Renee’s Thread

©Renee 2012
Small pieces of thread everywhere, I look about. This room needs organizing, so I begin with making small piles everywhere. I go to each stack and lovingly look again at what is there. Sorting over and over again I sift through old things, new things and forgotten things.
One of my favorite old posts was on her. She passed away after my post. God bless her.
She felt fear of family and was alone. Read her story, and how she liked her dolls.
Picking up those pieces of thread again….

De Beers are a family of companies that dominate the diamond, diamond mining, diamond hops, diamond trading and industrial diamond manufacturing sectors. De Beers is active in every category of industrial diamond mining: open-pit, underground, large-scale alluvial, coastal and deep sea. Mining takes place in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Canada.

The company was founded by Cecil Rhodes, who was financed by Alfred Beit and Rothschild. In 1927, Ernest Oppenheimer, a German Jewish immigrant to Britain who had earlier founded mining giant Anglo American plc with American financier J.P. Morgan, managed to wrest control of the empire, building and consolidating the company’s global monopoly over the diamond industry until his retirement. During this time, he was involved in a number of controversies, including price fixing, antitrust behaviour and an allegation of not releasing industrial diamonds for the US war effort during World War II.


In 1909, Davis had a son, William Rhodes, Jr., by May Tankin. Their marriage has not been documented. William Rhodes, Jr., died in an airplane crash in Nicaragua in 1933 while exploring for oil. Davis married Pearl Peters in 1921 and they had two sons, Joseph Graham Davis[n 1] and Currie Boyd Davis.[23]Davis later divorced Peters and married Marie M. Tomkunas.

Davis died of a heart attack on August 1, 1941, in Houston, Texas.[3] At his death Peters had remarried and was living in Houston, along with their younger son Currie. Their older son Joseph was living in Bronxville, N.Y. Davis and his wife were living nearby in Scarsdale, N.Y. Davis left $100,000 to Pearl Peters. He put the remainder of his estate into a trust, with half of the income going to his wife Marie M. Tomkunas and the other half to be divided by his two surviving sons. Each son was to receive one-fourth of the estate at age 30, and each another fourth on the death of their step-mother. Davis’ estate was valued between $5 and $10 million. Married longtime personal secretary Erna Frieda Wehrle became chairman of Davis’ oil company, Davis & Co, Inc.

Hawaii’s Big Five
C. Brewer & Co.
Theo H. Davies & Co.
Castle & Cooke
Alexander & Baldwin
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13 Responses to Renee’s Thread

  1. Zenway says:

    Huguette Clark ….. her life was very sad, a male heir has died at 60 years old …
    Not the long life of Huguette Clark at 104 years…

    • Renee says:

      Hi Zenway. So glad to read you over here, welcome. I did a really good post on her on another place, I have a soft spot for her and her isolation. She must have been worried about those friends and family. I have so much work on Clark, and more to this. More threads in new posts too. Again welcome.

  2. Renee says:
    Gustav Imroth (29 June 1862 – 10 October 1946) was a minor Randlord who played a role in the development of the South African diamond-mining industry and sports.

    He was born in Friedberg, Germany in 1862 into a Jewish banking family, travelled first to London in 1880, where he was naturalised British, and then to Kimberley, South Africa in 1884 to work in the diamond industry for Dunkelsbuhler and Company alongside his cousins Louis Oppenheimer and Fredrich Hirschhorn. Gustav Imroth later represented Barnato Brothers in their dealings with the diamond syndicate (later De Beers), working closely with Solomon Joel and Ernest Oppenheimer (also a first cousin). He helped found the Johannesburg Consolidated Investment Company Limited (“Johnnies”) and was its managing director from 1911 to 1920, when he retired to London.

    An amateur boxer, keen supporter of South African sports and founder member of the Wanderers Club, Gustav Imroth was a boxing umpire in the 1908 London Olympics and served as chairman of the Olympic Games Committee.

    He married his maternal first cousin Florence Hirschhorne (1871-1974) in London in 1893; they had three children: Leslie (1896-1918), Freda (1899-1960) and Alice (1903-1992). Lieutenant Leslie Imroth of the 11th Hampshire Regiment died in 1918 of wounds sustained during the Great War.

    [edit] ReferencesSir Theodore Gregory, Ernest Oppenheimer and the Economic Development of South Africa (Oxford University Press, 1962, page 48).
    Geoffrey Wheatcroft, The Randlords: South Africa’s Robber Barons and the Mines that Forged a Nation (Simon and Schuster, Inc., New York, 1987, page 274).
    Name Imroth, Gustav
    Alternative names
    Short description South African businessman
    Date of birth 29 June 1862
    Place of birth
    Date of death 1948
    Place of death

  3. Zenway says:

    Renee this may be of interest to you. Not sure how long it will be up.

