E. Albert Clements

E. Albert Clements. No better illustration of the advantages to be found in the United States can be offered than in the life of E. Albert Clements, president of Globe Knitting Works of Grand Rapids, who immigrated to this country from Norway as a young man and is now the head of one of the largest knitting companies in the state of Michigan. At the age of eighteen years, he came to this country from Norway, the land of his birth, and went at once to Chicago. This was the year 1882. Though handicapped by inability to speak English fluently, he found employment with Crane Brothers of Chicago, and though he had availed himself of the advantages afforded by the public schools of his native country, he entered night school in the Illinois metropolis to equip himself more thoroughly for life in his adopted country. Brass pattern making he learned thoroughly while in the employ of Crane Brothers, which he soon left to work with the Wheeler & Wilson Sewing Machine Company. His next job was with the Princess Knitting Company, of Chicago, which later moved to Muskegon, Michigan, and now operates under the name of the Amazon Knitting Company. His entry into the employ of that concern marked the turning point in the career of Mr. Clements, for in this work he found employment, which called into play his natural aptitude for such work. To his new job, he applied himself with an energy and evident ability that guaranteed his future success. In 1890, he became associated with the Star Knitting Company, of Niles, Michigan, and by the time that concern removed to Grand Rapids two years later; he had made himself an invaluable unit in their organization and followed the company to the city where he was destined to become a leading figure in the knitting business. He was eager by now to open a business of his own, but five years elapsed before he felt that his capital was sufficient to permit the venture. In 1897, he started the Globe Knitting works with a capitalization of $6,000, the original plant being located on the top floor of the old Putnam building, opposite the Powers Theater. From its inception, the enterprise met with almost unprecedented success and within the year Mr. Clements found it necessary to enlarge his facilities. The concern was therefore incorporated with Mr. Clements as president and H. M. Liesveld as secretary and treasurer. Mr. Liesveld, one of the successful merchants of Grand Rapids, was just the sort of man to give the right kind of assistance and prestige to the newly incorporated company. With an organization formed to handle a large business, the company entered upon a renewed period of growth, which it still enjoys. From the original capitalization of $6,000, the corporation is now capitalized at one and one-half millions of dollars; from the first plant of the top floor of a small building, the company now operates in three five-story buildings and one large seven-story building. The first building erected by the company was forty feet by ninety feet and four stories high with basement. The second structure, build within three years after the first, was one of similar dimensions. After a lapse of two years, the third building, six stories high and fifty by one hundred feet, was erected. All the buildings making up the plant were increased to five stories within the next two years, and in 1914, a seven-story addition, 130 by 120 feet, brought the plant up to its present size. Mr. Clements has just cause to be proud of the enterprise which he has build up. Its products are sold throughout the country and known everywhere as knit goods of the highest quality. Superfluous it is to say that Mr. Clements has achieved a success that has won him recognition as one of Grand Rapidsí ablest businessmen and executives, for the Globe Knitting Company stands as a monument to energy, ability and business acumen. In Chicago, Mr. Clements married Julia Jensen, a native of Norway, who came to the United States with her parents when she was a girl of nine years. Mr. and Mrs. Clements have two sons, Earl A., and Roy W., the former of whom is superintendent and the latter production manager of the fatherís plant.

Pages 207-208


Transcriber: Mary Huizen
Created: 7 February 2003
URL: http://kent.migenweb.net/white1924/personal/clementsea.html