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World's Star Knitting Company
(aka: Galbraith & Sons, Bay City Knitting Mills).
Manufacturers of underwear & hosiery, founded in 1895, by Archibald Galbraith.

Preface – The World's Star Knitting Mill Co. was one of the largest manufacturers of underwear and hosiery in the world. It was founded in 1895 by Archibald Galbraith, which began initially as a family business making hosiery out of their homestead in West Bay City, for sale locally. Their product became quite popular and forcing them to hire help to keep up with the demand. Not long after the business relocated into a separate building, and adding more employees and equipment. They continued to grow rapidly, leading to another move to Washington avenue on the east side of the river, in a building that formerly housed the McDonald Flouring Mill. By then, sales had expanded across the U.S. and eventually around the world.
-- The biography of Archibald Galbraith includes more details on the company's history.

Stockholders 1905 - Added Dec., 2010.

World Textile Record, Vol. 28, October, 1904 – March, 1905.

Page 142.

Michigan, Bay City. An annual meeting of the stockholders of the Bay City Knitting Company, held recently, it was voted to change the name to the World's Star Knitting Company and increase the capital stock to $200,000. H. B. Smith was elected president; H. M. Smith, vice-president; D. L. Galbraith, secretary, treasurer and general manager, and C. A. Galbraith, superintendent. Work will start at once on erection of an addition to the present mill, 50 by 180 feet, three stories and basement, also power house 48 by 40 feet. They propose doubling the hosiery plant and adding equipment for making underwear.

1905 - Reorganized. - Added Dec., 2010.

Fibre & Fabric: Record of American Textile Industries, Vol. 42, Aug. 12, 1905.

New Mills and Additions

Bay City, Mich. -- The Bay City Knitting Co., which began operations with two hand knitting machines in this city 10 years, has outground its present quarters, and completed a reorganizaton wiht a paid-up capital of $150,000. A new building will be erected and the force will be increased to 400.

Michigan industrial statistics. - Added Dec., 2010.

Michigan Bureau of Labor and Industrial Statistics – 1906 (page 384)


These mills were first established in 1895 under the name of Galbraith's Sons and the first factory was located in their family residence employing six girls. The machinery was operated by hand power, the output being very small. At the present time they occupy a four story factory, which is a modern plant in every detail, and the output is constantly increasing. Their reputation is national, their goods being shipped to every section of the United States, the demand for which exceeds the supply. They employ about 150 people, with an annual pay roll approximating $36,500, and intend to further increase their capacity.

Federation of Labor. - Added Dec., 2010.

Official Year Book by Michigan Federation of Labor – 1906-07. (Page 161)

Bay City Manufacturers.


In the movement recently started by the Michigan Federation of Labor to give their combined support to those whose relations with both labor and the public are fair and just, we desire to call special attention to the above company.

Upon investigation we find this one of the most complete plants in the country for the manufacture of high grade hosiery and underwear.

In the new plant just completed the manager has installed a number of conveniences for the employees, among which might be mentioned individual steel lockers, large and commodious lavatories and toilets, dining and rest rooms, in fact the comfort of the employees has been provided for in a highly commendable way.

Mr. D. L. Galbraith is the efficient manager of the company and he has always shown himself to be a true friend of union labor.

Women cannot work nights. - Added Dec., 2010.

Printers' Ind, Vol. 90 – 1915.

Page 40.

Teach Men to Knit.

The World Star Knitting Company of Bay City, Michigan, manufacturer of World Star hosiery and “Klean Knit” underwear has received a war order for 2,000,000 pairs of sox, forcing their plant to run twenty-four hours a day. In filling the order a peculiar condition has arisen as women operatives exclusively were employed in running the knitting machines, but the factory laws of Michigan forbid the employment of women at night. In starting its night shift the company had to break in an entire new and inexperienced force of men to work, and was confronted with the problem of teaching men to knit before putting the shift to work. D. L. Galbraith, general manager of the company, states that they have had an eighty-six percent increase in their regular business caused by the war.

New ownership. - Added Dec., 2010.

Standard Corporation Service, May – August, 1917

Page 30.


Formed to Control Large Combinations. -- At Lansing, Mich., dispatch to the “Boston Evening Transcript” June 12, 1917, stated that this company had been incorporated under Delaware laws with a capital of $2,000,000, to take over and operate the plant of the World's Star Knitting Co., Bay City, and that of a large hosiery and underwear mill in Illinois. The business office of the new company will be in Bay City.

The new administration will control one of the largest combinations of hosiery and underwear plants in the United States. Plans for a new five-story, 100x300-foot building have been drawn.

The Bay City business will be continued under its old name. In addition to the men's and children's hosiery which the plant has been manufacturing, a new line of to be sold under the trade mark, “Armtex,” will be made.

Additional Notes.

    1889 – Bay City Knitting Company was incorporated with a capital stock of $25,000. [Fibre & Fabric, Vol 30.]

    1900 – The Bay City Knitting Co. located at 410 Washington Ave. has following machinery: 30 knitting, 2 sewing, and 4 ribbers. [The Blue Book – Textile Directory]

Related Notes & Pages

Former McDonald Flour Mill

Modern Building

Inside Knitting Machines

Related Pages:
Galbraith, Archibald
People Referenced
Galbraith, Clarence A.
Galbarith, David L.
Galbraith, Archibald
Smith, H.B.
Smith, H.M.
Subjects Referenced
Bay City, MI
Boston, MA
Boston Evening Transcript
Klean Knit
Bay City Knitting Co.
Galbraith & sons
Lansing, MI
McDonal Flour Mill
Mich. Federation of Labor
West Bay City, MI
World's Star Knitting Co.
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.