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Wool m anufacturers moving South have taken full ad van tag e of the latest

developm ents







A New District Industry
A new industry—wool manufacturing—is now
moving to the Fifth District. Wool fabrics have
been made in Fifth District states since the 1800’s,
but this is a new industry in the sense of having
begun to expand in the South only in the past fif­
teen years. Although it cannot be called a largescale migration, there is certainly a southerly
movement under way in the wool textile industry.
This industry has already reached sizable propor­
tions in the Fifth District which now contains onefifth of the country’s woolen and worsted spindles.
early southern wool mill was small and made
coarse cloth for local use. During the early 1800's
a few mills were scattered throughout Maryland,
Virginia, and Kentucky, and later in the Carolinas.
The southern industry remained strictly local in
character throughout the nineteenth century and
lagged behind the North, which developed as the
important wool manufacturing area of the nation.
During the two decades from 1920 to 1940 there
was a pickup in the tempo of wool manufacturing
in the South as new plants moved into the area

and experimented with new methods of manu­
facture. The movement to the South did not really
begin in earnest, however, until after W orld W ar
II. Since then new plants built by manufacturers
have been located mainly in the Carolinas, V ir­
ginia, and Georgia. Following the pattern set
earlier by cotton mills the woolen mills moved into
the Piedmont area of these states.
At first the woolen industry in the South con­
sisted primarily of spinning and weaving mills. As
the number of these mills grew, the southern wrool
industry became large enough to support process­
ing plants which prepare wrool for spinning. Since
much of the wool that is processed, spun, and
woven into fabric is imported, the demand of the
southern wool mills has caused Charleston, South
Carolina, to grow spectacularly in importance as
a port of entry for foreign wool.
Apparel fabrics made
from wool are classified into two broad groupings
—woolen and worsted. Woolen fabrics have a
heavy, bulky feel and a tendency to sag and not to
hold a crease as well as worsteds; woolens give

with little blending of other fibers. Wool destined
for worsted yarn is combed as well as carded.
Combing removes short wool fibers and leaves only
straight, uniform, long fibers. Combing is very
important in producing the special characteristics
of worsted fabrics. Wool comes from the comb
as wool top, a thick strand which is wound into a
large ball. This is then spun into worsted yarn.
After the fabrics are
woven, different finishing operations complete
the manufacturing process and further the distinc­
tion between woolens and worsteds. Woolen fab­
rics come from the loom looking dull and loosely
woven. When subjected to a process of heat and
pressure known as fulling, the cloth shrinks in
length and width but gains in body, that is, com­
pactness of texture. The fabric is then brushed
to hide the texture of the weave and soften the
colors. In contrast, worsted fabrics are sheared
close to the fabric, producing a clear surface with
the weave and colors very distinct.
Apparel fabrics are the primary use of wool.
In 1958 apparel and related end uses accounted
for about 70% of all wool consumption in this
country. This included garments such as coats,
suits, and dresses as well as apparel linings and
retail piece goods which find their way into apparel.
Wool apparel fabrics differ in uses as well as in

good wear and are relatively inexpensive. Two
familiar woolens are tweed and flannel. In con­
trast, worsted fabrics have a sheen, do not sag, and
hold a crease well. They also are less bulky, give
better wear, and are more expensive than woolen
fabrics. Some of the better-known worsteds are
gabardine, serge, and crepe. In 1959 United
States production of woolen fabrics was 2]/2 times
the output of worsteds.
at a mill as a fleece, packed in a bag or bale. It is
scoured in a long series of vats to remove grease,
dirt, and other impurities. After washing opera­
tions, a different process is followed depending
upon whether a woolen or worsted fabric is to be
the end result. A woolen fabric is quite often a
blended fabric—that is, it contains not only wool
but man-made fibers also. A suit fabric, for ex­
ample, might be a blend of wool and orlon. In
reporting production data, the Census Bureau con­
siders a fabric a woolen if at least 50% of the fiber
used is wool. After blending, the wool is carded
to straighten out the matted fibers and make them
as uniform and parallel as possible. The result of
carding is a continuous strand of wool known as
roving. This wool is now ready to be spun into
woolen yarn.
Worsted yarn is made primarily from all wool



