Canadian General Electric Plant News Fonds F78

A Z5

Date of the items: 1946-2002

Physical description: 1.5 metres

Title: Canadian General Electric Plant News Fonds

Creator: Canadian General Electric

Repository: Trent Valley Archives

Reference number: TVA Fonds 78

Scope and contents: The fonds consists of issues of the CGE Peterborough Works News and Canadian General Electric Company Limited Peterborough Plant News dating from 1945 through 2002.

Access Conditions: No Restrictions

Finding aid: See file listing below and in Excel

Accruals: Possible

Custodial history: Tim Richmond donated a copy that belonged to his father on June 5, 2014. Anne Marie Armstrong donated copies that belonged to her father, Wilf Sexmith, on January 9, 2018. Those issues are listed below separately as accruals. The provenance of the other issues is unknown.

Administrative history: CGE Peterborough Works News began publication in 1943 to inform the large population of employees of plant activities related to both work and social life. It was preceded by a smaller publication, Gunshots, that was produced during the earlier years of World War II. It was known as the Canadian General Electric Company Limited Peterborough Plant News from 1963. The weekly publication became bi-monthly in July 1983.

The inventor Thomas Edison founded the Edison Electric Light Company in 1878. It became the Edison General Electric Company in 1889. The company decided to expand its business into Canada in 1890 and the Peterborough plant opened on April 20, 1891. In the beginning, they built generators, dynamos for dams, and streetcar motors. By WWI, production shifted to meet the needs of the war effort and they began to produce artillery, shells and guns. Many women were employed at GE during this time. During WWII, the workforce doubled and new buildings were added for the fractional motors and porcelain departments. Some of the largest motors in the world were built at GE Peterborough, and they were also known for production of refrigerators and fuel bundles for nuclear reactors.

From its inception, General Electric was a fixture in Peterborough, providing thousands of jobs and setting itself as a cornerstone for growth in Peterborough. Many of the residential neighbourhoods around the factory were built as workers’ housing. At its peak in the 1970s the plant employed 6,000 people. Production began to decline during the 1980s and in 2018 the plant closed, taking with it the remaining 350 jobs.

Related fonds at TVA: We have several collections at TVA that relate to Canadian General Electric including F327 I. F. McRae, F381 David Dwyer, F682 Robert Rehder; F780 Hubert R Sills, F818 von der Gonna, F830 George Alden Sills, F866 Dennis A. Vass and F912 John Ball.

Access Points:
Canadian General Electric
McRae, Ian
Peterborough Industry
Peterborough Businesses