Abandoned Pennsylvania: Scranton Lace Factory
Associated Press Closing Announcement:
Scranton Lace, world leader in making Nottingham lace, closes SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) Scranton Lace Co., once the world's largest producer of Nottingham lace and later a symbol of the region's dying textile industry, has stopped production. 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. Robert Christy, of Scranton, a weaver at the plant, said company vice president Robert Hine called all employees together halfway through their shift Friday to break the news that Scranton Lace was closing, effective immediately. "People were shocked," Christy said. "Since I've been there, I heard rumors about closing, but you never think today will be the day." The company cut employment to 150 last year, and most recently to about 50. Wages ranged from about $7 to $13 an hour. 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. 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. 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. But it was best known for its Nottingham lace, named for the city in England where the loom for manufacturing lace was developed in the mid-1800s. According to the Scranton Lace Web site, the company's century-old imported looms were the largest Nottingham looms ever created, each weighing more than 20 tons.
This is the room behind the display window. I think it's crooked. When I rotate the picture so that the posts line up, the windows are off and vice versa!
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