The Early Firestone Years, 1935-1955

The twenty-year period from 1935-1955 saw dramatic changes affect the Loray Mill and surrounding mill village. The Firestone Corporation bought the mill in 1935 and refashioned it to produce cotton fabric required in rubber tires. World War II had an even greater impact. Men and women from the mill village left home to serve in the American military. A shortage of rubber also meant that there was no need for tire fabric, so the mill began to produce textiles for the war effort. After the war, the Firestone Mill began to widen its production to include synthetic fabrics, and the postwar prosperity meant many workers gained access to goods and a lifestyle previously unavailable to them.