Two of the major industries in Peterborough were Canadian General Electric and the Quaker Oats Company.
One of the many logos used over the years for food products.
Plant before the fire.
Quaker Oats began in Canada as American Cereal Co. with the plant opening in 1902. A tragic fire all but destroyed the plant when just after 10:00 P.M. on Monday, December 11, 1916 it is believed a foreign metal object got caught in a grinding machine in building 11 causing a dust explosion that eventually resulted in the death of 24 workers. Most died in hospital from smoke inhalation. The fire burned for four days and help even came from the Toronto Fire Department. $2 Million damages resulted and 500 workers were affected. The plant was said to be of the latest design and equipment to prevent fires.
The plant was rebuilt in 1917 and expanded to more than double its size and was the largest Quaker Oats plant anywhere. It continues to produce a large supply of food products to date following its acquisition in August 2001 by PepsiCo. Corporate name has changed a number of times first known as PepsiCo QTG Canada Inc. (Quaker, Tropicana and Gatoraid) and PepsiCo Foods Canada which includes Frito Lay Brand. Above photo: 1919. Library and Archives Canada.
Quaker Oats Company plant and Ashburnham bridge c.1928
Quaker Oats plant as seen from the Otonabee River recent years. The bridge renamed Hunter Street bridge.
Peterboro yard engine 815 switching Quaker Oats. Main line bridge in
the background. July 1954
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