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Horseshoe Club at the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill

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1941 agreement between Horseshoe Club leaders at the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill provides an interesting look at recreational opportunities afforded employees at the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill and branding used in the early 1940s.

The agreement, somewhat interestingly made between company employees and the company and typed out on company stationery offers some interesting insights.

Horseshoe Club

Birthday Party with horseshoe club members, Thomas Kay Woolen Mill, c. 1940. WHC M3 1992-117-0005.

According to the agreement, the Salem Horseshoe Club in November of 1937 entered into a lease with the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill and built a building to house a horseshoe court on site.  It is unclear if the club was playing on the site prior to this building.  By 1941, it appears the club folded and the lease reverted to the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill.

Thomas Kay Woolen Mill Brand

Thomas Kay Woolen Mill Letterhead, 1941. WHC Thomas Kay Woolen Mill Archives, M3 1996-001, Folder 135.047.

The dated document also provides some insight into the branding of the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill in 1941.  The blue colors are an interesting and period appropriate choice.  The address of the mill at 12th Street, indicates that most customers probably accessed from the now blocked alley way entrance by today’s Library and Archives building.

1941 Letterhead detail with motto “Wool for health”. WHC, Thomas Kay Woolen Mill Archives, M3 1966-001, 135.047.

Maybe the cutest element is the jumping sheep and “Wool for Health” motto utilized in the marketing.  We are left guessing what specific health benefits they were promoting in this campaign.  We do know wool has great insulating properties, even when wet, a boon in a humid climate like the Pacific Northwest.

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