Thursday, February 14, 2008

fifty-inch turbine wheel

In January, 1883, the final touches were added, machinery was tested, and supplies were laid in for resuming production about February 1st. A brief examination of the new machinery provides a clue to the extent to which Northern equipment manufacturers secured an interest in the Charlottesville Woolen Mills. There were twenty-five Knowles looms, five sets of Furbush cards, and five Furbush mules. If it is assumed that these were paid for in stock, Furbush had invested about $25,000, Knowles about $12,500 and Harwood at least $1,500. To a large extent, the rest of the machinery was also paid for in stock. All of these firms were represented on the new directory, as were other Northerners whose investment was in the form of cash.

Powered by a fifty-inch turbine wheel, the machinery of the mill had a capacity now almost double that of the old plant. The company could produce from 500 to a 1000 yards of cloth daily, depending on its width.

The revival of the company in 1883 was joyfully heralded by the same editor who had mourned its destruction. The new mill, he asserted, "is largely due to the active and energetic efforts of H. C. Marchant, Esq., who has for so long been charged with the practical management of the affairs of the company. He has tided it over many rough places, and we trust that by the aid of his associates in the directory, he will be able to carry it on to a future of unprecedented prosperity." --Harry Poindexter

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