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Perry City Hall * 203 W. Polly Street * Perry, MI 48872-9503 * Phone: (517) 625-6155 * Fax: (517) 625-6157

 
Rev. & Mrs. I.W. Lamb
Baptist Minister - Founder Perry Glove & Mitten Co.
 

  The building that now houses the
City of Perry Municipal Offices
was originally constructed as the
Lamb Glove and Mitten Company by
Founder Reverend Isaac Lamb.

 Born in 1840, Rev. Lamb was
originally from Livingston County.
He moved to Perry in 1894 to
become a minister.

        
Rev. Lamb was mechanically inclined and,
at the age of 23, received a patent for the
first successful 
Flat Knitting Machine.

He continued to improve the machine while
 studying to become a Baptist minister.

Gloves and mitt
ens, called Ha-Ka-Rac,
were made at the factory
as well as
ladies leggings, (with or without feet),
which were only made for about 10 years.

In 1900, buildings extended to the west to allow for
greater productivity and by 1901,
there were 56 employees in the buildings and
200 other employees that did finishing work
in their area homes.

An average of $3,000 worth of goods was
shipped each week.


   
 In 1904, the people of Perry approved a bond 
issue of $3,000.
The Knitting Company matched the money and a
new building 
was completed in late 1906.

The Founder, Rev. Lamb, never saw completion of
the new building. 
He died in July of 1906 and is
buried at 
Rose Lawn Cemetery on Ellsworth Road
in 
Perry Township.

Employees of the Glove & Mitten Company
organized 
a baseball team 
in April of 1911.
A ballpark was erected south of the
building and is still in use today.

Electricity was installed in both buildings in 1912.
Until that time all knitting machines had to be
hand 
or foot cranked.

   
 The Interurban Trains ran along Polly Street
from 1911 to 1929. This had a bad effect on the
Glove & Mitten Company. Wages in Lansing were
higher ($.50 an hr.) and  many of Perry's workers
started commuting to Lansing via the Interurban.
Also, knitted gloves were no longer as fashionable
and knit gloves did not hold up well for farm work.

The Glove & Mitten Company sold in
1927 for $10,00, including three buildings,
the power plant, five acres of land and
58 knitting machines.

In 1927, the building was adapted as a gym
for basketball games.
The original building burned in 1938.

The power plant was dismantled during
World War II and the boilers and furnaces were
donated to the war effort.
     In 1928, the building was used for
the dehydration of vegetables.

In 1933, the building was leased by
Vita Seal Products to make pretzels.

From 1936-1937 the
Thatcher Stove Co. leased the building.

From 1937 until July 1994,
Michigan Hybrid Seed Company
owned the building.

The City of Perry purchased the property in 1994
and began renovation to house the City offices,
Police Department and Food Bank, 
which were completed in 1997.

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