Two Industry Leaders Named to Class of 2003 American Textile Hall of Fame

LOWELL, Mass., Sept. 9 –Industry leaders, friends and families attended a luncheon yesterday at the American Textile History Museum to celebrate the induction of the Class of 2003 to the American Textile Hall of Fame (ATHF). The program, now in its third 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.

Class of 2003 American Textile Hall of Fame

Honorees were: Dalton McMichael, (1914 – 2001) of Madison, North Carolina, the visionary who transformed the man-made yarn preparation industry to become its worldwide leader during his 60-year career; and TheDraper Corporation of Hopedale, Massachusetts, a family-owned manufacturer of innovative textile machinery components for over 150 years.

The award ceremony included remarks by Arthur M. Spiro, ATFH board of governors member who presented an award plaque to McMichal’s son Dalton McMichael, Jr., members of his family and business associate Billy Armfield.

Accepting the award for the Draper Corporation were J. Craig Huff, Jr., ATHM board member and former Draper officer; and William B. Gannett of the Hopedale Foundation, and a former Draper executive.

Class of 2003 American Textile Hall of Fame

The luncheon, hosted by the ATHF board of governors and Museum board of trustees, also included an official dedication of the American Textile Hall of Fame on the program. A dedicatory plaque was unveiled with special remarks by Michael J. Smith, president & CEO of the American Textile History Museum. Smith said, “As Americans, we are a people who revel in the use of our minds and our hands. We need look no further than the people and companies inducted into the American Textile Hall of Fame in its first three years to prove the truth of that statement. As we stand here today to offer this dedication, let us pause to remember but let us also pause to commit ourselves to continuing the gifts that come to us via the field of American textiles. Those include creativity, problem solving, the learned skill of one’s hands, the quickness of the inventive mind, the joy of true teamwork and the pleasure of love and friendship.”

The Class of 2003 was selected by the ATHF board of governors which includes ATHF chairman James M. Fitzgibbons of Chestnut 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; Walter Y. Elisha, former chairman & CEO, Springs Industries Inc., Fort Mill, SC; W. Duke Kimbrell, chairman & CEO, Parkdale Inc., Gastonia, NC; Joseph L. Lanier, Jr., chairman & CEO, Dan River Inc., Danville, VA; Arthur M. Spiro, AMS Tex Enterprises Inc., Great Neck, NY. Edward B. Stevens, chairman, Ames Textile Corp., Lowell, MA and ATHM board of trustees chairman emeritus, serves as ex officio member.

Class of 2003 American Textile Hall of Fame

Commenting on the new inductees, Fitzgibbons said “We are pleased to welcome these two distinguished leaders who embody the American Textile Hall of fame’s theme of enterprise and the American Spirit. They have made an important difference in the textile industry, and now have 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.

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 care and preservation services to museums, institutions, corporations, and private clients worldwide.