How It All Began
Cranston, a division of Cranston Print Works, started operations in 1807. William Sprague founded the Sprague Print Works, as a cotton weaving and roller printing company in Cranston, RI. He pioneered the printing of cotton cloth and built his company into one of the great textile empires of the day. In the post Civil War Era, the business passed to B.B. & R. Knight.
In 1920, the William G. Rockefeller interests bought and reorganized the company and officially changed the name to the Cranston Print Works Company. Cranston continued its expansion and acquired a second print plant in Webster, Massachusetts in 1936, and in 1949, built a third plant in Fletcher, North Carolina. In the early 1960s, Cranston changed its business model from commission printer to a fully vertical textile fabric company, adding Design, Marketing and Sales. In 1987, Cranston Print Works became an employee – owned (ESOP) company.
Today, the Textile Group operates from two distinct locations, New York City with Design, Sales and Executive offices and Cranston, Rhode Island, with Customer Service, Marketing, Supply Chain and Executive offices.