Lehman Brothers Collection - Contemporary Business Archives

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Lehman Brothers Collection

Twentieth-Century Business Archives

United Piece Dye Works - Lehman Brothers Collection

United Piece Dye Works

List of Deals

United Piece Dye Works was a company that engaged in dyeing, printing, and finishing silk, rayon celanese, and mixed fabrics. It also processed fabrics and dyed silk, rayon, celanese, and cotton in the skein. The company was incorporated in New Jersey in 1903 and was created when Alexander Dye Works and Boettger Piece Dye Works were combined. In 1912 United Piece Dye acquired the American Silk Dyeing & Finishing Company, and in 1923 it added the Weidmann Silk Dyeing Company and its subsidiaries, Lehigh Silk Dyeing and Service Land Company.

By the mid-1920s United Piece had six plants, two in Lodi, New Jersey, two in Patterson, New Jersey, and plants in Hawthorne, New Jersey, and Allentown, Pennsylvania. In January 1926 Italians and other European ethnic groups working in these industries engaged in a strike against United Piece and other companies to protest horrendous working conditions and wages. Labor historians refer to it as the Passaic Strike of 1926.

By 1928 United Piece was one of the largest privately owned companies in the United States, employing 6,000. In the previous five years, it averaged over $2.5 million annually in earnings. The six plants were operating with an annual output of over 100 million yards of fabric-dyed or printed and over 2,500,000 pounds of yarns dyed in the skein.

In February 1928, United Piece went public with a deal managed by Lehman Brothers. The public offering consisted of a sale of $7.5 million 6 ½ percent preferred and 450,000 shares no par common stock.

In 1928 United Piece recorded earnings of $3.8 million on sales of $28.6 million, up from a net income of $2.8 million in 1926.

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