w ool

a re






y ard s

of finished







w orsted


outward appearance. Fabrics for men’s and boys’
wrear are about evenly divided between woolens
and worsteds with woolens holding a slight edge
at the present time. For women’s and children’s
wear, however, woolens are the overwhelming
textile industry has moved south, mills have shown
a preference for locations in small, rural towns
where there is reasonable assurance of an adequate
labor supply. The importance of such mills ex­
tends well beyond the town limits. In many cases
they provide employment to people living as far
as thirty miles from the plants.
Another characteristic of the southern move­
ment has been the building of branch plants in the
South by companies which formerly had centered
their operations in the North. These southern
plants have usually been entirely new from top to
bottom and have not involved the transfer of equip­
ment from northern mills. This has enabled
southern manufacturers to capitalize on improve­
ments in manufacturing technology and plant lay­
out. The ability to produce wool fabrics more
economically has been a definite advantage to new
southern mills.
NEW SPINNING SYSTEM Of special interest in
the story of the southern wrool industry is the socalled American system of spinning worsted yarn.
This is a spinning system developed in the South
as a result of experiments using cotton and rayon
spinning equipment. The American system was
a major contribution to wool manufacturing tech­
nology as it stimulated much-needed improvements
in methods and machinery with resulting cost sav­
ings to manufacturers.
Another point in the South’s favor is that it is
a major producing area for man-made fibers which
are used in blends with wool. Southern wool mills
are close to their source of supply of these fibers.
Another southern asset is its growing apparel in­
dustry which serves as a ready outlet for wool
fabrics from southern mills.
A handicap to southern wool mills had been
the lack of readily available raw materials in the
South. This situation has been improved to some
degree by the rising volume of imports of wool at
Charleston and the establishment of scouring and
combing plants in the South.
Digitized for 4

WOOL IN THE DISTRICT Most Fifth District wool
mills have been built since 1945, but a few that
were established as early as 1880 are still operat­
ing. District wool mills as a rule are of moderate
size although slightly larger than the United
States average. The structure of the industry in
the District follows the standard pattern—scour­
ing and combing plants, yarn mills, weaving and
finishing mills.
It was stated earlier that processing plants
moved to the District because of the growing wool
industry. In turn, the establishment of these
scouring and combing plants has been important
in promoting the continuing growth of the Dis­
trict’s wool manufacturing industry. The first of
these plants was built in 1954. Before that time
mills either had to process the raw wool themselves
or buy processed wool from northern mills. To
have ready access to scouring and combing opera­
tions located relatively near has been a big advan­
tage to District wrool mills.
The growth of wool imports has been of tre­
mendous significance to the port of Charleston.
In 1954 only 350,000 pounds of wool were un­
loaded on the Charleston docks. By 1959 the vol­
ume of wool imports had swelled to 64 million
pounds. These imports come from all over the
world—Australia, New Zealand, South America,
and South Africa. They have pushed Charleston
into third place, after Philadelphia and Boston, as
a port of entry for wool. In addition to their im­
portance to the southern wool industry, these im­
ports have played an outstanding part in the grow­
ing prominence of Charleston as an Atlantic coast
Most of the wool mills in the Fifth District are
in North and South Carolina with a few in V ir­
ginia. According to the most recently available
Census of Manufactures 13,000 persons worked in
District wool mills in 1954, an increase of 35%
from 1947. Value added by manufacture was $59
million—-up 55% in the same seven year period.
This gave the District about 15% of total wyool
industry employment and value added by manu­
facture in 1954. Undoubtedly there have been
further increases since that time.
A more recent measure of the size of the Dis­
trict’s wool industry is a comparison of spindles
used in spinning yarn. At the end of 1958 the
District had 196,000 worsted spindles—30% of the
national total and a 10% gain from 1956. North

