Date of the items: 1917
Physical description: 1 plan, 1 booklet
Title: Quaker Oats Fire 1916 Fonds
Creator: The Quaker Oats Company
Repository: Trent Valley Archives
Reference number: TVA Fonds 507
Scope and contents: The fonds consists of the floor plan of the Quaker Oats plant, 1917; Peterboro Plant, The Quaker Oats Company, Chicago Ill. Property & Plant Layout traced from Leonard Construction Co. Drawing of July 15, 1917; scale 1/16 inch = 1 foot, Peterboro’, September 15, 1926. Includes Schedule of Floor Heights and Loads. Includes Enlarged Scale Drawings of Water Pipe Arrangement between Wkhse [Workhouse] & Feed Mill.
Copy of Quaker Oats fire report: The Fire at the Quaker Oats Company’s Premises at Peterboro’ Ontario Canada on December 11, 1916 consisting of two reports: Part 1 by A. J. Mylrea and Part II by T. D. Mylrea; London, 1918. Published at the offices of The British Fire Prevention Committee, 8 Waterloo Place, Pall Mall, S.W. 1. Issued in October of 1918; well illustrated with photos and plans [pdf downloaded from the internet]
Part I: The Fire at the Quaker Oats Plant
- General Description of the Premises, 9
- Fire Equipment, 18
- Public Fire Service and Water Supply, 20
- Origin and Progress of the Fire, 21
- Damage to Buildings, 43
Part II: Effect of Fire on the Reinforced Concrete Warehouse of the Quaker Oats Co., Peterboro, Ontario, December 11, 1916
- Construction of Reinforced Concrete Warehouse, 48
- The Fire, 51
- Damage to Buildings Generally, 5
- Details of Damage to Concrete Building, 54
- Effect of Design and Loading On Failure, 56
- Conclusion, 59
- Block Plan of the site
- Section through the range of building adjoining that in which [the fire started]
Access Conditions: No Restrictions
Finding aid: None
Accruals: No further accruals are expected
Custodial history: The copy of the floor plan of Quaker Oats was donated by G. A. Young from the P. U. C. in 2017. The pdf of the report was downloaded from the internet in 2017.
Administrative history: The American Cereal Company was formed by a merger of American cereal companies in 1887. In 1901, the Company acquired the former Dickson Raceway lands [See Ken Brown’s article in the Heritage Gazette of the Trent Valley, November 2016] in Peterborough and the first construction projects on the site began that same year. By the early 1900s, the company changed its name to the Quaker Oats Company, and began using the iconic Quaker logo that has become synonymous with their brand.
A victim of a fire in 1904, the company invested money in a fireproofing plan to prevent future fires from occurring. However, their fireproofing efforts would not be enough to stop the large explosion and resulting fire that occurred on December 11, 1916. Killing several workers and destroying most of the buildings on the site, the disaster led the company to debate whether they should rebuild or leave Peterborough entirely. Ultimately, they would choose to rebuild, swayed by the construction of a new Hunter Street bridge in front of their property that finished in 1921.
The factory continues to operate today under the ownership of PepsiCo, and is one of Peterborough’s biggest employers, producing a majority of the Quaker products sold in Canada.
Related fonds at TVA: There are several fonds at TVA with materials relating to the Quaker Oats Company, including F14 Arthur Jenkinson; F16 John Carruthers F243 Quaker Oats; F785 American Cereal Company/Quaker Oats Company; F787 Quaker Oats Fire Accident Account; F792 Paul Jobe; F850 Scott Baker and F946 Paul Jobe Logistics.
A. J. Mylrea
T. D. Mylrea