Martinsville Henry County VA

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Saul Schreibfeder grandchildren in 2010

They are the grandchildren of Saul Morris and Yetta Schreibfeder. In 2010 they gathered in Martinsville and Danville to celebrate their grandparents' 100th wedding anniversary. Family members from California, Wisconsin, Florida, North Carolina and Virginia visited the site of the old Jobbers Pants Factory and Standard Garments to reflect upon this historic spot in Martinsville's history. Saul M. Schreibfeder, pictured above in the center of the column photos, was general manager of Jobbers Pants Company, a branch of the Standard Overall Company headquartered in Baltimore, MD. Jobbers began operations in Martinsville, VA in November of 1933 and employed white men and women and black men. Black women at that time could only find work as maids, laundresses, and cooks. Black community leaders sought the help of Mr. Schreibfeder and he convinced Standard Overall to expand their operations to include black women. Initially Plant #3 hired 50 black women but by 1939 it employed more than 1000 who produced 1200 pairs of pants a day.

There were 5 different Jobbers Pants Company plants:

  • No. 1 was located in the former Spencer Brothers tobacco factory on Fayette Street and opened in November of 1933. It is pictured above - #1 in the column of small photos
  • No. 2 was also located in a old tobacco building on Adele Street (The former Martinsville Silk company building) in April of 1939. No. 2 opened after No.3.
  • No. 3 began in a trial location which had been a wooden dance hall. This plant specifically opened to employ black women in 1936. A permanent building was later constructed on the Elizabeth Street site just beyond the site of present day Stanfield-Miller Funeral Home. (Photo at top right)
  • No. 4 occupied the old remodeled Sparrow and Gravely tobacco factory on corner of Fayette and High Streets and opened in the 1940s.
By 1939, the company employed more than 1,000 women who were producing some 1,200 dozen pairs of pants daily, according the local news media. In the 1960s, yet another plant was opened on Cabell Avenue. Standard Garments was eventually purchased by Hampton Industries, of Kinston, N.C., becoming Hampco Apparel.

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Photos of the grandchildren were taken at the former Standard Garments site adjacent to the Baldwin Plaque.




Robert Fusfeld reading an article from Jewish Digest
Robert Fusfeld reads an article submitted by one of Mr. Schreibfeder's workers. The article appeared in the Jewish Digest.


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