Historic Textile Companies
In December 1999, an article in Textile World celebrated 23 historic companies, which had passed through
their 100th birthday. Due to mergers and acquisitions, not all of these mills still operated independently, but all
had achieved significant milestones. After hearing from their readers, four more companies qualified for this list
by February 2000. Others also qualified and were not listed. By 2008, a number of these (at least seven) have
sadly passed by the wayside. Information augmented from current web sites.
# Later additions to 1999 Textile World list (2), (3)
+ Additions in Feb 2000 Textile World
1813 WestPoint Stevens. www.martex.com
Incorporating J. P. Stevens & Co. 1813 and Pepperell Manufacturing 1844
1824 Cranston Print Works www.cpw.com
Founded by then Rhode Island Governor William Sprague as Sprague Print Works in Cranston, RI. Now
headquartered in Webster, MA.
1830 Woolrich, Inc., Plum Run, PA www.woolrich.com
Now located in Woolrich, PA
1844# + Brownell & Co. Although Brownell officially incorporated in 1844 in Moodus, CT, its manufacturing
history dates to 1825 when Edmund Brownell began manufacturing fish-net cording, ropes and twine from linen
and cotton. In the early years, Brownell built machinery for the company. Now a high tech manufacturer of
textiles for recreational and industrial uses. www.brownellarchery.com
1845 Avondale, Inc. Founded as Monroe (GA) Mills. Ceased operation in May 2006.
1845 Mt. Vernon Mills Acquired by in 1982 by R.B. Pamplin Corporation.
Incorporating Riegel Textile Corp. 1985 Headquarters Mauldin, SC http://www.mvmills.com/company/
1853 Warren Corporation Founded as Converseville Co. by Parley Converse
1860# James Thompson Company, New York, NY Started in Valley Falls, New York, but that mill closed.
Current manufacturing in Greenwood, DE. A diversified manufacturer of ducks, canvas, etc. (3)
1863 JPS Elastomerics. Founded in Easthampton, MA as Easthampton Rubber Thread
Company by Samuel Williston. Later a part of J. P. Stevens & Co. before that
company was split apart. Portions joined WestPoint, and another formed
Gulistan Carpet. http://www.jpselastomerics.com/
1865 Ames Textile Corporation, Lowell, MA. Furnishers of fabrics for athletic team uniforms and synthetic
1865 + Globe Dye Works. - a Philadelphia dyer of natural and manmade yarns, serves mills throughout PA, NJ,
NE and the Carolinas. Globe is a private company with 5th generation ownership by the Greenwood family.
Began as a partnership between Richard Greenwood and William Bault.
1865 Milliken & Co., Spartanburg, SC Diversified textile and chemical company. http://www.milliken.com/
Founded as Deering and Milliken
1865 Oakdale Cotton Mills, Jamestown, NC Modern twisting, cabling, winding and
dyeing facility. http://oakdalecotton.com/about_us.htm
Founded on the Deep River as Logan Manufacturing Co.
1865 Troy Mills, Troy, NH Blankets and later automotive fabrics. Closed July 2001
1865# Globe Dye Works A Philadelphia dyer of natural and manmade yarns until 2005, they served mills
throughout PA, NJ, New England and the Carolinas. Globe was a private company with fifth generation
ownership by the Greenwood family. www.globedyeworks.com/
1867 Chatham Manufacturing, Elkin, NC. Sold 1988 to Northern Feather, in 1992 to CMI Industries and in
2000 to Interface Inc.
1868# + Ludlow Textiles, Ludlow, MA Began as Ludlow Manufacturing and was primarily jute manufacturing,
serving the carpet mills in the North East. Today (2000), the company is owned by Martin A. Lower, who is
Chairman, President and CEO. Primary products are man made threads, twisted yarns, twines, cords and
natural fiber products for industrial markets. The company was sold to American & Efird in 2005.
1869# G. J. Littlewood & Son, Philadelphia, PA is a family-owned (2000) commercial dye house that
specializes in high-pressure, high-temperature dyeing of natural and synthetic fibers. The company is operated
by the fourth and fifth generations of Littlewoods. In the early days, the plant was primarily a bleacher and dyer
of cotton warps, skein yarns and raw cotton. The company used water from the Schuylkill River and a natural
1873 Spartan Mills later Spartan International. Closed 2007.
Formed from Cleveland (NC) Mills. http://www.wyff4.com/news/754098/detail.html
1880# + Shuford Mills, Granite Falls, NC Abel Alexander Shuford founded a small cotton spinning mill,
Shuford, Gywn & Co., in Granite Falls. Shuford, born in 1841, served in the Confederate Army as a sergeant
during the war. In 1904, he built Granite Falls Mill No. 1. Recently (prior to 2000), the Hickory (NC) Daily Record
named AA Shuford as its "Person of the Century." Manufacturers of Outdura performance fabrics.
1882 Dan River Inc.
Founded as Riverside Cotton Mills (on the Dan River), Danville, VA, later incorporating The New Cherokee
Corp., the Bibb Co., and in 2005, the purchase by GHCL Ltd., an India based company.
1882 Swift Textiles. Purchased by Dominion of Canada. No longer in business.
Founded as Excelsior Mills, Columbus, GA
1883 Glen Raven, Glen Raven, NC www.glenraven.com
Founded as Altamahaw Cotton Mill in Altamahaw, NC by the Holt family and Jesse Gant.
1884 Chipman Union Mill Inc., Union Point, GA.
A sock manufacturer in Union Point, GA. Famous for Odor-Eater brand. Bankrupt in 2001
1887 Cannon Mills, Kannapolis, NC Famous for Cannon towels. Merged with Fieldcrest and later bought by
Pillowtex Bankrupt July 2003. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannon_Mills_Company
1887 Springs Industries, Fort Mill, SC
Founded by Col. White. Since the merger with Cotiminas of Brazil in 2006, Springs Global. Large supplier of
bedding and bath fashions.
1891 American & Efird, Inc. Mount Holly, NC major supplier of thread world-wide.
Founded as Nims Manufacturing Co. http://www.amefird.com/
1895# Harriet & Henderson, Henderson, NC was founded to manufacture and sell cotton socks, finished
goods, clothes, prints and warps. It began operation as a weave mill in 1896 with 204 looms and supporting
equipment. By 1913, the company had added three more mills. In 1940, reports said that Harriet & Henderson
was the world's largest producer of hosiery yarns. Company went bankrupt in 2003.
1896 Spray Cotton Mills, Eden, NC No longer in business. Became part of Fieldcrest.
1899 Thomaston Mills, Thomaston, GA. Manufacturer of textile products for the hospitality and health care
1899 Trio Manufacturing, Forsyth, GA Manufacturer of cotton yarn and twine.
Sources: 1. John W. McCurry, Melissa Stampley and Walter N. Rozelle, Textile World, December 1999, 64.
2. John W. McCurry, Spinners, Niche Mills also among Historic Firms, Textile World, 150, February 2000
3. Personal communication, Marc Bieler 2010.
Recent company information and web sites updated September 2008, and March 2010 using Google.
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Page Copyright Gary N. Mock 2008-2013