Lace is made on the world's largest textile machines (2):
Lace is created and then subjected to hydraulic pressure in order to save packing space before being shipped to the consumer, retailer, or manufacturer.
THOMAS WILSON & CO. INC.
In 1839, George and Robert Wilson established a lace business in New York at 102 Liberty Street. Soon after, the two men were joined by their brother, Thomas Wilson, who served as president of the business. Richard W. Baldwin was named owner of the company. The company then began purchasing American made lace from Samuel H. Roberts in order to focus on domestic markets.
In 1921, that business relationship became the Port Jefferson Lace Co. Inc., with Thomas Wilson and Co. Inc. having exclusive rights to sales.
Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, Thomas Wilson and Co. Inc. underwent many changes and improvements. With improvements in lace making and Bobbinet netting in 1943, came additions to the buildings at the Port Jefferson plant, after which the company owned 75,000 square feet and had over 250 employees. Workers where provided with retirement plans and benefits at no extra cost to them. The Wilson warehouse and shipping department was moved to a modern building in Port Jefferson. Show rooms and executive offices were moved to Madison Avenue, New York.
In May 1952, the One Hundred Year Association - an association which inducts companies after one hundred years of business - accepted the Thomas Wilson and Co. Inc., making the company America's oldest lace house. At that time the Thomas Wilson and Co. Inc. had branches all over the country.
By 1971, the Thomas Wilson and Co. Inc. had about 7,500 different designs and 5 designers.
In 1986, the Thomas Wilson and Co. Inc. was suddenly forced to shutdown after 147 years of business.
IMPORTANT CREATORS OF THE THOMAS WILSON & CO. INC.:
GEORGE AND ROBERT WILSON
1839: Original creators of the company. (8)
Until 1908: First company president, name-sake. (8)
RICHARD W. BALDWIN
Until 1916: Company owner. An irreplaceable head of the Thomas Wilson & Co. Inc., Richard W. Baldwin, born in Ireland, moved to America at the age of 28, and immediately jumped into the lace firm. Baldwin was the founder of the Port Jefferson Lace Company, in Port Jefferson, Long Island, and later the president of the Thomas Wilson & Company. He died at the age of 73 in his home, in North White Lake, New York (6).
The Roberts family continued to own and develop the Port Jefferson Lace Co. Inc. for generations.
1918: Samuel H. Roberts became the domestic lace provider to Thomas Wilson & Co. Inc. Roberts was the son of R. I. Alton.
Samuel H. Roberts, Sr., is credited with "the destiny of the firm due to his vast knowledge and experience in the business."
Samuel H. Roberts, Jr., and his son Warren C. Roberts eventually took over the company. (8)