Gudebrod Silk Thread

Gudebrod Company History

The Gudebrod family emigrated from Germany in the mid 1800's. There were a total of seven brothers whose ages spanned well over 30 years of age. The family settled near Windsor Locks, Connecticut, where Christian Gudebrod, the oldest of the family, found employment at the Smith Silk Mills in neighboring Middletown. After spending over a year in the manufacturing side of the business, Christian was asked to try his hand at selling the company's products. He accepted and, in this new capacity, became quite successful as a marketer of silk sewing threads. He later joined Belding Bros. Silk Company, which was the predecessor of the present Belding Hemingway Textile Company, and went on to become their top salesman for the next several years.
In 1885, John Bertram, who owned a small silk mill in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, decided to retire and offered his business for sale. Christian, seeing this as an opportunity to being in his own business, negotiated the purchase of the John Bertram Silk Company and renamed it The Champion Silk Company. Shortly thereafter, Christian brought his brother Frederick into the business as a partner, and over the next several years both Christian and Frederick would alternate running the plant as well as commuting to New York City to call on their customers. As the business prospered, they brought in a third brother, Philip, who was placed in charge of manufacturing. This allowed both Christian and Frederick to devote all of their time to selling and promoting the company's products.

In 1883, the John B. Cutter Silk Mills of Bethlehem, PA, which was founded in 1870, went into bankruptcy. The brothers saw this as an opportunity to continue to expand their business and immediately purchased all of the assets, machinery, stock and goodwill of the Cutter Silk Mills. This was a much larger manufacturing facility than the brothers were operating in Windsor Locks and, as a result, decided to merge their company into the Cutter Silk Mills and move the entire Windsor Locks plant to Bethlehem. They successfully continued to operate as the Cutter Silk Mills as well as the Champion Silk Mills in Bethlehem only for the next year as, at that time, Charlie Schwab had his well known fight with Andrew Carnegie; and in order to force his way into the steel business in Bethlehem, Schwab purchased the entire valley and gave mills, ware houses, homeowners and small property owners one year to relocate their business to other areas.The brothers began looking for other plants outside the area of the Schwab ownership and were fortunate in locating an idle plant in Pottstown, PA, that was ideally suited to the manufacture of silk products. The brothers bought the property in 1895 and moved all of their manufacturing equipment from Bethlehem to Pottstown. Also, at the time they moved their business to Pottstown, they decided to rename the company ''The Gudebrod Brothers Silk Company, Inc.'' In the 1970’s the company name was shortened to Gudebrod, Inc. to better reflect its product diversity.

The company had its peak employment during World War II when its products helped support the war effort.

Gudebrod was once one of the oldest companies in Pottstown. Sadly, after losing a customer that accounted for 5/8’s of its business (Glide Floss) and after being unable to secure financing in order to continue operations, Gudebrod closed its doors 2010.

Down through the centuries, silk historically has truly been the desired thread of Kings and Queens. Silk is the finest natural fiber in the world. Early in its history, Gudebrod developed a smooth, twisted three ply, 100% pure silk thread with the most luxurious feel and the softest sheen beyond that of any competitor. The Gudebrod bead cord, piled from pure Chinese long filament silk, is extremely supple, yet resistant to stretch and wear.

Gudebrod called this particular product its Champion line—a product without parallel with a reputation they enjoyed for well over a century.

Today Gudebrod thread, in particular its Champion line, is a rarity and is almost impossible to find. The Chandler of Pearls is happy to announce that it was able to locate supply of Gudebrod silk thread and is delighted to be able to offer necklaces strung with Gudebrod thread.

The Gudebrod Champion line lives on today with 
The Chandler of Pearls

The Chandler of Pearls
 customer may have their necklace strung with the very rare and very high quality Gudebrod Silk Thread.