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Worcester,Mass - Places of the Past, Crompton and Knowles Loom Works
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Description
This company was created in 1897 by the merger of George Crompton's company (created in 1851) and LJ & FB Knowles company (created in 1856). They created and sold looms that manufactured every kind of textile fabric.
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  • crompton&knowles - (report)
    A good chunk of my family worked there. They produced auto parts and "duck pin" pin resetters in addition to looms.

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User Stories and Comments

The following are comments left about Crompton and Knowles Loom Works from site visitors such as yourself. They are not spell checked or reviewed for accuracy.

This company was created in 1897 by the merger of George Crompton's company (created in 1851) and LJ & FB Knowles company (created in 1856). They created and sold looms that manufactured every kind of textile fabric.
Interestingly enough, the Loom Works survived in Worcester until 1980, when it closed and relocated somewhere in the South.
Ruth Nickles - Report this comment
My great-grandfather, Bradley Nickles worked for this company until 1899, when he became the inkeeper at the Exchange Hotel in Worcester. Mr. Nickles was an expert in the area of motion of the looms. He did a large amount of work for Crompton at the World's Fair.
Jim Savage - Report this comment
C&K is still alive with Hqs in Connecticutt- has over $1Billion dollars worth and is one of the largest chemical companies in the world. It just moved from Worcester. We own the home where Mrs. FB Knowles lived and Mr. Hogg lived. He purchased the first Crompton mills.
Jon Melick - Report this comment
My great-grandfather, Frederick V. Townsend, was a foreman at this mill until he died in 1929. His second wife, Annie, also worked here until her son "Jim" was born. Several of their children and other relatives worked there as well. My grandmother Dorothy and her husband Vern were both born nearby (Vern's father worked at C & K for a while as well).
Rev. John M. Rieker - Report this comment
I have a number of forged wrenches that I got from a member who's father had died and they were cleaning out his basement. They are stamped "CROMPTON & KNOWLES LOOM WORKS" or simply "CROMPTON & KNOWLES"
GPM employee - Report this comment
I am an employee with the Graham Putnam & Mahoney Funeral Parlor located at 838 Main St. in Worcester, MA. I do not know if you are aware of this, but this funeral home is the former home of L. J. Knowles.
Marie Sultana Robinson - Report this comment
I am the daughter of the Last George Crompton (although the family was no longer involved with C & K when I was born.) Had I been a boy, I would have been George Crompton 4th. Instead, I'm Marie. For the curious, here is the family geneology. http://www.stars-end.net/bryants/gsbdetail15.html#I1_553
Another interesting and UNUSUAL fact......Crompton & Knowles also manufactured the Sherman Duckpin Pinsetter machine.
my grandfather now ownes 100 grand street which is one of the crompton and knowles buildings. It is in good shape however the other buildings (93 & 95 grand St.) are vacant and in bad shape and i expect to be taken down in the neer future.
Maria- October 13, 2007 - Report this comment
one of those looms made it to Nova Scotia, Canada.It is now all set up in our workshop and still fully functional. What a beautiful piece of machinerie and history. We would love to use it again and we wonder if there is anyone out there to provide us with a manual for the fine tuning of shuttle and beater sequence before we smash the last of our shuttles.
Joanne- November 20, 2007 - Report this comment
My great grandfather was a foreman at Cromton Knowles until his death in 1924. They had a picture of him on the wall in the Worcester, MA building and I was wondering if anyone knows what happened to those pictures, I'd really like to have my great grandfathers picture if possible.
Rob W- February 15, 2008 - Report this comment
My Dad worked in the power plant at CK comp. He used to bring me to work every Saturday while he tended the boilers and plant. He used to give me hair cuts in the boiler room !
Ian- April 23, 2008 - Report this comment
We still have two working C&K weaving looms of about 1968 vintage at our textile plant in Australia. One is a 650" / 16.5m loom while the other is 500" / 12.7m loom. Both are in constant use weaving and are also utilised to teach basic weaving to new weavers. I found the dobby prone to frequent breakage given the weight of the cloth type being woven, similar to very strong macrame yarn and the dobbys were ultimately replaced with kaiser head motions which have proven completely reliable with no breakage since installed about 20 years ago.
