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History Of Textile industry in India – Bombay Dyeing : A Synoptic History

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History Of Textile industry in India – Bombay Dyeing : A Synoptic History


History Of Textile industry in India – Bombay Dyeing : A Synoptic History




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30th August 1849

Birth of the founder, Nowrosjee Nusserwanjee Wadia, in Bombay.

30 May 1873

Birth of the founder’s second son, Nusserwanjee Nowrosjee Wadia
(Sir Ness), in Bombay.

23 August 1879
Incorporation of the Bombay Dyeing & Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
under the Indian Companies Act of 1866, on 22,000 square yards of
land known as Sitta and Vera, along the Mahim shore. Land acquisi-
tion cost: Rs 5,000, including brokerage. Initial capital Rs 100,000.

26 January 1895
Construction begins of the Textile Mills on 26 acres of land along
Delisle Road (now Elphinstone Road), for the purpose of supplying
the original dye works with grey yarn. Formation capital: Rs 1.2
million. 15 March 1896: Operation ins with 30,000 spindles, in-
creased to 71,936 by 1906. 1904: Installation of first 700 Platt looms;
by 1906 the number of looms had risen to 1,686. 1908: Addition of
bleaching and dyeing shed with the capacity to bleach, dye and finish
50 bales (13,500 kgs) of cloth daily. 1914: Addition of waste plant with
2,400 spindles and 48 looms. The waste plant ceased operation in 1972.
Construction of the Century Spinning & Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
on land adjoining the Textile Mills. June 1899: operation begins.

Formation of Nowrosjee Wadia & Sons as managing agents of the

19 December 1899
Death of founder, Nowrosjee N. Wadia.

Division of the mills among the three sons of Nowrosjee N.
Wadia. The first-born, Cursetjee (Cusrow) receives the Century
Mills; Nusserwanjee (Ness) and Rustomjee, Bombay Dyeing &
Manufacturing Co. Ltd., Textile Spinning & Manufacturing Co.
Ltd. and the managing agency, Nowrosjee Wadia & Sons.
1935: Sir Cusrow sells the Century Mills and its managing agency
to Sir Chunilal Mehta.

27 March 1906
The second son, Ness N. Wadia, becomes Chairman of Bombay
Dyeing. Decision made to erect a new composite mill, to be known
as the Spring Mills, on 150,000 sq yds of land acquired at Sewri. To
finance construction, nominal capital of the Company is increased
to Rs 1.8 million. 10 January 1907: Spring Mills foundation stone
laid by Ness Wadia’s wife Evelyne. 2 May 1908: Spring Mills begins
operation with 32,280 spindles and 630 looms,

Establishment of a Provident Fund for workers, with a priming
capital of Rs 15,967. At the start, workers earning Rs 45 per month
or more were required to contribute 1/12th of their monthly earnings,
an equal amount being contributed by the Company. Today, all
employees contribute 8% of their gross monthly earnings to the
Provident Fund; an equal amount is contributed by the Company.

22 August 1911
Birth of Neville N. Wadia, Sir Ness’s and Lady Evelyne’s only son,
in Liverpool, England.

1 January 1918
Merger of Textile Spinning & Manufacturing Co., Ltd. and Bombay
Dyeing & Manufacturing Co., Ltd.; Company capital increased from
Rs 1.8 million to Rs 3.2 million.

Sir Ness Wadia awarded the CIE. Construction begins of the first
workers chawls on the Spring Mills grounds at a starting cost of
Rs 32,750. 1918-47: Completion of workers chawls, which today
numbers 14 buildings on 14.5 acres. Total present occupancy: 648
families, 6,000 individuals. Present value of land: Rs 5.4 million as
against acquisition cost of Rs 540,000. Subsidised by the Company,
rents are low: some Rs 8 per month per room, plus a nominal charge
for lighting.

To increase production, both Bombay Dyeing and the Textile Mills
go to two daily shifts of 8 hours each.

Construction of Neville House, the Company’s headquarters building
2. on J.N. Heredia Marg, Ballard Estate, at a cost of Rs 1.2 million. 24
October 1954: Building collapses as a result of structural defects. 1956:
Completion of repairs at a cost of Rs 2 million; during re-construction
a fourth floor was added.

Purchase of the Perosha Mehta Ginning & Processing Co., Ltd.,
at Nanded, for Rs 120,000; re-named the Nowrosjee Wadia Ginning
& Processing Co., Ltd. In 1958 a second ginning factory was acquired
at Umri for Rs 165,000. Both these ginning factories are at present
inoperational due to the unavailability of suitable cotton supplies in
Maharashtra State.

Sir Ness Wadia leads millowners in a successful campaign to eliminate
a 3.5% excise duty imposed, under 1895 legislation, on all cotton
cloths manufactured in India.

Sir Ness Wadia awarded the KBE.

15 October 1931
Neville Wadia becomes apprentice at the Spring Mills.

Textile Mills are electrified.

Printing of textile introduced at the Textile Mills.

Spring Mills are electrified.

Nowrosjee Wadia & Sons, managing agents, converts to a private
limited company.

15 February 1944
Birth of Nusli N. Wadia in Bombay, only son of Neville and Dina
Jinnah Wadia.

22 April 1952
Death of Sir Ness Wadia in Bombay. Neville Wadia becomes

1,260 automatic looms and ancillary equipment ordered from the
Ruti Machinery Works, Ltd. in Switzerland at a total cost of Rs 30
million. With their installation, Bombay Dyeing becomes the most
automated textile operation in India. The addition was completed
without retrenching a single worker, by adding a third working shift.

Construction completed of New Bleach Works at the Textile Mills.

Chairman Neville Wadia begins the practice of bestowing silver
medals on all Bombay Dyeing personnel with 25 years service or

Establishment of a Design Centre in the New Bleach Works to
expand and improve the Company’s line of printed cloths.

2 August 1962
Nusli N. Wadia enters Bombay Dyeing employ as trainee in the
Spring Mills.

Establishment of the Sir Ness Wadia Foundation for charitable

Nowrosjee Wadia & Sons, Ltd., ceases to be managing agents of
Bombay Dyeing due to enactment of legislation abolishing the
managing agency system. H.R. Batlivala appointed the firm’s
Managing Director; Nusli N. Wadia appointed joint Managing

Erection of the new Sulzer loom shed and installation of 308 shuttle-
less Sulzer looms imported from Switzerland. Total installed cost:
Rs 125 million.

4 April 1977
Neville N. Wadia retires as Chairman, passing the office to his son,
Nusli N. Wadia.



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