Where was the first major textile mill in South Carolina?

The state’s most important antebellum cotton mill, the Graniteville Manufacturing Company, began operations in 1849 on Horse Creek in present-day Aiken County. Its developer, William Gregg, was one of the South’s leading advocates of industrial development, and he organized Graniteville to put his ideas into effect.

Why were textile mills built in South Carolina?

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, cotton mills opened throughout South Carolina. Mill owners often preferred to hire predominately white women and children because they could be paid lower wages than men. Machinery proved to be much easier to control than people or market competition.

What happened to the textile industry in South Carolina?

Cheaper labor overseas, technology and automation, international trade agreements and other conditions consistent with modernization, wages, education and economic diversification led to the demise of the textile industry in South Carolina from the 1970s through the 2000s.

Where were the first textile mills located?

at Watkins Woolen Mill State Historic Site Textile production was the first great industry created. The textile industry in America began in New England during the late 18th century. By 1820, mills had spread south into Virginia and Kentucky and the first mill town was established in Massachusetts.

Why were textile mills so common in South Carolina at the start of the 20th century?

Why were textile mills so common in South Carolina at the start of the 20th Century? The state had a large population of unskilled, non-union labor. The textile industry was a leading employer in South Carolina during the 20th century.

What was the nickname given to the cotton mill workers in SC?

A disparaging nickname for cotton mill workers, of unknown origin, “lintheads” is sometimes equated with the term “white trash.” It likely came into common usage early in the twentieth century, when the growing number of cotton mills and mill workers began to alter the landscape of South Carolina life.

Why was there so little industry in the South?

Why was there LITTLE industry in the SOUTH? The boom in cotton sales. Because agriculture was so profitable, Southerners were committed to farming rather than starting new businesses! families could be separated by the selling of slaves.

What was the main industry of South Carolina?

At one point, South Carolina was well known for manufacturing apparel and textiles. Today, this has advanced to a diversified industry manufacturing pharmaceuticals and medicine, aerospace parts, machinery and motor vehicle parts. As of 2019, manufacturing accounted for nearly 17% of the state’s output.

Why have so many textile workers in South Carolina lost their jobs?

Automation and increased productivity of textile mills also cost jobs. More than 200,000 textile manufacturing jobs have been lost to automation in the last decade. Textiles, mostly cotton, once dominated the economy of the South.

What was the first textile mill?

First American Cotton Mill. On December 20, 1790, a mill, with water-powered machinery for spinning, roving, and carding cotton, began operating on the banks of the Blackstone River in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

Why did the South not have textile factories?

Most Southerners had never seen a factory, much less worked in one. Mill owners used a family labor system that paid adults less than a living wage. So whole families — husbands, wives and children — labored in the mills to make ends meet. Mill work was a wrenching change from farm life.

Where was the first cotton mill in South Carolina?

The Graniteville Mill was built in 1845 and was the South’s first cotton mill in what would become known as Graniteville. Provided photo/The Greenville News

Where was the textile industry in South Carolina?

Other major textile mills operated across the South and in the Upstate and coastal areas of South Carolina. About 1.3 million people worked in textile mills nationwide in 1948, according to published reports.

Where did textile mills start in the 1920s?

By the 1920s, the South took over textile production from New England. Mills in the South were closer to raw material and offered jobs to Southern laborers desperate for work. Entire families labored together in the textile mills of Georgia and the Carolinas.

When did the textile mill in Greenville close?

The Pelham Mill changed ownership and name several times, but it began in 1820 as the first textile mill in Greenville and closed in 1935. Fire destroyed the empty mill in 1943.