Every week we shine a light on a different object from our collections that you may not have seen before. This week we have a cotton doll’s dress made from off-cuts of material from the Galway Textile Printers Ltd., otherwise known as the Cotton Factory.
The factory was opened on Sandy Rd., Galway in 1958 by the then Minister for Industry and Commerce, Seán Lemass and blessed by the Rev. Browne, Bishop of Galway (Connacht Sentinel 4 November, 1958). Vaclav Otto Gunzel (1900-1980), born near Pilzen, Czech Republic, a renowned engineer, was contracted to design and oversee the building of the factory in 1955. The factory had 150 employees in 1958 with the potential to increase to 200. It was also anticipated at the time that there would be an increase in employment at Irish cotton mills to meet the demand for material. The factory in Galway had the capacity to produce 11 million yards of both roller and screen printed fabrics – the colours and dyes were mixed on site. Much of the printed fabric was destined for export.
In 1963, an American Company called Cranston Print Works, one of the largest textile printers in the US, took over the factory. Just a few years later, the closure of the factory was announced in June 1967, with 182 employees being made redundant.
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Connacht Sentinel 16 May 1967
Connacht Tribune 8 November 1958