Stearns “Mill Girls”

 

Stearns Silk Mill, located at Memorial Ave. and Oliver St. in Williamsport, PA, was one of the largest mills in the East.
The Mill opened in 1892 and closed in 1933.

Edith and Emma Faulstich

Edith and Emma Faulstich

Edith and Emma Faulstich, Stearns Silk Mill, c. 1905

The Faulstich sisters worked together as weavers at Stearns Silk Mill. Edith entered the mill in 1900, followed by Emma in 1904. By 1915, Emma had moved up to forelady, later becoming the assistant superintendent. In 1930, she worked for Keystone Silk Mill in South Williamsport as assistant manager until that mill closed, at which time she became an insurance agent. Throughout the period, Edith remained a weaver.

Carrie Shatto

Carrie Shatto

Williamsport, PA Silk Mill Worker, c.1945

Carrie Shatto’s mother and sister were mill workers. In 1915, at the age of 14, Carrie quit school and went to work in the quilling department at Stearns Silk Mill. She was 17 when her father died and her mother had to quit work to care for Carrie’s younger brother and three-month old baby sister. Since her older sister was married by then, Carrie became the bread winner of the family. All the work was piecework and money was tight, so Carrie worked in the mill cafeteria on her lunch break in exchange for a free meal.

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