Carolina had by far the largest number of worsted
spindles in the District— in fact, her total was sec­
ond in the nation only to Rhode Island, an older
wool manufacturing state. South Carolina ranked
fourth in the nation in the number of wrorsted
Spindles on the woolen system are not as numer­
ous as worsted spindles in the District. There
were 85,000 of these spindles in the District at the
end of 1958, about 12% of the national total.
Woolen spindles have shown a gain of 16% since
1956. North Carolina again was out in front in
the District, but South Carolina and Virginia were
not far behind.
WOOL IN THE NATION The wool industry in
the United States has not kept pace with the gen­
eral industrial expansion since World W ar II.
While the District wT industry has been grow­
ing, the United States industry has been charac­
terized by declining production and liquidation of
equipment. This has been a costly and protracted
process of adjustment.
This adjustment has been necessary because of
a number of factors. One of these has been gen­
eral overcapacity in the industry and the growing
obsolescence of the equipment in wool mills. Re­
placement of old equipment by new and more effi­
cient machinery has been accompanied by a decline
in the number of spindles, looms, and employees
in the United States wool textile industry.
Despite increased efficiency, two other factors
have caused the wool industry to lose markets.
These are the trend toward lighter, more casual
clothing and the competition from man-made
fibers. Both of these have resulted in losses to
newer fabrics. In response to these trends manu­
facturers have developed lighter wool fabrics and
combined wool and man-made fibers in blended
fabrics. Another problem of the wool industry
has been competition from a rising volume of im­
ported wool fabrics.
W hether the industry has completed its process
of adjustment remains to be seen. The southern
movement of wool textiles has been part of this
adjustment and has contributed additional strength
to the already dominant position of the Fifth Dis­
trict in the nation’s gigantic textile industry.
District-m ade w ool fabrics become fashionab le apparel.


Monthly Review looks a t. the Outer Banks

JStretching in a thin line for 175 miles along the North Carolina coast lies a string of isM lands called the "Outer Banks." Only about 5,500 people make the islands their year-

v round home, but the number of visitors to this once-isolated region has begun to assume
^impressive proportions. Improved ferry service and new highways have brought the
Outer Banks within reach of the motorist. It is estimated that last year over 700,000 people
visited the Banks, an increase of over 200,000 in only four years. One of the main attrac­
tions is the National Seashore Park established by the Government on Bodie, Hatteras and
Okracoke Islands—over seventy miles of beach, untouched by commercial development.

On a sand dune near Kitty Hawk stands the
Wright Memorial monument. It commem­
orates man's first airplane flight, which
w as made here by the Wright brothers in
1903. The monument is part of a 300-acre
National monument which includes restora­
tions of the hangar, shop and living quar­
te rs used by the Wright brothers.

Famous Hatteras lighthouse, tallest in the Unit­
ed States, warns ships aw ay from the dreaded
Diamond Shoals, called by mariners "the
{ graveyard of the Atlantic." Here, just off
Cape Hatteras, the Gulf Stream meets the Lab­
rador Current; the terrific force with which they
clash has caused the wreck of over 2,000 ships
in the last 400 years. Ironically, the very danger
surrounding these waters made the islands pop­
ular with bandits and outlaws during the early
18th century, for pursuit w as always difficult
and often impossible. The notorious Blackbeard
used the Banks as a hideaway, and was killed
in a bloody battle off Okracoke Island in 1718.


The Outer Banks were the site of the first Eng­
lish colonies in America. In the 1580's, dur­
ing the reign of Queen Elizabeth, three at­
tempts were made to establish settlements on
Roanoke Island. All were unsuccessful, and later
a permanent settlement was established farther
north at Jamestown. Paul Green's famous
outdoor drama, "The Lost Colony," given each
summer on Roanoke Island, tells the story of
one group of settlers who disappeared without
a trace, and whose fate is unknown to this day.


$ Billions

December 31, 1959





Pension Funds


Savings and

Savings Banks

Loan Associations

Life Insurance


In 1920 assets of noninsured pension funds to­
taled only $50 million. Ten years later assets had
grown rapidly but still scarcely topped $0.5 billion.
Recently, they passed the $27.2 billion mark and
apparently are headed higher. Collectively, they
promise to provide pension benefits for over 15
million people. There’s a new giant among non­
bank financial institutions.
Basically, there
are two types of private pension funds—insured
and noninsured—although a practice called splitfunding combines features of both. Noninsured
funds—which may be pension funds proper or
deferred profit sharing plans—-are typically indi­
vidual financial entities with assets completely
separate from those of the parent institution. These
are ordinarily “managed” in varying degrees by
a committee appointed by the sponsoring organi­
zation, but all fiduciary matters such as the safe­
guarding and investing of funds are placed in
the hands of a bank or nonbank trustee. Regular
nonprofit-sharing pension funds are “funded” by
setting contributions at levels that are actuarially
estimated to be adequate, when combined with ex­
pected income on such funds, to provide promised
benefits. Profit-sharing plans also accumulate


