Friday, February 8, 2008

A new six-set mill

University of Virginia School of Architecture, ARCH 701, Fall 2007, Rivanna River Museum

Payment for the three additional sets of machinery depended upon the sale of new stock, and Marchant hurried north late in January to see what arrangements he could make. The results of this trip brought a radical departure in the financial structure of the mill. For the first time Northern investors acquired a voice in the management of the company.

In Philadelphia, C. A. Furbush agreed to take $25,000 of the new issue in exchange for carding machinery, and Benjamin Coates, Bros., offered $5,000 cash for one hundred shares. In Worchester, Massachusetts, the Knowles loom manufacturers tentatively agreed to exchange $13,000 worth of machinery for stock, while the firm of Harwood and Quincy was willing to provide their famous Bramwell feeders on similar terms.

To the board of directors, Marchant outlined his success on February 17th. A new six-set mill, he disclosed, would cost about $67,000 but it could be run at double the capacity of the old merely by adding ten workers to the present sixty-odd employees. The board then drew up an elastic program for rebuilding which was approved the next day by the stockholders. Capital stock would be increased not to exceed $125,000. If $35,000 could be raised in this way, a six-set mill could be erected. Otherwise, the old three-set limit would continue but the building was to be constructed to house six. Furthermore, the outstanding $20,000 mortgage was called in and another for $40,000 issued under similar terms at seven percent. --Harry Poindexter

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