Tag: Industry – Textiles

Zachariah Allen

Zacharian Allen, 1795-1882, was a lawyer, inventor, and civic leader of the nineteenth century. One of his most notable inventions was the home hot-air furnace. He also originated the Providence Water Works and is credited with introducing the first vehicles to the Providence Fire Company. Allen was also instrumental in setting up the mutal fire

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George R. Ramsbottom

George Ramsbottom, 1888-1979, was a Pawtucket industrialist who was President-Treasurer of the Seekonk Lace Company. An angel to the Pawtucket Boys Club, he gave them Camp Ramsbottom for summer recreation. He was also active in Red Cross and Community Chest drives. Ramsbottom is also credited with helping to write the Pawtucket City Charter.

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Major John T. Godfrey

>b>Major John T. Godfrey, USAF, a Candian native raised in Woonsocket, was a highly decorated and widely recognized World War II flying ace credited with shooting down or destroying on the ground, 36 German planes. He later became prominent in public affairs as a State Senator. He also operated a successful Lace manufacturing business in

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Mr. & Mrs. Austin T. Levy

Austin Levy was a successful textile manufacturer, and his gracious wife, June (Rockwell) Levy, was known as the “First Lady of Burrillville” Their philanthropic interest played a major role in the development of their town. Through their gifts the town gained its’ Town Hall, the Harrisville Assembly Theater Building, a library, a post office, the

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Charles Fletcher

  Fletcher, Charles, 1839-1907 Charles Fletcher, like Samuel Slater before him, amassed years of experience in the English textile industry as an operative before immigrating to Rhode Island in the late 1860s.  Once here, he soon built a regional empire for the production of woolen cloth and helped consolidate his holdings into an even larger

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Benjamin B. and Robert L. Knight

  Knight, Benjamin B., 1813-1898 and Knight, Robert, 1825-1912 The Knight brothers were textile manufacturers and philanthropists, owning twenty-one manufacturing villages under the logo “Fruit of the Loom,” and employing nearly 7000 operatives. Benjamin was born in Cranston, R.I., 3 October 1813 to  Stephen and Welthan (Brayton) Knight, farmers. He spent his early years assisting

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Governor William Sprague

Governor William Sprague, 1830-1915, was a member of the Sprague family of industrial and political prominence. William became the “Boy Governor” of Rhode Island at age 30 on a Unionist-Republican-Fusion ticket and shortly thereafter led the first Rhode Island Regiment into combat at the First Battle of Bull Run. He became a U.S. Senator in

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William F. Sayles

William Francis Sayles, 1824-1894, was a prominent Pawtucket, Rhode Island industrialist who founded the W.F. & F.C. Sayles Company, reputedly the world’s largest bleachery for cotton textile cloth, located in Saylesville on the Moshassuck River. Sayles and his brother Frederick, the first mayor of Pawtucket, also owned the Lorraine Mill on Mineral Spring Avenue, a

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Samuel Slater

Samuel Slater, 1768-1835, an English-born textile operative and inventor, has been called the “Father of American Manufacturing”. He migrated to Rhode Island from Derbyshire in 1789, and, in concert with Rhode Island investors and craftsman, built and activated spinning frames at Pawtucket Falls that were modeled on those of English inventor Richard Arkwright. On December

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Edward Harris

Edward Harris, 1801-1872, was considered the City of Woonsocket’s most prominent citizen in the 19th century. His contributions are found in the economic, political, and social fiber of his native city, as Woonsocket’s first millionaire, and in helping to establish the area as the state’s leading textile center. A leading philanthropist, he donated numerous buildings

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Colonel Robert Hale Ives Goddard

Goddard, Robert H. I. (Robert Hale Ives), 1837-1916 Colonel Robert Goddard (1837-1916) was a son of Professor William G. Goddard, newspaperman and first Chancellor of Brown University, and Charlotte Rhoda Ives Goddard. Through his mother’s line of descent, Goddard was related to the Ives family, who partnered with the Brown family in shipping, manufacturing, real

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Rowland Gibson Hazard

Rowland Gibson Hazard was born in South Kingstown, Rhode Island on October 9, 1801, the fourth of nine children of Rowland Hazard and Mary Peace of Charleston, South Carolina. In 1819, with his brother Isaac, he assumed control of his father’s small woolen mill in the village of Peace Dale, which had been named for

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Simon Willard Wardwell

Simon Wardwell, 1849-1921, was a 19th-century visionary industrialist, patenting numerous machines for improving the manufacture of textiles and clothing items. The manufacture of textile machines in the Blackstone Valley was a crowded field, not for the faint of heart; it was like making cars in Detroit or steel in Pittsburgh. However, for Simon Willard Wardwell,

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Moses Brown

Moses Brown, 1738-1836, the youngest of the five Brown brothers was a Providence civic leader, entrepreneur, sponsor of Samuel Slater, and prominent Quaker abolitionist. Moses Brown was also a founder of the Providence Athaneum and Moses Brown School.

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Sam Patch

Patch, Sam, 1807-1829 Sam Patch was born in North Reading, Massachusetts, one of six children produced by the stormy union of Samuel Greenleaf Patch and Abigail McIntire Patch. Following several family moves to northeastern Massachusetts towns, the Patches arrived in the mill village of Pawtucket at the falls of the Blackstone in 1807. Shortly after

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David Wilkinson

David Wilkinson (1771-1852) a Pawtucket native, was a successful Industrial Revolution-era inventor and mill owner. When an historical movement is particularly successful, it is logical that there would be many claims of authorship. This is certainly true of the Industrial Revolution and the beginnings of the American factory system. At the center of the Industrial

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