Thursday, June 25, 2009

the spectre of a wool famine

With the outbreak of war in Europe in 1914 American woolen manufacturers suddenly faced "the spectre of a wool famine." Sixty-five percent of the industry's raw wool in normal times was imported, most of it coming through British channels from Australia and other British overseas possessions. Great Britain, however, quickly placed strict controls on this flow in 1914 and at times diverted all of it to her own use. At the same time, other war materials clogged up shipping facilities which had previously transported wool and dyes to American shores. Fluctuating high prices and uncertainty of supply, twin offspring of this sudden turn, brought many headaches to mill owners.-- Harry Poindexter

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