William M. Wood
After successfully managing a mill for his father in-law, Frederick Ayer, Wood organized the American Woolen Mills Company in 1899, combining the enterprises of Ayer and several other businessmen. Capitalized at $60 million, American Woolen owned some 40 mills across the globe, including both the world’s largest carded woolen plant and the world’s largest worsted manufacturing plant. Wood maintained the firm’s leadership in the textile industry and shepherded it through a difficult labor relations period in the early 1910’s.