funds for investment beforehand but guarantee no
set amount at retirement since company contribu­
tions are based on the volume of profits. The
relatively informal “unfunded” plans set aside
nothing in advance and consequently are not prop­
erly considered pension funds.
An insured pension fund is not a separate finan­
cial organization in the same sense as a noninsured
fund. Instead of investing collections through a
trustee to provide retirement benefits, insured pen­
sion funds use contributions as premiums to buy
retirement benefits in the form of individual or
group annuities. The insurance companies invest
such premiums jointly with their other income
rather than separately as do trustees of noninsured
funds. Thus, the assets of insured funds are mere­
ly part of the reserves of life insurance companies.
Dollarwise, noninsured private funds’ assets of
$27.2 billion at the end of 1959 put them quite a
few notches ahead of the insured funds’ $17.5 bil­
lion. Corporate funds alone, which held 93% of
the $27.2 billion, dwarfed even the $20.1 billion
Old Age and Survivors’ Insurance Trust Fund.
Holdings of other large public retirement funds
were: state and local government plans, $17.2 bil­
lion; Civil Service Retirement Fund, $9.5 billion;

and Railroad Retirement Account $3.7 billion.
Employer contributions far
outweigh employee contributions as a source of
newr money for noninsured pension funds. Last
year, for example, employer contributions pro­
vided nearly 65% of total income and employee
payments supplied less than 9% . Investment in­
come produced about 23%, and realized capital
gains accounted for most of the remainder.
ment policies of noninsured funds differ somewhat
from those of most financial institutions for several
reasons. First, funds can stay almost fully invested
since cash inflow is set to provide adequate funds
to meet estimated cash outgo. Second, funds are
generally fully exempt from Federal income taxes.
Finally, the regular cash inflow and the long run
nature of their claims make suitable the “dollar
averaging” principle of investing continuously
throughout all phases of the business cycle.
A glance at the accompanying pie chart shows
how these influences have shaped investment
practices. At the end of last year, corporate bonds
topped all other assets combined at book value,
but common stock holdings were also quite large.

Government securities holdings were moderate,
but investments in preferred stock, mortgages,
and municipals were fairly insignificant. Cash and
deposit holdings were quite low.
Investment trends over the last few years have
involved chiefly (1 ) a rapid build-up in common
stock portfolios, (2) the maintenance of corporate
bond holdings at approximately a constant per­
centage of assets, and (3) considerable liquida­
tion of Government securities. Last year funds
poured a record 49% of their net receipts into
common stock, lifting holdings to 43% of the mar­
ket value of total assets. During 1959 the market
value of the funds’ common stock rose for the first
time above that of their corporate bonds.
Although they
still own only 3% of total American corporate
stock, noninsured pension funds are making quite
a splash in Wall Street. Last year their net stock
purchases again exceeded those of any other group
—-$1.6 billion—a whopping 38% of the $4.3 billion
net addition to stocks outstanding. The next most
active buyers, investment companies, increased
holdings only $1.0 billion. Individuals, personal
trust funds, and nonprofit organizations bought

$ Billions


Investment Com panies

Noninsured Pension Funds

Domestic Individuals











December 31, 1959

----------Corporate Bonds
£o/— -------- — Cash and Deposits

8 .5 % ---- --- -Government Securities

2 .6 % -----------Preferred Stock
6 . 3 % ----------------- Other Assets
Common Stock