Shelby- May 26, 2008 - Report this comment
This is all fascinating. I just came across an antique wrench, with Crompton & Knowles Loom Works embossed on it, listed on ebay. I've never heard of this company and googled it. My dad worked in silk mills most of his life.
Bill Bucher- June 12, 2008 - Report this comment
We have a Crompton & Knowles Loom works Loom. The name plate is Providence, RI This Loom is S/N 2164. Any information is welcome ie. When built, etc. bbucher@us.ibm.com
Dave- July 01, 2008 - Report this comment
I just bought a house and in the attic I found a couple of books of blueprints for C & K. I guess the former owner was the standards engineer.
Angela- July 26, 2008 - Report this comment
George Crompton was my great great maternal grandfather. My mother is still alive and tells of the magnificent house the Crompton family lived in called Marimonte. It was torn down and a hospital was built in its place in the forties. While I have patent papers of several improvements made by his son-in-law Harry Worcestor Smith, I have never seen an actual loom.How wonderful for you, Ian and Bill. There is a book about his life and loomworks for more information.
Felipe- August 22, 2008 - Report this comment
I worked from 1973 untill 1981 at a zipper factory in Brazil that had several C & K needle looms in order to manufacture narrow fabric for the zipper. They were very good. I even remember a Meican consultant,Salvador Arroyo, that came several times here. Nice guy!
James Coyle- October 04, 2008 - Report this comment
My great grandfather was also a foreman at C & K. He worked there from appox 1890-1920. I will be visiting Worcester this week and am hoping to find the location in which he worked. I grew up in California and have always wondered what his life in Worcester was like.
Mark Thibeault- October 21, 2008 - Report this comment
My Grandfather and father bothed worked at K & N. I guess sometime around 1947. Elie and Robert Thibeault.
4rilla- November 30, 2008 - Report this comment
One of the Crompton and Knowles buildings located at 21 Illinois St in Worcester was converted to 37 loft units 2 years ago. I am a member of the condo board, you can find out more about the building as it is today here: http://universityparklofts.blogspot.com/
jim sadowski- December 02, 2008 - Report this comment
There are two locations in Worcester for C&K. corner Grant & illinois streets 42.2474 -71.8180 Green street location 42.2566 -71.7963 The 5 story buildings pictures are the Grand & Illinois location. The Green Street property has 3-4 story buildings.
Mike Gaudet- January 31, 2009 - Report this comment
Mathias Arsenault had worked there for 35 yrs as a moulder - he died in 1966. I am looking to see if anyone may have a picture of him. jaquesgaudet@rogers.com
Timothy Bageant- February 11, 2009 - Report this comment
i know they made the sherman duckpin pinsetter, just wondering if anyone had anymore info on this,like prints and electrical info...thanks
John- April 14, 2009 - Report this comment
My grandfather, Nathaniel 'Fred' Ward worked at Crompton and Knowles at Worcester. He was superintendant there and also had a partnership in the Worcestor Braiding Company. He died in the early 1950's, but I still remember visiting him in the summertime.
Paul- July 04, 2009 - Report this comment
I recall that Crompton & Knowles had a private beach on Coes Pond which had a nice bathhouse, changing room and attendents on duty. In late spring during the early to mid 1950s our parents would write to the C & K office and request a season pass for the beach. All the kids in my neighborhood ( June & Chandler Sts) did the same and when summer came we would ride our bikes down a path through the woods behind Fairlawn Hospital and spend many fun hours at the beach. Great memories.
Angela- August 06, 2009 - Report this comment
Timothy, What are you looking for exactly?
