The North Adams Transcript from North Adams, Massachusetts on May 7, 1958 · Page 5
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The North Adams Transcript from North Adams, Massachusetts · Page 5

North Adams, Massachusetts
Issue Date:
Wednesday, May 7, 1958
Page 5
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WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON, MAY 7, I95b , THE NORTH ADAMS. MASSACHUSETTS. TRANSCRIPT F1V: Gagliardi Goes Ali-the-Way for NORGE No. 1 Rated Automatic Washer 2-Speed, 2-Cyclc With Dispenser Wheel Sediment Remover $199.95 With. Trade Reg. S309.95 Our Greatest Washer Value ~~ NORGE Wringer Washer Power Surge Action 9-lb. Capacity $99,95 With Trad* Reg. TTC9.95 A Great -Washer Value "NORGE Refrigerators Full Width Freezer Full Width Crisper Full Storage Door 5 Year Warranty $169.95 With Trade Re*. $239.95 Ideal for Small Families ""NORGE Apartment Gas Ranges Full Size Oven Deluxe Top Burners Smokeless Broiler $89.95 With Trod* Re* SI 29.95 , Choice of Natural or Bottled Gas ~~ NORGE Apartment Electric Range Full Size Oven , Deluxe Top Burner , Storage Drawer $169.95 With Trade Ided for Camps or Aprs. ~ NORGE Gas Water Heaters Glass Lined 10 Year Warranty $89.95 Re* $124.95 Choice of Natural or Bottled Gas NORGE Electric Water Heaters 80 Gallon Capacity Glass Lined 10 Year Warranty $169.95 R*9» S199.9S Prict Includes Delivery ~NOR6E Bilt-ln Ovens Wil* Surface Burners Stainless Steel ·* $199.95- luildtrs Take Notice Gagliardi Fuel Co. "Strviet After Soles" 11 Union S*. MO 3-374* l * i r i l * | I f IT ·* f _ _ ,___^Jt.--^^^m^^^^^^^^^^^^ltif0^^m^^^^^^^^tf^^^^mi^^^^^^^^^^^m^^* « I H M V « « l « * M * ^ -- · . ^ Berkshire Hathaway Death Sentence to Be Executed in Will Try To Place t Some Help By MAYNARD LEAKEY | The death sentence passed yes- Iterday upon their Adams mill by directors of Berkshire Hathaway, 'inc., will bs executed within the next three weeks. President Seabury Stanton gave . that estimate of the remaining i life expectancy of the plant this morning, even as .reactions to yesterday's unexpected announcement of the mill's imminent closing .covered the range of shock, bitterness, and renewed determin : ation to find new industry for this area. i 1,000 Lose Jobs I Mr. Stanton told the Transcript \ this morning that company of- Ificials are working now on p^ns I to close out the Adams operations, j [which will wipe out the-jobs', of | j more than 1,000 workers. No more' j cotton will be v brought in alter '.Monday, he said. The picker and carder rooms will be the first to shut down, perhaps Jn a week, while the sffiining and; weave rooms probably wil. operate .two to three weeks longer. ( Declaring that he recognized this decision represented a severe .blow to Adams and this area, Mr. Stanton said efforts- will be made to place as many of the affected employes as possible in other plants "if there are any vacancies," but he conceded that such readjustments probably will be difficult. Mr. Stanton said the following notice was posted in the plant this morning: "The management of Berkshire Hathaway regrets very "much the necessity for the permanent closing of our plant in Adams as announced by the board of directors following their meeting yesterday. For a number of years, operations in the Adams- North Adams area have been unprofitable and about two years ago it became necessary to close our Greylock plant in North Ad-. Shop Cutting's For Nationally Advertised Values! ams. Losses Continued "At that time, we announced we would do all in our power to continue operations in Adams. Losses continued, however, and CLOSING TO END ERA -- Air view shows huge Adams mills of Berkshire Hathaway Corp. in Adams, lasf of which is soon h be closed, ending era of cotton textile manufacturing in Berkshire County, under announcement made by company yesterday. No. 4 mill, only one now Jn operation, is two-section building at lower left of group." Directly above it is L-shaped No..3.mill, closed last year. Connected