$0.9 billion, and “other” institutions and foreigners
acquired $0.7 billion.
Noninsured pension funds also rank near the
top of the list of purchasers of corporate bonds and
notes. Last year, for instance, life insurance com­
panies bought $2.3 billion; pension funds acquired
$1.1 billion; individuals, personal trust funds, and
nonprofit organizations added $0.3 billion; and
other institutions and foreigners took $1.0 billion.
Total issues outstanding rose $4.8 billion.
pension funds grossed 3.6% in interest, dividends,
and rents on the market value of their investments
in 1959. Miscellaneous sources of income and
profits from sale of securities boosted the return
to 4.2%. Expenses were quite small, and the net
ran 4.1%. On book value—which was some 11%
less—funds grossed 4.7% and netted 4.6% from
capital gains and current income combined.
enue Service upon individual application grants
noninsured pension plans full exemption from
Federal income taxes if they have certain safe­
guards and meet specified tests of nondiscrimina­
tion in favor of higher ranking employees. Such
exemption (1) enables employers to deduct, with­
in limits, their contributions in computing taxes,
(2) permits employees to exclude employer con­
tributions in figuring their income taxes, and (3)
exempts trust earnings from taxation.
Other important regulations include : (1) a Fed­
eral law requiring larger funds to file with the
Digitized for10

Secretary of Labor annual financial statements and
descriptions of the programs and make available
copies of the plans for participants and bene­
ficiaries, and (2) laws and regulations limiting the
type of investments trust departments of commer­
cial banks are permitted to make. Usually the
most effective limitations on funds’ investments,
however, are those set forth by the sponsoring in­
stitutions in their trust agreements.
WHITHER PENSION FUNDS? Noninsured retire­
ment funds have come a long wray since the Ameri­
can Express established the first in 1875. Most
authorities think they will continue to skyrocket
for some time in view of the continued drive for
economic security, the comparatively small per­
centage of the work force now covered by private
plans, the continued rise in incomes, and the fact
that most funds are not yet fully funded—the point
at which contributions no longer exceed outgo.
Certainly, they have been surging rapidly ahead
of insured funds as a result of their freer rein on
investments, greater flexibility of contributions,
and completely tax-exempt status.
Major uncertainties facing the funds include:
the extent to which unions push for additional
coverage, the rising costs of providing pensions,
the likelihood of further regulation, and the ques­
tion as to how liberal “vesting” privileges for re­
signing employees should be made. Perhaps the
most perplexing problem will be the effect of any
regulation arising from the current fear that funds
may use stock ownership to gain control over

The business climate of the Fifth Federal Re­
serve District continues to produce a variety of
weather bulletins. Local reports range from
strongly optimistic to moderately pessimistic de­
pending on the fortunes of particular industries or
companies. Most of the information currently
available, however, clearly shows fundamental
strength. W ith only minor exceptions, nonagricultural employment, seasonally adjusted, re­
mained high during the entire first half of the year.
Seasonally adjusted man-hours in manufacturing
industries of the District likewise continued on a
high level with only minor declines so far since
January. Some District industries, among which
textile manufacturers were by far the most im­
portant, granted their employees moderate wage
increases in the course of the first half of the year.
It thus appears that
a high level of personal income has been the rule
in the District in recent months. And yet the
experience of retailers has not fully and consistent­
ly reflected this high degree of consumer pros­
perity. While new automobiles have been selling
at a significantly faster rate than they did last year,
other consumer durables, especially furniture and
appliances, are from the dealers’ point of view
moving rather slowly. On the other hand, sta­
tistical comparisons with previous years do not
give a particularly unfavorable picture.
In general, merchants appear to be more than
normally cautious in placing new orders with
manufacturers. The lack of exuberance in retail
markets has already been noted. As both dealers
and manufacturers seek new ways to woo their
respective customers, the intensity of competition
grows in both retail and wholesale channels. Many
special deals that are offered as a stimulus to sales
involve in some form price concessions which shave
in furniture plants is reported to be slowing down
in response to declining retail sales. May was a
good month and seasonally adjusted man-hours
worked in furniture factories reached a new peak.

Virtually all plants were working full time, plus
some overtime. Many plants are still working a
full five-day week, but others now find it necessary
to cut the work week to four days. Many factory
representatives, who attended the June Chicago
furniture market fully aware of that market’s de­
clining importance in recent years, found even less
buying interest there than they had expected. As
this is written the markets in New York and
North Carolina are in progress with evidence of
good attendance. Because of the disappointing
response to new lines last spring, some manu­
facturers have made a special effort to improve
designs, and contrary to the usual practice some
new models are being shown now in hopes of de­
veloping a good volume of fall sales.
Furniture dealers throughout the country
achieved a good volume of sales during the early
months of the year. Sales by southern manu­
facturers for the first five months are reported to
be nearly 7% ahead of 1959, itself a good year for
furniture. During June, however, business fell
well below the 1959 level. Currently, dealers
seem somewhat pessimistic about prospects for a
really good fall pickup. On the other hand, some
industry analysts are inclined to feel that there is
a latent demand which could become active in the
late summer and fall.
District furniture output has fallen below the Ja n u a ry-M a y rate.

