Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Charlottesville Factory

Mamie Baltimore in the backyard of her parents house, Woolen Mills Road.

While the other services of the Factory continued to supply part of the company's income, the manufacture of cloth had by 1850 reached proportions which justify calling it primarily a cotton and woolen mill. Expansion had raised the value of the establishment to an estimated $90.000. The annual production of cloth totaled 70,000 yards, from which a yearly return of $24,000 was realized. There were twenty-eight employees, among them only ten men. The monthly payroll amounted to only $270, which has lead one writer to suspect that some of the workers were slaves. Yet, it is possible that, in accordance with a customary practice, only a portion of the wages were paid in cash, the remainder being in the form of script to be exchanged in the company store. "A saw mill, grist mill, and a plaster mill, 552 spindles for making cotton yarn, a double carder, two dressers, and twelve looms" comprise the machinery of the Charlottesville Factory in 1850. Furthermore, the company now had a distinctive label to distinguish its cloth from that of two other mills operating in the vicinity of Charlottesville. Advertisements called attention to the "half-round label, the printing made with blue ink with the names of Farish, Jones and Randolph, or Henry W. Jones, Ag't, as all others that hail from Charlottesville are not of that Factory."--Harry Poindexter

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