At the start of the twentieth century Southern Ontario based Brantford was the largest industrial centre in Canada. Its industries employed thousands and shipped products to the far corners of the world. Yet a mere hundred years later the booming factories are almost all quiet, a testament to the fickle forces of progress and the failure to change with it.

You can read about the fascinating industrial heritage of Brantford in a series of books by local historian Mike Hand.

His first book, From Wagon to Trailer, examined the rise of the pre- automobile carriage and wagon industry into modern day trucking, focussing on the Cockshutt Plow Company and Trailmobile Canada.

This was followed up with Iron, Steam and Wood, a look at how the Waterous Engine Works Company fueled the mechanization of the nation.

A City’s Industrial Heritage, took a broader look at 15 significant companies from Brantford and the indelible mark they left on the world’s industrial landscape.

Steam Engines and Threshers moves away from Brantford and studies 12 manufacturers mostly in smaller Southern Ontario communities who drove the mechanisation of grain threshing in the nineteenth century along with the application of steam power to the farm.

Where Did They Go takes a look at a number of Southern Ontario manufacturers who were once the mainstay of their communities, many of whose products were familiar to most households and farms.

In a change of pace from Industrial History writing he brings to life short tales from true life experiences in his latest book Reminiscences.

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