March 15, 2019
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
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?
Draper Menu Ezine Menu HOME
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