structures at right are No. I (left) and No. 2 mills, used only for storage in recent years. Hoosac Street, which divides the milts, runs diagonally across lower center part of photo. Adams Free Library, McKinley Square and Notre Dame and St. Thomas' Churches are visible above mills. St. Stanislaus' Church is at lower left. (Transcript photo by Randolph Trabold) 1 ' ' ·' i *", last year we were'obliged to re-1 Commenting further in his conduce operations at that plant to .versation with the Transcript .thisj 50 per cent of its former capacity In a final effort to save.this mill we inaugurated a modernization T W AiJCiU^C** **UW W* «-» »·-« w *· - · program but losses have continued been under consideration tor near- and° we cannot justify continued ly two months, he said., .with the operation. . ' · · " ' . "We very ' much .appreciate the efforts of our employes to adapt themselves to our modernized machinery and if there are. any vacancies in.any of our other plants", every effort will be made to place those who desire to apply." simple gingham dresses . ^ morning, Mr. St-anton denied that! the decision reached by the direc-' tors yesterday was sudden. It had Closing of Berkshire Hathaway Mills To Mark End of 90-Year Epoch in Adams . - " · · ' _^___ /*. ' : ' Here, at Cutting's you'll fincf a large selection of ARROW white shirts n your collar style. husband's favorite when Berkshire Hathaway, Inc.. management striving to find ways|closes the books oh its-Adams and means of continuing, but that "it finally became -obvious that nothing could be done." Two Major Factors High costs and a changing mode of living were the two major factors in" sealing the doom of the Adams operation, Mr. Stanton said. He explained that there has been a marked shrinkage in the use of the type of goods made at the Adams mill, which he described as always having been "a high cost mill." "The -demand for the goods Easy-fo-core-for, flower-fresh, baby checks in pastel pretty shades. Cool summer charmers to brighten your wqrdrobe in sixes 7 to 1 5, 1 0 to 1 8, 1 2Va to 22V2. made .Adams has slumped substantially," "he said, "because those, goods do not lend themselves to the. wash-and-wear, finishes wanted by our":housewives. They simply will not buy fabrics that they cannot throw into their automatic washing machines. The ;rend is away, -from the sheer goods made at Adams,.and there :ever will be.a return to the old demand.".. Concerning the liquidation steps planned at Adams, Mr. Stanton said .the' first move will be to xansfer some of the machinery to other mills in the Berkshire Sathaway chain, and then the rest will be -offered for sale. Buildings As for the buildings, he said he] and his associates "will be glad" to .work out any plans the Adams, Selectmen or development groups in this area might propose for utilization-of the buildings. Prospects of finding purchasers, however, considered as dim. He disclosed that no answers have been received to the request for sealed bids for the purchase of the Greylock Mill,- though the corporation is ready to consider any bid that might be made. -He also revealed that representatives of the List Industries, the organization of which the Arnold Print Works in Adams is a subsidiary, had inspected --the Adams mills several weeks ago but decided to make no bid for the property. Kullas Bitter The most bitter reaction to the announcement of the closing came today from Henry Kullas, area director of the Textile Workers' Union of America, bargaining agent for employes of the Adams mill. He insisted that the announcement was entirely unexpected, and came even as the 'Adams local was planning a meeting Thursday to discuss the "week-on, week- off" schedule that reportedly was to become effective at the plant on May 12. (Mr. Stanton said today that report was erroneous and that the proposed.schedule was intended to apply to Berkshire Hathaway plants elsewhere.) Mr. Kullas said he considered the decision especially unjust in view of the