, jr., became the owner of the business, which rapidly grew under his management. Mr. Fuller at that time was an active factor along with others who fostered the industrial interest of the place. Owing to the financial depression from 1859 to 1862, Thos. Fuller closed his works. The industry was put in motion by E. Mial & Co., who were in charge but a year or two when the Fuller factory corner Simcoe and Bond Street was destroyed by fire.
This fire took place in the early morning of Thursday, the 24th of March, 1864. The fire was a large one, it made a ruin of the factory, and destroyed Henry Pedlar’s brick buildings to the south, known as the Nonquon Block, both properties being insured. E. Mial at once made it known that he would rebuild a factory providing he could be assisted.
The citizens responded, he was given $1,000 in cash, this with a private loan of $5,000 enabled him to erect a new factory, being the west half of the present McLaughlin carriage works as seen in 1894.
Mr. Mial formed a joint stock company called the Oshawa Cabinet Company. The shareholders being citizens of Oshawa, John Bright, the late deceased English statesman, and others. In this factory a large industry Vas maintained under different managers for many years, and was regarded as one of the most important works of the town. The employment was steady and the aggregate wages amounted to a large sum weekly. In course of time, however, this healthy industry came to an end.
In July, 1887, E. H. Heaps became the owner of these works, conditioned upon his obtaining a bonus of $15,000. The town voted the bonus, and Mr. Heaps at once laid out some thousands of dollars in repairs and improvements, following this up with once more setting the old machinery in motion. The smoke did not flow from the chimney of the works more than a year or so, when Mr. Heaps, finding he could not secure the old trade, closed down the works and abandoned his property to the town. The works then ceased operations as a furniture industry.
In 1889 Mr. Robert McLaughlin, who had up to that time been conducting a carriage factory next to the Town Hall on Simcoe Street, came into possession of the old cabinet works, trading off to the town his Simcoe Street premises for the same, the difference in values being regarded at the time as a handsome bonus.
In November, 1899, the factory was destroyed by fire, and in 1900 a loan of $50,000 was granted by the town to the Company. Its development since then is among the industrial wonders of Canada.
W. T. DINGLE WORKS.
In 1879 this implement industry in the fiat, King Street West, was established. W. T. Dingle’s father, the late James Dingle, with his family, came from England in 1844 and settled in Oshawa.
W. T. Dingle learned the carpentering and Joiner trade, and in 1857 he set up business, which he carried on for twenty-two years.
In 1879 he purchased Charles Honey’s interest in a Fanning Mill industry, set up on the flats, and erected about that time the main building. -
Mr. Dingle’s industry, Fanning Mills and Seeders, grew rapidly up to the year of his death, 1886. The estate, Mr. Dingle’s son being manager, continued the business a number of years, when the works closed down.
The Western Bank, an Oshawa institution, was established in 1883; John Cowan, President; R. S. Hamlin, Vice-President; T. H. McMillan, Cashier.
E. S. EDMONDSON.
Electric works, Roller Mills, Wood-cutting and Bakery. Mr. Edmondson came to Oshawa in 1883. He purchased the old flour mill belonging to the Gibbs family, which at great expense he converted into a modern roller mill. The improved mill was burnt out September, 1892, ending a flour milling industry which Cleveland started at the Hollow in 1822. The destruction of his mill property was a serious loss to Mr. Edmondson, but with characteristic energy he constructed an electric light plant upon the site of the old mill.
Mr. Edmondson took an active part in public matters. He served the town as councillor and Deputy Reeve at times, and was elected Mayor 1913 and 1914.
THE JAS. PROVEN WORKS.
This Hay Carriers Forks and Slings industry was established by Mr. Proven in 1885.
For several years he ‘was employed in the Joseph Hall works as machinist and pattern maker.
Mr. Proven’s goods were second to none in Canada, and his trade had been a success from the start.
THE L. J. CORYELL ELEVATOR.
