The History of Carpets in America


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The History of Carpets in America - Boca Raton flooring company

The History of Carpets in America

Step up color and comfort in your home with quality carpets and area rugs from our Florida flooring gallery. Whether you are looking for a Boca Raton flooring company that can help you find the right look for your home or practical business flooring solutions for your Broward or Palm Beach County business, we offer personalized service and exceptional selection.

Modern carpets provide sound-absorbing comfort and decorative aesthetics that are a beautiful Florida flooring option. At Kuhn Flooring Company, Boca Raton, Pompano Beach and Ft. Lauderdale families can choose from carpets are softer and more stain resistant than ever before.  

And, with a kaleidoscope of patterns, colors and textures to choose from, our exclusive area rugs are a stylish accent if you have Boca Raton hardwood flooring, tile flooring in Pompano Beach or hardwood engineered flooring anywhere in Broward or Palm Beach Counties. In tandem with hard surfaces, the addition of a custom area rug brings a softer surface underfoot and a pop of color and style.

You’ll also be carrying on a long legacy of style and comfort. Area rugs and carpeting have a long and rich history in the United States.

According to the history of carpets provided by the Carpet and Rug Institute, the carpet industry in the United States dates back to 1791. That’s when William Sprague started the first woven carpet mill in Philadelphia, which was followed by others in New England during the early 1800s.

“In 1839, Erastus Bigelow permanently reshaped the industry with the invention of the power loom for weaving carpets,” the Carpet and Rug Institute reports. “Bigelow’s loom, which doubled carpet production the first year after its creation and tripled it by 1850, is now part of the Smithsonian Institution’s collections. He continued to devote his life to innovation — 35 separate patents were issued to him between 1839 and 1876. Bigelow introduced the first broadloom carpet in 1877.”

Innovation continued to impact the carpet industry in the country. “The power loom with Jacquard mechanism was developed in 1849,” the story continues. Then, in 1878, four brothers brought 14 looms over from England and launched the Shuttleworth Brothers Company in Amsterdam, New York. “In 1905, the company introduced a new carpet, Karnak Wilton. Its instant success was phenomenal. Flooded with orders, a new building had to be constructed to exclusively handle Karnak production. Weavers worked four and five years without changing either the color or pattern on their looms. In 1920, Shuttleworth Brothers Company merged with another Amsterdam-based carpet manufacturer, McCleary Wallin & Crouse. They called the new company Mohawk Carpet Mills, after the Mohawk River that flows through the city.”

Alexander Smith was another major force in the American carpet industry. He started his carpet manufacturing plant in 1845 in West Farms, New York. As the CRI explains, “An American, Halcyon Skinner, had perfected the power loom for making Royal Axminster in 1876. He and Alexander Smith combined, forming a very successful carpet company. Alexander Smith was elected to Congress in 1878, but died on the evening of Election Day. Sixteen hundred people were employed at his factory at the time of his death. Alexander Smith & Sons continued. During World War I, the carpet looms were converted to make tent duck and navy blankets. In 1929 Alexander Smith & Sons was the largest manufacturer of carpets and rugs in the world.”

The history of Kuhn Flooring Company in Palm Beach and Broward Counties is also worth noting. We are proud of a tradition of customer service and exceptional quality stretching back more than 30 years. If you are looking for beautiful Boca Raton flooring, business flooring solutions in Ft. Lauderdale or hardwood engineered flooring in Pompano Beach, we are here for you.

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