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Bishop, J. Leander (John Leander), 1820-1868 / A history of American manufactures from 1608 to 1860 : exhibiting the origin and growth of the principal mechanic arts and manufactures, from the earliest colonial period to the adoption of the Constitution ; and comprising annals of the industry of the United States in machinery, manufactures and useful arts, with a notice of the important inventions, tariffs, and the results of each decennial census
Volume 3 (1868)

The great hat manufactories of the United States,   pp. 496-510 ff.


Page 509

ORRTN BENEDICT & CO.'S HAT FACTORIES.
three enormous boilers, in all costing some $15,000, now furnish the
motive force of the establishment.
The firm no longer restricts its operations to " finishing," but turns
out its work from the raw material. To effect this, the enterprise of the
partners, at an expenditure exceeding $100,000, has filled the now factory
with the very finest specimens of all the improved machinery at present
in use. Among the latest improvements adopted in this establishment,
a new process for "sizing" promises to be of especial value, though
further experiment will still more develop its importance. At present,
it has been used in but one other factory. A material economy of labor
is anticipated from its perfect working ; but the principal result regards
rather the quality than the quantity produced.
As suggested above, Benedict & Co. manufacture Fur Hats exclu-
sively.  Their production is mainly of the fancy styles, several of
which have originated with them. In April, 1865, the firm first
opened a store in New York, at 257 Canal Street, since removed to
510 Broadway, a move which soon resulted in a manifest increase of
their business. Selling principally to the trade of the large cities, it
has been and is their especial aim to sustain the character of excellence
in their goods, that has won for them a reputation so merited. To
this end very particular attention is given to the material consumed
in the manufacture, none but the finest skins of the imported Hare
and Cony being worked up.
The number of hands now employed in the operations of the firm, is
never less than two hundred, and occasionally as high as three hundred.
The new establishment, with its perfect organization, is capable of
producing $1,000,000 worth of Hats per annum.
K. C. Gleason, Methuen, Massachusetts,
Has been selected as a representative of the successful Hat manufac-
turers of Massachusetts. For many years, his factories were the lead-
ing ones in New England, and he prosecuted a uniformly successful
business amidst all the vicissitudes of the trade, which involved in dis-
aster hundreds of his competitors. le was among the first in New
England to embark in the Soft or Felt Hat manufacture, and reaped
the benefit of the impetus, which the visit and popularity of Kossuth,
who wore this style of Hat, gave to this branch of the general
trade.
Mr. Gleason is a native of Haverhill, Massachusetts, and served a
regular apprenticeship with his father, who was also a practical batter.
He commenced the business, on his own account, in Methuen, in 1838,
1509


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