This seed business at the Grand Trunk Station was started there about 1885, and employs at certain times of the year about thirty hands (girls mostly).
KENNY & SON.
This seed business at the Grand Trunk Station was started in 1888 and employs about ten hands (girls).
This implement industry was established by Robert Woon in 1888 to manufacture parts of the implements made by the Joseph Hall Company, the patterns of which Mr. Woon purchased when this company went out of business.
Mr. Woon had for a number of years been the chief clerk of the Joseph Hall works, and possessed excellent opportunities of forming an opinion of the business to be done. The success of his industry fully justifies his enterprising venture.
Mr. Woon’s partner, Mr. C. French, was an experienced practical workman, one of those who for a great many years was employed at the Joseph Hall works. Mr. French was a town councillor and water commissioner.
R. S. WILLIAMS & SON
This industry, pianos and church organs, was established in Oshawa in 1888 by R. S. Williams, of Toronto. The present very extensive works is said to be the best equipped in Canada and equal to the best in any other country.
Mr. Williams purchased the property of the Joseph Hall works and expended a large sum of money in adapting the works to his business. The old buildings were thoroughly repaired and re-roofed with slate, and new hard wood floors. Extensive new ‘buildings were erected on Duke Street, very much lengthening the front of the works, affording the necessary floor space. Mr. Robert Williams, owing to ill health, retired from active management in 1903, when .Mr. F. Bull assumed control.
The history of this site is as follows:
In 1852 the brick buildings of the Oshawa Manufacturing Co. were erected, an industry established to manufacture agricultural implements and farming hand tools but, owing to the hard times this company was compelled to go out of business. Dr. McGill, A. S. Whiting and others were the enterprising citizens composing ‘the company.
In 1858 a well known implement maker, Joseph Hall, of Rochester, N. Y., purchased the ‘works. Mr. Hall, through his manager at Oshawa, retained not only the patrons of the old company, but made rapid extension of the business for a period of about thirty years. These works were the largest in ‘Canada. The large pay roll for wages added greatly to the prosperity of Oshawa. During most of these years from 1863, Mr. Hall’s son-in-law, Mr. F. W. Glen, was the manager, and it is only fair to state that he largely aided in establishing many other industries in the town.
The Joseph Hall industry ceased operations in 1886. The workmen, most of them found employment in the other industries.
BISHOP BETHUNE COLLEGE
This institution began operations on 1st September, 1888. The premises, at- one time the residence of the late Hon. T. N. Gibbs, have been very much improved, and affords excellent facilities as a college. The pupils in attendance at present number nearly fifty.
THE SCHOFIELD WORKS
This woollen industry began in i892. This magnificent factory, next to the Williams works the most imposing structure in Oshawa, became the property of John Schofield in that year.
For many years he, with his son Jno. A. Schofield, had been engaged in the woollen business in Paris and Preston, Ont., which experience could not fail in making this industry a success, and materially improve the industrial condition of the town. Being a woollen industry it gives employment to women.
Mr. A. Schofield died in 1910, and his father in 1918. when the industry fell into the hands of a younger son, Chas. E. Schofield, who has met with unusual success.
The works originally were erected in 1872 by Barker and Rogerson, Toronto, to manufacture hats. The town granted these parties a bonus of $5,200. Rogerson retired from the business soon afterwards, and Barker demonstrated an inability to continue the works.
In 1875 a new company called the Masson Manufacturing Company became the owner of the property. The town again granted a bonus of $5,000 conditional upon a certain number of hands being employed. It was claimed that the company did not fulfil this agreement and a dispute arose over this between the town and the last named company, the courts decision went in favor of the town and the whole of the bonus was not paid.
The Masson company employed a large number of hands for many years, but closed down about the year 1890, Mr. Geo. Masson, the chief stockholder, owing to ill health, could not give the necessary attention to his business.
