Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Good Old Threads

I wonder why I love old things so much. Not the fancy stuff but the everyday useful items. Yesterday I needed to hem a pair of slacks and wanted to use a thread that would not break easily. I turn to this thread often for repairs. As I looked at the spool, I finally realized it might be ‘special.’ 

I have two wooden spools of 2 oz. thread. One is white, the other black thread. I have used it for various repairs many years and don’t remember how I came to have them in the first place. They measure 2 1/2 inches tall x 11/2 inches diameter. After an entire afternoon research project devoted to the source of the spools with the information that was stamped directly into the wood spool at both ends, I still don’t really know the purpose of  MY thread, its age and history. 

  My scans of my thread spools  

Please click on image to view larger

Some research results:
Town connection was Lowell, Mass.

Lowell Thread Mills 1830-1850 in operation.
Meyer Thread Company was in Lowell, Mass and was registered as a domestic profit corporation in 1922.

Threads were used for:
   Shoe and Hat repair
   Automobile upholstery

I also have one white and two beige spools the of same size and one has a paper label that reads, Hy-Mark, Paramount Thread Co., New York. C-30 Glace Thread. I’ve used it for sewing on buttons and for basting but never on the sewing machine. The main information I could find is that the Parmount Thread Co. is an inactive business, started February 21, 1946 filed in New York County, New York. It’s dissolution was March 23, 1987 These Hy-Mark threads could be as old as 69 years or as new as 28 years.


  1. I go to Lowell quite often. There are remnants of the canal still there and some of the mills are still there as well. It ran down 27 miles from Lowell to Boston Harbor. It ran through my city as well and there are a few bits of it still in existence here as well. I think some of the structures were turned into bridges. I'm not sure of all the locations locally but if I find some I'll take a picture.
    Lowell was America's first planned city and the birthplace of the American industrial revolution.

  2. Thank you for posting this. I have one spool of John C. Mayer F-16 cotton with silk finish thread (black) that is quite precious to me. I found it in one of the drawers to an antique treadle Singer sewing machine that I bought in an antique shop in Concord NH. This is the BEST thread I've ever used. Very strong! American-made with American cotton (not sure about the silk though!) Hopefully one day America will re-discover its high quality manufacturing skills and re-emerge as the BEST once again. No more cheap junk from China..! Anyway, I Googled because I wanted to know more about my thread and found your post - thank you again! Best regards, Thea.