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Credit: Leadbetter Collection, Northeast Historic Film. Spool mill, women on the line inspecting wooden spools, ca. 1932.
[Spool Mill], 1895
film (200 ft.) : si., b&w ; 16 mm.
Credit: Excerpt from Leadbetter Collection, Northeast Historic Film. Spool Mill, ca. 1932.
The Leadbetter Collection consists of views of the operations of the John MacGregor Corporation spool mill, which made white birch wooden spools for sewing thread in South Lincoln, Maine. The footage shows inside and outside the mill, which is surrounded by stacked lumber. Men feed lengths of white birch into cutting and drilling machines while women inspect the turned and cut spools. Concern for fire is suggested by the water tower, and views of a hydrant and lengths of fire hose. The collection also contains sequences of a body of water with loons and a swimmer in the distance. Related Collection: Accession 1928. Human Studies Film Archives Collection, Guy W. Leadbetter, Sr., footage of Penobscot Indians, 1932. Dances at Cold Stream Pond near Lincoln, Maine. Reference video from Smithsonian Institution Human Studies Film Archives.
In the 1930s, Fred Leadbetter was the general manager of the John MacGregor Corporation spool mill in South Lincoln, Maine. The mill manufactured white birch wood spools and bagged them for shipment to the Clark Thread Company in New Jersey, where thread was wound onto the spools for sale to customers. The South Lincoln spool mill depended on a supply of white birch from trees in the area. It was incorporated in 1898 by an immigrant from Scotland who had worked for the Clark Thread Company. Dr. Guy Leadbetter, Jr., donated the film, which was taken with a Bell & Howell 16 mm. camera by his father, Guy Sr., son of Fred Leadbetter. The donor recalls that defective spools were bought and used locally as cooking fuel in woodstoves.
Northeast Historic Film
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