Industrial Transition: 1910-1940

Up to this point in time, the Town of Pulaski's four major industries, Bertha Zinc, Pulaski Iron Co., Dora Furnace and Allied Acid Plant had provided a stable local economy that had fueled residential and commercial growth. Beginning in 1910 with the closure of Bertha Zinc Works, the Town of Pulaski began to transition to a new industrial base. This transition would result in the loss of long standing industries, such as Dora Furnace in 1920 and the Pulaski Iron Co. in the early 1930's, and the establishment of new textile and furniture industries that would be the mainstay of the town's economy into the 21st century. 

The industrial transition got off to a slow start, placing the Town of Pulaski under economic stress during the 1910's and early 1920's. In 1916, the A.V. Victorious Company  would establish Paul's Knitting Mills at the corner of Commerce Street and Lagrange Street. Also in 1916, the Bunts family established the Pulaski Foundry and Manufacturing Corporation on the former site of Nanochemonics

Old PulaskiIn response to the closing of the Dora Furnace and the generally slow economy, the Town of Pulaski, acting on the tips of investors looking for sites for a new furniture factory, purchased a tract of land between Third Street and Fifth Street for $20,000. In 1923, the town successfully lured the Coleman-Vaughn Furniture Company to town by offering twelve acres of prime property. Shortly thereafter, similar firms followed including Pulaski Mirror Company (1923), Pulaski Furniture Corporation (1924), and the Pulaski Veneer Corporation (1926). 

Despite the Depression of the 1930's, Pulaski was also successful in attracting several textile operations to the community. Starting with the Dobson-Miller Corporation (later known as the Sadler Hosiery Mills) in 1927, production of textiles expanded with the addition of Virginia Maid Hosiery Mills in 1928, the Wallner Silk Hosiery Mills in 1936, Jefferson Mills in 1938 and the Acme Hosiery and Dye Works in 1938. 

The Depression years, however, took a toll on the Town of Pulaski's business and industries. The Pulaski Iron Company shut down in the early 1930's and the Pulaski Engineering Works, formerly operated by the Bunts family as the Pulaski Foundry and Manufacturing Corporation, closed in 1936.

Old PulaskiThe main effect upon land use that these industries had was the establishment of the current I-2 Industrial District, which extends from Washington Avenue in the west, to Edgehill Drive in the east, and from 3rd Street, N.E., north to 5th Street N.E. Furthermore, the concentration of textile operations in the town's southwest side resulted in an expansion of industrial land uses southward, particularly between Commerce Street and 1st Street S.W. This widened the historic industrial/transportation corridor, which paralleled the railroad on the southern side of town. 
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