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Early Charlotte Manufacturers: Foundations of a World-Class City

These photos are taken from a 1907 publication Sketches of Charlotte North Carolina's Finest City. This book came from the collection of Judy E. Ferrell. Charlotte and Mecklenburg County's phenomenal twentieth-century growth has its roots in the textile boom period from 1890-1930. Charlotte had 15,000 inhabitants in 1890 and already 41,500 residents by the time of these photographs in 1907. The industrial frenzy, based on the textile industry, led to Charlotte's emergence as the largest city in the Carolinas and laid the foundation for its leading role in national finance and transportation.

The gas and power plant constructed by the 4 C's ( Charlotte Consolidated Construction Company), the developers of Dilworth, the city's first suburb.

American Machine Company building.

Dilworth's manufacturing heart, as pictured in 1907. The building on the left is the Charlotte Trouser Company. Next to it is the Park Manufacturing Company, Charlotte Cordage Company, and, on the right, Mecklenburg Roller Mills.

A 1907 map showing the railroad connections within 100 miles of Charlotte. It is clear that Charlotte had already emerged as the center of the textile industry, with 9,000,000 looms and 2,000,000 spindles within a 100 mile radius, representing $140,000,000 in capital. Southern Power Company provided the electricity necessary for this rapid industrialization.

Southern Pants Company

Southern Card Clothing and Reed Company

Elba Cotton Oil Mills. Cotton oil was regarded as a waste product until D. A. Tompkins pioneered industrial applications for it.

The South Atlantic Waste Company employed 500 people processing cotton waste goods.

For more information...

Overview of textile-related materials on this site...
Photo Gallery 2: Weaving History: Charlotte and the Textile Industry

This site was developed using a Macintosh Performa 6290 by Bruce Schulman for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission.