Because I always like to know more about the antiques I collect, I had a hunt online for information on the Guelph Stove Company. There isn't much to be found! Artefacts Canada had some information but not as much detail as I wanted.
Finally I found the Guelph Civic Museum and sent an email to the assistant curator. She responded very quickly and provided me with more detail. I learned from her email that I can also make an appointment with her to see the photos and other records they have on the Company. I'm hoping to get to Guelph in June and will visit the Museum at that time.
The Guelph Stove Company began in 1897 as the Guelph Foundry Company and was incorporated as the Guelph Stove Company in 1904. According to Artefacts Canada, the initial owners were Dr. Reid, Mr. Frank Nunan, Mr. Christian Kloepfer, Mr. Joseph Brown and Professor Doherty.
The early products were the Idea steel stoves and ranges, and the Kelly hot air and combination furnaces. In 1908, the T. Eaton's Company began to purchase stoves from the Guelph company.
In 1919, Eatons purchased the company. Ontario Archives holds many of the original ledgers and documents from the Guelph Stove Company, all of which can be viewed on site in Toronto Ontario. They are part of the T. Eaton Co. fonds.
The company was located on Paisley from 1897 until about 1929. The original building was located just west of Norfolk and on the south side of the street and is probably where the parking lot for the plaza (with Simply Wonderful and Market Fresh) is now. In 1929 the company built a brand new plant at the corner of York Road and Victoria Road.
The company was sold in 1964 to the Studebaker Company. Studebaker sold the company to White Consolidated Co. in 1968 and they no longer manufactured stoves.
What is my interest in this Guelph Stove Company cook stove, other than as a collectible antique? Both my parents were born in Guelph. My mother's ancestry in Guelph is fairly recent, going back to 1914. But my father's ancestry in Guelph dates back on his paternal and maternal lineage to around 1860. Many of my ancestors and their siblings of every generation worked in Guelph factories. They lived in Guelph and of course, used woodstoves for both heat and for cooking.
There is every chance that one of my ancestors (or a sibling) used a Guelph Stove Company stove. Thinking romantically there is a good chance one of them used the actual stove I now own. One of them may have worked at the Company or lived nearby or socialized with men who worked there. This kind of history fascinates me. I call it social history - what were my ancestors doing in certain time periods or specific years, where were they living and working? What appliances did they have in their homes?
I wish I knew more details than I do but I can at least find out what their lives might have been like, what they might have incorporated into their daily lives, and so on. I like to imagine my grandmother McGinnis standing at a stove very much like this one, in her home on Water Street in Guelph after WW1, cooking the family dinner. With six sons she had a lot of hungry mouths to feed!