One of contemporary Berks County’s most popular tourist attractions is the VF Outlet. Most visitors to the outlets do not realize the rich history of the buildings that make up the outlet complex. Manufacturing began on the site in 1896 when Ferdinand Thun and Henry Janssen moved their Textile Machine Works to Wyomissing. The Textile Machine Works manufactured knitting and braiding machines. On July 6, 1906 the Textile Machine Works opened an experimental knitting mill as a test bed for the machinery they manufactured. In short order their experiment grew to become the largest full-fashioned knitting mill in the world, The Berkshire Knitting Mill. These pictures were taken in the early 1930’s.
Berkshire Knitting Mill
Left to Right: Ferdinand Thun, Henry Janssen and Gustav Oberlander. Founders and managers of Wyomissing Industries.
The main factory building was 640 feet long. Visitors to the present day VF Outlet may recognize this building as "Big Red."