General Textile Mills

General Textile Mills

General Textile Mills

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General Textile Mills was one of several company names that preceded the name of today's Gentex Corporation. <br />

For historians researching the U.S. textile industry and Northeastern Pennsylvania and Carbondale, Pennsylvania industrialization, this is a name of interest.

General Textile Mills was originally Klots Throwing Company. A joint venture Marcus Frieder and his son, Leonard spearheaded in 1932 with the purchase and reorganization of Klots. By the time Marcus died in 1940, and Leonard assumed the presidency, the company's ability to weave quality silk textiles had led to the creation of entirely new and more sophisticated technologies for use in other manufacturing applications.<br />

With the start of World War II, the textile company aided in the United States' war effort by manufacturing parachutes for the U.S. armed forces. Eventually, it became one of the largest manufacturers of parachutes in the country, producing chutes for cargo and carrier pigeons, as well as a special aluminized option that could reflect radar.

In August 1945, General Textile Mills was awarded the Army-Navy ā€˜Eā€™ Award for excellence in wartime production. During that same period, General Textile Mills began manufacturing its own composite-structure parachute boxes from fiberglass mat impregnated with a polyester resin to protect packaged parachutes.

After the war, the U.S. government approached General Textile Mills to determine the feasibility of using the same...
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