History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, 1879.

The Farr Alpaca Company.

Was incorporated under the general statutes, Nov. 13, 1873, with a capital of $250,000. The first meting of the promoters of the company was held just previous to the outbreak of the financial crisis in September, 1873, but, notwithstanding the general depression in business which followed, and the long-continued prostration of the trade of Bradford, England, the chief seat of the worsted industry, the company was firmly established, and has proved a decided success. The erection of the buildings, which are built of brick, was commenced in December, 1873; and six months after, a full range of goods was shown in New York, and at once took the front rank. In view of the depressed state of trade, it was deemed advisable to only partially equip the mill at the start, but the first goods shown were so well received that it was found necessary, in order to meet the demand, to at once fill up the mill to its full capacity,—255 looms,* and duplicate combing, drawing, and spinning machinery was put in to enable the company to produce either lustre or soft goods. Special care is taken in the selection of raw materials; and all operations in dyeing and finishing (some of which are original) are conducted with a view of producing the brightest lustre and the clearest and most durable color.

The general agent of the company, who closely superintends every operation of manufacturing, has a thoroughly practical knowledge of the work in the various departments of the mill, from selecting and sorting the stock to dyeing and finishing the cloth, and knows, by long experience, what results are needed in each department to produce goods of the highest standard of excellence.

The very satisfactory award on the company's exhibit at the Centennial Exhibition confirms the verdict of the trade on the productions of this company. It is an explicit and positive expression on all essential points in the production of perfect goods, and is fittingly supplemented by Mr. Mitchell, of Bradford, the English judge of award, in his report to the British government, in which he says, "The alpacas, cashmeres, and serges shown by the Farr Alpaca Company were specially good."

The value of the annual product at the beginning of business was $500,000, and the value of present annual products amounts to $750,000. The number of employés at the beginning was 300; present number, 600. The first president of the company was Jared Beebe. He was succeeded by Gordon Bill, in 1876. The present officers are as follows: Timothy Merrick, President; Joseph Metcalf, Treasurer; H.M. Farr, General Agent.

* The equipment has since been increased to 360 looms, with a capacity of 3,750,000 yards per annum.

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