Guide to the Chatham Manufacturing Company Photographs, circa 1955

Summary Information

Title: Chatham Manufacturing Company Photographs, circa 1955
Collection: AC.563
Extent: 0.01 linear feet (1 folder)

This is a collection of six black and white photographs and one newspaper clipping related to the Chatham Manufacturing Company of Elkin, North Carolina. Only one photo is dated February 23, 1955, taken by C.C. Poindexter.

Creator: Chatham Manufacturing Company

Biographical/Historical Note

In the 1870's, Richard Gwyn and Thomas Chatham founded the woolen mill in Surry County, North Carolina. The Chatham family purchased Gwyn's share in the company. By the twentieth century, the Chatham Manufacturing Company produced primarily wollen blankets.

(From Wikipedia:)
The mill was established in the late 1860s by Alexander Chatham and Thomas L. Gwyn. In 1890, the railroad line was completed in Elkin and Chatham and Gwyn enlarged their company, Elkin Mills. Alexander Chatham would later retire from the company and Gwyn would sell his interest in the company to Chatham's son, Hugh Gwyn Chatham. By 1894 the company would be remamed Chatham Manufacturing Company with Hugh Gwyn Chatham as its president.

A second factory would be built in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in 1907. During the first part of the century the primary focus of company sales were blankets but by the 1930s the company started producing automotive upholstery. By the 1980s the company had plants located in Eden, North Carolina and Charlotte, North Carolina along with the Elkin plant.

In 1988, family members and senior management of the company were outbid by the Danish textile firm, Northern Feather. The purchase of the company by Northern Feather would end the 100 year reign the family had over the company. Northern Feather would go bankrupt soon after and the company would be sold to Columbia, South Carolina based CMI Industries, in 1992. Eight years later in 2000, Interface, Inc. of Atlanta, Georgia would purchase Chatham Manufacturing.

Scope and Contents

Most of the six photographs seem to be of the Chatham Manufacturing workers and owners. Some suggest a party or dinner and one is of a parade. One photo is of a memorial marker for "Chatham employees who gave their lives in defense of their country in World War II".

The clipping pictures Mr. Thurmond Chapham, president of Chatham, and visiting Roger Babson, noted economist and statistician of Babson Park, Massachusetts. It is undated.


There is no true arrangement of the photos. All but one are undated.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for use in the Dougherty Reading Room. An appointment for research is recommended. The Dougherty Reading Room is located on the 4th floor of Belk Library in Special Collections.

Acquisitions Information

This collection came from Bookworm and Silverfish in March 2002. Accession number is AC.2002.007.

Processing Information

Processed by Anita Elliott, March 2013. This collection was processed as part of a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The grant funded extensive processing of the backlog within the W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection between 2012 and 2014.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], AC.563: Chatham Manufacturing Company Photographs, W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, USA.

Container List

Photographs, circa 1955 ACSC_Box 16.28