The Scranton Lace Company
Dec 5, 2011Public
Photo: THE HISTORY: The Scranton Lace Curtain Manufacturing Company was established by the Scranton Board of Trade in 1890 and was incorporated on June 15, 1897. (photos © Chris Balton)
Photo: From 1916 to 2002 the company remained the first and largest known producer of Nottingham Lace in the United States. (photos © Chris Balton)
Photo: The name Scranton Lace Company became standardized in 1916 when the Scranton Lace Curtain Manufacturing Company and one of its subsidiaries combined their operations. (photos © Chris Balton)
Photo: The Scranton Lace Company's main office was located on Meylert Avenue in Scranton, but the company also had offices in Kingston, New York; Chicago, Illinois; and Los Angeles, California. (photos © Chris Balton)
Photo: On May 13, 1958, the company changed its name to The Scranton Lace Corporation, but soon thereafter reverted back to using the name The Scranton Lace Company as its official title. (photos © Chris Balton)
Photo: They produced tablecloths, napkins, valences, and shower curtains, among many other types of lace items. (photos © Chris Balton)
Photo: During the 1940s, the company teamed up with subsidiaries such as Victory Parachutes, Inc. and Sweeney Bros. to manufacture parachutes and camouflage netting.  (photos © Chris Balton)
Photo: Though the company prospered well into the 1950s, risky investments involving Hal Roach Studios and the fledgling television industry placed the company in financial peril and eventually led to its closure in 2002. (photos © Chris Balton)
Photo: They produced tablecloths, napkins, valences, and shower curtains, among many other types of lace items. During the 1940s, the company teamed up with subsidiaries such as Victory Parachutes, Inc. and Sweeney Bros. to manufacture parachutes and camouflage netting. (photos © Chris Balton)
Photo: Though the company prospered well into the 1950s, risky investments involving Hal Roach Studios and the fledgling television industry placed the company in financial peril and eventually led to its closure in 2002.  (photos © Chris Balton)
Photo: Many prominent Scrantonians were involved in the Scranton Lace Company. The presidents included J. Benjamin Dimmick, Paul B. Belin, N.G. Robertson, and H. J. Megargel. (photos © Chris Balton)
Photo: Other important figurs were Henry Belin, Jr., H.J. Hall, Charles Muller, W.E. Jones, C.W. Belin, Henry Belin III, and W.E. Perry. Mr. Harry Weinberg, a prominent Scranton philanthropist, got his start in the company's accounting department.  (photos © Chris Balton)
Photo: The 105-year-old company employed more than 1,400 people at its peak in the early 20th century and used enormous, one-of-a-kind looms to create Nottingham lace, named for the city in England where the looms were made.  (photos © Chris Balton)
Photo: In 2002 Robert Christy, of Scranton, a weaver at the plant, said company vice president Robert Hine called the company's 50 or so remaining employees together halfway through their shift Friday to break the news that Scranton Lace was closing, effective immediately.  (photos © Chris Balton)
Photo: "People were shocked," said Christy, 33, who worked at the company for 14 years. "Since I've been there, I heard rumors about closing, but you never think today will be the day."  (photos © Chris Balton)
Photo: The 105-year-old company employed more than 1,400 people at its peak in the early 20th century and used an enormous, one-of-a-kind loom to create Nottingham lace, the city's highest-profile export, (photos © Chris Balton)
Photo: Before World War II, the laceworks was one of 10 mills in Pennsylvania that together produced more than half of all lace goods in the United States.  (photos © Chris Balton)
Photo: The Scranton Lace Company  (photos © Chris Balton)
Photo: At one time, Scranton Lace had bowling alleys in the basement, a fully staffed infirmary, a staff barber and a gymnasium, and owned its own cotton field and coal mine. Its clock tower was a city landmark. U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's father and grandfather worked there.  (photos © Chris Balton)
Photo: Scranton Lace's annual sales ranged from about $5.1 million to $7.5 million, according to Hoovers.com.   (photos © Chris Balton)
Photo: The Scranton Lace Company  (photos © Chris Balton)
Photo: The Scranton Lace Company   (photos © Chris Balton)
Photo: Like most industries, Scranton Lace joined the war effort, producing mosquito and camouflage netting, bomb parachutes and tarpaulins. After World War II, the company returned to making cotton yarn, vinyl shower curtains and textile laminates used for umbrellas, patio furniture and pool liners.  (photos © Chris Balton)
Photo: Wages ranged from about $7 to $13 an hour (photos © Chris Balton)