MINAKER & RICHARDS
This apple evaporator business situated on the edge of the pond near the Schofield Woollen Works, was started in 1892. This industry employed about ten hands, mostly girls.
THE CARTAGE BUSINESS
It has been no ordinary industry which for more than fifty years has handled the raw material and the products of Oshawa’s industries, to and from the factories, G. T. Railroad and Port Oshawa. The names of those engaged in this business are William and Isaac Thomas, L. Brooks, William Cole, Daniel Drew, John Bone, John Gall, R. Davidson, R. V. Chubb, W. Millman, and others.
There are a number of old time citizens who contributed to Oshawa’s industrial development. Amongst these may be mentioned: M. Quigley, Jas. P. Luke, John Gullick, John Dickie, Isaac French. These have passed away. Those in 1894 still living are: George Edwards, Samuel Gliddon, Joseph Gall, Thos. May, John May, Robert James, W. Holland, C. A. Mallory, and others. These are the builders who have taken a part in the erection of Oshawa’s homes and factories.
Such men as James Murton, Jacob Stalter, the Munro Brothers, and other millwrights found scope for the exercise of their skill in arranging the machinery in the different factories.
Of the minor industries which could not be called factories there are such citizens as Thos. Kirkpatrick, the British Soldier pump maker; William Jackson, A. Garrow, Walter Wigg & Son, and many others, to mention all of whom would too greatly extend these statistics.
EVIDENCES OF PROGRESS.
The preceeding data tells the story chronologically of Oshawa’s industrial growth, beginning with Cleveland’s grist mill at the Hollow in 1822 down to the present year-1894. The evidence of progress only briefly stated may be summed up as follows: First, the one thousand dollars estimated wages paid daily to the skilled and other workers in Oshawa’s factories, to say nothing of the mercantile and other interests. Second, the debt incurred upon town schools and Demill College, $16,000; the debt incurred for protection against fire, $7,000; the debt incurred by bonuses to the various industries, $55,700; in all $78,700, which sum the chairman of finance, F. L. Fowke, states in December 31st, 1894, will be reduced to $48,781, less the Bethune College asset of $7,000, and contingent asset of $1,000, or a net debt of $40,781, showing that the town has been able to meet every expense, and all the while reduce and pay off the debenture debt. By an Act of Parliament recently obtained the balance of the debenture debt is to be paid off yearly.
These figures eloquently tell of the solidity of the town’s progress, thanks to the able administration of municipal affairs by W. F. Cowan, the Mayor, and councillors. Third, the money expended upon the church structures of the town, many of which are costly edifices.
The new St. Gregory Church being erected on the site of the old time wood structure on Simcoe Street North, will be one of the finest church structures in this part of the country. Its erection In that year-1894will constitute it one at least of the landmarks reminding the present and future inhabitants of past history. Fourth, the cost of maintenance of the town’s churches and schools, and likewise the money expended upon the magnificent residences of many of the people of Oshawa.
This is not all of which might be stated, but sufficient to show the burdens the people are enabled to bear.
In conclusion it must be manifestly clear, that in spite of set backs Oshawa’s industrial progress is as solid as it is remarkable. The times are hard, the world over, and Oshawa feels it, but not so keenly as many places. Real distress is unknown in the town.
ADDITIONAL INDUSTRIES SINCE 1894.
No of Average
FIRMS-1921. Employees. Pay Roll.
General Motors Ltd 2364 $ 246,000t
Williams Piano Co., Ltd. 275 6,000*
Fittings Ltd. 530 12,000*
Ontario Malleable Iron 400 11,004
Pedlar People Ltd. 500 9,000*
Oriental Textile Go. 50 1,350*
Parks Foundry 48 1,400*
Thornton Rubber Co. 36 750*
Robson Leather Co. 315 7,500*
Oshawa Railway Co. 100 10,000t
THE McLAUGHLIN MOTOR CAR CO.
