20326--General View of a Weaving Room--Silk Industry, So. Manchester, Conn., U.S.A.

This glance into the weaving room of one firm of silk manufacturers, that of Cheney Bros., South Manchester, Conn., will give one an idea of the proportions to which the silk industry has grown in the United States. This roomful of looms constitute, of course, but a small fraction of the total looms in the country. The census of 1910 puts the total number of looms in the United States at 75,000. Probably 10,000 more have been added since that time.

The states which are most largely engaged in the manufacture of silk are New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. In New York City, Brooklyn, and in the nearby cities of New Jersey, Paterson and Hoboken, the reeled silks are used in the main. South Manchester in the state of Connecticut is an important center for spun silk as well as reeled silk. There are factories, however, in many other states in addition to those just mentioned. In recent years a number have been started in the southern and middle western states. These factories employ nearly 100,000 people. There are 813 silk factories in the country, not including cotton and woolen factories which make silk mixtures.

The silk industry has grown very much in the United States in recent years. In fact the home industry has expanded so that it furnishes now about one half of the quantity of silk used in this country. Fifty years ago the native manufacture was but 13 per cent of the amount consumed.

From the collection of the Manchester Historical Society.

For pictures and contemporary information on the Weaving Mill in the
"Cheney Brothers National Historic Landmark District" page, click here.