Savory Shirt Co


This brick mill complex was developed between circa 1880 and 1900 to house silk and garment manufacturing operations. The original mill on East 18th Street was built between 1877 and 1884, according to atlas maps, and by 1899 it was occupied by Fairhurst & Company Silk Manufacturers. Little is known of Joseph Fairhurst, although his name does appear occasionally in trade journals of the period from circa 1900 to 1920 mainly in industrial directories and as a member of the Silk Association of America. He seems to have been typically of the smaller silk mill operators who achieved modest success during the last decades of the 19th century. In 1903, Fairhurst was mentioned as taking occupation of a 2-story mill owned by the Rettgar-Allen Silk Company, a firm that had fallen on hard times and been idle since 1901. This mill is probably the mill adjacent to the large U-plan mill at this property.


By 1915, Fairhurst was occupying the smaller mill and the larger mill had been given over to the Savoy Shirt Company, a small garment manufacturing concern. Superintendent of the works was P.W. Hess, who was born in Closter, N.J. in 1859 and worked his way up to a management position in the company. Hess was the father of Henry Beeuwkes Hess, a prominent Paterson physician of the early 20th century. Both the Fairhurst Silk Mill and the Savoy Shirt Company were in operation as late as 1931. Today, Rico Foods, Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of Caribbean-style foods, occupy the larger mill. The smaller mill is vacant.


Statement of Significance

The Savoy Shirt Company/Fairhurst & Co. Silk Mill complex retains excellent integrity with few changes from its turn of the century appearance save for changes to the fenestration. In the mill yard, it retains the small powerhouse and stack that supplied power to the adjacent mill. The mill is a representative example of the scores of small silk mills and garment factories that were found throughout Paterson during its "Silk City" heyday.


Hyde, E. B. Atlas of Passaic County, New Jersey, 1877.

Robinson, E. Atlas of the City of Paterson, New Jersey, 1884.

Robinson, E. Atlas of the City of Paterson and Haledon, New Jersey, 1899.

Mueller, A. H. Atlas of the City of Paterson, New Jersey, 1915.

Sanborn Map Company Insurance Maps of Paterson, New Jersey, 1915.

Sanborn Map Company Insurance Maps of Paterson, New Jersey, 1931.

Sanborn Map Company Insurance Maps of Paterson, New Jersey, 1950.

American Wool and Cotton Report, Miscellaneous (April 9), pg. 458, 1903.

American Silk Journal, "The Forty-Second Silk Dinner,"  (Vol. 33, No. 3, March), 1914.

Shiner, Charles History of Paterson and Its Environs (Vol. II, pg. 133), 1920.

Associated Documents

Savory Shirt Co. Site Form
Maps of Savory Shirt Co.
Additional Photographs of Savory Shirt Co.