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Cone Brothers, Marker J-96
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member drmellow
N 36° 05.273 W 079° 47.057
17S E 609450 N 3994380
Quick Description: Moses and Ceasar Cone pioneered marketing of textiles; manufactured denim & flannel. Their first mill, Proximity, 1895, was 1/4 mile N.E.
Location: North Carolina, United States
Date Posted: 4/15/2006 4:52:28 PM
Waymark Code: WMAHM
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member showbizkid
Views: 57

Long Description:

Text on marker:

Moses and Ceasar Cone pioneered marketing of textiles; manufactured denim & flannel. Their first mill, 1895, Proximity, was 1/4 mile N.E.

This historical marker is located on Church Street at Wendover Avenue in Greensboro. It was errected in 1991.

The following historical information about the Cone brothers is excerpted from the Moses H. Cone Memorial Park section of the Blowing Rock webpage:

Moses and his brother Ceasar went to work as salesmen for their father's grocery firm. These two older boys--addressed reverently as "Brother Moses" and "Brother Ceasar" by the rest of the children--impressed food buyers, first with their heavy responsibility and second with their ability to carry it out.

Their work took them south into a new textile country. Although not as established as the older mill towns of New England, communities throughout the Carolinas and further south were depending upon small textile mills and their general stores. The Cone brothers supplied these stores with groceries, often accepting payment in marketable fabrics rather than hard cash, which was still a bit scarce in the old Confederacy.

Little by little, Moses and Ceasar moved from groceries into textiles. As they dealt with more and more mill-operated stores, met mill men and moved in their circles, their ambitions shifted to the merchandising of their new product. By 1891, the brother established in New York the Cone Export and Commission Company, a firm which acted as the selling agent for southern mills. A few years later, the Cone brothers decided that henceforth they would concentrate their effort where it counted: on the all-important production lines and the people who made those lines run. They moved their headquarters south to Greensboro, NC.

The key to the Cones' success was proximity. Closeness to raw materials and the manufacturers' sweat gave them the opportunity to directly improve a product and diversify its uses. This was the successful idea that brought Moses Cone back to the neighboring state of his birth. And in 1895, with the Cones' position as a textile force assured, the brothers built a mill themselves. They called it "proximity." because of its nearness to warehouses, railways, and the vital cotton fields.

With its single, tall smokestack and its functional, row-like buildings, Proximity churned out the "heavy duty, deeptone blue denim" that was to give Moses H. Cone a reputation as "the Denim King."

Proximity Manufacturing Company expanded and added other plants. Corduroy, flannel, and a variety of fabrics began to appear on the production lines. Much later the renamed Cone Mills would have more than 30 plants and would be manufacturing commodities on a spectrum from towels to dyes to polyurethane foam. But the origin of all this remained with the imagination and energy of two brothers. As these cofounders solidly established their business, Ceasar became the company's first president and Moses turned his attention to the mountains west of Greensboro.

Another intersting source of information about the Cone brothers is Shirtsleeves to Matisses: an article written in 1999 by Ed Cone, the great-grandnephew of the Cone Brothers.

Marker Name: J-96: Cone Brothers

Marker Type: City

Related Web Link: [Web Link]

Required Waymark Photo: yes

Local North Carolina markers without State Number Designation: Not listed

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Recent Visits/Logs:
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