Textile dyeing, Woonsocket, R.I.
Size: 4.5 linear feet
Catalog number: MSS 1040
Processed by: Rick Stattler, October 1999
©Rhode Island Historical Society
The Enterprise Dye Works was a substantial and enduring Woonsocket business, engaged in dyeing fabrics on a contract basis for textile mills throughout the northeast. Throughout its existence, it was owned and managed by the Hough family.
Mark Hough (1850-1916) was born in England and came to America at the age of five. He worked as a foreman in Woonsocket bleacheries and dye houses until founding the Enterprise Dye Works. Enterprise first appears in the Woonsocket city directories in 1901, and its factory at 229 First Street first appears in 1903. After Mark Hough's death in 1916, control of the company passed into the hands of his wife Mary Ann (Wardle) Hough (1854-1930) and son Mark L. Hough (1886-1937). The company was incorporated in 1918. After 1937, it was controlled by Mark L. Hough's widow Florence (Sayles) Hough (1886-1962) and their son Mark S. Hough (1910-1988).
The company remained in control of the Hough family until its sale to Nick Picciotti circa 1980, when it was renamed the Seville Dyeing Company, Inc. Seville remains in operation today at 229 First Street in Woonsocket, with many of the operations still in the original mill building.
Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy (1932), 3:10-11.
Rhode Island Cemetery Database
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Scope and content:
The bulk of this collection consists of cash books, ledgers, and invoice books. The cash books are a daily log of money spent and received. The ledgers offer running accounts with the owners, with various vendors, and with various general accounts such as "building expenses". The invoice books contain copies of the invoices sent out to customers, which describe in considerable detail the work produced.
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These records were donated by the Seville Dyeing Company in 1999. The maintenance department of the Seville Dyeing Company, including Waldek Januszewski, Stanley Paul Ok, Don Meade and Fred Scheier, were instrumental in preserving these records and transferring them to the Historical Society.
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Forty invoice books were found at Seville in 1999. These volumes were extremely voluminous, were very repetitive in their general content, and were determined to be of only very specialized research value. Several had apparently been lost for many years, so they did not represent a complete run of invoice books. It was not deemed practical to save all forty remaining volumes in an archives with very limited space. However, the information in these volumes may be of interest to those interested in tracking changes in the colors and grades of fabrics over a period of time. In addition, much of Enterprise's work during the early 1940s seems to have been war-related production, which may interest a wider range of researchers. To this end, a broad and carefully considered sampling of the volumes was done. The first two volumes (covering almost five years from 1918 to 1923) were saved, as were the volumes covering 1942 to 1945. In addition, sampling was done to allow intermittent study in five-year intervals, including March and April of 1922, 1927, 1932, 1937, 1942, 1947 and 1952 (the last volume found). This sampling allows study of representative sections of the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, World War II production and the post-war years. In all, 14 volumes were saved, and 36 volumes were discarded. A complete list of all 40 volumes was prepared, with dates and page numbers, which should allow rough analysis of the numbers of orders filled each year. It is sincerely hoped that these actions will not substantially hinder any historical inquiry in the future.
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Series 1: Cash books
Box 1, folder 1. 4/1917 - 7/1918
Box 1, folder 2. 7/1918 - 5/1922
Box 1, folder 3. 6/1922 - 6/1927
Box 1, folder 4. 7/1927 - 6/1930
Box 2, folder 1. 7/1930 - 1/1933
Box 2, folder 2. 12/1932 - 12/1935
Box 2, folder 3. 1/1936 - 10/1937
Series 2: Cash journal
Box 2, folder 4. 2/1915 - 12/1917
Series 3: Bank book
Box 2, folder 5. 1/1923 - 9/1928. R.I. Hospital Trust account.
Series 4: Ledgers
Box 2, folder 6. 2/1912 - 1/1915
Box 2, folder 7. 7/1917 - 7/1918
Box 2, folder 8. 1/1918 - 6/1918
Box 2, folder 9. 9/1918 - 12/1922
Box 2, folder 10. 1/1923 - 1/1929
Box 2, folder 11. 1/1929 - 1/1934
Series 5: Invoice books
Bound copies of bills sent to customers for textiles dyed. Invoices describe volume and color of bales in detail.
Oversized volume 1. 3/1/1918 - 5/6/1921
Oversized volume 2. 5/3/1921 - 1/23/1923
Oversized volume 3. 3/7/1927 - 10/22/1927
Oversized volume 4. 9/14/1931 - 10/28/1932
Oversized volume 5. 7/1/1936 - 5/27/1937
Oversized volume 6. 2/2/1942 - 8/12/1942
Oversized volume 7. 8/12/1942 - 1/18/1943
Oversized volume 8. 1/18/1943 - 6/22/1943
Oversized volume 9. 6/23/1943 - 12/11/1943
Oversized volume 10. 5/16/1944 - 10/23/1944
Oversized volume 11. 10/23/1944 - 4/13/1945
Oversized volume 12. 4/13/1945 - 10/5/1945
Oversized volume 13. 2/3/1947 - 6/25/1947
Oversized volume 14. 2/22/1952 - 8/22/1952
Series 6. Orders received
Oversized volume 15. 4/22/1941 - 8/8/1941
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Dyes and dyeing - Textile fibers - Rhode Island - Woonsocket
Seville Dyeing Company, Inc.
Textile industry - Rhode Island - Woonsocket
Woonsocket, R.I. - Business records
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