In 1840, the Briggs Brothers of Leeds, England built a woolen mill on the Squam River in the geographic center of New Hampshire. The mill ran sporadically for 76 years. The town of Ashland didn't appear until 1868. In the year 1916, Mr. Luther Packard of Berwick, Maine purchased the mill. This was the beginning of a textile industry that would create for itself a place in the US textile trade and the world market.
In 1921 Lawson W. Glidden joined the Company to assist his uncle, Luther Packard, in the operation of the financially struggling company, which was able, against many odds, to survive the depression. In the early 1930s the Company started to grow, but the difficulty in procuring adequate power in the mid 1930s in conjunction with the flood of 1936, slowed down, but did not stop progress. In the early 1940s at the beginning of W.W. II, business boomed with considerable construction and plant modification taking place. Growth and accompanying expansion in all facets of the operation continued into the early 1950s, when John E. Glidden joined L.W. Packard, which at that time was being run by Lawson W. Glidden, who directed operations until the time of his death in 1986. Today, John L. Glidden, a third generation family member is President of the Company, and he continues the tradition of leading L.W. Packard forward through innovative technology and prudent distribution of assets.
In its 80 years of continuous operation, L.W. Packard has grown steadily from a total production of two quality pieces of fabric per day to nearly 200 quality pieces of cloth a day. The Company has over the years earned a leadership position in the textile industry, where it is recognized as one of the world's finest manufacturers of quality coating used in both men and women's clothing industries throughout the United States.
L.W. Packard & Co., Inc. produces woolen cloth of many different weights and finishes. Also produced at the Ashland plant is cloth with a variety of contents, to include 100% wool, 100% cashmere, 100% camel hair, 100% alpaca, 100% angora, and blends of wool, cashmere, camel hair, angora, mohair, and nylon. Considerable concentration has been recently placed on the precious or luxury fibers, such as cashmere and camel hair, with a resulting increase in demand for these very exquisite fabrics. L.W. Packard anticipates that a significant portion of the Company's continued growth will come from this segment of the market.
L.W. Packard & Co., Inc. produces fabric for some of the most distinguished manufacturers and retailers of coats, jackets, and blazers. A partial list of this select group of internationally recognized names includes Hart Schaffner and Marx, Burberry, Hickey Freeman, Calvin Klein, Perry Ellis, Liz Claiborne, Evan Picone, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Eddie Bauer, Land's End, Brooks Brothers and L.L. Bean.
Average employment at the Company's nearly 300,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Ashland is 280. It can honestly be stated that through the doors of L.W. Packard & Co., Inc. have passed, are passing, and will pass some of the most talented textile employees in the world. The Company's manufacturing operations utilize the most up-to-date and technically advanced machinery available in the textile industry today. This concept of continual technical change and improvement, coupled with an unrelenting desire to be the best at what it does, has pushed L.W. Packard & Co., Inc. to the forefront of leading edge technology in the textile industry.
International recognition came to L.W. Packard in February of 1995 when it was selected by Textile World magazine as one of the Top Ten Textile Plants In The World, and the only woolen mill to be in the top ten group. The Company was recognized for its achievements in automation, quality, efficiency, and innovative human resource programs. The other companies making the top ten list of plants included such highly recognized names as Milliken & Co., Fruit of the Loom, Cone Mills, Russell Corporation, and the leading textile companies from Japan, Italy, and Austria.
Over the last 10 years, business has expanded dramatically in both breadth and scope, and during this period the Company has consistently been honored as one of the Top 50 private companies in New Hampshire. Additionally, L.W. Packard & Co., Inc. has received numerous awards, commendations and accolades for its outstanding achievements in the area of safety. Its safety program has been a model for many companies throughout New England and beyond. Total involvement in safety at all levels of the Company has been the cornerstone of L.W. Packard's success in the area of accident prevention.
To provide for continued success, the L.W. Packard & Co., Inc. invests heavily not only in new plant and equipment, but also in the future of its people, who are encouraged to continually update their knowledge of the Company's operations. At the same time, the Company maintains a strong commitment to the community by not only providing employment, but also by active and supportive participation in the area's programs and activities.
The guiding philosophy of L.W. Packard & Co., Inc. has been and continues to be:
1. Provide a safe, healthy work environment for all employees.
2. Produce a quality product at a competitive price.
3. Produce as much quantity as quality will allow.
4. Always operate at a profit.
In 2002, L. W. Packard moved its entire manufacturing operations to Bejing, China with and formed ) ABC Textile (American Bejing Chinese Textile http://www.abc-textile.com/
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