In 1899 the McLaughlin Carriage Company lost its entire factory through the disastrous fire that took place in that year. In order to carry on, however, Mr. R. S. McLaughlin was assigned the task of moving the employees-to Gananoque, where the factory of the Thousand Island Carriage Company was available. By this means the Company was enabled to hold their trade throughout one year until their new and larger quarters could be built in Oshawa. Once under way in the new and enlarged premises the McLaughlin carriage business expanded beyond all expectations. Notwithstanding this success the methods of transportation began to show signs of a change, the motor car was gradually displacing horse drawn vehicles, and the McLaughlin people were not slow in seeing the approaching change. In 1907 the McLaughlin Motor Car Company was organized with R. S. McLaughlin as President, G. W. McLaughlin as Treasurer, and Mr. 0. Hezzelwood as Vice-President. After many experiments this new company succeeded in placing upon the market motor vehicles of such an attractive character that in 1915 the carriage business was entirely overshadowed by the new venture. In this year the Chevrolet Motor Company of Canada was organized and affiliated with the former company. The McLaughlin Carriage Company ceased to exist in 1919, when extensive additions were made to the plant and the former companies were merged into the General Motors of Canada, capital $10,000,000. It is associated with the General Motors Corporation of the United States of America, capitalized at over a billion dollars, and is said to be the greatest industrial institution in the world.
The Fittings Limited was organized in 1902 by .W F. Cowan, J. D. Storie and H. T. Carswell. Work was commenced in the building formerly known as the Stove Factory. Substantial additions were added at different times to the plant, particularly in 1904, 1911, and 1918, until some 22 acres of land was required for its operations. As many as 550 mechanics have been employed at one time, and the plant is now easily worth $500,000.
In 1900 Mr. M. F. Smith, of Port Hope, was granted a bonus of $5,000 for establishing a canning factory in Oshawa. The site and building chosen was that formerly occupied by the Dingle works. The industry was a success from its inception, and in 1921 it was successfully conducted by Mr. Everitt Smith, son of the founder.
In 1903, at the corner of Athol Street and Church, the T. Eaton Company of Toronto, after receiving a bonus of $3,000 from the town, established a white goods factory, and at one time employed as many as 150 hands, mostly females. Mr. W. F. Eaton, brother of Sir John Eaton, took over the management of the business here at its inception, and resided among us till 1916, when he removed to Hamilton, along with the business, which was transferred there from Oshawa, owing to the difficulty of securing sufficient female help. The factory building was purchased by Mr. Chas. Robson, from the T. Eaton Co., and was by him sold in 1918 to Mr. William Millichamp, to whom was granted a bonus of $10,000 for establishing the Oriental Textile Co., upon the Eaton site. This latter Company had in 1912 established themselves upon a site just east of the Ontario Malleable Iron Co., but in April, 1918, the interior of the factory was entirely destroyed by fire. Through an arrangement with Mr. Millichamp, the factory was transferred to the town in consideration for the bonus. In the year 1919 this building was disposed of to the Parks Brothers for $1,000, and in it a very successful little Gray Iron foundry has been established, which promises considerable expansion in future years.
Matthew Guy, of Toronto, in 1908, was voted a bonus of $3,000 for the purpose of establishing a factory in which to construct hearses. The building, formerly occupied by the Coulthard and Scott works, was selected as their place of business, but it scarcely got under way before it collapsed.
In 1903 a bonus of $10,000 was granted to the Woodbridge Harness factory, an industry which established itself for a brief life immediately south of the Ontario Malleable Iron Co. It soon came to grief, but upon its ruins was set up the Canada Steel Range Co., under the management of Mr. Hager, in 1909. This company, although perfectly solvent, in 1915 went into voluntary liquidation. For several years the building stood idle, but in 1917 it was taken over by The Thornton Rubber Co., to whom in 1919 was voted a bonus of $10,000, but only to be paid over on the expiration of ten years of successful business.