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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Chapter 103: Mohawk Valley Manufacturing Statistics.

[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 1502-1504 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. Some images have been relocated to the area in the text where they are discussed. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Industrially the narrow confines of the Mohawk Valley house some of the country's most important manufactures. In the six Mohawk Valley counties, in 1920, there were 1,350 factories, with 87,000 employes, with knit goods, electrical apparatus, leather gloves, white goods, rugs and carpets the leading industries, in the order named. In the World war much of the valley's manufacturing power was devoted to the production of war supplies.

The valley's contribution to America's list of inventions is a notable one. It embraces the threshing machine, the Yale Lock, sleeping and palace cars, the air brake, firearms, electrical devices and the construction of the first commercially practicable typewriter.

Roger Babson, the business and financial expert, has prophesied that the Mohawk Valley will eventually become the greatest manufacturing district in the United States. Whether that be so or not the valley of today forms one of the chief American manufacturing sections as the following 1920 United States census statistics for the chief towns of the six Mohawk Valley counties plainly indicate.

The following figures regarding Mohawk Valley industries are taken from the U. S. Census of 1920. About one-tenth of these totals are estimated. The balance is taken from the census figures given for the nine valley towns having a 1920 population of over 10,000, as follows: Schenectady, Amsterdam, Johnstown, Gloversville, Little Falls, Herkimer, Ilion, Utica and Rome. These cities were estimated to contain 350,000 of the estimated 1925 Mohawk Valley population of 500,000. In addition there were the smaller industrial communities of Fonda-Fultonville, Canajoharie, Fort Plain, St. Johnsville, Dolgeville, Mohawk, Frankfort, Whitesboro, Oriskany, Camden, Boonville, Clinton, Sherrill, Cobleskill and others comprising in all about or over 10 per cent of the industries contained in the larger valley manufacturing centers. By estimating the manufacturing statistics of these smaller communities as a total of ten per cent of the total of the cities and adding the same to the city totals the following 1920 Mohawk Valley manufacturing statistics totals were obtained:

Total Mohawk Valley factories, 1,350; employes, 87,000; horsepower, 248,000; capital, $350,000,000; annual value manufactured output, $415,000,000; annual wages, $115,000,000.

The industrial and manufacturing statistics by towns are as follows:

Schenectady. Factories, 131; employes, 21,062; horse power, 114,102; capital, $102,121,000; annual value manufactures, $106,531,000. The chief manufactures were electrical apparatus and locomotives, paper goods, wood products, printing, engraving, etc. (See Schenectady chapter for detailed list of the city's manufactures).

Amsterdam. Factories, 117; employes, 11,497; horse power, 19,299; capital, $40,449,000; annual value manufactures, $52,851,000.

Amsterdam's principal manufactures are rugs, carpets, knit goods, brooms, silk gloves, wool yarn, pearl buttons, box board and paper boxes, linseed oil and machinery.

Amsterdam is the second city in the manufacture of rugs in the United States and the first American broom-making city.

Johnstown. Factories, 112; employes, 3,209; horse power, 4,241; capital, $11,554,000; annual value manufactures, $17,503,000.

Glove and leather manufacture are Johnstown's principal industries. Gelatine is packed and distributed from here.

Gloversville. Factories, 206; employes, 6,704; horse power, 6,331; capital, $27,616,000; annual value manufactures, $39,000,000. Glove manufacture is the principal industry, but the city is gradually developing a more varied line of industrial production. Gloversville and Johnstown make 85 per cent of the gloves made in America. See Gloversville City chapter.

Little Falls. Factories, 51; employes, 3,688; horse power, 8,730; capital, $12,000,000; annual value manufactures, $25,000,000. The chief manufactures are: knit goods, leather, bicycles, dairy machinery, incubators, cotton yarn, batting, book cases, felt shoes, dairy preparations, and butter color, upholstery fibre, knit goods machinery. Largest calfskin finishing works in United States, and here are the largest tissue paper, bicycle and hammer works in the world. See Little Falls City chapter.

Herkimer. Factories, 34; employes, 1,472; horsepower, 3,546; capital, $4,133,000; annual value manufactures, $4,000,000. Herkimer is the largest desk manufacturing center in United States. Knit goods (underwear), furniture, air rifles, book cases, paper fibre, gloves, nut picks, nut crackers made here.

Ilion. Factories, 14; employes, 6,004; horse power, 9,191; capital, $17,759,000; annual value manufactures, $13,700,000. Ilion's chief manufactures are: typewriters, cash registers, rifles, ammunition, steel office, filing, show case and store fixtures. See Ilion chapter.

Utica. Factories, 370; employes, 18,564; horse power, 40,419; capital $67,255,000; annual value manufactures, $78,000,000. Utica is the chief textile center of the United States. Utica's chief manufactures are: white goods (cotton cloth), cotton yarn, cloth and worsteds, heating furnaces, metal furniture, firearms, locomotive repairing, machinery, brass goods, automobile and wheel rims, springs, metal goods, cutlery, engines, clothing, food products, cigars, printing, paper goods, woodworking, furniture, pearl buttons, knit goods, caps, fire apparatus, fire alarms, paper, fishing rods, fishing tackle, organs, luggage, street sweepers, germicides, radiators, etc. See Utica City chapter.

Rome. Factories, 71; employes, 5,038; horse power, 17,874; capital, $25,805,000; annual value manufactures, $35,000,000.

Rome's chief industries are: Copper and brass products, knit goods, bar iron, metal beds, canned fruits and vegetables, locomotive repairing, house trim, plastic fire brick, soap, toys, fishing tackle, sporting goods, harness.

Rome is one of the leading copper and brass manufacturing centers of the United States. One-tenth of the copper manufactures of the country are made at Rome. See Rome City chapter.

The industries of the Mohawk Valley villages are often nationally important. Of the Mohawk River towns Fonda and Fultonville manufacture knit glove linings, silk cloth, hosiery, brooms and mop wringers. Canajoharie has a nationally famous food packing establishment and a large sack making and printing works. Fort Plain manufactures knit goods, furniture, metal printing, hose bands, and silk. St. Johnsville makes threshing machines, felt shoes, piano players, and records and knit goods. Dolgeville manufactures felt shoes and slippers, leather shoes, piano backs and sounding boards. Mohawk makes nationally advertised knit goods. Frankfort manufactures hoes, forks, chucks, castings and road building machinery. Yorkville makes pliers. Whitesboro makes knit goods, furniture and heaters. Oriskany manufactures iron castings and paper maker's felt. New Hartford makes knit goods, emblems, etc. Clinton puts up canned goods and makes metallic paint from the iron ore which has been mined there for a century. Sherrill is a manufacturing point of the Oneida Community. Cobleskill is Schoharie County's only manufacturing center.

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