Steam Train from Hespeler, GlenChristie to Guelph in 2003




In 2003 a small group of people in conjunction with St.Thomas Central Railway organized an event to bring Steam Engine #9 to Hespeler for an excursion that went from just under the Hwy 401 through Hespeler, GlenChristie to Guelph. The group included Bill Russ, Paul Langan, Al Mair and a couple more. History was made as people got to travel by rail from Hespeler to Guelph for the first time by steam engine since the  1950s. Here is link to video: https://youtu.be/D7Kp07zGU6A 

The train had a diesel engine on one end and the steam on the other.

This historic footage was taken by Bill and Jason Russ. What to look for in this footage? There is footage from three trips on this video. It is worth it to watch the whole clip for the different views of the trips.

  1.  Former Dominion Woollens location. Where people got on and off.
  2. Travelling under Hwy #401 by train
  3. Travelling by the former community of GlenChristie ( you can see the sidings)
  4. Footage from on and off the train travelling over the railbridge on Speed River.
  5. On Blackbridge Road there is now a level rail/road crossing. There used to be a railbridge underpass for safe movement of train under the road. See the rare footage of it before it was torn out. The train goes under it a few times on different excusions that day.
  6.  You get to see the fantastic footage of the train going by the then Hespeler CN Railway Station.(3rd trip)
  7.  Crossing Hwy 24 at once was Gourock, ON.
  8.  Arriving in Guelph on Alama Street.

Enjoy this video piece of Hespeler history.

Due South TV Show - All the Queen's Horses Outtakes



Due South was a popular Canadian TV Show. The Season 2 Episode 14 features the RCMP musical ride on board a train with terrorist attack. Lots of fun with Leslie Nielsen and Gordon Pinsent in this episode. 



These outtakes are of the scene 42:35 into the episode. It is of the RCMP  actors and their horses getting on and off the train. The original episode aired 12 April 1996 - Season 2 | Episode 14. You can watch the whole episode at: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5vftr8

Piso's Cure for Consumption and Florida Water Bottles Found in Hespeler



We take great pride in living our home that is approximately 140 yrs old in Hespeler. When our basement was being renovated several years ago we found these two old bottles in them.

Now that we live in a world of  the internet lots of people have already looked into the history of these two products.

1. Florida Water - Murray & Lanman Druggists New-York - Made since 1883, as a perfume to add to your bath water. Two fun facts stand out. It was never made in Florida and it has more alcohol that water in it. Here is a detailed article on the Florida Water. https://baybottles.com/2018/05/10/murray-lanman-druggists-new-york-florida-water/

2. Pico's Cure for Consumption - Hazeltine & Co. - Founded in 1864, this company claimed to have a cure for consumption.(tuberculosis). Fun fact is the ingredients at different times contained opium, morphine,  chloroform, cannabis and alcohol. A very detailed history of this scam is available at: https://www.fohbc.org/PDF_Files/PisoTrior_JSullivan.pdf

When Ford Motor Company Made Automated Guideway People Movers

Ford Automated Guideway Transit People Mover

It is funny how a photograph can bring back a memory of an event you had forgotten about. Such is the case of my experience with the Ford ACT Automatically Controlled Transportation or Activity Center Transit rubber tired people mover

I had just purchased a collection of slides of a GO-Urban failed transportation plan for Toronto in the 1970s. One of the unsuccessful transit systems who bid on the project was the Ford ACT. It is also known as Automated Guideway Transit as it runs a guideway above ground.

I decided to research the Ford ACT and realized I had actually seen it and probably rode on it. Ford Company actually built a system in Dearborn connecting the Hyatt Regency Hotel to the Fairlane Mall.

It was during that time of operation in the 1970s I would go to that Mall on a regular basis to buy records. I remember distinctly going to the Hyatt Regency Hotel to see Ricky Nelson perform and seeing the guideway and vehicles.

Ford Automated People Mover Fairlane Mall


The people mover system is long gone from the mall and the Ford Co. got out of the AGT business. The Detroit People Mover is also an AGT system though it uses a  different technology.

For the Ford ACT, I only have my memories and photos from the internet (thanks Katie Balamucki for the two photos above) to remind me of this small snippet of transit history.

