Kendall Company

Documents of the Kendall Company, a leading nationwide textile manufacturing company founded by Henry P. Kendall, from its establishment in the early 20th century through its merger with Colgate-Palmolive in 1972. The Kendall Company Archive includes company histories, company publications and advertisements, annual reports, financial statements, records of directors’ meetings, photographs, press releases and news coverage. Now at Amherst College.

Pelzer cotton mill, Pelzer, SC

Pelzer Cotton Mill
Pelzer, SC

Kendall Company headquarters and plant, Walpole, MA

Kendall Company headquarters and plant
Walpole, MA

Kendall mill worker, 1940s

Kendall mill worker, 1940s

World War II rally at Slatersville, RI plant

World War II rally at Slatersville, RI plant

The Kendall Company became one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of textile products for domestic, industrial, and medical use. Its Curity line of diapers, bandages, infant wear, and hospital supplies gained nationwide use and name recognition. As leader of a major company, Henry P. Kendall played a major role in coordination of the textile industry during and after both World Wars. He was known for his embrace of the concepts of scientific management, for his improvements to worker health and safety and to the mill villages near his plants, and for his humane and collaborative management practices. Mr. Kendall retained an influential role in the company until shortly before his death in 1959.In 1972, the Kendall Company was acquired by Colgate Palmolive, which continued to carry a number of its products and brand names such as Curad, Curity and Polyken; in 1988 a separate holding company, Kendall International, with several subsidiaries, was created.

The Kendall Company history archive contains materials about the Kendall textile company from the 1920s through the 1970s, including:

  • Historical accounts of the development and activities of the Kendall Company
  • Biographical accounts of Henry P. Kendall focusing on his creation and leadership of the Kendall Company
  • Advertisements of various Kendall products
  • Internal and public company newsletters, brochures and other publications, including descriptions and illustrations of products and the organizational structure of the company
  • Documentation of the company’s role in World War II military production
  • Press coverage and articles related to the company
  • Awards
  • Photographs and memorabilia
  • Programs of meetings of Kendall Old Timers’ Clubs
  • Annual reports 1955-1971
  • Board of Directors reports and meeting minutes 1960-1972
  • Curity first aid kits from the 1940s