A good portion of the
assurance needed to counterbalance impressions
stemming from weaker aspects of the District busi­
ness picture can be gained from a glance at the
textile situation. In early June mills were still
receiving a moderate volume of orders which added
to already ample backlogs scheduled for delivery
in the fourth quarter of this year and the first
quarter of 1961. In late June the flow of orders
had dried up almost completely, a normal develop­
ment in anticipation of the customary closing of
textile mills during the week of July 4. Many
southern mills, however, are departing from this
custom, scheduling the vacation week for later in
July or early in August. The change is deemed
desirable in many cases in order to maintain pro­
duction to meet delivery commitments. Other
mills have made the change mainly out of consider­
ation for their employees, many of whom prefer
to take vacations which do not coincide with the
Fourth of July.
Industrial textile prices have remained steady,
strengthened in part by a recent revival of orders
from automobile manufacturers. Some slowing
up of activity in synthetic fabric markets with cor­
responding easing of prices has been reported.
However, this development is not widespread and
does not appear to constitute a threat to the basic
strength which has characterized synthetic-fiber
textiles all year. Yarn mills have been experienc­
ing some falling off of orders, though backlogs of
carded cotton yarns reportedly equal about eleven
weeks’ output.
OTHER EVIDENCE MIXED Among the District’s
major industrial categories, only mining revealed
a decline in employment between May 1959 and
May 1960. Reports of further small reductions in
District coal mining employment appeared during
June. All other industry groups recorded em­
ployment increases ranging from 1% to nearly 5%
during the year from May 1959 to May of this
year. Between April and May slight decreases in
seasonally adjusted employment occurred in min­
ing, trade and government employment.
May statistics of seasonally adjusted man-hours
in manufacturing industries also showTa generally
favorable picture. Total manufacturing man-hours
in May reached their highest point in twelve
months. These gains resulted from widespread
increases in the nondurable goods category. April
to May declines in food, tobacco, paper and chemi­
cals were more than offset by gains in other


nondurables industries. Durable goods man-hours
declined between May 1959 and May 1960 and
from April to May this year. The specific indus­
tries in which seasonally adjusted man-hour losses
occurred between April and May were primary
and fabricated metals, nonelectrical machinery,
transportation equipment and lumber. Gains in
electrical machinery, furniture, and stone, clay and
glass industries were not sufficient to offset those
losses. District primary metal industries appear
to be faring better than those of most other areas.
Bethlehem’s Sparrows Point Steel Plant in M ary­
land was reported to be operating at the outset of
this month at about 85% of capacity compared
with an estimate for the nation of about 60%.
BANKING L oan dem and at D is tric t ban ks
strengthened during June. In the four weeks end­
ing June 22, loans of weekly reporting banks
jumped nearly 3% —a gain which is greater than
that achieved in the comparable four-week period
of any recent year. Business loan demand was
particularly strong.
Despite the additional loan pressures, positions
of District banks seem to have eased somewhat
in recent weeks. Loan-to-deposit ratios have fallen
slightly, the rate of liquidation of investments has
slowed a little, and borrowings at the discount
window have tapered off markedly. District banks
which have been active in the Federal funds m ar­
ket have cut their purchases sharply.



The complete report on the revision of the indus­
trial production index is now available for distri­
bution. The 229 page report provides a detailed
description of the new features of the revised in­
dex and the methods used in its compilation. The
price is $1.00 a copy up to ten copies and 85 cents
for ten or more copies in a single shipment. Orders
should be addressed to the Division of Administra­
tive Services, Board of Governors of the Federal
Reserve System, Washington 25, D. C.
C o ver—South C aro lin a Ports Authority

2. Am erotron

3. Raeford W orsted Plant - Burlington M ills, Inc.

5. Burlington Mills, Inc.

6. and 7. North C aro lin a

State Departm ent of Conservation and Developm ent
- Aycock Brow n

11. Richmond N ew sp ap ers.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102