Thursday, April 19, 2012

We used to make things in this country. #84: Taylor-Forbes Co., Guelph Ontario


A couple of my Taylor-Forbes C-clamps.  The Taylor-Forbes Company was founded in Guelph in 1902 by John and Adam Taylor and George Forbes on the former site of Allan's Mills on the east bank of the Speed River. The company was comprised of the former A.R. Woodyatt and Company business and Guelph Malleable Iron Works and soon became one of Canada's largest manufacturers of lawn mowers and general hardware. 




Taylor-Forbes produced a wide array of products including hinges, washing machines, boilers, foot scrapers and radiators. At one time Taylor-Forbes was the largest employer of skilled labour in Guelph and operated nine branches in other cities. Taylor-Forbes was the first industry in Guelph to use hydro electric power in 1910. During WWI and WWII, the company was awarded many substantial contracts manufacturing shell casings and metal castings for vehicles. The company was sold in 1950 and the new owners were able to continue operations for only five more years until declaring bankruptcy.  Below, pics of some other TF products on the web:  pushmowers and waffle irons!

Above, from http://etherwork.net/recipes/photopages/waffleiron.html where more photos of this great old waffle iron can be viewed.  To see the waffles it makes, visit http://etherwork.net/recipes/photopages/waffles.html
Below, a T-F sad iron on exhibit in the Frontenac County Schools Museum.  Note its similarity to the Woodyatt sad iron pictured earlier in this blog entry.




archive.org

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm sittin here painting one hell of a real beaut. A nice old radiator. Thanks boys. RJ Woiden

Elizabeth said...

Yes, indeed. We just used our Taylor Forbes waffle iron again this morning (the very same one as the photo on this post). The iron still looks exactly the same as it did in 2006 when we took that photo.

Here are more photos of the waffle iron: etherwork.net: Taylor Forbes stove-top waffle iron & stand

Anonymous said...

I have a Taylor-Forbes 2 stroke, 4 wheel push mower. Very "space-age" with a cast aluminum base.

The Duke said...

Email Mister G a photo, and we'd be happy to add it to this post!

Anonymous said...

My wife's Grandmother had one of these irons. After my mother in law passed, we have this lovely Taylor Forbes Iron as pictured. Any idea as to when they were made? Is there a way to tell?

The Duke said...

The only way to roughly date such old sad irons would be from TF catalogues of the era. However, by the 1920's most homes had electricity so sad irons were disappearing. See http://www.oldandinteresting.com/vintage-electric-irons.aspx

Anonymous said...

does anyone know the address of the former Taylor-Forbes manufacturing company in Guelph? Also this site does not allow viewing as this page keeps obliterating everything else.

The Duke said...

As you can see from the image of the 1926 factory I've added above, it covered 15 acres. I can't find an exact street address for it. Also, I don't understand your comment that "this page keeps obliterating everything else."