Bailey Oilcloth Factory, Skowhegan, ca. 1890

Contributed by Skowhegan History House

Bailey Oilcloth Factory, Skowhegan, ca. 1890

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"This is one group of five or six similar buildings, all that remains of a very important industry, established in 1855 by A. and P. Coburn, and discontinued in 1906. In the meantime it had become the property of C. M. Bailey's Sons Company, who also had a similar factory at Winthrop. It was to that point that the business was moved upon its discontinuance here. Early in the history of the Bailey ownership the Skowhegan factories were managed by John W. Bailey, who afterward became a salesman with show rooms and headquarters on Duane Street, New York City. He was succeeded in the management here by his brother, William P. It was a splendid industry, from the fact that it employed a considerable number of men. While the wage was moderate, the employment was continuous. Mr. Bailey was accustomed, for some part of his ownership at least, to furnish the head of every family represented in his payroll with a Thanksgiving turkey.

These factories were of inexpensive construction, owing to the great fire hazard and the fact that they were pretty certain to be burned at not infrequent intervals. This led to their being scattered over a considerable area, in order that fire originating in any one building might be kept from others. They finally went up in flames, with the exception of the one shown, now being used in part for a wood working mill, and another, a part of which was built into tenements, still standing on Willow Street, somewhat outside the right hand margin of the picture.

~ Roland T. Patten, Custodian of Historical Views, 1929"

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About This Item

  • Title: Bailey Oilcloth Factory, Skowhegan, ca. 1890
  • Creation Date: circa 1890
  • Subject Date: circa 1890
  • Town: Skowhegan
  • County: Somerset
  • State: ME
  • Media: Photographic print
  • Dimensions: 8.5 cm x 11 cm
  • Local Code: 136_151_5
  • Collection: Henry A. Wyman Collection
  • Object Type: Image

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For more information about this item, contact:

Skowhegan History House
66 Elm Street, PO Box 832, Skowhegan, ME 04976
(207) 474-6632

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