Monday, October 29, 2007

free from shoddy

notch in the trees on the mountaintop, the site of Monticello. Poplar tree at mid distance is located in Clay Marchant's backyard. The mill worker housing visible in this photo built in the 1890's. Photo taken from Riverview cemetery.

Happily, Marchant hurried home to begin production, pausing in Baltimore to purchase some minor items on credit. A factory building forty-five feet square with a basement and two upper floors was quickly constructed, and as the machinery arrived it was installed in the new plant. Besides the old roll cards, Marchant now had a set of manufacturing cards, two hand jacks with 210 spindles each, nine narrow Crompton looms, a fulling mill, and other intermediate and finishing machinery. Before the fall of 1868 "a very superior line of goods of all grades up to a fine Doe Skin Cassimer (free from shoddy)" flowed from the mill. Patterson and Shreve, the exclusive selling agents, enthusiastically boasted that Marchant's fabrics were "not surpassed by any of the northern factories...." This cloth was offered to merchants at Baltimore prices. The livelihood of some fifty persons depended on how well it was received.--Harry Poindexter

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