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“P” is for Pelzer, Francis Joseph (1826-1916)

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“P” is for Pelzer, Francis Joseph (1826-1916). Entrepreneur, textile manufacturer. A native of Charleston, Pelzer began his business career as a clerk for a cotton factor. Eventually he owned the firm and expanded his business interests into other areas connected to his cotton factoring business. He was at the forefront of two major industries in the decades after the Civil War: phosphates and textiles. Using capital from his cotton factoring and commission merchant businesses, he became a director of the Wando Mining and Manufacturing Company. Pelzer was also president of the Atlantic Phosphate Company. He helped organize the Charleston Bagging Manufacturing Company and president of the Union Wharf and Compress Company of Charleston. In 1881, Francis Joseph Pelzer organized the Pelzer Manufacturing Company, one of the first textile mills in the upstate financed by Charleston capitalists.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson 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.