Today's #TradeCardTuesday features the front side of a ca. 1881 advertising card for thread produced by the Willimantic Linen Company of Willimantic, Connecticut. The company was incorporated in 1856 to manufacture linen cloth, but switched to manufacturing cotton thread when supply lines of flax proved unreliable. By around the time that this advertisement was created, the company was one of the largest cotton mills in the world, with a workforce of approximately two thousand employees. The company was absorbed by the American Thread Company in 1898, and the manufacturing site continued to produce thread until 1985.
This particular card advertised the availability of Willimantic brand thread at the general goods store of W.H. Baltzel in Lyons, New York. It is part of the Hagley Library’s Fingerman ephemera collection (Accession 2009.213). You can find more material from this collection online now by clicking here to visit its page in our Digital Archive.