in 1755 james and patrick clark began a loom equipment and silk thread business in paisley, scotland which eventually grew into the company j & p coats, now also a weaving business with a cotton mill that produced its own thread. the firm expanded internationally, particularly to the usa, where the coats brand eventually dominated the american thread market.
in 1898, the american thread company was incorporated in new jersey, a combination of 13 new england firms. business went very well in the early years of the 20th century. the beautiful building occupied by the new york wool exchange at 230 west broadway was purchased and became the new york headquarters. today it houses condominiums.