Rockford Industrial Athletic Association – R. I. A. A.

Rockford Industrial Athletic Association – R. I. A. A.

In the 1913 Factory League: Andrews Wire, Kurtz Action, Free Sewing Machine Company, Hess and Hopkins, Barber-Colman, and Trahern Pump Company

In the 1913 Commercial League: Rockford Malleable, Clark Manufacturing Company, Rockford Watch Company, Central Union Telephone, Printers, and Burson Knitting Company

Source: Rockford Morning Star, 08/13/1913, also in Rockford Public Library’s “Rockfordiana” files, “R. I. A. A.”

Knitting Industry Timeline

Knitting Industry Timeline

Knitting District Timeline 2

knitting Timeline

Knitting Industry Timeline 4



Main St. South, 428

J. M. Murphy [no listing in front sec of City Dir], Peter J. Hirtz wife Mary machinist Forest City Sash and Door Co.; Miss Sophia G. Hirtz, wks Burson Knitting Co, res 428 S Main,  Miss Florence M. (last name unknown)

Source: 1911 City Directory

Berman & Son (H.H. Berman and Louis Berman) fruit

Source: 1921 City Directory

Peter Gangialosi grocer

Source: 1926 City Directory




Ralph Emerson, Sr.

Ralph Emerson, Sr.

Spouse: Adeline Emerson

President of Emerson Manufacturing, President of Burson Manufacturing, Vice President of Burson Knitting Company, Vice President of Rockford Mitten and Hosiery Company

Residence, 427 North Church Street


Source:  1909 Rockford City Directory


Rockford’s Hosiery Mills in WWII

“Hold Existing Stock for Army; U.S. Calls on Knitting Firms for Inventory of Supplies on Hand”

Silk Famine to Curb Hosiery Mills

“The order, expected within a short time, will probably provide for a deep initial cut in silk consumption, followed by gradually diminishing allocations to mills until the civilian use of the imported fibre is virtually halted, it was said.”

“The BZB Knitting company, 330 So. Wyman St., and the Contour Hosiery Mills, 1618 So. Main St., would be directly affected by any curb in the distribution of raw silk: Both firms are users of raw silk.”

“Jobs of 360 workmen in the two plants would be endangered if a silk ban were made effective.”

“Burson Knitting company, South Main and Cedar streets, also will be affected by the priorities order, but probably will not feel the pinch as soon as the Contour and BZB firms do because the Burson company uses spun, or waste silk rather than raw silk. The Burson firm has between 300 and 400 employes.”

“Nelson Knitting company, Forest City Knitting company and Rockford Mitten and Hosiery company would not be affected by a silk ban.”

“Military uses, including parachutes and power bags, normally account for only about 5 or 6 per cent of this consumption, and both war and navy department have reported that stocks appear ample, considering that rayon or other substitutes could be adapted for parachute use.”

The actual article is much longer.  Rockford Republic newspaper, July 31, 1941