MIKE- August 21, 2009 - Report this comment
MY GRANDPARENTS LIVED AT THE PARK AT COES POND THEY WERE THE CARETAKER. MY GRANDFATHER WORK AT C&K ON GARDNER ST WERE TO THIS DAY I RUN THE BUILDINGS LOTS OF HISTORY
Rob- October 10, 2009 - Report this comment
I have several C& K Manuals and some parts, including shuttles and pirns. I Work on Draper X3 looms in NH
Rob- October 10, 2009 - Report this comment
Ian, Any chance of some pictures of the looms, I'm collecting anything relating to C&K and Draper Fly Shuttle Looms. Some of the Draper X3 Looms I work on have C& K Dobbies. Any Manuals or photocopies, .pdfs would be welcomed. Also looking for source of parts for same. Thanks to any and all.
Leonard & Robin Lorusso- October 11, 2009 - Report this comment
Hi,we just came across this site looking for information or old pictures for the Crompton & Knowles Building located at 138 Green St., Worcester, MA. We own this building and are in the process of rehabing it back to the original and converting it into mixed use retail & condo's in the future. Please visit CromptonPlace.com
timothy bageant- November 02, 2009 - Report this comment
Angela,looking for prints and schematics for the sherman duckpin pinsetter. Im in the process of designing a new pinsetter for duckpins and would like some more info on the old sherman setter..any info would be great. thanks
J.R.- January 04, 2010 - Report this comment
Is this the site of the infamous unsolved murder of 17 year old South high senior, Patricia Anne Gonyea in 1984? Her body was found behind the factory in a subteranean window well.Terrible story... Hopefully some day there will be justice for Patty Anne.
DJ- February 07, 2010 - Report this comment
J.R.,who are you and why are you questioning anything regarding the death of Patty Gonyea? That happened in 1984 and you are out here in 2010 asking if Crompton Knowles is where they found Patty?
DJ- February 07, 2010 - Report this comment
J.R.,who are you and why, after all these years, in 2010 are you inquiring about whether or not this Crompton Knowles is the place where they found Patty Gonyea....what do you know about it?
DJ- February 07, 2010 - Report this comment
J.R.,who are you and why, after all this time, in 2010, would you be inquiring about where the incident happened regarding Patty Gonyea? What do you know about the tragedy, anthing?
JR- February 23, 2010 - Report this comment
DJ, simmer down buddy. what i know about her story is what ive researched and what ive heard from a friends mother who grew up in the neighborhood with PAtty. Why would i post about her? Simply to reraise awareness that yes, even in 2010, her murder has remained unsolved. Who am i? Im a main souther and Worcester enthusiast who used to use that short cut in high school (South High), as Patty did, to get to my friends houses in the canterbury/cambrigde st. neighborhood. So when i read her story i felt a immediate connection. What i get from your posts is you may think i might know something about the case that wasnt already public knowledge. Unfortunately i dont. But i hoped by raising the subject on this forum of "Worcester Memories", it would help in rebuilding interest in the case.
BM- March 15, 2010 - Report this comment
The Hayward Schuster Mill in E.Douglas bought some of the last production projectile looms. Mr Schuster was all for American goods as foreign textiles had hurt his mill. The mills never worked properly and with C&K technicians at the mill round the clock - parts kept breaking....and the looms were a failure. A lawsuit ensued and the mill eventually went out of business having the capital tied up in by the lawsuits - the electric company cut the power one day while the mill was operating.... All very sad - Win Schuster had his heart in the right place but he'd bought the looms untested.
Gerry- March 18, 2010 - Report this comment
A friend told me recently he visited a textile museum in England, and a K&N loom was part of the display
pat mccormack- April 05, 2010 - Report this comment
we have some sherman pinsetters at our social club in brockton. Made by this K&N loom. Any body have any spare parts. They are still functional.
