Part 2: A Very Resourceful Young Man
As a youth, John was expected to provide foot power for the family loom. When he got older, he was taught to be a weaver.
In New Hampshire, there was a promise of a job. John travelled more than 300 hundred miles from New York to New Hampshire. Devastated by a broken promise, John relocated to New Bedford, Massachusetts – nearly a 120 mile journey. No easy ride in 1913.
To understand John’s frame of mind, you need to understand his childhood in Poland. John’s parents had two sources of income: farming and weaving cloth. They wove cloth on a simple loom situated in the front room of their farmhouse. A foot pedal operated the loom, and in his childhood John was dutifully expected to supply the foot power to operate the loom. As he got older and showed interest, John’s parents taught him how to weave cloth.
As John tried to figure out how to find employment, he recalled hearing family and friends in his native Poland talking about New Bedford, Massachusetts. At that time, New Bedford enjoyed the reputation of being the largest producer of cotton goods in the United States.
Mills nearly a quarter mile long were the norm. Not just one mill, but many, situated along the Acushnet River — and as far as the eye could see.
John had an idea. He felt that his ability to weave cloth might be beneficial to a cotton mill operator. More importantly, it might secure him a much needed job. He travelled from New Hampshire to New Bedford. It was 1913. According to today’s highway maps, the distance is approximately 117 miles. How he got to New Bedford and how much time it took is a mystery.
Arriving in New Bedford, John applied at the one of these giant mills. He was able to get a job as a “Sample Weaver”. He found a rooming house, settled in, and New Bedford became his new home.