FREE 1918 Stamped and Enamelled Ware Catalogue - Hespeler, Ontario


Hespeler Stamped and Enamelled Ware Catalogue

If you moved to Hespeler in the last twenty five years or so you remember the Stamped and Enamelled Ware Company Ltd on Guelph Avenue as the American Standard plant . It used to make bathtubs at the plant. 

If you moved here recently, 80% of the Stamped Enamelled Plant and historic Hespeler Grist Mill has been wiped out. One building was saved and turned into condos and one new apartment building was built.

The Stamped and Enamelled Ware Company has a very rich history. The catalogue has lots of interesting pots, pans, etc. that were made there. This publication is in the public domain. I tried to improve the quality of it. I hope everyone will enjoy seeing what one factory in Hespeler used to make. Click HERE for the 1918 catalogue. Feel free to share this post with friends.

Hespeler Stamped and Enamelled Ware Plant
The Stamped and Enamelled Ware Plant, Hespeler, Ontario

Rare R. Forbes Mill Silent Film - Early Hespeler Ontario

 R. Forbes Woollen Mill Film - Early Hespeler Ontario

Enjoy this film from the early 1900's showing the R Forbes Mill on Queen Street West.

In 1874 Robert Forbes of Scotland purchased the Randall, Farr & Co. Woollen Mill on Queen St. West in Hespeler. The company was incorporated in 1888 as R. Forbes & Co. Ltd. with Robert's sons George and James serving as president and company director respectively. In 1895 with the passing of Robert and James, George took over full operation of the company building it into the largest textile mill in the British Commonwealth. George continued to lead the company until 1928 when it was sold to the Dominion Woollens and Worsteds Co. Ltd.

Dominion Woollens and Worsteds Ltd. came into Hespeler in 1928 when the company purchased the R. Forbes Company Ltd. mill at what is now Queen St. West in Cambridge. The company would operate in Hespeler until 1959 when it went into receivership and was purchased by Silknit. As the largest woollens and worsteds mill in the British colonies at the time, the factory played a large role in the history of Hespeler, at one time employing almost one third of all citizens of the village.

During and immediately after WWII the mill employed a large number of women employees from both the Hespeler area as well as those who were brought in to work from Newfoundland and Northern Ontario. These women lived in boarding houses or dormitories provided by the mill and many of them stayed in Hespeler after the war, forever changing the village.

Production ceased permanently at the mill in 1984 and one third of it was destroyed shortly afterward in a fire.

If you like Hespeler history on September 1st, 2021 the book HESPELER HISTORY - The Authorized Winfield Brewster Book will come out.

 Film and information credit -  University of Waterloo Library. Special Collections & Archives. R. Forbes & Co. Ltd. film. R_Forbes_and_Co_Ltd_Film_H264.




Remembering Glen Christie Video Released


This is a short promo video for the upcoming book by Paul Langan titled, "Remembering Glen Christie" that is coming out in April 2021. Glen Christie is a vanished village that was once a thriving community north of Hespeler, Ontario. The book is the defining history of that community.

Understanding the Black Bridge Railway Overpass Bridge Removal Fiasco


 The Black Bridge Railway Overpass Bridge 

NOTE: This was an original post from Sept. 30th, 2004, I have updated.

The Black Bridge Railway Overpass Bridge
The Black Bridge Railway Overpass Bridge - Demolished in 2004.

The Black Bridge Railway Overpass Bridge, has been demolished in the last few weeks. The other bridge is the Black Bridge Road Bridge, a designated heritage structure, and the only steel bridge in Cambridge may also one day be removed. The reason is that this one way bridge cannot handle proposed future traffic volumes.

The City of Cambridge made the decision to remove this bridge and replace it with a level crossing. This has proven to be a financial, safety and environmental fiasco for the taxpayers of the City of Cambridge.

1. The Developer of the Subdivision, Mattamy Homes should have paid for the bridge removal and level crossing installation as a part of the subdivision approval process. The developer is supposed to pay for any infrastructure related to their subdivision....

2.A replacement bridge would have been far cheaper but would not fit the needs of the proposed subdivision.

3. The removal of the bridge has went way over budget as the company removing the bridge hit bedrock. Estimates to replace the bridge were $250,000. The final cost to put in the level crossing is already over $500,000.

4. Removal of the bridge has caused groundwater to surface causing continuous flooding in the area and contamination of the ground water.

5. The level crossing is extremely dangerous. There are also short-sight-lines. When frequent GO Train service arrives for Hespeler this will be a dangerous crossing.

Basically, the developer got away with doing nothing. The railway company and city agreed to do the cheap solution that we will regret dearly in the near future.


The Black Bridge Road Rail Overpass Bridge, Grade separated no danger of auto/train accident