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Community

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The Plymouth Cordage Company was not just a company, it was a community founded on the philosophy that a happy worker made a better employee.

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Spooner valued education and was determined to make it available to the Cordage community. The company opened a kindergarten in 1900.  Families were encouraged to send both their boys and girls to school. 

 

A carpentry school was opened for boys and classes in sewing, dressmaking, basketry, and drawing were developed for women and girls.  A cooking school was added in 1901. At various times, classes in canning and preserving were held. From 1901 - 1927, the average attendance was 50-100.

Providing medical care for employees was another priority for the company, particularly Augustus P. Loring.  At his own expense, he established the first nutrition clinic circa 1900. Parents were provided with diets to ensure the workers and their children were well nourished.  Following a scarlet-fever epidemic in 1903, two nurses were hired and on site on a daily basis. They conducted clinics and classes in nursing and infant care, and later a resident doctor was hired to direct the clinic, the nurses and to provide additional medical care.

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In 1920, the Company built an auditorium for the Pilgrim Tercentenary where visitors to Plymouth could be entertained. After the celebration, the auditorium remained as a place where concerts, lectures, and plays could be given by and for employees. A gymnasium class was also organized there, and equipment was provided.

 

The company provided many social activities as well.  Instruments and uniforms were provided for the Plymouth Cordage Band. A nearby colonial farmhouse was purchased in 1921 and turned into a men's club. The club had bowling alleys and pool tables. Membership in the Cordage Club was open to all male employees at a very moderate rate.

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The Plymouth Cordage Company also had various sports teams including basketball and baseball. The Company built a sports field with wooden bleachers that sometimes hosted over 1,000 people. Aside from sporting events and games that took place here, motion pictures were also played on summer nights beginning in 1908. 

A community bathhouse was built on the beach owned by the Company, within easy walking distance of employees' homes. By 1924 there were bathing facilities for 750 persons a day, with a swimming instructor provided by the Company. 

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