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Royle and Pilkington Textile Collection

Identifier: MSS 80-68

Content Description

Royle and Pilkington Company, Inc. (R&P) was a textile manufacturing plant located in Hazelwood, NC. It was incorporated under Delaware law on August 2, 1928, and registered as a foreign corporation doing business in North Carolina on August 30, 1928. The original officers and directors of R&P at the time of incorporation were: James T Royle President/Director Thomas E Noel Vice President/Director Benjamin Colkitt Treasurer/Director Gerald Colkitt Secretary/Directory

The company was a subsidiary of Royle and Pilkington Industries, of Mt. Holly, NJ, whose officers and directors eventually took charge of R&P under the direction of Charles Conklin, Jr. Benjamin Colkitt was named general manager of the Hazelwood plant and stayed in that capacity until 1963.

R&P manufactured upholstery fabric and drapery material, specializing in tapestries and jacquard weaving. It manufactured textiles for such accounts as the Pullman Coach Company and the U.S. Navy.

R&P's decision to locate in Hazelwood was based on an agreement with the Chamber of Commerce of Waynesville (through its holding company, the Hazelwayne Co.,) whereby the latter purchased land and erected the plant. In return, R&P was to lease the premises for ten years and afterwards purchase the premises at the original cost of building.

The plant initially employed five persons but steadily expanded until 1946, at which time it reached its peak of eighty-four employees. There were five outside sales representatives throughout the country. During the plant’s peak period, there were 74 looms in operation. The plant was in operation during both the Great Depression and World War II.

Shortly after World War II ended, the United Textile Workers union began a campaign to unionize R&P. In 1947 the first union contract was signed with R&P. After the last upsurge in the post-war era, R&P steadily declined and closed its plant in 1968.

The collection is divided into two sections. The first deals with the records of the front office. Included in this section is correspondence from 1928 through 1961, pertaining to the day-to-day operation of the business. Included also are insurance and personnel records, union contracts, governmental advisory bulletins and reports from the wartime period, and both state and federal tax reports. During World War II, R&P received a U. S. Navy contract for cotton duck and was also involved in the war bond agreement, as well as being selected as an emergency site for textile manufacturing in case of national emergency. Also during the war period, bulletins were sent to R&P with instructions for blackout practices and air raid instructions.

The financial records of the company are part of this section and include payroll and general ledgers, accounts payable and receivable, balance sheets, statements and various cash journals.

The second section of the collection includes records pertaining to the pattern weaving process. These include pattern code books, yarn and pattern samples, shuttle and loom specifications, instructions for machinery repair and replacement, and daily logs of the loom operation.


  • 1928 - 1972

Condition Description


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8 Linear Feet

Condition Description


Repository Details

Part of the Hunter Library - Special Collections Repository

Cullowhee United States