Four Industry Leaders Named to Class of 2004 American Textile Hall of Fame

Induction at American Textile History Museum September 13

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Contact: Lois Frankenberger
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LOWELL, September 14 — Industry leaders, friends and families attended yesterday’s luncheon at the American Textile History Museum celebrating the induction of the Class of 2004 to the American Textile Hall of Fame (ATHF). The program, now in its fourth year, honors dedication and commitment to the nation’s textile industry. The ATHF is permanently housed in Lowell, Massachusetts at the American Textile History Museum.

From left: Michael J. Smith ATHM president and CEO; Joseph H. Anderer accepting for the American Viscose Corporation; W. Duke Kimbrell; Gaylon Booker accepting for The National Cotton Council; Jack Lenor Larsen; John H. Pearson, Jr., ATHM board of trustees chairman. (photo: Frank J. Leone, Jr.)

From left: Michael J. Smith ATHM president and CEO;
Joseph H. Anderer accepting for the American Viscose Corporation;
W. Duke Kimbrell; Gaylon Booker accepting for The National Cotton Council;
Jack Lenor Larsen; John H. Pearson, Jr., ATHM board of trustees chairman.
(photo: Frank J. Leone, Jr.)

ATFH board of governors and the Museum board of trustees hosted this year’s luncheon and induction ceremony honoring the Class of 2004. Honorees were: American Viscose Corporation (1922 –1963), whose first plant was in Marcus Hook, PA, was recognized for its early leadership in the field of man-made fibers and its growth into the largest American supplier of rayon ; W. Duke Kimbrell of Gastonia, NC, who has built Parkdale Mills, Inc. into the nation’s largest producer of cotton yarns; Jack Lenor Larsen, a leader in 20th century textile design and technical innovation whose New York design studio grew into a global organization, and who continues to influence 21st century weavers and designers; and The National Cotton Council, established in 1938 and headquartered in Memphis, TN, which provides a strong voice for the American cotton industry from grower to manufacturer.

The program included welcoming remarks by John H. Pearson, Jr., ATHM board of trustees chairman and Michael J. Smith, ATHM president and CEO. The award ceremony featured Joseph H. Anderer accepting the award for the American Viscose Corporation from ATHF board of governors member Arthur M. Spiro, AMS Tex Enterprises, Inc., Great Neck. NY; W. Duke Kimbrell accepting the award from ATHF board of governors chairman James M. Fitzgibbons, retired chairman, Fieldcrest Cannon, Inc., Kannapolis, NC; Jack Lenor Larsen, accepting the award from ATHF board of governors member and ATHM board of trustees vice-chairman Hiram M. Samel, President of Merida Meridian, Boston; and Gaylon Booker, National Cotton Council past president and CEO and current advisor, accepting the award from ATHM board of Trustees member Karl Spilhaus.

The Class of 2004 was selected by the ATHF board of governors which includes Fitzgibbons, of Chestunut Hill, Mass., and retired chairman of Fieldcrest Cannon; Robert E. Coleman, former chairman & CEO, Riegel Textile Corporation and Textile Hall Corporation, Greenville, SC; Robert Dalton, Jr., Tech-Tex, Inc., Charlotte, NC; W. Duke Kimbrell, chairman & CEO, Parkdale Inc., Gastonia, NC; Joseph L. Lanier, Jr., chairman & CEO, Dan River Inc., Danville,VA; Hiram M. Samel, president, Merida Meridian, Boston, MA and ATHM board of trustees vice-chairman; Arthur M. Spiro, AMS Tex Enterprises Inc., Great Neck, NY. Edward B. Stevens, chairman, Ames Textile Corp., Lowell, MA, ex-officio member and ATHM board of trustees chairman emeritus.

Commenting on the new inductees, James M. Fitzgibbons, chairman of the ATHF board of governors, said “We are honored to welcome these leaders. They have made an important difference in the textile industry, and we offer them a place in the American Textile Hall of Fame to tell their story to future generations.”

The American Textile Hall of Fame, established in 2001 with a board of governors appointed by the Museum’s board of trustees, honors past and present individuals, corporations and institutions that have made significant contributions to the textile industry in America as well as those who have advanced the role and appreciation of textiles in American life. Members of the inaugural class were industry leader Roger Milliken, Chairman and CEO of Milliken & Company; textile pioneer Samuel Slater (1768-1835); and energy supplier to the Carolinas Duke Power. The Class of 2002 included E. I. Du Pont de Nemours and Company, Frederick B. Dent, James Spencer Love, and Whitin Machine Works. Class of 2003 inductees included Dalton McMichael, Sr., (1914 – 2001) of Madison, NC; and The Draper Corporation, (1816 – 1980) of Hopedale, MA.

The American Textile History Museum focuses on the art, science and history of our textiles, and is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive textile museum. It is located in the historic Kitson Manufacturing Company building in Lowell, MA, and houses nationally significant collections of books and documents, tools and textile machines, fabric samples, textiles, and costumes. The Museum features the ongoing Textiles In America exhibit, and an active program of changing exhibits supported by educational programming for schools and the general public. It also operates the Textile Conservation Center which provides textile.