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Klots Throwing Company records
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Klots Throwing Company records

Accession 1834

Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library


PO Box 3630
Wilmington, Delaware, 19807
302-658-2400
research@hagley.org

Finding aid prepared by Christopher T. Baer, 1991

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2013-02-05T13:59-0500

Finding aid prepared using best local practices and Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Cite items for this collection in the following format:
[Description and dates], Box/folder number, Klots Throwing Company records (Accession 1834), Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807

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Descriptive Summary

Title: Klots Throwing Company records
Dates: 1896-1918, bulk 1905-1914
Accession Number: 1834
Creator: Klots Throwing Company.
Extent: 3.5 linear feet
Language of Material: English
Repository: Hagley Museum and Library: Manuscripts and Archives Department
Abstract: The Klots Throwing Company was incorporated in Pennsylvania in 1894. It was one of the largest silk manufacturers in the United States. The collection consists of only fragmentary records from the Mills at Scranton, Carbondale, Archbald, and Forest City in the Lackawanna Valley.
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Administrative Information


Provenance

Gift of Gentex Corporation

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Historical Note

The Klots Throwing Company was incorporated in Pennsylvania in 1894. The business had been founded by Henry Durell Klots and George Klots, silk throwsters, in New York City in the 1880s. The expansion of the company was largely the work of Marcus Frieder.

Frieder was born in Szinna, Hungary, on February 7, 1860, and demonstrated successful organizational and managerial skills before the age of twenty. In 1890 he emigrated to America and became a bookkeeper for the Klots brothers in New York. The New York mill burned in 1894, and at Frieder's suggestion the business was moved to Carbondale, Pennsylvania. This was part of a general movement of the silk industry into the anthracite and bituminous coal-mining fields, where the wives and daughters of the coal miners formed a large pool of untapped labor.

Frieder became manager of the Carbondale mill and later secretary-general manager of the company. On the death of Henry D. Klots in 1914, he succeeded to the presidency. Under Frieder's management, the Klots Throwing Company became one of the larger silk manufacturers in America. It built additional mills at Archbald, Scranton, and Forest City in the Pennsylvania anthracite region, at Cumberland and Lonaconing in the Maryland bituminous coal fields, and in Virginia and West Virginia.

Frieder helped to organize the Villa-Stearns Company, through which he began to import raw silk from China and Japan. He secured full control of Villa-Stearns in 1916 and changed its name to the General Silk Importing Company, Inc. From 1915 to 1921, the firm was the largest American importer and seller of raw silk.

Frieder expanded into New England in 1917, when he organized the National Spun Silk Company and built the largest spun silk mill in the United States at New Bedford, Massachusetts. He also acquired the General Fabrics Corporation, with a silk weaving mill in Central Falls, Rhode Island, in 1921 and established the General Silk Dyeing Company in New Bedford in 1926. In January 1927 the General Silk Corporation was formed as a holding and sales company for all of Frieder's operations. At its peak, Klots operated fourteen mills, had 6,000 employees, and annual sales of $50 million.

Frieder's business was greatly affected by the rise of rayon as a substitute for silk and, with the collapse of business in the Depression, the firm was forced into bankruptcy in 1932. Marcus Frieder and his son, Leonard Peter Frieder, reorganized the mills at Carbondale, Lonaconing, and Cumberland under the title of General Textile Mills, Inc. As the textile industry migrated southward, the firm absorbed the Hendrick Manufactung Company of Carbondale, a maker of perforated screens and filters founded by Eli E. Hendrick in 1876. General Textile Mills, Inc., was renamed Gentex Corporation in July 1958 to reflect is new product lines.

Marcus Frieder died in New York on October 13, 1940. Leonard P. Frieder operated the business until his death in 1972.

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Scope and Content

The Klots Throwing Company records are a collection of fragmentary material from the Mills at Scranton, Carbondale, Archbald, and Forest City in the Lackawanna Valley.

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Access Points

Belin, G. d'Andelot (Gaspard d'Andelot), 1888-1954.
Carbondale (Pa.)--Silk industry.
Frieder, Marcus, 1860-1940.
Klots Throwing Company.
Lackawanna County (Pa.)--Silk industry.
Pennsylvania--Silk industry.
Scranton (Pa.)--Silk industry.
Silk industry--Employees.
Silk industry--Pennsylvania.
Silk manufacturers.
Textile industry--Pennsylvania.
Textile workers--Pennsylvania.
Villa, Stearns & Company.
Wages--Silk industry.
Women textile workers.
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Series Descriptions and Inventory

I. Correspondence
A. Carbondale Mill Correspondence
Scope and Content
This subseries primarily documents the incoming shipments of raw silk, the purchase of machinery, shipments to customers, and customer complaints.
Box
1 A-K, 1900
1 A-Z, 1910
1 A-Z, April-June 1911
1 A-Z, April-June 1914
B. Archbald Mill Correspondence
Scope and Content
Includes monthly production statements, lists of silk shipped, and tables of the number and classes of employees-and hours worked. There is also information on total wage costs. Most employee lists are aggregates, and individuals are listed only in the Power and Maintenance Departments.
Box
1 July-December 1911
1 December 1912-December 1913
1 July-December 1914
C. Forest City Mill Correspondence
Scope and Content
Includes monthly production statements, lists of silk shipped, and tables of the number and classes of employees-and hours worked. There is also information on total wage costs. Most employee lists are aggregates, and individuals are listed only in the Power and Maintenance Departments.
Box
1 January-June 1912
Box
2 July-December 1912
D. New York Office Correspondence
Scope and Content
This subseries consists of letters to Frieder at Carbondale from the New York office, usually from Vice President J. H. Britton and Treasurer George Klots. By 1913, the letters are addressed by Frieder in New York to G. d'Andelot Belin, the manager at Carbondale. The Belin family of Scranton became investors and officers in the company, and Belin's brother-in-law, Pierre S. du Pont, also became a major investor. The New York correspondence includes production statements and a few discussions of operating problems.
Box
2 January-April 1904
2 October-December 1909
2 April-June 1912
2 January-March 1913
2 October-December 1913
2 January-March 1914
E. Scranton Mill Correspondence
Scope and Content
Includes monthly production statements, lists of silk shipped, and tables of the number and classes of employees-and hours worked. There is also information on total wage costs. Most employee lists are aggregates, and individuals are listed only in the Power and Maintenance Departments.
Box
2 January-March 1905
2 July-December 1909
2 July-December 1910
2 January-March 1912
F. Letterbook
Volume
1 re government inspection of [government] orders [during World War I], 1918
II. Account Books
Volume
2 Letterpress bank statement ledger, 1910-1912
Volume
3 List of shipments, 1915-1916
III. Production Books
Scope and Content
A stock book for 1896 to 1898 lists outbound shipments. Clearance books trace production by lot from the receipt of the bales of raw silk through the spinning process, with accompanying cost accounting.
Volume
4 Stock Book, Train No. 1, February 1896-June 1898
Volume
5 Scranton Clearance Book No. 4, 1900-1906
Volume
6 Clearance Book No. 6, 1903-1904
Volume
7 Clearance Book, 1906-1907
IV. Time Books
Scope and Content
Time books, apparently from either the Carbondale or Scranton Mill, list individual workers broken down by trade, with hours worked, wage rates, and monthly wage payments.
Volume
8 No. 4, August 1902-December 1904
Volume
9 No. 5, January 1905-October 1907
Volume
10 No. 7, July 1910-April 1913