Whitin Machine Works

The Whitin Machine Works was the major manufacturer of cotton mill machinery in the United States during the 19th and 20th centuries. Col. Paul Whitin erected a cotton mill in 1809 with the assistance of his father-in-law Col. James Fletcher. The company soon became the Northbridge Cotton Manufacturing Company with incorporation taking place in 1814 and the name being changed to Whitin and Fletcher in 1815. The mill only produced yarn with weaving done in the homes of residents. A power loom was introduced in 1820 and the company sold in 1824. Whitin bought out Fletcher in 1828 and turned the business over to his sons Paul Jr. and John C. The name became P Whitin & Sons. When Col. Whitin died in 1831, the business was reorganized with his wife and three sons in control until dissolved in 1864.
It was after the 1831 reorganization that cotton machinery became important. John C had always been involved with repair and maintenance at the mill. He continued to invent and refine machinery until the company dissolution in 1864. The property of P Whitin was divided among the sons with John C getting machinery manufacturing. The Holyoke Machine Works, which had been purchased in 1860, was sold at this time. The company operated as John C Whitin until incorporation in 1870 when it became the Whitin Machine Works.
John Crane Whitin died in 1882 at which time Josiah Lasell became president. Lasell was responsible for significant expansion until his death in 1886. Then, sons Chester Whitin Lasell and G Marston Whitin were placed in charge.
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