York Town Square

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York factory’s lines ranged from Moneybak black silk to boys pajamas

Matthew Garrett Collins served as general manager of York Silk Manufacturing Co.’s two factories in York’s east end at the turn of the 20th century. The fortress-like Hay Street building that stands today has made a mark on the memories of York countians and catches the eyes of thousands of motorists a day. Also of interest: About York Silk’s boss: ‘Mr. Collins was regarded as one of the big men in this community’ and Did York Silk ever operate a silkmaking factory in West York? and How one spot in York County, Pa., tells much about what’s going on around there.

There’s something about that York Silk Manufacturing Co. building that sparks memories.
Several folks have written after posts and my York Sunday News column explored the building now known as Hudson Park Towers.
The silkmaking factory’s product lines changes through the years from Moneybak black silk popular 100 years ago to boys pajamas and other nighwear in the 1950s… .
As usual, JoAnne Everhart has the most concise memories.
Excerpts from here comments follow:

“The blog regarding Hudson Towers brings back more memories of my growing up in York during the late1950’s and 1960’s. After the Hudson Towers Building was no longer used as a silk manufacturing factory, it was used as a sewing factory.
“The South Pine Nightwear Company operated out of that building during the 1950’s. My grandmother was employed there and I can remember going with my grandfather to pick her pick her up at the factory. The sewing factory was a large one and employed many people during the 1950’s. The boys pajamas produced there were sold all over the country and proudly displayed the ‘Made in USA’ label.
“Back then I thought that the building looked like a castle. Jess Chock was the manager of the South Pine Nightwear Co. It was originally located on S. Pine St. in York City, but later relocated to the Hudson Towers Building.
“Ironically during the 1990’s, I was employed as a visiting RN and made visits to patients who resided in the Hudson Towers Apartments. Your observation regarding how the York County workforce has shifted from one of manufacturing to one of service workers is reflected in my family’s relationship to the Hudson Towers Building.
“In the late 1950’s my grandma was part of the sewing manufacturing industry that was housed in that building. Forty years later in the 1990’s, I went to the same building as part of my work, but to perform nursing services to the handicapped residents who call the Hudson Towers home.”

– Drawing courtesy York County Heritage Trust.