Hopedale HIstory
    March 15, 2019
    No. 368
    Draper Open House, 1950

    Hopedale in March   

    Recent additions to hope1842.com pages: George Draper Osgood (After reading about GDO in ezine No.
    367, Lisa Lepore decided to see if she could find out a bit more about him, including census information to
    show where he had been living. You can see what she discovered at the bottom of the Osgood page.)     
    The Old House (The original home of the Hopedale Community was razed in 1874. I've added a part of the
    1870 Hopedale map that shows just where it stood.)     Deaths   


    On account of the increased number of pupils, one more teacher was engaged for the High School after the
    opening of the fall term. The school now has five teachers beside those teaching special subjects. This
    number should make it possible for the classes in nearly all subjects to meet five times per week, and for
    the teacher in each subject to be one who has had a major training in the subject she teaches. Carroll H.
    Drown, Superintendent of Schools, 1923

    In the 100-year history of the town's fire department, there have been only nine fire chiefs. Now, framed
    pictures of the nine chiefs are hanging on one of the walls in the apparatus room. The pictures are of Fire
    Chiefs Charles Pierce, Frank Andrew, George Jenkins, Samuel Kellogg, William Whitney, Charles Watson,
    Arnold Nealley, Herbert Durgin and Donald Moore. Milford Daily News, 1986

                                                                                                                                                    3,000 View Draper Open House Inaugural

    HOPEDALE, April 18 (1950) - More than 3000 persons visited the Draper Corporation plant and office last
    night at the "open house" inaugural. The program will continue nightly through Friday from 6:30 to 10 o'clock.
    The purpose of the activity is to better acquaint the public with the products made in one of the largest
    plants in the world for the manufacture of textile machinery.

    Starting in 1816 the plant has gone through five generations of Drapers, with B.H. Bristow Draper, Jr., the
    treasurer, being the fifth generation member of the firm, of which Thomas H. West is president.(That
    sentence seems to suggest that the plant in Hopedale had been around since 1816. That was the year of an
    invention by the first generation of Drapers that led to the company that was eventually established. That
    was Ira Draper and his invention of the loom temple. The first Draper to arrive in Hopedale was Ebenezer in
    1842, followed by his brother George in 1853.) The plant employs about 4000 workers and covers about 55
    acres and includes one of the largest grey iron foundries in New England. During the war the company
    employed upwards of 6000 employees in the Hopedale plant and others in Spartanburg and East
    Spartanburg, S.C., Atlanta, Ga, Biltmore, N.C., Pawtucket, R.I., Beebe River, N.H., Bennington, Vt., Tupper
    Lake, N.Y. and Guilford, Me. The company owns thousands of acres of woodland inNew Hampshire,
    Vermont and New York from which they obtain lumber for the manufacture of bobbins used in the Draper
    loom, its principal product. In addition to looms, the company manufactures spindles, spinning rings,
    shuttles, heddles, warp stop motions, screw products and many other items, and maintains a machine
    shop and foundry at the East Spartanburg, S.C. plant.

    Business is transacted in most of the foreign countries and offices are maintained in Mexico City, Mexico,
    and Sao Paulo, Brazil.

    During the past few years the plant has been almost totally retooled and a modern conveyer system of
    moulding has been installed in the foundry. A laboratory is conducted for the testing of all metals and other
    chemical work as well as an experimental department for the working out of improvements in its machinery.
    Although there are other companies manufacturing looms, the Draper loom principally for the weaving of
    cotton and rayon, but actually turning out numerous grades of cloth, is practically alone in its field.

    Two major projects are now under consideration, the building of a modern steel storage and a new
    building to house the Research and Development department entailing an expenditure of about one and
    one-half million dollars. This expansion has been made possible due to the cash surplus laid up through
    the large volume of business done in the past few years. Total value of the properties is estimated at more
    than thirty million dollars at a conservative figure.

    Because of the pension system for salaried employees, vacations with pay to all employees as well as
    sickness and death benefits, and the ideal housing situation which is offered its employees in Hopedale,
    the company has been free of labor troubles, and in fact has only one union in its shop, that being confined
    to the foundry and pattern room.

    The company is now turning out about 70 looms a day in addition to its heavy tonnage of repair parts and
    accessories, and following the war the peak production was raised to 80 looms a day on a five-day weekly

    One of the most prominent displays at the shop is the working looms and an exhibit of parts made by the
    company which will be shown at the Textile Show in Atlantic City, N.J. next month. The Worcester Gazette,
    April 18, 1950

    Cotton Chats - Draper Open House in 1951   

What is grey iron?   

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Click here to see more aerials.

    Jack Hayes, ?, Ed Binks, Al Woodhead, Fred Tiffany, Stewart Stringfellow (Rear), Bill
    Northrop, Howard Smith, Henry Smith, Harlan Cote, Ira Noyes, George Almond Draper,
    Charles Merrill,  Arthur Fuller, Charles Forster (Rear), Soderberg, E.B. Tifft, Bill Lunt, Harry
    Pickard, Carl Stanas, Gordon Good, ?, Al Lovejoy, Erwin Darren