Charles N. Winship

  • Charles N. Winship
  • "Charles N. Winship was born in Needham (now Wellesley) in 1863, the son of Francis and Catherine Winship. He left school at the age of 13 and by age 14 was employed at a knitting mill in Wellesley. That same year he began working at the Dudley Hosiery Mill in Newton Lower Falls where he rose to assistant foreman in charge of the knitting department. When a selling agent for the company started Allston Mills, he joined the company and was employed as a foreman until his partnership with Miss Elizabeth E. Boit. In 1888, the two formulated their manufacturing and merchandising policies and Mr. Winship purchased three second-hand knitting machines and five finishing machines. They set up shop in Cambridgeport as the Harvard Knitting Mills and later moved to Wakefield in 1889. The Harvard Knitting Mills became a very successful enterprise and in 1920, Mr. Winship realized his dream come true. He initiated a profit sharing program at the company for the benefit of the employees, although the plan was discontinued after several years as a result of changing economic conditions. By that time, the company had paid over $288,000 to its employees under the novel program. Under Mr. Winship's and Miss Boit's guidance, the Harvard Knitting Mills was the first mill to initiate a 48 hour work week in 1919, a 40 hour work week in 1933 and paid a $62,000 bonus to employees in 1918. In 1923 the copmany paid 1/10th the total tax levy for the town of Wakefield. Mr. Winship was active in the community serving as a member of the School Committee, the George Washington Bicentennial Committee, Chairman and founding member of the Wakefield Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Wakefield Board of Trade and the Public Safety and War Chest Committees during World War I. He was also a corporator and Vice President of the Wakefield Savings Bank Board, a Director and President of the Wakefield National Bank and was Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Elks Home Corporation. The mill building was later sold to Sylvania during World War II and later to Murray Printing, Revere Knitting Mills and Transitron, although the business continued in a diminished capacity. Mr. Winship died in March, 1946. He had several homes in Wakefield on Pleasant Street, Fairmount Avenue and Jordan Avenue, the latter of which is now Nazareth Academy." -- Text from calendar by Jayne M. D'Onofrio.
  • Image from the Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department annual calendar, 1990
  • Photos courtesy of the Wakefield Historical Society, Louis Picardi and the Payro family.
  • [Wakefield, Mass.]: Wakefield Municipal Gas & Light Department


“Charles N. Winship,” NOBLE Digital Heritage, accessed September 29, 2020,


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