The Draper plant in the mid-20th century.

Hopedale History
December 15, 2011
No. 194
Last Years Before Rockwell

Hopedale in December   

Christmas in early Hopedale   

Hopedale map, c. 1890

Fitzgerald Drive – I had thought that Fitzgerald Drive had been named for Frederick Fitzgerald, Draper Corporation head of research, who was killed in the 1960 plane crash at Logan, while leaving on a business trip. It turns out that that’s partly true, but not the whole story. Click here for more.

When I sent No. 193 two weeks ago, it included links to several pages I had recently added to concerning World War I. Since then I’ve found more. The page on the celebration of the end of the war now includes a short article about the Honor Roll that was erected early in 1919, a list of all the Hopedale men who served in the war, and an article about the welcome home banquet. Click here to go to the page. I’ve also made additions to pages on Edward Burnham and Davis Gabry.

A few years ago I posted a web page on Gilbert Thompson that some of you have probably read. His mother joined the Hopedale Community in 1851, and at some point after arriving here, Gilbert went to work in the Community print shop. He had quite a life, that among many other things included becoming the first American known to have used fingerprints for identification, and he was a founder of the National Geographic Society. Last week, while going through one of the scrapbooks at the Bancroft Library, I read that he had done a portrait of Adin Ballou in 1860. It turned out that the portrait was on the wall, less than ten feet from where I was sitting. You can see it on the Thompson page.

Aldrich General Store – Mendon   

Recent deaths   

                                                     Last Years Before Rockwell

Below are headlines of Milford Daily News articles on Draper Corporation, taken from a scrapbook at the Bancroft Memorial Library. In some cases, just reading the headlines will raise more questions than answers, but nevertheless, I think it gives an idea of how things were at Drapers in the years before the Rockwell takeover. If you’d like to read one or a few (not all, I hope) of the articles, let me know and I’ll copy them and email them to you. If you’re in the area, you can read them in the Trustees’ Room at the library.

Draper Shuttleless Loom Story in Business Week – Jan 15, 1959
Draper’s Northrop Loom at Smithsonian Institute – Jan 27, 1959
Draper Corp. Production Increasing Report Shows – Feb 12, 1959
Draper Shuttleless Loom Program Cost $6 Million Apr 9, 1959
Draper Corp..Part in Textile Re-Birth Gets Wide Attention – June 26, 1959
Draper Knitting Pact With Russia – July 16, 1959
Draper Corp. Sales Up 22 Percent Over 1958 – Aug 11, 1959
Draper Shuttleless Loom Big Attraction in Italy – Sept 20, 1959
Draper Directors Will Meet in S.C. Thursday – Oct 27, 1959
Draper Corporation Will Pay Yule Bonus – Nov 24, 1959
Some Repair Parts to be Be Produced in South to Meet Competition – 1960
Draper Corp. Plans to End Trash Collection – Jan 27, 1960
33 Percent Increase in Draper Corp. Sales – Feb 24, 1960
Draper Bids for New Product Recognition at Textile Show – May 21, 1960
Draper Corp. Will Build New Branch Plant in So. Carolina – June 28, 1960
Draper Sales in Sharp Upturn; Dividend Hiked – July 21, 1960
4,000 Visit Draper Corporation Plant – Nov 23, 1960
Extra Dividend Declared By Draper Corporation – November 28, 1960
Draper Acquires Patent For Automatic Textile Machine – Feb 15, 1961
Notable Increase in Draper Corporation Sales, Earnings – Feb 24, 1961
Draper Corporation to Buy Rotary Garden Tiller Firm – April 4, 1961
Draper Earnings Lower in March Quarter West Says – May 3, 1961
Draper Corp. Acquires Pak-All Co. – Aug 9, 1961
Draper Earnings Drop; Entry in Package Field Announced – Aug 10, 1961
Draper Employees Reject Two Unions by Big Margin – Sept 28, 1961
Draper Corp. Sales Up Two Percent Says West – Nov 21, 1961
Draper Loom Production at High Level Says West – Nov 24, 1961
Draper Corp. Sales, Earnings Up – May 1, 1962
New Draper Corp Subsidiary Valuable Asset (Granite State Lawn Mowers) – June 28, 1962
Draper Corp. Sales Climb, Loom Output at High Level – August 8, 1962
Draper Corp Earnings Hit $2.7 Million, Up $800,000 – Nov 8, 1962
Draper Corporation to Make 10,000 Lawn Mowers for Govt – Nov 9, 1962
Draper Sales. Earnings At Ten-Year High – March 4, 1963
Draper Corp Buys Conn. Companies (Heim and Universal Bearing) – April 1, 1963
Draper Corporation Sales Higher for First Quarter – April 1963
Draper Corp Buys Worcester Firm (Worcester Molded Plastics) – July 2, 1963
Draper Sales Down, Net Income Increases – Aug 4, 1963
Cash Payroll System Changed By Draper’s – Aug 30, 1963
Draper Pension Is Expanded – $60 Maximum, Widow Benefits – Sept 12, 1963
Draper Corp. Features Large Textile Exhibit in Germany – Sept 28, 1963
Draper Sales, Income Steady, Earnings Drop – Nov 5, 1963
1963 Draper Profit Near 1962 Level – Feb 19, 1964
Drop in Exports Cuts ’63 Draper Corp Sales – Mar 4, 1964
Draper Sends Loom Parts to South Vietnam – May 22, 1964
$4-Million Foundry Annex Planned by Draper – May 27, 1964
Swiss Firm Will Produce Draper Shuttleless Loom – Jun 1, 1964
Draper Orders Continuing on High Level – August 11, 1964
Maintenance Workers OK Union at Drapers – Oct 29, 1964
Draper Sales Show Big Upward Trend – Nov 6, 1964
Child Named Draper President – April 1, 1965
Draper Corporation Earnings Show Rise – May 4, 1965
Union in Crucial Draper Test –  Battle Looms as Company Advises Workers to Vote ‘No” – May 12, 1965
Draper Continues Anti-Union Fight – May 14, 1965
Union in All-Out Fight at Draper’s – May 15, 1965
Production Workers Vote 728 to 615 for Union Representation – May 20, 1965
Draper Rated Among Top Industrial Giants – July 9, 1965
Draper Corporation Production Continuing at Record Level – Aug 7, 1965
Two Year Draper Contract Approved – Sept 20, 1965
Draper Sales, Income Still Climb for 1965 – Nov 4, 1965
Draper Corp President Paints Optimistic Picture – Feb 26, 1966
Sales Up 11% at Drapers – Feb 28, 1966
Draper Sales at New High; Production Chief Problem – April 21, 1966
Draper Corp Sales Up; Net Income Shows Drop – Aug 9, 1966
3-Day Open House to Mark Draper 150th Anniversary – Sept 7, 1966
(Anniversary of Ira Draper’s invention of the rotary temple in 1816.)
12,000 Have Toured Draper Plant; Open House Ends Tonight – Sep 28, 1966
(Included was a tour of the new West Foundry.)
Draper to Make Looms for Foreign System of Weaving – Oct 19, 1966
Draper Corp Explains Layoffs – Feb 9, 1967
Big Firm Makes Bid to Control Draper’s – Rockwell-Standard Offers $30 Per Share – May 1, 1967

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