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The Sloane Collection, no. 12 - Anderson Clayton

Story Sloane, III

Silent | c. 1920s

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  •  Woman working at great pace 
  •  "I'm ready for my close-up." 
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This film footage includes scenes of what is likely an Anderson, Clayton and Company, cotton merchants, factory floor. Bales of cotton are arranged for distribution and women sew bulk bags on an assembly line. Also included are scenes of young, professional men lining up to take a photograph. The jovial group poses in suits and hats, smoking cigars and laughing.
Anderson, Clayton and Company, cotton merchants, was founded in 1904 by brothers-in-law Frank E. Anderson, William Lockhart Clayton, and Monroe D. Anderson. The company was founded in Oklahoma City but soon moved to Houston to take advantage of the shipping conveniences of the Houston Ship Channel. Anderson, Clayton experienced a huge boom in business as World War I began and demand for cotton increased. They expanded to the international market in the 1920s and easily survived the Great Depression due to its partnerships abroad. Despite setbacks at the beginning of WWII, Anderson, Clayton continued selling cotton in Europe through the 1940s and ultimately contributed to the war efforts with use of its shipping fleet. By 1945, the company was considered the largest buyer, shipper, storer, and seller of cotton in the world. The company’s choice to go public on the NYSE in 1945 allowed for the purchase of land for the Texas Medical Center by the M.D. Anderson Foundation, the product of which is the M.D. Anderson Medical Center that still operates in Houston today. The company continued to flourish through the 1950s, but with the introduction of synthetic textiles, operations were scaled back through the 1960s and 70s. By the 1980s, the Houston headquarters were closed, and the Anderson, Clayton stock was delisted from the market.