Durtnall, Bonnie - M.A
Working In Fire & Steel: Blacksmith, Foundries and The Rise of a Foundry Elite, Guelph, 1827-1900 - Dr. Catharine Wilson, advisor
This thesis is an investigation of the development of Guelph's metal trades from 1827 to 1900. Its focus is the small-town foundry--one of the earliest producers of agricultural implements. Beyond the need to provide a thorough examination of small foundries, this study provides information on how industry developed in Canada. By using the small foundries in Guelph as a model it is revealed how the foundry, a craft-industry, arose as a competitor to the blacksmith in 1847, replacing him as the major supplier of metal equipment for the community. In the process, a foundry elite was established. The foundry elite was the social, economic and political backbone of the community. These men remained in prominence in Guelph until changing economic times after 1869 made their foundries adjunct to larger manufacturers. The result was the demise of the foundry elite and the disappearance of the old foundries after 1881. The survivors either worked for the industries or became industrial concerns and moved out of the community.