Maury Thompson

May 19, 2020

2 min read

History threads — More Kurzrok celebrations

This is the latest in an occasional series of posts about the history of the garment industry in Warren, Washington and Essex counties.

About 200 employees of the Max Kurzrok Co. on Oct. 18, 1920 celebrated the opening of the company’s new garment factory at the Crandall Block in downtown Glens Falls with a noon meal and program.

The menu included soup, several types of meat, vegetables, tea, coffee, milk, finger rolls and desert.

The Rev. David Solly, pastor of First Baptist Church of Glens Falls, spoke about “cooperation, enterprise and taking pride in work,” and Hasleton’s Orchestra performed music.

Employees were relocated from an older, smaller factory on Maple Street to the new factory at the Crandall Block, at the corner of Glen and South streets.

“A large amount of money has been expended in renovating the three upper floors of the block,” The Post-Star reported.

One of the features of the new garment factory was a cafeteria where a chef prepared a daily noon meal that was sold strictly based on the cost of the food.

“This feature is one which undoubtedly will be greatly appreciated, especially during the winter months and on stormy days.”

A piano in the dining room was available for employee use.

“Drinking fountains, steam heat, fire prevention facilities and an elevator are also included in the improvements to the building.”

There was an on-site heath center, where Irene Potter was employed as a full time nurse.

Potter had recently graduated valedictorian of the Glens Falls Hospital nursing school.

The health center was a prototype for the first phase of a new “industrial welfare system” to be gradually implemented at all of the company’s local plants.

The second phase would be a grocery and supply department, where employees could purchase items at the wholesale cost, with no markup.

The company, headquartered in New York City, operated local garment factories in Glens Falls, Hudson Falls, Fort Edward, Lake George, Warrensburg and Lake Luzerne.

In March of 1920, the company had purchased the Heffron and Collins Co., a shirt maker that operated at the Crandall Block.

On Dec. 4, 1920, Kurzrok Co. held an employee event “in fitting style” at the Masonic Temple in Hudson Falls to celebrate the first anniversary of its Hudson Falls plant.

There was an employee music and vaudeville variety show and then refreshments and live music for dancing.

“The program to be presented for the entertainment of employees will be of a strictly amateur nature, but it is said that some unusual talent has been developed and that a royally good time is in store for all who attend.”

Sources: The Post-Star March 11, Oct. 16, Oct. 19, Nov. 24, Dec. 2, 1920

Click here to read the most recent previous post in the series.

Click here and here to read previous posts about the Kurzrok Co.