Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,407 pages of information and 233,867 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

John Rich

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John Rich (1786-1871) of Woolrich

1786 October 16th. Born in Wootton Basset the son of John Rich and his wife Margaret Braine Wilson

Married Rachael L. McCloskey

1811 Emigrated from Liverpool. Found employment as a wool carder in a mill in Germantown, Penn.

1814 Rented a small woollen factory at Mill Hall, Penn

By 1830, he was able build his own factory, alongside a brook known as Plum Run, where he began to produce fabric, socks, coverlets and yarn. In 1845 Rich decided to expand, purchasing a large stretch of land in a remote part of Pennsylvania where he built a mill, as well as an entire town, including schools and shops. The Woolrich Company's headquarters are still there.[1]. He initially called the town 'Factoryville'. It later became 'Woolrich'.[2]

His first three storey mill on Plum Creek was built in partnership with Daniel McCormick in 1830, and operated there until 1845. The company moved to Woolrich when the Plum Creek's water flow proved insufficient.[3]

1871 April 04th. Died in Clinton, Pennsylvania

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] 'AnOther' website - The Pioneer Behind America’s Oldest Outerwear Brand
  2. Congressional Record: Proceedings and Debates, Volume 114, Part 10, 8 May 1968, p.12436. United States Congress
  3. [2] Rich-McCormick Woolen Mill - Society of Architectural Historians.