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Partial transcript of a page 1 article in the 22 Dec 1927 Simcoe Reformer

The Remarkable Growth of British Knitwear

Of all the industries in Simcoe it is probably no exaggeration to say that none has made more remarkable progress in the past two years than has the British Knitwear Co., located on Water Street.

Two years ago last September four energetic young men, Messrs. Claude W. and Leo Pond, Merrel [sic] H. Hare and H. C. Springstead, with plenty of executive ability and practical knowledge of their business, but with limited capital, commenced operations in their present factory with a staff of eight hands. 

Today they employ 53 hands within the factory, have 200 agents scattered from coast to coast, and three travelling salesmen. They also have a warehouse in Winnipeg to take care of their trade from that point to the coast. At the home factory they are making arrangements to double the capacity of their dye room, which will be completed during January.

In addition to this the British Knitwear Co. have leased the north store in the new Hambleton block on Norfolk Street, where the British-Knit products are now displayed and sold, and the space before devoted to the purpose at the factory will become available for further plant expansion.

We were informed by Mr. Pond that the uptown store is somewhat in the nature of an experiment. In the event of its proving a success and there is every reason to assume that is will, the Simcoe store will be the forerunner of a chain which this progressive firm intend establishing at various centres throughout Canada.

Through the courtesy of Mr. Leo Pond, The Reformer man was permitted to look over the local plant, and we have to admit that we were in common with hundreds of other Simcoe people, in almost complete ignorance of the extent of the operations being carried on there.

We hound a large staff, mostly young women, busily engaged at their various tasks, and all of them apparently contented and interested in their work. And if favorable working conditions make for contentment, the British Knit staff should be a happy lot. Clean, airy and well-lighted, the factory is a model of what pleasant working surroundings should be.

Speaking of his operatives, Mr. Leo Pond told the pressman with some pride, "We have the best staff here it has been my good fortune to work with. We have no piece-work system except on one or two kinds of straight work. Neither do we have what is called a line of production. Production is a secondary consideration with the British Knit. Quality is our objective, for nothing but high class goods are turned out and every employee you see here takes just as great pride in turning out a perfect garment as we ourselves."

Of course the firms desire is to reach as great a quantity production as possible, but it is always subordinated to the standard of quality which they have set themselves to maintain, and upon which they are building their business solidly for the future. The feeling existing between employer and employee at the British Knit is certainly one that should make for a high factory morale.

The machinery used in the manufacture of British Knit products is the last word in modern equipment of its kind. A battery of five knitting machines, costing two thousand dollars each, converts the finest imported woollen and silk yarns into the fabrics from which high-class garments are cut and assembled.

Not an inch of cloth goes into any of those that has not knitted in the factory under the supervision of experts whose constant aim is quality. And not a strand of yarn goes into the bobbins which feed these machines that is not of the finest texture procurable. The woollen yearn is imported from England and is the best the market has to offer. It comes in the form of cops or small

(Continued on page 12)

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[Compiler's Comment: Despite the tag line, we found no continuation on page 12. Nor did we find a continuation on any other page of that or the next issue. Claude and Leo Pond were brothers, sons of J. R. Pond. Merrill Hare married their sister. Harmon C. Springstead of Vittoria was president of Springstead Knit Wear and later general manager of the William  Hood Company, Vittoria.
Copyright 2012 John Cardiff