  4. Renee says:
    Coats & Clark, Inc. operates as a sewing, needlecraft, thread, and textile manufacturing company. It offers knitting and crochet products, such as threads, yarns, and accessories, as well as publications, including books, interactive CDs, and kits; hand embroidery products, such as threads and accessories; quilting and machine embroidery threads; sewing threads, accessories, and zippers; and craft accessories. The company also provides knitting needles, crochet hooks, tools, and handy accessories. Its products are used for fashion, home decor, kids and baby, and special occasions. The company markets its products through retailers, as well as online. Coats & Clark, Inc. was formerly known as…

    In the late 18th century, the brothers Peter and James Clark worked independently, as manufacturers of twine for heddles, and as weavers’ furnishers, providing the weaving trade with items such as reeds and shuttles.

    Around 1806, the weaving business was hit by Napoleon’s Berlin Decree, banning exports to Great Britain. This situation prompted Peter Clark to experiment in producing heddles of cotton instead of silk – the embryo of what was to become the successful business of the Clark family, who began manufacturing cotton thread on the north side of the River Cart, close to the Hammils in 1812. In the early days, thread would be wound on pirns for the price of five pence, which was redeemable on the return of the empty pirn.

    In 1819, the elder James Clark retired and he sold the business to his sons James, junior and John. Together they formed the company of J & J Clark, and worked hard to build a profitable industry. They retired in 1852, and the business was left in the hands of James Clark of Ralston, the son of John. Expanding rapidly, it was necessary to employ his brothers John and Stewart.

    Other branches of the Clark family set up thread companies in the town and in a relatively short time amalgamated with Clark & Co. These included Kerr & Co of Underwood, Carlile and John Clark, Junior of Well Street. The Countinghouse of the latter can still be seen at the corner of Well Street and Clavering Street, recognised by the ‘£’ sign visible on the stonework. This was a time of great expansion and by 1880, Anchor Mills was running over 230,000 spindles and employing over 3,500 workers, who were producing about 15 tons of finished goods each day.


    In 1802, James Coats, having recently returned from service with the Ayrshire Fencibles, set up business in the weaving trade. Shortly afterwards, he went into partnership with James Whyte, producing Canton Crepe shawls, in which the skill of yarn twisting was an integral part.

    In 1826, James Coats built a small thread factory behind his house, Back Row, Ferguslie, now known as Maxwellton Road. It was a three flatted building, powered by a single 12hp engine.

    In 1830, James retired. His Shawl Factory was taken over by his son William and the thread business was passed to sons James and Peter, but they had to pay their father a rent of £500 per annum. On 1st July 1830, J & P Coats was formed and shortly afterwards, their brother Thomas joined the partnership. By 1840, hard work had increased the trade, and consequently the size of the factory. New engines were installed which gave out 50hp.

    1845 saw the death of James, leaving Peter and Thomas to carry on the business. In that year, a further 3 acres was acquired, where No. 2 Mill was built.

    Steady expansion took place over the years and in 1887, a Half-timers School was built, a Glazing and Polishing Mill and the piece de resistance, which was the No. 1 Spinning Mill. Such a notable building it was, that “The Architect” publication gave over their middle page spread to the acclaim of this building. It was a huge building housing all processes involved in the spinning of yarn from raw cotton. The machinery was powered by two Compound Tandem engines, producing 2,000hp, with a flywheel 35 ft in diameter. 1890 saw yet another imposing building added to the Ferguslie complex, in that of No.8 Twisting Mill. Four years later, the Dyeworks and No. 9 Twisting Mill were erected.


    By the 1880s, a difficult situation had developed. Both Coats’ and Clark’s firms had grown so large that competition for a limited market grew fierce. Each had announced large price reductions to attract custom.

    However, early in 1889, an amicable agreement was reached between the firms and an office was rented in St Mirren Street, where their representatives could discuss joint interests. An agreement was formalised in 1890 when the Central Agency was established to represent the interests of Clark & Co, J & P Coats Limited and the English firm of Jonas Brook & Bros of Huddersfield.

    A piece of ground was purchased in Bothwell Street, Glasgow ‘Where an office was build for the Central Agency and opened in 1893. It was large enough to accommodate a staff of 300.

    The Central Agency arrangement worked so well for the Companies, that in April 1896, it was announced that Clark & Co and J & P Coats Limited were to amalgamate under the Coats name. In May of that year, Brook Bros were also absorbed info the newly strengthened Company and in June, negotiations began with Chadwick & Bros of Bolton. By July, an exchange of shares had taken place, leaving the new combine, the largest thread firm in the World.


