NEW YORK — The American Textile History Museum last week inducted a second group of honorees into its American Textile Hall of Fame.
The 2002 honorees were Burlington Industries founder J. Spencer Love, fiber giant DuPont, former Mayfair Mills chairman Frederick B. Dent, and Whitin Machine Works of Whitinsville, Mass. Induction into the Hall of Fame is intended to recognize those people or firms “who have contributed to advancing the art, science or history of textiles in America,” according to the Lowell, Mass.-based museum.
Love, who lived from 1892 to 1962, founded Greensboro, N.C.-based Burlington in 1923 and quickly expanded the cotton mill’s repertoire to also include rayon. During the Depression, he built the company by buying plants other companies had idled and putting them back in operation.
George Henderson, chairman and chief executive of Burlington, said Love “inspired our entire industry with his leadership and determination.”
DuPont, based in Wilmington, Del., is celebrating its 200th year in business. The company, founded as a maker of gunpowder, is the largest fiber company in the world and invented polyester, nylon and acrylic. Steve McCracken, group vice president of DuPont Textiles & Interiors, called the induction “a great testament to the many ways DuPont has transformed the textile industry.”
Dent, chairman of the former Arcadia, S.C.-based Mayfair Mills, which closed last year, was secretary of commerce during the Nixon and Ford administrations, at a time when the U.S. textile industry’s political clout in Washington was much greater than it is now.
Whitin Machine Works was a major manufacturer of textile machinery for the New England industry during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
This was the second round of honorees inducted into the museum’s Hall of Fame. Last year, it inducted mill magnate Roger Milliken; Samuel Slater, who built the first textile mill in the U.S., in Pawtucket, R.I., and Duke Power, the utility company.