J.P. Stevens & Co.

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The company, located in New York City, was founded in 1899 by John P., Nathaniel and Samuel Stevens as the family-controlled selling agent for fabrics produced by M.T. Stevens & Sons Co., North Andover, Mass. It sold woolen goods of M.T. Stevens and cotton fabrics from other mills and invested in a number of southern mills, including producers of synthetics. After John P.'s death in 1929, sons Robert T. and John P., Jr. took charge, with Robert T. as president from 1929 to 1942. In 1941 he entered the Army, was promoted to colonel and served to 1945 in the Quartermaster General's procurement division. He returned to J.P. Stevens Co. as chairman of the board, 1945-1953, and served as Sec. of the Army, 1953-July 1955. He defended the Army against charges of Communist influence and infiltration by Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy during hearings held in 1953-1954. He returned to the company as president from 1955-1959 and chairman of the executive committee, 1969-1974.

After the death of Nathaniel Stevens in 1946, M.T. Stevens & Sons and 8 other mills merged with J.P. Stevens & Co. to become a public stock company. From 1946-1972, J.P. Stevens acquired several other New England woolen mills. Economic conditions led to the closing of all of its New England Woolen and Worsted Division mills by 1972. In 1988, J.P. Stevens & Co. was acquired by West Point-Pepperell, Inc. of West Point, Ga. In 1989, West Point-Pepperell was taken over by Chicago investor William Farley, chairman and chief executive officer of Fruit of the Loom, Inc. Farley was eventually forced to resign and the company was reorganized. A new company, Valley Fashions Corp., was formed which held 95% of West Point-Pepperell. In 1993, Valley Fashions and West Point-Pepperell announced a refinancing plan which allowed Valley Fashions to acquire the remaining shares of its 95% owned subsidiary, forming a new company, WestPoint Stevens, Inc. WestPoint Stevens filed for bankruptcy protection in 2003. In 2005 it was forced to lay off over 2,000 employees and close 2 plants.

From the description of [Business records] 1852-1982. (American Textile History Museum Library). WorldCat record id: 60548658

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf J.P. Stevens & Co. [Business records] American Textile History Museum Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Burns, Ward. person
associatedWith Carter Fabrics Corporation. corporateBody
associatedWith Finley, James D. person
associatedWith Forstmann Woolen Company. corporateBody
associatedWith McCarthy, Joseph, 1908-1957. person
associatedWith M.T. Stevens & Sons Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Slater Manufacturing Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Stevens, John P. person
associatedWith Stevens, Nathaniel, 1857-1946. person
associatedWith Stevens, Robert T. person
associatedWith Stevens, Samuel Dale. person
associatedWith Stockton, William T. person
associatedWith United States. Army corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
New York (State)--New York
Southern States
New England
United States
Subversive activities
Textile industry
Manufacturer's agents
Woolen and worsted manufacture
Army--McCarthy Controversy, 1954

Corporate Body

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