MC 00350 Guide to the Fieldcrest Mills architectural plans, 1911 - 1979

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24.5 Linear feet

General Physical Description note

65 flat folders and 25 tubes


For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Special Collections Research Center Reference Staff external link.



Acquisitions Information

Gift of Pillowtex Corporation, 2000 (Accession no. 2000-0003) and 2003 (Accession no. 2003-0020)


Processed by: Genya O'Gara, October 2008;machine-readable finding aid created by: Genya O'Gara, October 2008

Scope and Content Note

The Fieldcrest Mills architectural plans collection includes a wide array of plans, primarily done for Fieldcrest Mills, related to textile mill buildings in Spray and Leaksville, North Carolina. After 1967 Spray and Leaksville became Eden, North Carolina, so some of the plans show buildings there. Companies represented include, Fieldcrest Mills Inc., Marshall Field & Company, Grinnell Company, Fairfield Engineering Co., Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company, Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company, Kalman Steel Corp., Babcock & Wilcox Company, Detroit Stoker Company, Robert & Company, Westbrook Elevator Manufacturer Co., Thread Mills Company, Easterby & Mumaw, Western Percipitation Corporation, Leaksville Lumber Co., Maryland Metal Co, and the General Sprinkler Corporation. Included in the collection are building plans, site plans, plat plans, elevations, sections, details, structural and electrical system plans, and engineering plans for various warehouses. In addition to buildings, also represented in these plans are wiring systems, boiler rooms, heating and cooling systems, storage layouts, circuits, drains, dye parts, jet oil burners, windows, doors, elevators, equipment layouts, conveyors, fans, motor pumps, boiler rooms, and partitions. These plans are in multiple formats: blueprints, diazos, tracing paper, paper, vellum and drafting film. Both ink and pencil is used on the linen and tracing paper. The dates of the plans range from 1911 to 1979.

Historical Note

Benjamin Franklin Mebane first formed the company that became Fieldcrest Mills in 1893, in Spray, North Carolina. By 1905 he owned six mills in the area. Chicago retailer Marshall Field had helped to finance his business and when Benjamin Mebane had trouble repaying this debt Marshall Field took over Mebane's Spray Water Power and Land Co. By 1912 the takeover was complete and the company had become a subsidiary of Marshall Field and Co. Fieldcrest grew through the mid-1960s via a series of acquisitions and improvements. In 1979 profits began to slide and their hold on the market was not as strong as it had been. In 1986 Fieldcrest Mills acquired Cannon Mills, a textile mill company in Kannapolis, North Carolina. With that acquisition, Fieldcrest became Fieldcrest Cannon, Inc. Fieldcrest Cannon, however, continued to have financial difficulties. Pillowtex Corporation, a firm that specialized in pillows, sheets, and blankets, wanted to gain a way into the bath textile market and so, in 1997, bought Fieldcrest Cannon.

The Pillowtex Corporation gave this collection of plans to North Carolina State University Libraries. Pillowtex was founded in 1954 by John H. Silverthorne to manufacture bed pillows in Dallas, Texas. Throughout the company's history they acquired manufacturing plants all over the country; these acquisitions included plants in Atlanta, Chicago, Connecticut, Los Angeles, and eventually Fieldcrest Cannon in North Carolina. In September 1997, Pillowtex announced that it had agreed to acquire all of Fieldcrest Cannon. When it acquired Fieldcrest Cannon, Pillowtex took on a long-running labor dispute at the towel-maker's North Carolina factories. After a struggle dating back to the 1970s, the Union of Needletrades, Textile and Industrial Employees won the right to organize Fieldcrest's six plants in Kannapolis in 1999. In addition to this battle Pillowtex also put millions of dollars into updating Fieldcrest's computer system, but did not come up with a satisfactory result. Sales became depressed at the Fieldcrest Cannon division and starting with the second quarter of 1999, Pillowtex began to lose money. By the second quarter of 2000 they filed for bankruptcy. Although Pillowtex re-emerged in 2002 briefly, they filed again for the final time in 2003.

Access to Collection

This collection is open for research; access requires at least 24 hours advance notice.

For more information contact us via mail, phone, fax, or our web form.


Special Collections Research Center
Box 7111
Raleigh, NC, 27695-7111


(919) 515-2273


(919) 513-1787

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Fieldcrest Mills architectural plans, MC 350, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Access to Collection

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