Below is a description of the system that was in a mall brochure.

"The automated transit system is the most innovative feature of Fairlane, as it represents perhaps the first time that a regional center has been designed for other than automobile and pedestrian access. The initial half-mile segment of the looped system, which connects Fairlane with the Dearborn Hyatt Regency Hotel, started operating in early 1976. The facility consists of an elevated guideway resting on concrete columns and running between a joint station within the shopping mall and one adjoining the hotel lobby.

The automated system, with its two bidirectional vehicles, is programmed to operate under peak load conditions of 1,800 persons per hour. Each electrically powered, computer-controlled vehicle is designed to accomodate 24 passengers and cruise at 25 miles per hour. A 500-foot bypass lane near the midpoint of the system allows vehicles traveling in opposite directions to pass each other. The ACT was developed by the Ford Motor Company as a prototype urban transit system.

Original plans to extend the system to Ford International Headquarters were eliminated because of the expense and because of difficulties associated with a freeway crossing. Nevertheless, even in its modified form, the looped system has the potential of becoming an important means of access to the shopping center for the Town Center's working population, once the line is completed and the peripheral parcels are fully developed. Meanwhile, the system functions as a tourist attraction and runs at full capacity most of the day."

Hespeler Furniture Company Made Radio Cabinets

The Hespeler furniture factory building is still standing but the company has not been in business since the 1970s. Known for its beautiful furniture that was made there. (more on that in a future post).

Rogers Majestic Radio Model 8M1092
What many do not know is that the Rogers Majestic Company in Toronto, who made early radios, used Hespeler Furniture cabinets to hold their radios.

 The radio to the right is a 1930s Rogers Majestic Radio Model 8M1092. It has several shortwave bands and AM.
The cabinet from the Hespeler Furniture Factory Model No. 8106.

Now not all Rogers Majestic Radios had Hespeler made cabinets. For example Knechtel Furniture Co. Ltd. Hanover, ON also made cabinets for Rogers.

It gets even more confusing considering another radio company DeForest-Crosley made similar models.

How to tell if the cabinet is made in Hespeler?


Hespeler Furniture Company tag found on furniture and radio cabinets

But if you are looking at the backs, look for an identifying factors.

There were different types of marking made by the Hespeler Furniture Company on their products.This metal tag was one one radio cabinet is an example.












Another Rogers Majestic Company Radio with a Hespeler Cabinet


Rogers 12-126 "Teledial" model with Hespeler made cabinet

This is the Rogers 12-126 "Teledial" model. For all you vintage radio buffs here are the specifics.

This model is equipped with automatic tuning. The RT_neon is a voltage regulator tube. The 6X6 is a tuning indicator tube. The second 6F7M tube is used as a phase inverter. The radio has a telephone dial and an illuminated glass slide rule rolling pin dial window.

So check your old radios and see if the cabinets were made in Hespeler and send me a photo!

Worker Safety and Chemical Disinfectants

disinfectant spray and worker safety
Using Disinfect Spray in Iran

With the widespread concern over the coronavirus, more people are talking about and using chemical disinfection. 

From a worker safety perspective here are some basic things to know about disinfection.
Disinfectants are intended to kill microorganisms. They may also be hazardous to humans and the environment, especially when concentrated.

The use of disinfectants can impact worker safety both directly and indirectly. Direct exposure to a hazardous chemical may result when a disinfectant is used inappropriately (for example, if a worker fails to wear personal protective equipment when diluting a concentrated chemical).

Indirect impact on worker safety can occur as a result of an exposure to viable pathogens when an inappropriate product is selected (for example, if a disinfectant or product that kills vegetative bacteria only was used against a non-enveloped virus), or if an effective product is used inappropriately (for example, diluted too much).

Workers should learn about the products required for disinfection of the agents with which they will be working, including recommended directions for use (including application method, contact time, personal protective equipment, precautions, first aid, and disposal) as well as chemical characteristics (such as the toxicity, chemical compatibility, storage stability, active ingredient identity and concentration).

Much of this information is provided on the product label. Some manufacturers may also be willing to share reports of efficacy testing for their products.