In a tribute to America's spirit of enterprise, four leaders have been elected to the American Textile Hall of Fame (ATHF), Class of 2002. The program, now in its second year, honors dedication and commitment to the nation's textile industry, and is housed in Lowell at the American Textile History Museum.
Inductees are: E. I. DuPont de Nemours and Company, Wilmington, DE; Frederick B. Dent, former chairman of Mayfair Mills, Spartanburg, SC and secretary of commerce in the Nixon and Ford cabinets; James Spencer Love (1896-1962) pioneer in weaving synthetic fibers and founder of Burlington Industries, Greensboro, NC; and Whitin Machine Works of Whitinsville, MA.
They will be honored Monday, September 9, 2002 at a luncheon and induction ceremony at the Museum hosted by the ATFH board of governors and Museum board of trustees. Accepting the awards will be: Steven R. McCracken, President of DuPont Textiles & Interiors; Frederick B. Dent of Spartanburg, SC; Robert Love of Greenwich, CT, son of the late James Spencer Love; and E. Kent Swift, Jr., of Woods Hole, MA, great-great grandson of John C. Whitin who invented the first Whitin picker for cleaning cotton at the beginning of the spinning process.
James M. Fitzgibbons, chairman of the ATHF board of governors who selected the inductees said "we are honored to welcome this distinguished group who have made an important difference in the textile industry, and offer them a place in the American Textile Hall of Fame to tell their story to future generations."
The ATHF board of governors, appointed in 2001 by the ATHM's board of trustees, includes Fitzgibbons, former chairman & ceo of Davidson Cotton Company, Charlotte, NC; Robert E. Coleman, former chairman & ceo, Riegel Textile Corporation and Textile Hall Corporation, Greenville, SC; Robert Dalton, Jr., Tech-Tex, Inc., Charlotte, NC; Walter Y. Elisha, former chairman & ceo, Springs Industries Inc., Fort Mill, SC; W. Duke Kimbrell, chairman & ceo, Parkdale Inc., Gastonia, NC; Joseph L. Lanier, Jr., chairman & ceo, Dan River Inc., Danville, VA; Arthur M. Spiro, AMS Tex Enterprises Inc., Great Neck, NY. Edward B. Stevens, chairman, Ames Textile Corp., Lowell, MA and ATHM board of trustees chairman, serves as ex officio member.
The American Textile History Museum, which focuses on the art, science and history of America's textiles, is the nation's largest and most comprehensive textile museum. It is located in the historic Kitson Manufacturing Company building in Lowell, MA, and houses nationally significant collections of books and documents, tools and textile machines, fabric samples, textiles, and costumes. The Museum features the ongoing Textiles In America exhibit, and an active program of changing exhibits supported by educational programming for schools and the general public. It also operates the Textile Conservation Center which provides textile care and preservation services to museums, institutions, corporations, and private clients worldwide.
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