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Remembering An Industry Legend

To the Editor:

Regarding the Rose York obituary (HTT, 6/19/2006). She was not “one of the first women” to run a business in our field – she was the first.

In 1948, Rose York was an Atlantic Beach housewife rearing a family. Her husband was a down and feather processor. The firm was New York Feather and Down. He had a heart attack and could not continue to run the business, so she stepped in and started to manufacture an end product, pillows.

Pillows was then a commodity business — unglamorous, unstylish and the stepchild of the domestics department. Her competitors did not greet her with open arms. However, in a firm and pleasant way, she revolutionized the pillow business.

She made packaging attractive, something it hadn't been before. She pioneered more presentable and functional fillings, Dacron among them. She exploded the foam pillow business through Sponge Rubber Products of Shelton, Ct. She initiated attractive printed covers for unglamorous pillows. And she initiated the ensemble idea by virtue of manufacturing attractive comforters and matching dust ruffles and sets, with pillows.

In other words, Rose York made a dull business more attractive and more salable. She initiated the name of Countess York and backed it up with numerous personal appearances.

She understood the mentality and taste of the customer.

Allan L. Levine, Retired industry excecutive