fact, he said, that em- ployes had agreed to increased work loads without increased compensation. The same pattern had been followed, he noted, at the the operations within a few.weeks, the final chapter in an 89-year old industrial epoch will have been written in this area. Dales Back to 1889 The Adams mill, soon to go out of existence, is the'last .link with a textile enterprise that dates back to 1889; and that once operated in that town what was described as. recently as 1929 as the largest fine goods mill in New England. It was in .1889 that C. T. and W. B. Plunketfc organized a . corporation to obtain capital and build a new cotton mill in Adams. They, were the .sons of W. 0. Plunkett,/the '.textiel. pioneer who had expanded the town's'.' industrial horizon in 1844 when he. built mills that had been created by the Adams South Village Cotton, and Woolen Mfg. Co. as far back as 1814. . Built Four Mills , The industry established by the two Plunkett sons was the Berkshire Cotton Mfg. Co., · and between 1890 and 1900 they built the four mills in Adams that operated under that banner. That .venture (was the forerunner of the Berkshire Fine .Spinning Associates, Inc., formed in 1929 by a consolidation of the Plunkett interests with the Greylock Mills of North Adams, Williamstown and/North Pownal, the Valley Falls :Co'. of Albion, R.I.," Coventry Co. of Anthony, R. I., and the Fort Dummer Mills of Brttleboro, Vt. The Adams ' mills in 1929 had 280,000 spindles and 6,400 looms, and reigned for years as .the key link, in the Berkshire Fine Spinning chain. The new corporation actually flourished during the depression years of the 30's, though the Wilh'amstow^ and North Pownal plants were closed ' in' 1937, and by '1943 the organization was able -to. report itself free .from debt, -with assets : of $17,647,000, working capital of. $8,606,000, and a net profit of $1,724,000. :-i Decline Begins The company continued to show substantial 'and mounting profits year after year, reaching its peak in 1948,"but then the slow decline began? The merger with the Hathaway Mfg. Co. of N e w ; Bedford was announced in March,, 1955, when the corporate name - was changed to Berkshire Hathaway Inc. . , Berkshire Hathaway Mi I Closing Prompts Burns to Wire Ike Closing of the Berkshire Hathaway mill in Adams prompted Prof. James M. Burns of Williams "College, who is seeking to be the Democratic nominee ' t o Congress from this district, to urge President Eisenhower today to demand immediate anti-recession legislation from Congress. The Berkshire Hathaway Mill, Adams, is closing down, throwing ing them of the situation .an^d asking their help. They also plan to call a meeting.soon of every legis lator in Berkshire County to go over the situation and .see if. any other way of helping out could be found. In a joint statement on the situation, Sen. Conte and Rep. ARROW WHIP -- New wash 'n wear - . $5.00 ARROW DALE -- longer wearing collar $5.00 ARROW DART --still America's favorite $4.00 ARROW ARDEN --shorter point collar -. . $4.00 ARROW GLEN -- with new Jink .cuff ' $4.00 Sizes I3'/2 - 18, Sleeves 31 to 35 ^rr. L^uttinq Co. (7 Little by little, the corporation began to narrow its operations from that time. The first serious blow here f ell in May, 1956, when operations were halted at. .the Greylock : Mill and transferred , to Adams. And in the following February, the No. 3 mill at Adams was closed -- the No. 1 and No. 2 mills earlier had, been turned over to mere storage purposes -- and it was announced then that a $1,000,000 modernization p r o g r a m would be launched.-, at the No. 4 mill in the hope of keeping that plant running. The Adams- mill was the last cotton textile mill. in Berkshire County. The Hoosac jVlills here. are Devoted to rayon production, while mills in the southern section of the county are in the woolen branch of the industry. - ' '-'·'"·' '·' DANIELS Linen and Curtain Shop Dial 3-6450 Daily Delivery 19-21 State Street Gifts For Mother That Will Be Long Remembered Printed Table Cloths $1.97 to $3.97 Fancy Towel Box Sets $1.97 to $5.97 Revere Ware $3.95 to $49.95 Curtains Draperies $1.97 to $9.97 Long Wearing Yalcort Hosiery . . . . . . 