Angie C.- April 08, 2010 - Report this comment
I have two large bolts of Hayward-Schuster Mills wool fabric with labels still affixed, anyone know anything about the time frame of Woolen Mills, Inc? otjnow@live.com
jim sadowski- July 04, 2010 - Report this comment
http://www.telegram.com/article/20100701/NEWS/7010746/1101 Thursday, July 1, 2010 City gets $2 million to raze former factory building Nick Kotsopoulos City Hall Notebook nkotsopoulos@telegram.com The state Department of Housing and Community Development has awarded the city an additional $2 million in Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds to demolish the former Crompton & Knowles factory building at 95 Grand St. City Manager Michael V. O’Brien said that funding will be used in conjunction with a $900,000 local bond authorization that had been approved by the City Council for the property, which the city took in 2005 through the tax title process. Mr. O’Brien said the state money has to be used by September. To facilitate the demolition of the building, the Historical Commission last month unanimously agreed to waive the city’s demolition delay ordinance for the four-story brick structure because members felt a further delay would create an undue economic hardship for the city. The city ordinance puts a 12-month delay on the demolition of historic structures to allow time to explore alternative uses. But the Historical Commission is allowed to waive the demolition-delay ordinance if it thinks razing would not be detrimental to the historical architectural resources of the city. In this instance, the commission thought delay of the demolition would be detrimental. The commission is also allowed, though, to waive the ordinance if it thinks an undue economic hardship would be created through the delay. Mr. O’Brien said notification documents have been submitted to the Massachusetts Historical Commission, and the city expects to receive a favorable response to its proposal within 30 days. “We are finalizing a detailed bid package for this complex demolition for advertisement by mid-July,” the manager said. “I expect to award a contract in August and anticipate demolition to begin shortly thereafter to remove this dangerous and unsightly structure from the neighborhood.” The 300,000-square-foot building, on a 106,000-square-foot lot, was once part of the sprawling Crompton & Knowles complex, which was one of the largest producers of textile looms in the world. At one time, more than 2,800 people worked there, but the factory was mothballed in 1979.
Chris- September 30, 2010 - Report this comment
I have a few of these C&K Looms operational, as well as manuals parts. Looking for more.
Robert Webster- November 05, 2010 - Report this comment
MyDad worked for Crompton and K for 27 years in the power house. He was there when they shut down. I used to go with him to the boiler room every Saturday. Great times. I was cleaning out his old tool box when I found two wrenches stamped Crompton and Knowles, does anyone know if they made there own tools????
Whitney- November 12, 2010 - Report this comment
My grandfather was a machinist at C&K for 40+/-yrs. Is there a way I can get his dates of employment and wages? Does anyone know if C&K contracted parts for the war effort in WWII?
Marcel- December 04, 2010 - Report this comment
Recently purchased 4 Draper/Northrop Model D's and looking for any info like books, manuals, catalogs and especially the recorded movie made in the 50's/60's showing 30 ways to set the Drapers and maintenance.
Gertrude Bonin Zulywitz- January 27, 2011 - Report this comment
My Dad Edward Bonin was head of the guards at Krompton and Knowles. I used to go there after school and sit with him. He was in the guard shack. And he would let the trucks in. I cherrish those memories.I was.
Al Zelley- July 22, 2011 - Report this comment
Several years back the T&G posted an article about someone entering a office space in the old Crompton & Knowles complex that had not been entered for many years and finding a stack of company history books, possibly 75 copies, which were free for the taking. When I called in 2 or 3 days later I was too late, all were gone. I have been looking for a copy ever since, the Ben Franklin Antiquarian Booksotre, etc., but with no luck. If anyone knows where I could find a copy of that company history I would be very interested. Thank you.
Frank R.- September 03, 2011 - Report this comment
My grandfather was a special policeman for C&K. I still have his company police badge. If there are any former Officers or families reading this and you have any pictures of the guard force, please contact me at irish01540@gmail.com.
Leonard Brodt- September 20, 2011 - Report this comment
My having spent my whole life as a loom fixer on mostly C&K W-3 looms and I still have my tool box and W-3 manual and some of the C&K wrenches and I own a Knowles loom that is pick and pick, otherwise known as a box loom and I have in operation this loom and I have one extra loom for parts.and in addition to that I have an associate who owns and operates a three loom mill and her mill does commission work as can be managed.And when her looms break, I fix them for her to pay my rent as my loom is in her bldg. ( Bedfellow Blankets ) is the name of her mill.You should also know that the best job I ever had in all my life was at the Barnai Worsted in Woonsocket R.I.
