Fire Insurance Map of Perry Knitting Co., 1894

Sanborn 1894.jpg

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Fire Insurance Map of Perry Knitting Co., 1894


Sanborn Map Company created extremely detailed renderings (1:600 scale) for the purposes of fire insurance underwriters. Important details like building use, construction materials, water supplies, power plant, sprinkler systems, and more enabled accurate assessment of fire risk. They remain valuable tools for historical research because they were updated frequently. For the PKC, we have maps from the years 1884, 1900, 1906, and 1913. Taken together, they document a period of growth for the company.

In this cropped image, we see that since 1884 the mill has constructed a separate wash house and picker house to process incoming cotton. We learn that the coal power plant has doubled from 40 to 80hp. The company states that "85 hands" are employed at the mill." Now its six floors are organized like this:
  1. Sorting
  2. Knitting
  3. Finishing & Seaming
  4. Carding
  5. Spinning
  6. Drying & Brushing
Perhaps most crucially, the map reveals that PKC has installed "Grinnell Sprinklers," generally considered the first effective automatic system. Downstream the Cataract Custom Mill, operated by J.B. Hutton, continues operation and states that for fire insurance purposes "protection can be had from knitting mill."


Sanborn Map Company




Cooper, Ken


Library of Congress Geography and Map Division
Digital ID #


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