WOOL: The Bad Old Days

When American Woolen Co.'s President Moses Pendleton rose before his stockholders in Springfield, Mass, last week, he was wearing such a long face that the stockholders braced themselves for bad news. It came fast enough. The company's new orders, Pendleton reported, had sagged by mid-March to $11 million, less than one-sixth their 1948 level. As the news reached Wall Street, a wave of selling dropped American Woolen's stock 6⅛ points to 28⅝, the lowest since 1947.

For Moses Pendleton, a hulking Connecticut Yankee who had started with American Woolen in 1903 as a clerk, all this sounded like the bad...

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