RICHARD ZIOCK

Ziock,Richard.jpg (2959 bytes)RICHARD ZIOCK - B: 1 Dec. 1936 in Rockford.  Married: Angie ??  Richard & Angie never had any children.

Richard is the son of Irma Coorbridge & Roy Ziock. Richard is retired & in the year 2000 was president of the Kaw Valley Mycological Society.  On 16 October 1999 Angie & Richard & their dog, Barney, spent the night at Esther & Gene Carroll's - it was a great visit!  Everyone had a good time going through all the Ziock papers & pictures & discussing the Ziock history.  Richard & I are 3rd cousins & this was the first time we had ever met. Richard is descended from William Ziock.  Esther is descended from August Ziock Sr. who was brother to William. Both William & August Sr. were sons of Heinrich Ziock who was born 1801 in Germany & was the son of Johan Petrus (Peter) Ziock.

From Richard Ziock:

Woolen Mill Museums

In the summer of 2008 my wife and I drove from coast to coast in search of tourist attractions.  A part of that was visiting preserved woolen mills.  We found 3 preserved textile mills and a textile museum.
First we visited the Watkins Mill near Excelsior Springs, Mo.  This mill was part of a farm empire run by the Watkins family.  It was established about 1860 and stopped about 1885.  At that time the railroads were not yet available to bring cloth from the east.  So there was a need for cloth. The mill ran on steam power generated by wood, and the wool came from local sheep.  The factory has been preserved as it was the day they closed.  The technology is probably the first machine wave of mechanization after the spinning jenny and hand loom. 
There appears to have been about three generations of mechanization.  The next generation of mechanization is that found in a Salem, OR mill (which is preserved) and  the Rockford Woolen Mills (my dadís mill).  The last generation of mechanization is that found in the Pendleton Mills today in operation in Pendleton , OR and Washougal, WA.
In all the generations the carding seems to be about the same. That is, huge rollers covered with steel wires  straighten out or comb the wool fibers. Just bigger rollers and more plexiglass and other barriers to keep the people away.  They were dangerous. My grandfather lost his arm in one and my father lost three fingers in another.  Talk about generations.  Iím glad to break that tradition, but to do so I had to choose another occupation.
Anyway the spinning of the thread, the next stage, of the process had some changes in each generation.  In Watkins Mill the mules lacked only obvious improvements to the next generation.  The carriage had to be manually moved in each time to wind the thread on to the bobbins.
The looms saw many improvements in the transition from generation one to two.  The early ones were narrow warp.  They only had one or two shuttles. They were more primitive.
A personal aside.  I remember being told about the St. Charles Woolen Mill operated by either my grandfather or great grandfather.  I remember the pictures of the worker housing.   Watkins Mill also had worker houses nearby. Since the Ziock Building in Rockford, IL was built in 1910 and was the successor to the St. Charles Woolen Mill, the St. Charles Mill must have operated from about 1860 to 1900, very similar to the Watkins Mill era.  I donít know why they moved from St. Charles to Rockford, but the move must have involved a change in mechanization and a huge capital investment..  In 1949 the Rockford Woolen Mill machines were put on 2 or 3 railroad trains and moved to Brownwood, TX.  That of course was part of the movement from the high labor cost north to the low labor cost south.
The final mechanization is illustrated by the Pendleton Mills.  Spinning no longer employs mules, nor bobbins but is done continuously.  With the mules the carriage moved out about 8 feet the stopped, then the small tube of aligned fibers was twisted by  flipping off the top of the rotating bobbin until the correct number of twists was made.  Then the carriage moved forward reeling in the spun thread.. The new and fast version twists and reels in at the same time eliminating the need for the carriage.  The looms are really improved.  The shuttle (or a fingerlike device) moves on air - think air hockey- and is propelled by air or water- think air rifle.  Bobbins are not used. and there is no rack of shuttles with different colors. The shuttlelike device simply grabs the correct color of thread each trip through which is supplied from large rolls which must hold as much as 50 bobbins.  The speed of cloth production must be about 30 times that of the Salem
mills or The Rockford Woolen Mills. I think they said 1000 cross threads per minute. It seems obvious that those two mills died in the 1960s because they either had to have cheaper labor or the new technology.  The newer Pendleton looms cost $500,000 each.  It seems clear that Pendleton continues to compete because the investment in  technology competes with the cheap labor of Central America, China and India.
Not a woolen mill but a cotton mill museum exists in Lowell, Mass.  And a fantastic museum it is .   There were mills everywhere in this town.  The museum even has running looms.  It was started in 1810 by Francis Lowell who went to England to visit their factories, memorized the details of the loom and built one in New England.  I guess you would call him an industrial spy. Lowell had the first vertically integrated factory in America ( meaning that fiber came in the back door and fabric came out the front door).  The peak of Lowell was about 1920.  A personal note: my father went to the Lowell Textile Institute about 1922 to learn the trade. I remember him talking about the train rides back to Rockford, IL.
It is interesting to note that there were many smaller woolen mills throughout the country through time, but that the cotton mills have always been  more concentrated.
And finally there is The American Textile History Museum in Lowell.  When we were there it was undergoing renovation, but I am anxious to see it soon.
My family had just three generations in the textile businessĖa decision was made early in my life that I would not be encouraged to enter the declining field.  There were survivors- Pendleton-but there were so many more casualties.  Iím not unhappy that I broke the mold, but I have feelings and I grew up in the mill. I learned how to run a loom, a little bit about the business, and I met some great people.  We could have been another Pendleton, but we would have to have invested millions at the time I was about 22 and unprepared. And now, how much time does Pendleton have?  The world has so many willing and needy workers and who knows when or if the next  improvement in mechanizion.will occur.


 

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Angie & Richard Ziock & Esther Ziock Carroll - 16 October 1999.  Angie & Richard & their dog, Barney, spent the night at Esther & Gene Carroll's - it was a great visit! 

Ilona Ziok (far left), unknown, Manuel Gottsching, Angie Ziock
Photographed By:  Richard Ziock
At Manuel's concert in Los Angeles March 2009