Cultivation of silkworms and manufacture of silk thread was touted as a new agricultural boon for Maine in the early 19th century. However, only small-scale silk production followed. In 1874, the Haskell Silk Co. of Westbrook changed that, importing raw silk, and producing silk machine twist threat, then fabrics, until its demise in 1930.
Yarmouth's "Third Falls" provided the perfect location for papermaking -- and, soon, for producing soda pulp for making paper. At the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th, Yarmouth was an international leader in soda pulp production.
As early as 1633, entrepreneurs along the Piscataqua River in southern Maine utilized the force of the river to power a sawmill, recognizing the potential of the area's natural power sources, but it was not until the 1890s that technology made widespread electricity a reality -- and even then, consumers had to be urged to use it.
They were among the largest sewing machines manufacturers in the country at the time, and they employed more than 6000 workers in five factories.