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121 American Woolen Company

121 American Woolen Company

Tuesday, 20 September 2011 17:10 Ragtime Articles of Interest
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In 1899 the American Woolen company was established under William M. Wood.  Wood and his father-in-law Fredrick Ayer assembled the company, through the consolidation of eight other New England mills that were in some financial trouble.  Amongst the turned around mills thanks to the business strategy of Wood was the Burlington Mills in vermont, and also the worlds largest mill which was located in Lawrence Mass.  

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The town of Lawrence mass is the destination of Tateh and his daughter the little girl in the book Ragtime.  During his stay in Lawrence he finds a job at the American Woolen company at a textile mill.  The mill eventually announces pay cuts while Tateh is an employee.  

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In 1912 a law passed reducing the amount of hours an employee could work.  This in turn reduced the amount of pay a worker could receive on restricted hours.  The Lawrence textile strike is the result of the new law as Tateh joins in on the strike.  Without workers the mill is forced to increase wages.     

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By the 1920's the American Woolen company controlled 20% of the nation's woolen production.  The water powered mills were unable to keep up with the times however, southern mills could produce fabrics like blankets more inexpensively.  The world wars helped to keep the American Woolen company afloat.  By the end of the Korean war the American Woolen company was left bankrupt.  


sources

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1912_Lawrence_Textile_Strike

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Woolen_Company


Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 October 2011 14:44