Mike Rea- December 11, 2011 - Report this comment
I am the owner of Collins Bowladrome in Billerica, MA and we have ten Sherman pin setters which were manufactured by Crompton & Knowles in the early fifties. All ten machines are still in operation daily. Only minor design changes have been made over the years. Most of the original parts are still working sixty years later. This is a testament to both Doctor Sherman and the Company.
Peggy Hart- April 20, 2012 - Report this comment
I,m Lenny,s friend with the three looms, also interested in any materials elated to company history, especially the book 100 Years of Patents. does anyone have a copy?
Peggy Hart- April 20, 2012 - Report this comment
Should have given my email! Peggy@blanketweave.com
Lynne- August 09, 2012 - Report this comment
My good friend David owns 11 active Crompton and Knowles spool Axminster carpet looms using worsted yarns, the last operating in Britain. Does anyone know of any still working in the U.S.?
knowles rd resident- January 24, 2014 - Report this comment
I have lived in Worcester since 1989. where can I find maps of the property on Knowles rd. and more off Crompton and Knowles. if the city hall has any. I see wpi has some in storage how do I get to see them?
johnathan- June 28, 2014 - Report this comment
I have a e-model draper loom for sale. This is a running loom. Contact jabercrom08@aol.com
Keith Trawick- October 08, 2014 - Report this comment
I have an old oak box that has a Compton and Knowles Loom Woks name plate on it, My grandfather worked in the mills in Gastonia NC and used this for a tool box. The numbers on the plate are 2076-1924. I would be interested in selling this. Call me at 704 279 7792 if interested.
Ernest- December 08, 2014 - Report this comment
Hi...I'm looking for any Whitin Loom. Prepared to pay top dollars for it. email me on ernest.mwase@gmail.com
Pam Magee- December 17, 2014 - Report this comment
Looking for an older Crompton and Knowles or Hattersley Dobcross loom for sale. It can be in derelict condition. pmagee1@telus.net
Rabbit Goody- February 21, 2015 - Report this comment
We are running C and K W2's and S6's in our mill Thistle Hill Weavers in Cherry Valley NY. Love to connect with others running this equipment. Always looking for shuttles by the way.
Lilliana- May 26, 2015 - Report this comment
Looking for a draper loom or something similar, any info to where to find them will be awesome :)
Katrina- August 17, 2015 - Report this comment
Looking for any info or sale of C & K W3 loom
Ashok BHAGAT.- October 26, 2015 - Report this comment
Worked with C&K looms for 24yrs.loom was very good,hence inspired to manufacture in India in 1970.
Dan Powers- February 01, 2016 - Report this comment
I worked in department 200 and department 440 from 1966 until 1969. I machined parts for the looms. There were 3 generations of some families working there. My first boss was Johnny Hipp. His son and grandson worked there. One of the guys in department 200 was murdered in 1968. His name was Stanley Marr.
Harvey C. Greenhalgh, Jr.- March 29, 2016 - Report this comment
My great, great, James Greenhalgh, Sr. Patented the first open shed power loom in the United States in 1852. By 1857 George Crompton filed a lawsuit that the Greenhalgh Loom infringed on the William Crompton Loom, father of George Crompton. Crompton won the court case and Greenhalgh's production of the Greenhalgh Loom ceased. However William Crompton's Loom patent expired the following year and Greenhalgh began to produce his loom again. During the extented period of the Greenhalgh Loom, Crompton wanted to purchase the duration of the extended patent of the Greenhalgh Loom as he wanted to incorporate some of the improvements of the Greenhalgh Loom into his latest loom. Greenhalgh sold his rights to his loom for $6,000 to a Mr. Scholes. Not sure what position he held in the Crompton firm. Crompton's improved Loom won top prize at the 1860 Paris Expo.Can anyone provide me of a picture of this loom? I am writing a history of James Greenhalgh, Sr. and I have not been able to find a picture of the 1860 Crompton Loom.
Erik Plambeck- July 31, 2016 - Report this comment
Looking for a Draper X3 or Model-E for sale. Anything to make a small run of selvage denim. Can need restoring. Email me. erik.plambeck@gmail.com

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