Mason Machine Works Glass Plate Negatives

Collection Number: 6772 GPN

Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library


Mason Machine Works Glass Plate Negatives
Collection Number:
6772 GPN
Mason Machine Works Company
1 linear ft.
Forms of Material:
Glass Plate Negatives .
Kheel Center for Labor- Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
Collection of glass plate negatives with photographs of textile machinery.
Collection material in English


Mason Machine Works began in 1843 as William Mason and Company with the financial backing of Boston commission agents J.K. Mills and Company. The factory built cotton and wool machinery, especially the self-acting mule for which Mason held patents. It also built machine tools, blowers, cupola furnaces, gearings and shafting. Built in 1845, the new factory complex was then enlarged in 1852. In the 1850s the company began to produce Mason's own model of locomotive which included a new spoked wheel for which a foundry was built. By 1855 the company employed 600 hands. However in the panic of 1857 the Mills Company failed and Mason and Company also went into receivership. Mason was able to buy back hes plant and home, but from then on kept the business as a family company. In 1873 the name was changed to Mason Machine Works, and the Company was incorporated Diversity of production continued and at various times rifles and printing presses were produced. By 1879 fire arms and woolen machinery were dropped. By 1883, when William Mason died, the 10 acre factory had 1000 employees.
In 1905 the Mason Machine Works was one of the seven companies to purchase the Saco-Lowell Company. This did not stave off the serious financial difficulties of the next years. William Mason's preoccupation with locomotives had lost him a leading place in textile machinery manufacture and his death left a leadership vacuum which his heirs were not able to fill. The 1920s saw the end of the manufacture of cotton machinery parts. The company had acquired leases or ownership of Whitin and Saco-Lowell machinery and had opened an agency in the South. During W.W.I. they had become involved briefly in non-textile military production. By 1930 the Mason Machine Works still employe 700-1000 workers, by 1949 the business had dwindled to a few workers and even the name Mason disappeared. The relict was known as Textile Parts Incorporated.

American Textile History Museum Collection.

Mason Machine Works


Form and Genre Terms:
Glass Plate Negatives


Access Restrictions:
Access to the collections in the Kheel Center is restricted. Please contact a reference archivist for access to these materials.
Restrictions on Use:
This collection must be used in keeping with the Kheel Center Information Sheet and Procedures for Document Use.
Cite As:
Mason Machine Works Glass Plate Negatives #6772 GPN. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library.


Related Collections:
5752 mf: Papers of the National War Labor Board on Microfilm
6524/004 G: ATHM Textile Industry Graphics
6772: Mason Machine Works Records
6772 P: Mason Machine Works Photographs
6853 G: Richard A. Matthews Collection of Mason Machine Works Graphics
6864: Robert M. Vogel Collection of Textile Industry Records
6951 P: Worcester Crompton Loom Company Photographs


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