By Jazmine Aldrich
In a brief history written in the late-1960s, Freeman Clowery reflects on his time spent working for The National Thread Limited in Sherbrooke: “How well I recall these days of toil, sweat, and tears; of trials and tribulations, of success and defeat, of disappointments and accomplishments.” Clowery’s time with the company spanned its Golden Age in the 1950s and 1960s, until its collapse in 1971. He observed the company’s rise and fall from the perspective of its Officer Manager and Secretary-Treasurer.
The National Thread Ltd. succeeded the Ideal Thread Limited, which began its operations in Montreal in 1939. Its directors, J. Edgar Genest of Sherbrooke and J.-A. Archambault of Montreal, spearheaded efforts to relocate the thread manufacturing company to Sherbrooke in 1941.
Negotiations with the City of Sherbrooke spanning the first quarter of the year resulted in the renovation of a municipally-owned factory on Laurier Avenue previously occupied by the Modernistik Company and the Dufferin Jack Company. The Ideal Thread Ltd. agreed to lease the building from the City if the City would pay for repairs to the factory. The renovations included the addition of a second story, a boiler room, and a new elevator, but the company’s promise for growth was enough to justify the expenses. A $14,500 municipal building permit was issued in May 1941.