Wednesday, December 19, 2007

opening wedges for a far-flung market

courtesy the Baltimore-Pritchett collection

Occasionally, too, interest centered about the need for a local factory to make clothing from the fabrics of the mill. An organization known as the Charlottesville Board of Trade considered it in 1874, and T. J. Randolph was especially interested in the plan. But nothing came of it although the idea was still bandied about in 1881.
A particularly important reason for the company's early successes, therefore, was the limited area from which it drew its capital, some of its raw materials, and its labor. A further factor was the continued manufacture of cloth using coarse wool which not only put the labor and machinery of the mill to best use but reduced the pressures of competition.
With its production founded primarily on coarse and medium grade fabrics during the seventies, the company began the manufacture of increasingly finer cloths which in subsequent decades came to dominate production. For the present they served as opening wedges for a far-flung market. --Harry Poindexter

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