    The Mile End Mill in which this Museum is situated, was build in 1898 for Twisting processes. At this time the Mile End Mill in Glasgow, which was acquired in 1884, when John Clark Jnr & Co amalgamated with the Anchor firm, closed and business was transferred to the new mill. Burnside Mill was also sold at this time and workers transferred to this impressive six storey building with its adjacent engine house and boiler house.

    At Ferguslie the famous Turkey Red Dyeing was introduced and a one flatted building for this purpose was completed in 1901. By 1904, 10,000 workers were employed in the Paisley Mills.

    The engines which operated the Machine by a rope drive, required 400 tons of coal per day. The engine houses were immaculate and furbished in a style befitting a ballroom.

    Kilnside House, which had been the home of the Stewart Clark family, became part of Anchor Mills in 1911. It was used as a canteen and when the extension was built in 1916, it could seat 800 of the workforce at one time. It was sold in 1985 and became a snooker club. It was mysteriously razed to the ground by fire in the mid-1990s and the ground sold to a developer and is now home to blocks of flats.

    Further expansion took place at Anchor and Ferguslie Mills over the following years. Already in 1909, a Warehouse had been built at Kinning Park, close to the Glasgow Docks, as goods were shipped from there worldwide. In 1923 Gassing Department was built, in the grounds by Kilnside House. It is gratifying to see this is now a successful commercial centre.

    1924 saw Anchor Recreation Club and sports grounds open. Ferguslie had for some years had a sports complex at Meikleriggs. Around this time Research laboratories were established at both mills. They were amalgamated in 1936 and situated in the Anchor Mills complex. The laboratories’ activities involved improvement and efficiency of thread making, devising new processes and developing new products. Today they are situated in the only Scottish unit at Newton Mearns.


    If you take a walk through Paisley town, most of the buildings of note you see were given to the town by either a member of the Coats or Clark families.

    At the Cross is the Town Hall financed by George A. Clark who, when he died in 1873, bequested £20,000 for this purpose.

    Walking up High Street, you will see the Museum and Library, donated by Peter Coats and officially opened in 1871. It was the third free library to be opened in Scotland. Over the years, a number of items have been added by family members to the original collection.

    Close by is the Thomas Coats Memorial Baptist Church, a magnificent building both externally and internally. Also through the generosity of Thomas Coats, the Coats Observatory was build and opened in 1883. It is situated behind the Museum in Oakshaw Street. Thomas Coats also bought land in Love Street, which was landscaped with a grand fountain, providing a pleasant open area for the public to spend their leisure hours.

    On the medical front, a number of donations were made by members of both families towards, hospitals and general improvements to medical services in the Town.

    Strong supporters of the Christian Faith, members of both families were responsible for the erection of churches in Scotland and overseas. In 1904, Coats financed Dr Bruce’s Expedition to Antartica and in their honour there is an area named Coats Land.

    James Coats, junior of Ferguslie House, gave in a different way. He had bales of Harris Tweed woven, hence giving work to the islanders, and to a tailor in Paisley who was instructed to make suits for young men in the town. Among other items, he had boots and school bags made for children and hats and scarves knitted for cabbies; the list is endless.


    Formally opened on 10th January 1887 by Peter Coats, junior, Chairman of the School Committee, was the Half-Timers’ School, specially build by J & P Coats for the education of the half time workers in Ferguslie Mills. Before this, the girls had been attending schools scattered throughout Paisley and district. The ages of the pupils were between 10 and 13 years and within a 2 week period, they would work and be educated in equal proportion of time.

    In its construction, no expense was spared and all modern arrangements of the time were introduced for the comfort of the scholars and for the efficient carrying on of their work.

    The building consisted of a large central hall with six classrooms and toilets adjacent. As part of the building was intended for occasional meetings and banquets, kitchens were provided in the basement with a small hoist installed to transport food to the ground floor. At the end of the Assembly Hall, a gallery was provided for spectators or musical performers. Other basement rooms were used for Mill Band practices and a playroom area for the children in wet weather. All wall areas were lined with glazed brick with the front entrances having additional faience work at dado level with stained glass windows. The ceiling was exquisitely formed in pitch pine and walnut. Polished granite was used for the loggia. The exterior, only a little of which can be seen today due to a mysterious fire, is of brick with stone dressings.

    By 1905, the full time education legislation was in place, and so this magnificent building, listed under the Ancient Monuments and Buildings of Scotland by the Ministry of Public Buildings & Works, ceased to be a place of learning, although used by the company for Shares Department, Canteen and finally a Fire Prevention Training centre, before being sold to developers.


