I have a surprise for you. My grandfather Tom was never a pleater! As a matter of fact, the Tom Son’s factory started as a textile mill. He worked in the factory with his three sons: Leon, Anthony, and Jack.
This photo (above) is of my uncle Jack, leaning on the door of the old Tom’s Sons textile mill located in Beirut, Lebanon. The photo was taken by my uncle Anthony circa 1951.
Before my father and his brothers started to pleat, they worked in my grandfather’s textile factory. Towels and robes were the primary products of this factory. From start to finish they would dye the yarn, weave the terry fabric, and cut and sew robes.
Above: The Tom’s Sons textile mill in Beirut, Lebanon circa 1951.
So, if Tom was not a pleater, how did Tom’s Sons eventually become a pleating factory?
My grandmother Rose was the family’s first pleater. She created all of her pleats by hand, and before long needed the help of my father Leon (read here) to keep up with the demand. Before long, Leon started to innovate certain pleating methods that helped my grandmother Rose increase her output. Soon after, my father convinced his two brothers, Jack and Anthony, to close the textile mill and continue expanding the pleating factory. The rest is history