An industrial building can be put to a variety of uses. This building was likely built around 1877 to house Joseph Aussem’s biscuit and candy works. The Hamilton Industrial Works decided to move its small downtown factory to these larger premises when the bakery moved out three years later. The firm produced lightning rods. The new, larger building gave the company the room it needed to expand into clothes wringer and washing machine production. These were the company’s main products by 1890.
It was not uncommon to find members of the same family working inside Hamilton’s early factories. Woodworker George Dowswell and his brother Frederick both worked here. It was also common practice in 19th-century Hamilton for a factory owner to sell his company to one or more of his employees when he retired. This plant became the Dowswell Manufacturing Company sometime in the mid-1890s. The Dowswell brothers moved their rapidly expanding “all electric” washing machine business to a larger plant in east Hamilton shortly after 1900. The building became the home of the Hamilton Wool Company for a number of years.