Warecki, J. - M.A
Charles Raymond and the Raymond Sewing Machine Manufacturing Company and The Character of Boosterism in 19th Century Guelph - Dr. Gilbert Stelter, advisor
Some scholars have studied the growth of urban centres by examining broad impersonal forces such as regional, technological, economic, and geographic trends. Others have studied urban growth through an analysis of more humanistic forces, such as the role played by individuals in their society. The initiative and enterprise displayed by members of the elite or groups of influential men towards the growth of their particular communities has been labelled 'boosterism' One historian defined boosterism as, .... an ideology of growth adopted by local elites to guide their promotional activity. Boosters, therefore, are promoters who attempt to advance both their personal interest and the growth of the community. They attempt to find a consensus among members of the elite on development projects or strategies designed to increase the growth rate of a particular town or city. Growth, whether in terms of population size, manufacturing output, or miles of streets constructed, is the issue of utmost importance.
It is the purpose of this paper to demonstrate how Charles Raymond, of Guelph, Ontario, was similar in some respects to the nineteenth century boosters in urban Canada described by such authors as Alan Artibise, Max Foran, Paul Voisey, Michael Katz, and Elizabeth Bloomfield. Raymond, however, differed from the majority of those boosters described by these authors in that he placed the promotion of the quality of life in his city ahead of the promotion of the physical and economic growth of his city. A secondary theme of this paper is how Charles Raymond and his sewing machine company were representative of T.W. Acheson's findings on the nature of industrial elites and the nature of the firm in late nineteenth century Canada.
In order to deal with these themes, this paper will follow the the following outline. An introductory section analyzes the literature of urban history which is relevant to the question of entrepreneurial leadership in urban growth. A second section provides an outline of Charles Raymond's career. A third section chronicles the history of the Raymond Sewing Machine/Manufacturing Company, and a fourth examines Raymond's actions as an active member of his community.