Dover Public Library
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Cocheco Print Works

Calico printing started in Dover about 1826 in Mill #4 of the Cocheco Manufacturing Company. In 1827, agent John Williams brought five master printers from England to instruct the Dover printers in the intricacies of the block printing craft which were done by hand. The Print Works employed highly skilled and talented workers and the industry quickly took off in Dover. By   1844, The Print Works had built many as 15 separate facilities  and   introduced cylinder printing. A Cylinder printing machine could do the work of 100 men. Forty years later, the Cocheco Printworks were renowned worldwide for their color, texture, diversity and quality.

At the Print Works peak, over 65 million yards of cottons, lawns, and organdies were printed in Dover each year and 400 men and 40 men were employed there. After the company changed hands in 1909 due to a recession in the northern textile industry, the machinery was moved to the Lawrence, Massachusetts headquarters of the Pacific Mills. The Mill buildings on Henry Law Avenue were torn down in 1913.