Collingbourne – Virginia Snow – Dexter Company History
Based on timeline by Shirley McElderry, used with permission. Annotations by Nancy Nehring to make more relevant to crocheters.
1798 – Dexter Yarn Co. established in Pawtucket, RI.
1813 – Mill built and by 1820 producing knitting cotton. Later added other cotton threads and yarns.
1910 – Western Thread Co., a yarn and thread manufacturer and dye works, moved to Elgin, IL.
1912 – A. B. Collingbourne joined Western Thread Co. Artzilk artificial embroidery and crochet thread introduced.
1913c – Began using Virginia Snow as a brand.
1914c – Collingbourne became president of Western Thread Co.
1915 – Western Thread Co. published Collingbourne’s Encyclopedia of Art Needlework Instruction by Virginia Snow, a combination instruction book and product catalog and about this time began mail order.
1918 – Name changed to Collingbourne Mills. Western Thread Co. and Collingbourne Mills used interchangeably until incorporation in 1924. Logo was ABC in a diamond for America’s Best cotton and A. B. Collingbourne.
1924 – Collingbourne Mills incorporated as Collingbourne Mills, Inc. Began manufacturing stamped embroidery patterns.
1926 – Modern needlework plant built and operated as Virginia Snow Studios. Collingbourne reputed to be largest independent manufacturer of spool, embroidery and crochet threads in USA.
1927 – Collinbourne purchased Dexter Yarn Co. Grandma Dexter brand used for quilting, rug making and weaving products.
1938c –Collingbourne Mills, Inc. went into receivership and A. B. Collingbourne left company.
1943 – Rudolph Petzelt purchased company and changed name to Dexter Mills, Inc.
1949c – Petzelt sold remaining product to Leeward Products, LTD and concentrated on machinery business.