Meingast Industry Is Officially Welcomed, Open House Is Held
Owen Sound's newest industry, H.M. Meingast and Sons, was officially welcomed at a reception Wednesday evening. And, as he spoke his appreciation, the principal of the firm announced that they had already prepared an order of hydraulic cylinders for export to the United States, the source of practically all such equipment for Canada's manufacturing industry.
The reception was extended by the Owen Sound Chamber of Commerce and the business men and civic leaders were entertained at a very fine dinner.
During the afternoon the Meingast plant, situated at the Malleable hill on the Leith road near the Hobart plant, was open to the public. There many people, including representatives of the Chamber of Commerce and the City Council, saw the plant's equipment in full swing. Many other citizens availed themselves of the opportunity including a surprisingly large number of family groups.
At the evening reception, Industrial Commissioner Mac McKenzie acted as master of ceremonies, calling on various city officials to speak briefly and, in conclusion, on Mr. Meingast senior. The latter voiced his warm appreciation of the splendid cooperation he had received during the months of preparation for coming and of becoming established. He publicly thanked two of Owen Sound's biggest industries, Wm. Kennedy and Sons, and the Russel Hipwell Co. for the manner in which they had cooperated. He recalled how he had first been invited to come to Owen Sound by Irvine Brown, as chairman of the Industrial Developments and how so many people had cooperated since then to see that he and his sons succeeded in establishing their business here.
Mr. Meingast voiced quiet confidence of the success of their venture, foreseeing steady expansion in the future. It was a cooperative matter, he said, a company wishing a community in which to conduct its business and a community which desired to have an industry. He particularly thanked the company's customers who had shown their faith in it with their support.
Speaking brief words of welcome and assurance were Colin Glen, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, Ald. Burke Walsh, chairman of the Industrial Commission, Mayor Wm. Forsyth and Irvine Brown.
Those who visited the plant during the afternoon saw some of the finest equipment in Canada for the manufacture of hydraulic cylinders in operation. The machinery included an exceptionally long horizontal cylinder honer, with a capacity for 20 foot cylinders up to 10 inches in diameter. The machine, and a large perpendicular hone, smooths out the inside of the cylinder using abrasive knives.
The decision to locate this new industry here was made in February of this year and within a very few weeks, equipment was installed, steel stock started to arrive and H.M. Meingast and Sons were definitely established as Owen Sound's newest industry.
Questioned why he chose Owen Sound, Mr. Meingast stated the fact that William Kennedy and Sons Ltd. were here and could supply him with high quality steel castings had considerable bearing upon the decision to locate here. He added that the reception given him by those representing the city's industrial commission had helped him decide that Owen Sound would be a suitable location.
Mr. Meingast paid tribute to the efforts of Industrial Commissioner "Mac" McKenzie and city officials for the part they played in helping him get settled here and operating without loss of time.
Eight months have gone by and the future prospects of the company are excellent. The major lines manufactured are single action and double action hydraulic cylinders to serve Canada's mobile equipment industry and the machine tool field.
The company is presently tooling up for the production of telescopic hydraulic cylinders specially designed for dump trucks and hoisting equipment. H.M. Meingast employs 12 men besides the owner.Eight men are in the plant with three engaged in administrative work and one salesman is active throughout Ontario.
Richardson Equipment Company, well known distributors of tool products, are a distributor for the products of the new plant which are sold under the trade name of Candesma, a name derived from the combination of the slogan Canadian Designed and Manufactured.
Lackey Equipment and Machinery Company of Haileybury will represent the company in Nothern Ontario's mining communities and plans are now under way to establish dealerships from coast to coast.
H.M. Meingast and Sons products, which are of a highly technical nature, have been well recieved by the trade and the company numbers. J.D. Adams Grader Co., Paris; Truck Engineering, Woodstock; Smith Bros. Motor Bodies, Toronto; and Preston Woodworking Machinery among its better customers.
The type pf work done requires fairly heavy equipment and the array of large lathes, boring machines, drill presses and a hydraulic press, plus many pieces of incidental machinery, represents quite a high investment. This in itself, is an indication that Mr. Meingast has faith in Owen Sound and the ability of his employees.
Mr. Meingast has been identified with the manufacturing of steel products for some years, first in Germany and latterly in Canada: Prior to coming to Canada in 1952, he was the chief metallurgist of the Carl F. Borgward Automobile Company of Bremen and held the position of plant metallurgist with the Cockshutt Farm Equipment Company at Brantford after his arrival in Canada until about two years ago when he went into partnership with another equipment firm.
Mr. Meingast now lives in Owen Sound and his unmarried son, Michael, lives with him. Udo, the other son, is married and has also taken up residence here.
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