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The American Thread Company

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Willimantic Linen Company The Willimantic Linen Company was formed in 1854 and built its Mill One in 1857. .




Photo courtesy of Jamie Eves
Photo courtesy of Jamie Eves

Photo courtesy of Jamie Eves
Photo courtesy of Jamie Eves
Threadmill Square


Mill One

In 1898, the Willimantic Linen Company became part of the American Thread Company

This was the Jillson Mill. When taken over by the Willimantic Linen Company this building was used as a spool shop. The spool making was later transferred to a factory in Willimantic, Maine. In 1898, the Willimantic Linen Company became part of the American Thread Company 

According to Jamie Eves, "(This) shows the old boiler room on the west end of Mill No. 1. Eventually, that boiler room would be replaced by a central power plant and a complex series of drive shafts connecting the different buildings. The old boiler room would be converted to additional factory floor space.
Mill Two
Read Tom Beardsley's Story of Mill No. 2

Mill NumberTwo in 1891The Willimantic Linen Company's Mill Two in 1891, pictured before the erection of Mills Five (1899) and Six (1907). The scene resembles the view today, although a park has replaced the small gauge railroad track

Mill No.2, which has visually dominated the mill complex since 1864, was the site of early experimentation with electric lighting, leading to the radically different design of Mill No. 4
Mill Number TwoMill Number Two, pictured from the east in 1908. Note the large elm trees, which once dominated the city's streets.

Mill 2 and Dam


Mill Number TwoThis 1864 is a woodcut of the Willimantic Linen Company's Mill Number Two.



Mill No. 2 and Storehouse


Mill Number 3
ATCO's Mill Number 3 on lower Main Street was a wooden structure. As a matter of interest, in 1917, the Alert Hose Company tested its brand new motorized pumper at Mill Number 3 in front of a large crowd. It was a resounding success



Mill Four   
Completed in 1889, Mill Number 4 was a huge brick factory, 168 feet wide by 840 feet long, that was, at that time, the largest cotton mill in the world.


Mill Five
Read Toms Mill 5 story - part 1             Read Toms Mill 5 story - part 2



Mill Six
 Read Tom and Pete's Mill Six story

 Mill Number Six

American Thread's Mill Number Six, which was demolished in 1998, dominates Thread Mill square in this 1907 view. Note the workers leaving at the end of the shift, the trolley tracks, the dirt road, and the horse drawn traffic. Closer inspection reveal construction work just being completed on Mill Number Six.





Inside the Mills

Mill No. 4
Reeling Dept.

Mill No. 4
Roving Dept.

Mill No. 4
Inspection Room





Mill No. 4
Ring Twisting Dept.




Mill Number 6
Taken one hour before the ball that
was part of the mill's dedication.

Spool Shop


Spool Shop

Spool Shop

Blacksmith Shop









Water Views



Mill No. 4
Bridge to Mill No. 4

Early View from Willimantic River





Street Views











ATCO's Mill Number Six Championship Baseball TeamATCO Mill #6 Championship Baseball Team in 1913. We think the man in the center, holding the trophy, is Mr. Follett, the manager. “Buddy” Follett is the mascot.


The Helen B
Willimantic Company officials proudly pose for the camera in 1888 with their brand new steam locomotive, the Helen B., named in honor of Eugene Boss’ daughter. Boss was the long-serving agent of the Company. The engine transported material around the site on a narrow-gauge railroad.
Willimantic Linen Company - 1876 Centennial ExpositionThis engraving shows the Willimantic Linen Company’s exhibit of a winding machine and sewing equipment at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition . In 1877 the exhibit went to St. Louis where it won honors not only for the machinery which had been developed but also for the quality of the thread which was produced.

The crossing between Mill One and Mill Six welcomed visitors and travellers into Willimantic between 1916 and 1998.
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