Business was booming in 1967
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS Mary Beth Risteter, left, and Carol Clemson, both of Lake Hauto, display a local newspaper from 1967 with ads that tell of a booming business climate in the Tamaqua area.
"How times have changed," says Carol Umbriac Clemson, after making an interesting find.
The Lake Hauto woman was searching for some time-honored recipes and began paging through cookbooks of her late mother. Unexpectedly, she came across old folded newspapers and clippings from 45 years ago.
She noticed that the news stories and ads speak to a different time in history, and no where is that more pronounced than in an advertisement by a local employer.
There, printed in the Tamaqua Evening Courier on May 15, 1967, was a large help-wanted display ad by J. E. Morgan Knitting Mills, Hometown.
The ad alludes to a prosperous period of the 1960s. Business was booming and the plant decided to add a second shift, as explained in the ad's text: "Ladies! Here's your chance to supplement the family income with a steady position at the pleasant Morgan plant! Just 5 hours nightly, 5 days a week. This evening shift will start immediately. Increased production demands by our customers makes this expansion necessary," states the ad.
Clemson took the newspaper to work on Tuesday to discuss the find with co-workers and to share with customers at Nancy's Fresh Cut Market, Hometown.
J. E. Morgan Knitting Mills began on Rowe Street in Tamaqua in 1945 when John Morgan, working from a design developed by his wife, Anna Hoban Morgan, patented the legendary thermal underwear product lines. The plant grew in size exponentially and was for decades one of the largest employers in the Tamaqua area and Schuylkill County. Morgan Mills boasted 1,500 workers before scaling back and eventually closing its doors ten years ago.
Morgan Mills was rivaled in size locally only by massive Atlas Powder Company.
On November 12, 2002, officials of Sara Lee Underwear, then plant owner, announced that local Morgan manufacturing enterprise would be sent overseas, bringing an end to the once-healthy textile industry in the Tamaqua area.