Winnipeg Free Press Newspaper Archives Nov 13 1971, Page 123

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Winnipeg Free Press (Newspaper) - November 13, 1971, Winnipeg, ManitobaSmej fish i to j. To of Parkwood his Home in Oshawa Mclaughlin sits in one of the first automobiles Ever made in this country a 1908 Mclaughlin Model f. I m going to make one of his first project was comparatively modest a Sleigh. While he worked a neighbor stopped by and As he watched the Quality and Workman ship my father was putting into it he said will you sell me that Cutter when it s answered the governor but i la make you one like ill buy it if you can deliver it by first the neighbor offered. Thus the first Mclaughlin production line consisted of two identical cutters. In those Days Small Carriage and Wagon shops had to use journey Man artisans upholsterers and blacksmiths who travelled from shop to shop to perform their specialities. These were notoriously Independent men and their scheduled arrival at any one shop could never be counted upon. The governor was fortunate with his upholsterer j. B. Keddie of Oshawa who arrived in Good time with two apprentices and a Wagon Load of Horsehair Canvas and other upholstery materials. Winter and the promised Date of delivery was fast approaching and still the Blacksmith had not arrived. When he did show up he and my father had to work night and Day to finish the cutters. Strangely enough it was to a Large extent my father s first near failure in a delivery contract due to their responsibility of the Blacksmith that led to the growth of the Tyrone shed into general motors of Canada. If All had gone smoothly the governor would probably have been Content to continue to use the same system of dozens of Small Carriage works in Ontario and so have shared their eventual Fate oblivion. Now he decided to build his own Small Blacksmith shop. The upholster ing end was never a problem. The re liable Keddie eventually became fore Man of the Mclaughlin Carriage com Pany and remained in that position for the rest of his life. Soon the demand for Mclaughlin cutters and wagons outgrew the Small Tyrone shop and the governor decided to move to the larger nearby Vil Lage of Enniskillen. In that year 1869, my brother George was born. My eldest brother Jack j. J. Mclaughlin was two years old and i was born two years after the move to Enniskillen on sept. In the larger and better equipped Enniskillen shop my father decided to add to his previous line of cutters and wagons and build a Carriage. It was to be the Mclaughlin entry at that year s county fair at Bowmanville. He and Keddie starting from scratch built a Beautiful Phaeton. At the fair in Competition with the entries of two of Eastern Ontario s largest Carriage makers it won first prize. Immediately the Mclaughlin shop stopped making wagons and went in for carriages. Cutters though remained a Staple product. The demand for those vehicles out grew Enniskillen in a few Short years. And so in 1876 the governor decided to make the big and daring move to Oshawa. He still had no plans for a major expansion and we grew slowly. But in the Early 1880s my father produced an invention that was to revolutionize the Carriage Industry and expand the Little Mclaughlin shop into a million a year Enterprise. It was a new gear All that part of a Carriage Between the body and the wheels including Springs couplings Chassis and especially a fifth wheel that greatly improved the steering of the vehicle. To my father his new gear was just another improvement in the design of his carriages intended Only for use in his own products. But All that changed when Tony Foster first saw the gear. Tony was a colourful travelling sales Man who dealt in upholstery materials and hardware items. By Jove or. He said i could sell some of those gears for you my father was dubious but after much persuasion from Tony he agreed to let him sell the gear on commis Sion. But he added what he considered a Tough condition the volume of sales must be within two years. The governor had greatly underestimated the Appeal of the gear and Tony s salesmanship. In the years which remained of the heyday of the Carriage Tony was to Send in orders for nearly gears. When manufacturers started advertising that their carriages were fitted with the revolutionary Mclaughlin gear Many prospective buyers decided that they would like an All Mclaughlin vehicle. Many manufacturers decided to Stop making their own and become our agents. Before the turn of the Century Mclaughlin were being sold from coast to coast. In the Early Days of this expansion i graduated from High school. I had no great urge to go into the Carriage business though. My older brother George was already apprenticed to the governor. My eldest brother Jack had graduated in chemistry from the University of Toronto and was even then planning his own great enter prise the founding of the Canada dry beverage company. I thought of continued weekend 13, 1971 -3

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