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Photograph by Geo. H. Nye
promise is given that New Bedford will have an industrial railroad, connecting every mill yard in the city with the main railroad line, and that a direct line between New York and Cape Cod, joining the Shore Line at Providence, and passing through New Bedford, will be built in the near future. The Providence end of this line of development is already begun. So much for New Bedford's commercial prospects. Now a word or two of the city's history, which is an industrial romance. The first Englishman of note to stand on New Bedford soil was Bartholomew Gosnold, who visited the locality in 1602, bringing with him a journalist who described the bay in words which are as true to-day as they were over three hundred years ago: “Stately groves, flowering meadows and running brooks,” wrote Gosnold's
press agent, “afford delightful entertainment.” Wise and wealthy people the country over appreciate the delights of the Buzzards Bay shores, and make their summer homes on the borders of the bay. There are one hundred summer resorts within trading distance of the city. Within a few years after the arrival of the Mayflower at Plymouth, the dwellers of the Pilgrim colony began to look with covetous eyes upon the pleasant land which had charmed Gosnold, and in 1652 they acquired the territory by purchase. The village which sprang up on the shores of the Acushnet remained an agricultural community for years. It was about 1760 that Bedford Village, then a part of the mother town of Dartmouth, entered upon the whaling industry which made the city of later day famous, and sent its ships to every ocean on earth. For a hundred years, in spite of two wars with England, wars which well nigh ruined the commerce of the little community, New Bedford led the world in the chosen calling of its people. Then came the discovery and commercial utilization of mineral oil closely following the Civil War, which had proved disastrous to New Bedford's shipping, and after that two appalling disasters in the Artic, whereby New Bedford vessels valued at millions of dollars were caught and crushed in the ice, and of necessity abandoned.
Such a combination of circumstances would have ruined a less courageous
people. Balked on the ocean, New
*In New Bedford.
Of the above mills, these are spinners of yarns, only: City Manufacturing Company, Kilburn Mills, Manomet Mills, New England Cotton Yarn Company and Nonquitt Spinning Company.
the starting of the Wamsutta Mills, in 1846, with a capital of $160,000, an enterprise which was looked on with considerable misgiving, to the present time, when New Bedford's cotton mill investments amount to nearly thirty millions of dollars, the local manufacture of cotton goods has grown, until now it is the chief industry.
For many years Sanford & Kelley, local brokers, as a matter of public spirit and business judgment, have issued statistical statements bearing upon the business of New Bedford. Through their courtesy the following up-to-date showing of the cotton mill business is presented as the most satisfactory way of explaining the situation at a glance:
1909. 1908. 1909. Capital. Spindles. Spindles. $500,ooo IoS,336 IoS,336 237,000 com. 6,528 6,528 250,000 pfd. 80,000 67,000 67,000 I,250,000 IOO,000 Ioo,000 750,000 62,315 66,000 I,200,000 126,592 206,000 825,000 com. 82,232 82,232 825,000 pfd. I,000,000 128,000 128,000 800,000 108,328 Io8,000 750,000 74,768 74,768 2,000,000 127,000 127,000 - *292,128 342,000 2,400,000 60,000 I2O,OOO 750,000 50,376 75,376 600,000 116,008 116,008 1,200,000 108,000 108,000 1,260,000 93,000 93,000 950,000 60,000 80,000 3,000,000 228,000 228,000 2,000,000 139,200 139,000 600,000 60,000 600,000 2,500,000 -- 125,000 250,000 - 60,000 750,000 - 750,000 -- 60,000 $28,797,ooo $2,137,811 $2,677,338
The product of the remaining mills is as follows: Acushnet Mills, fine cotton goods; Beacon Manufacturing Company, plain and fancy cotton blankets; Bristol Manufacturing Company, fine
cotton goods; Butler Mill, fine cotton, plain and fancy goods; Dartmouth Manufacturing Company, plain, fancy and jacquard fine cotton goods; Grinnell Manufacturing Company, fine cotton, plain and fancy silk mixtures; Hathaway Manufacturing Company, fine cotton goods; Page Manufacturing Company, various fine cotton goods; Pierce Manufacturing Company, fine cotton cloth; Potomska Mills, linons, lawns and fancy cotton goods; Soule Mill, plain and fancy cotton goods; Taber Mill, plain and fancy cotton weaves; Wamsutta Mills, shirtings, sheetings, cotton goods and high-grade yarns; Whitman Mills, plain and fancy cotton goods. Of the new mills, now in process of erection, the product will be: Nashawena Mills, fine cotton yarns and cloth; Pierce Brothers' Mill, fine cotton cloth, including achitects’ tracing cloth (the
only mill in this country turning out this line); Holmes Mill, fine cotton yarns; New Bedford Cotton Mills Company, fine cotton cloth; Langshaw Mill (a part of the Dartmouth plant), plain and fancy cottons. . Although the New Bedford of today is pre-eminently a cotton mill city, it should be understood that there are other lines of industry in which New Bedford can claim leadership. The Morse Twist Drill & Machine Company, for instance, turns out twist drills and machine tools which are shipped to every country on the face of the globe, and which are standard in that line; William F. Nye's oil refinery, the largest fine oil refinery in the world, sends its cases of lubricating and watch oils to the remote parts of the earth, and the name of the manufacturer is as familiar to watch and clock makers, at home and abroad, as