Ohio Knitting Mills was one of the most technically sophisticated textile design houses in the world. Like the Philadelphia Girls Rowing Club story that I wrote a couple of months ago, this another story everyone should know about. Harry and Walker began their knitwear careers working for Rich-Sampliner Knitting Mill; which was one of the largest factories in the world only devoted to knitwear in the middle west. Walker was the production manager, and Harry was in the field as one of the salesmen. Rich-Sampliner Knitting Mills was forward moving and made plenty of contributions to knitwear. This explains why Ohio Knitting Mills was so sophisticated since its owners/management came from the school of Rich Sampliner. Ohio Knitting Mills was established in Cleveland, Ohio in the year 1927 by Harry Stone and his business partner, Walker R. Woodworth. It's astonishing that Ohio Knitting Mills factory manufactured garments for brands like Pendleton, Jatzen, Sears and Roebuck & Co.
|When It Comes to Knitwear Rich Sampliner was a leader knitwear patents|
The knit trade was a booming business in which I will not fully discuss in this blog post, stay tuned. The need for labor was high or at its highest point. The amount labor matched the availability of material, which is a problem that we currently face in the 21st century. Many of the other mills face problems that they were behind in deliveries. Rich-Sampliner Mill was lucky and didn't fall victim. In fact, the brand launch a bathing suit line in which proves the success they were having. However, this statement became reversed as more companies were falling into the hands of backorders and supply problems many targeted bathing suits or accessories. Many of the knitwear brands that survived this depression secret was expanding to other accessories. Sportswear were the biggest consumers of the knitted sweaters, especially of cardigans and big V-neck sweaters. If you don't believe me then think about the super old baseball cards or football yearbooks of the 1920-30s, those athletes were crispy they had big wool shawl collars cardigans and real big capital V neck sweaters.
|Expanding to accessories|
The two fellow workers started Ohio Knitting mills around 1926 because Rich Co fell on hard times. This happen to other knitwear brands in the area many of them close their doors. True risk takers, their only resources were Harry's automobile and Walker's $500 which they used to set up a knitting mill called Stone Knitting Mill. Even during the Great Depression, the Mill was employing close to 1,000 workers.
Researching Ohio Knitting Mills was such a delight because it help me untapped a lost chapter in fashion history. I am blown away to discover how immense the knitting industry was in Ohio. This brief article honestly doesn't do justice. Ohio really needs to get back in the mix and reclaim its position in the heritage market. The city was once home to over 25 knitting mills, like H.Friedman & Company, Keetch Knitting Mills, Central Knitting Mills, and obviously Sampliner Knitting Mills. Ohio Knitting Mills would be the right foot start support and shop!