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"G" is for Graniteville Company

South Carolina from A to Z logo

  "G" is for Graniteville Company. Chartered by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1845, the Graniteville Company was one of the earliest and most successful textile manufacturing operations in the South. The guiding light behind its creation was William Gregg, a leading proponent of southern industrialization during the antebellum era. The company commenced operations in 1849 in a massive granite factory located on the banks of Horse Creek in southern Edgefield District [now Aiken County]. Most pre-Civil War southern manufacturers employed slave labor, but Gregg employed free white laborers—mostly women and teenagers. It was one of the few southern manufacturing companies to survive the Civil War intact. After the war it expanded, building new factories in neighboring Vaucluse and Warrenville and acquiring mills in Augusta. After World War II, the Graniteville Company pioneered the production of permanent-press textiles.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar receivedhisA.B.degreefromDavidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.