Woonsocket, R.I. — Machinist Edward Parkinson left Lancaster, England, in about 1869 to take advantage of opportunities in the U.S. textile industry during the post-Civil War era of rebuilding.
The husband and father opened Edward Parkinson Manufacturing Co. and began repairing loom forks and sewing machines.
Some 120 years of expansion followed. The company's product line grew with a knitting machine, a weft fork for looms, a bobbin winder for sewing machines and then automatic and manual surface winders for the textile industry and turret winders for the rapidly growing plastics industry.
"It is truly fascinating to think about the lineage of our company and the historical eras it has witnessed," Parkinson President and CEO Peter Termyn said in a news release. "There are very few businesses that can say they're celebrating 150 years of continuous operation."
The business name has evolved, too. When the current owners bought the company in 1993, they changed the name to Parkinson Machinery and Manufacturing Inc. and embarked on a new chapter of the long history.
Two years later, the company moved operations to the current location in Woonsocket and began acquiring businesses to complement its winder machine offerings.
In 2000, Parkinson bought the plastics division of Marshall and Williams Co. to expand into plastics processing by manufacturing biaxial orientation systems, such as casting machines, transverse stretching machines and machine direction orienters.
In 2001, Parkinson Machinery and Manufacturing, Inc. changed its name to Parkinson Technologies Inc. and acquired Key Filters, a producer of melt filtration systems, and John Dusenbery Co., a producer of slitter rewinders and other converting equipment.
Parkinson continues to thrive and evolve, according to Termyn.
"It's a testament to all those who supported Parkinson and its brands over the years," he said. "Here is to another 150 years."