    It is unlikely, that when the Coats and Clarks set up their small businesses in the West and Eastend of the town, that they could have foreseen the role their businesses were to play in Paisley, or indeed in the world at large.
    The International side of the business began with the exporting of 75% of the Coats’ production in the 1830s. As selling difficulties had arisen, lawyer brother Andrew Coats was dispatched to New York in 1839. He found many fraudulances going on and in fact on one particular day, Andrew brought 16 actions of injunction against counterfeiting.

    By 1855, George A Clark had set up home in New York and opened an office in Warren Street. It was George who decided that it would be more prudent to manufacture in the USA. In December 1864, it was announced that a Clarks Mill was to be built at Newark, New Jersey, which became a massive complex. There they produced 6 Cord Spool Cotton, firstly labelled “Our New Thread”, and later labelled “ONT”.

    The success of this thread being produced in the USA undoubtedly influenced Coats Spool Company to build their Mill at Pawtucket, which from small beginnings, grew to cover 55 acres.

    Then began a period of bitter competition among several thread companies established in New England. By 1810, extensive advertising took the form of calendars, picture cards, fancy thread boxes, etc.

    By 1889 Coats business was twice that of the Clarks.

    Over the years, Coats and Clarks in the USA developed into a very large concern. There is, however, no longer production in Newark, New Jersey or Pawtucket. Manufacturing units are now based mainly in Georgia.

    Today Coats no longer manufacture in Paisley, but they manufacture in 43 countries, employing over 37,000 throughout the world and in addition, have sales operations in a number of other countries.

  5. Renee says:
    Foote & Davies Company was the most important book printer in early Atlanta.

    Founded in 1887, their first office and plant was 65 Alabama St just west of the depot (at Underground Atlanta, it would be just west of the Johnny Rockets). But by 1910 they had moved to a large plant located south west of Grant Park, in the triangle northeast of where Capitol Ave hit the Belt Line on Milton. They published many biographical sketches of locals and specialty items like school yearbooks. By the late 1960s, operations had moved to Doraville, Georgia.

    Works published include:

    1891 The Fogy Days and Now, or The World Has Changed, Dave U. Sloan (Atlanta’s first telegraph operator)
    1894 Life in Dixie During the War, Mary A.H. Gay
    1894 A Historical Sketch of the University of Georgia, A.L. Hull
    1896 The Code of the State of Georgia Adopted December 15, 1895
    1896 John Ashton: A Story of the War Between the States, Capers Dickson
    1897 A History of Marlboro County, J.A.W. Thomas
    1901 Campaigns of the Confederate Army, Augustus Longstreet Hull
    1901 High Living and High Lives, Warren A. Candler
    1904 Richard Peters, Nellie Peters Black
    1909 Georgia in the War 1861 – 1865, Charles Edgeworth Jones
    1911 The Code of the State of Georgia: Adopted August 15, 1910, John L. Hopkins
    1912 Ada Beeson Farmer a Missionary Heroine of Kuang Si South China, Wilmoth A. Farmer
    1913 Notable Men of Atlanta and Georgia, 156 pages
    1914 The Gate City of the Sunny South: Atlanta Beautiful and Progressive, Adolph Schwarz
    1914 Early History of Jackson County, Georgia, G.J.N. Wilson
    1916 Facts About Georgia, Georgia Chamber of Commerce
    1923 A Handbook of the Sign Language of the Deaf, J.W.B.Michaels
    1924 History Of The Public Domain Of Georgia, S.G. McLendon
    1932 History of Irwin County, James Bagley Clements
    1935 History of Troup County, Clifford L. Smith
    1937 History of Colquitt County, W.A. Covington
    1949 The Old Hokum Bucket, Ernest Rogers
    1951 The Columns of Athens: Georgia’s Classic City, William Columbus Davis
    1951 Know Your Georgia, C.J. Holleran
    1952 Wit and Wisdom of Georgia Law, John L Respess, Jr
    1955 Afterthoughts, William Franklin Jenkins (Georgia Supreme Court justice)
    1957 History of the Georgia Power Company 1855-1956, Wade H. Wright
    1960 No Ifs, No Ands, A Lot of Butts: 21 Years of Georgia Football, Ed Thilenius & Jim Koger
    1964 Cason Callaway of Blue Springs, Paul Schubert
    1968 Georgia’s Third Force: Thoughts and Comments on the People of Georgia and Their Government, William R. Bowdoin
    1968 Atlanta. Its Lore, legends and Laughter Elise Reid Boylston
    Retrieved from “”

    *NOTE* DAVIES*,_Duchess_of_Halland

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