Threadcity Photo Gallery

ATCO's 1925 Strike


ATCO's 1925 Strike

ATCO's 1925 StrikeIIn March, 1925, 2,500 "operatives" of the American Thread Company began a strike. The strke resulted from an ATCO move to reduce their wages by 10 percent

ATCO's 1925 Strike

This was one of the most well known and widely circulated images of the Thread Company strike. The first family to be moved was that of Nelson Chamberland of 241 Main St. Eviction notices were handed out five at a time. However, according to the State Police, only one family was to be moved at a time. Two deputy sheriffs and assistants started out at 9 o’clock and in an hour had most of the furniture out on the sidewalk of the company property. The work was witnessed by a large number of people, for the most part former operatives of the company

ATCO's 1925 Strike

The "Tented City” was erected on the North Windham Road, just over the city line. Its erection was proposed by Thomas F. McMahon of Providence, R.I., international president of the Textile Workers of America in June when the thread company announced that evictions of former operatives of the plant occupying company tenements would ensue unless they returned to work.

ATCO's 1925 StrikeSome twenty tents were erected and the official opening of the “tent city” took place on July 7 when William Green of Washington, D.C., national president of the American Federation of Labor delivered an address to the local strikers. For a time some of the tents were occupied by families of


ATCO's 1925 StrikeWith the chilling frosts of September the tents gradually became depopulated. Miss Mary Kelleher was notified from national headquarters of the United Textile Workers to have the tents taken down and stored away.

ATCO's 1925 Strike

 The tented city's soup kitchen

ATCO's 1925 StrikeBy May 9, State Police were called in to assist local police. Twelve state police from the Danielson and Stafford Springs barracks and six local police were detailed to provide control of the crowds, the lines of march and the meetings.

 One of the duties assigned to the State Police was the protection of those workers who did not join in the strike. There were many instances of clashes and near-clashes, especially in the area of the mill's housing and the Elms Boarding House.

The strikers staged morning parades from Thread Mill Square to the Gem Theatre where mass meetings were held.


State troopers came into the city to subdue the strikers. The Willimantic police department strongly criticized the state troopers' clubbing and beatings of the striking ATCO workers, causing a rift between both law enforcement agencies

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