Friday, March 15, 2013

"We are growing to be somwhat cosmopolitan..."

Main Street, Waterville, Maine c1911 - click to enlarge
Photo: Waterville Public Library via
The title statement was made in 1911 during a public speech.  The newly formed City indeed was growing.  It's location as "central" in Maine, a major rail point, and water power worked together to make it grow.  The population about doubled with the influx of French-Canadian workers to staff the growing mills.  Paper products and cotton cloth and shirts were the major products that have now all but disappeared; the paper products remain in a facility shared with the neighboring Town of Fairfield.

The Lockwood Mill, in 1911, used seven million pounds of cotton to produce seven-teen million yards of fabric of varying widths.  And it's next door neighbor, Hathaway Shirts, was busy making one of the premier shirts of the Twentieth Century.  In 1911 they were making only white shirts for dress and "colorless black shirts" for laborers.  Business increased with the production of khaki shirts for the Army before and during World War One.
The Hollingsworth and Whitney mill made paper products. - click to enlarge
Photo: Waterville Public Library via
Maine Central Railroad roundhouse in 1900.
Photo: Waterville Public Library via

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