(October 4, 2010) — Four distinguished honorees have been inducted into the American Textile Hall of Fame, recognizing their significant contributions to and support of the textile industry. Honorees in the Class of 2010 are Malcolm G. Chace, III; Hugh Wadsworth Crawford, Jr. and Stevens Linen Works; Allen E. Gant, Jr., and Glen Raven, Inc.; and Shaw Industries Group, Inc.
The American Textile Hall of Fame was initiated in 2001 by the American Textile History Museum in Lowell to honor individuals, corporations and institutions that have made significant contributions to the textile industry in America, as well as those who have advanced the place, role, and appreciation of textiles in American life. This year’s recipients were honored October 4 at a luncheon at the Museum.
“Each of these honorees has had a profound impact on the textile industry in unique ways,” said ATHM President & CEO Jim Coleman. “They are worthy of great recognition for contributions they made to shape the history of textiles, as well as their philanthropic assistance for a better world. We are honored to pay tribute to their achievements.”
The following are the inductees into the American Textile Hall of Fame Class of 2010:
Malcolm G. Chace III
Malcolm (Kim) G. Chace III is the son of the late Malcolm G. Chace, Jr. and Beatrice (Oenslager) Chace. His grandfather, Malcolm G. Chace, a captain of industry in Rhode Island, in 1926 founded the Berkshire Mill Group, one of the nation’s largest producers of fine cottons. When Malcolm G. Chace, Jr. was the company president, Berkshire merged with Hathaway Manufacturing Co. of New Bedford to form Berkshire Hathaway.
Like his father and grandfather, Kim graduated from Yale University. A graduate of Brooks School, he attended Harvard Business School, served in the United States Army, and was awarded an honorary PhD from Brown University. He worked at Chase Manhattan Bank, was President and Treasurer of Mossberg Industries, and is currently the principal of Point Gammon, a financial management company. He is a director of Berkshire Hathaway, chairman of the Bank of Rhode Island, and president of the Chace Foundation.
Kim has received numerous awards for his philanthropic activities, including the American Textile History Museum’s Community Service Award in 2005.
Hugh Wadsworth Crawford, Jr. and Stevens Linen Works
Hugh (Buzz) Wadsworth Crawford, Jr., a United States Navy veteran of World War II, was the fourth generation of his family to be involved in Stevens Linen Works of Dudley, Massachusetts, and the third to have headed the company.
Henry Hale Stevens of North Andover founded the company in 1846. During its early history, the company produced linen products made from imported flax. H. Wadsworth Crawford became agent in 1929, succeeding his father. In 1939, he acquired the company and changed the name to Stevens Linen Associates, Inc.
After World War II foreign imports threatened the company’s survival. Buzz Crawford, who had taken over when his father died in 1951, explored avenues of diversification including the invention of the calendar towel and the development of decorator fabrics. Using the linen system of yarn production to process natural and synthetic fibers, the company produced vibrant textured yarns woven into drapery and upholstery fabrics. When the company was sold in 1988, the “Stevens Linen Look” was the standard for high-styled textured effects in the home furnishing industry.
Allen E. Gant, Jr. and Glen Raven, Inc.
Allen E. Gant, Jr. is the President and CEO of Glen Raven, Inc, a global performance fabric company founded by his grandfather in 1880 and continuously family owned throughout its history.
Headquartered in Glen Raven, North Carolina, the company’s ability to identify and lead niche markets has contributed to its success. Started as a small cotton mill, it was one of the first companies to adopt synthetic fibers and build knitting operations. An expertise in rayon provided Glen Raven with an opportunity to manufacture parachute fabrics throughout World War II. Following the war the company focused on nylon and polyester used in a wide variety of products.
In the 1960s Glen Raven introduced its Sunbrella brand of performance fabrics, which continues as the industry leader. By 2000 Glen Raven had implemented a global performance fabrics strategy that included acquisitions of companies and the construction of a business center in China.
Today Glen Raven remains committed to developing state-of-the-art fabric solutions.
Shaw Industries Group, Inc.
Shaw Industries began in 1946 as Star Dye Company, a small business that dyed tufted rugs. In 1958, with $300,000 in sales, the company expanded dramatically and started finishing carpet.
In 1968, one year after acquiring Philadelphia Carpet Company, a holding company acquired Star Finishing Company and began carpet manufacturing. The company went public as Shaw Industries, Inc. in 1971. In 1985 Shaw made its first appearance on the list of America’s largest companies – the Fortune 500.
Continually differentiating its service and adding value to customers defined every major move in the company’s development. On January 4, 2001, Shaw began a new chapter in its long history with its sale to Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., the holding company of renowned investor Warren E. Buffett.
Today Shaw is a full-service flooring company with more than $4 billion in annual sales and 25,000 employees whose daily efforts illustrate their commitment and determination to maintain their leadership position in the ever-changing and highly competitive marketplace.
We extend our sincere appreciation to the 2010 American Textile Hall of Fame Committee: Karl H. Spilhaus, President, National Textile Association, Boston, MA; James S. Coleman, President and CEO, American Textile History Museum, Lowell, MA; Dr. A. Blanton Godfrey, Dean and Joseph D. Moore Distinguished University Professor, North Carolina State University College of Textiles; W. Duke Kimbrell, Chairman, Parkdale Mills, Inc., Gastonia, NC; George W. Shuster, Chairman and CEO, Cranston Print Works, Cranston, RI; and Edward B. Stevens, Retired Chairman, Ames Textile Corporation, Lowell, MA.