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Rayon Key to Success of Burlington Mills and Spencer Love

This Day in North Carolina History - Wed, 07/12/2017 - 01:00

On July 6, 1896, textile industrialist J. Spencer Love was born in Massachusetts.

Though Love’s family roots were in North Carolina, he remained in New England until finishing his studies at Harvard and serving a brief stint in the Army during World War I. After he was unable to find work in Boston, Love moved to Gastonia and joined his grandfather and uncle in the textile business.

Love owned the Gastonia Cotton Manufacturing Company briefly in the late 1910s and early 1920s, but sold it and moved to Burlington where he set up a new textile operation. He had a penchant for experimentation and took a gamble on producing a new product, rayon.

That move helped Love’s Burlington Mills expand and evolve into Burlington Industries, the largest textile manufacturing company in the world and among the nation’s largest 50 corporations in the 1960s.

In addition to his business pursuits, Love was active in industry groups, civic organizations and state politics throughout his life. He died in 1962 and is buried in Greensboro.

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Tarboro’s “Cool Pool”

This Day in North Carolina History - Tue, 07/11/2017 - 01:00

On July 9, 1933, the Tarboro Town Council approved the purchase of a refrigeration unit for the town’s municipal pool. The council’s action was in response to the unseasonably hot summer that year in eastern North Carolina. The town had a just recently put in an Olympic-sized pool for residents to enjoy, but the water in the pool was kept too warm by the weather and all the activity of swimmers.

The council asked Frick and Company of Waynesboro, Pa., to design and install a refrigerating unit in the pool. The company did so, and by mid-August the device was installed at a cost of nearly $3,000. Some of that money may have come from the federal government as part of Depression-era economic development programs.

The pool—nicknamed the “Cool Pool”—drew large crowds of swimmers and played host to a number of state and regional meets during the 1930s and 40s. A national meet was held there in 1943, with Gov. J. Melville Broughton as the honored guest.

By the 1970s, the pool was closed. It is believed to be the first and only refrigerated pool in the nation.

See more images believed to be of the “Cool Pool” from the State Archives.

For more about North Carolina’s history, arts and culture, visit Cultural Resources online. To receive these updates automatically each day, subscribe by email using the box on the right and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.