87c to $1.17- If in doubt use one of our. Gift Certificates. All packages gift wrapped. Cramer said both were "shocked and disturbed" at the forthcoming mill closing. · To Renew Contract - Miss Delight Smith, a teacher in the Springfield School system, has signed her contract for another year. daughter of Mr. and Mrs. said George" Smith of 39 Hall, St., .she " $12 Q» to *i« 50 % P J h M « f *·* V * V ^ « W W The Fascinating Little Store 108 MAIN STREET Prof. Burns in a telegram to the President this morning. "This was the last cotton textile mill in the county. Urgently . plead you personally address emergency session of Congress and demand immediate broadening, unemployment compensation, immediate selective temporary tax cuts, : expanded housing, hospital, and school construction. "This recession is not necessary. We must act." Prof. Burns signed his telegram "James M. Burns, candidate for Congress." 2 Area Lawmakers Confer With Furcplo On Closing of The impact of Northern Berk-, shire's latest industrial setback,! was graduated from North Adams State- Teachers College in 1957. She was a member of the class of 1953 at Drury High School. the announced closing of the Ad-! Greylock Mill just - prior to closing of that ooeration. ; ~ Mr. Kullas said he was certain j?» s P lant , of Berkshire Hathaway that more than 1,000 will be affeet-1 *·· wa * being outlined for Gov. ed by the closing because the Foster Furcoto this afternoon by plant has 989 workers who are Sen. Silvio 0 Conte of Pittsfieldj dues-paying TWUA members and fJ.J.- Re P- Rob *[ fc f C TM me \ of that there are many other non- WUhams own. The wo area law- _ _. ' !·** rt frr%*«r* ^ **t *-4 A w-i /sr\f iv* re ff*n A/Hll I art union employes. According to Mr. Stanton, the payroll'as of April 12 listed a total of 1,006 employes. · The TWUA official advised all employes over 65 years of age who have at least 15 years of service a meeting scheduled with the chief executive at 2:30 o'clock, : Sen. Conle and Rep. Cramer^ were also planning other moves aimed at getting for the area what- nave at least ID yeaia ui otiviv-^ - , , · , to file application for retirement!^er governmental assistance separation pay at once . at the, b e f ficured ' - 'TWUA office They are entitled to Tlje two have sent telegrams to - U. S. Sens. Saltonstail and John (Concluded on Page Twenty) F. Kennedy in Washington inform- Old-time fun for all At the Maple Sugar Festival Ashfield, Mass. Saturday, May 10th Noon to Midnight FEATURES INCLUDE 1-5 p. m. HORSE-SHOW GYMKHANA. Eight adult and two youth class events, including jumping. Curtis Field. 2 p. m. "SWEET SIXTEEN" 9«««n CONTEST. U-year olds from all New England. Winner to b« crowned ot Maple Sugar Ball. Orange Hoi!. 1-7 p. m. PANCAKI SUPPERS. A New England specialty, only , 9$c. Make reservations with David S. Rice, West Hawley, Mass. Grange Hall, Parish House. 3-8 p. m. SUGAR-ON-SNOW. Doughnuts, beverage. 85c per person. Town Hall, 1.8 p. m. DISPLAY EXHIBIT of latest syrup processing equipment. Fire Station, 8 p. m. MAPLE SUGAR BALL. Crowning of 9u**n. Town Hall. 74c per person. Woodsmen's Contest Firemen's Tug-of-War t , Ntw England Taste Test ANO MANY OTHER FEATURES special super 30" aufomaffc e/ecfn'c range 'Silver Contact Rota-Switches on Back Panel 4 Speedy Super Caltwl Surface Units Giant Size Super Insulated Oven -with Automatic Heat Control Calrod Golden Bake and Broil Units Titanium Porcelain-Enamel Finish Storage Comparmrcnt for Pols and Pans CLEAN-QUICK-CAREFREE-SAFE THRIFTY - The average lamily cooks, electrically for only about §2.50 a month NORTHERN BERKSHIRE ELECTRIC CO. f A t T C ? * t W I NO I A N £ f I f C T $ 5'. s DOWN en budget terms 2V Bank Street Dial MO 3-6541 E L E C T R I C I T Y IS C H E A P i;; I

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