Dr Shima enters American Textile Hall of Fame
5th October 2012, Lowell, MA
Shima Seiki President Dr Masahiro Shima has been inducted into the American Textile Hall of Fame, in recognition of his significant contribution to and support given to the industry.
Honourees in the American Textile Hall of fame Class of 2012 are Dr Shima, the founder and President of Shima Seiki Mfg. Ltd., the world’s leading manufacturer of computerized flat knitting machines and Peter G. Scotese, former president and chief executive officer of Springs Industries, Inc., one of the USA’s larger manufacturers of fabrics and home furnishing products.
The American Textile Hall of Fame was founded in 2001 by the American Textile History Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts, to honour individuals, corporations and institutions that have made significant contributions to the textiles industry in America, as well as those who have advanced the place, role, and appreciation of textiles in American life.
Dr Shima and Mr Scotese were honoured at a luncheon on the 10th of September at the Radisson Hotel & Suites in Chelmsford, MA.
“Mr. Scotese and Dr. Shima have each had a profound impact on the textile industry in unique ways,” said ATHM President and CEO Jonathan Stevens. “They are worthy of great recognition for contributions they made to shape the history and future of textiles, and we are honoured to pay tribute to their achievements.”
Pioneer in knitting technology
Dr Shima is the first non-American to be inaugurated into the American Textile Hall of Fame. A pioneer in knitting technology, Dr. Shima began inventing knitting machinery as a young man and by the age of 24, he had founded Shima Seiki and developed the world’s first fully automated glove knitting machine.
Today Shima Seiki is a global company that develops and manufactures computerized knitting machines and graphic design systems. In 1995, it introduced the world to its revolutionary WHOLEGARMENT® knitting machines that produce complete knitwear. Through ongoing innovation, Dr. Shima continues to transform knitted apparel production from start to finish.
Shima Seiki U.S.A. in New Jersey opened in 1987 and the Shima Seiki Design Center in New York was launched in 2006 as a full-service knit consultation and production business catering to the North American apparel industry.
Toshio Nakashima, Director of Shima Seiki’s overseas division, accepted the award on behalf of Dr. Shima, who was unable to travel to the U.S. from Japan due to health reasons. Mr. Nakashima said Dr. Shima was particularly honoured to receive this distinction during Shima Seiki’s 50th anniversary as a company.
Realising a century old prediction
During the ceremonies there was slide show presentation by Professor Eugene Choi of the Graduate School of Technology Management at Ritsumeikan University in Shiga, Japan. Professor Choi showed an image from a series of illustrations drawn by Jean-Marc Côté in 1889 titled France in the Year 2000, predicting how life would be like in the 21st Century.
The image he singled out is titled The Tailor and depicts a contraption producing a ‘whole’ garment based on measurements taken from the customer. Those present were said to be wowed at the notion suggested by Professor Choi that Shima Seiki is the only company to realize this prediction from over a century ago.
After the ceremony there was a demonstration of Shima’s SDS-ONE APEX3 design system, which is also installed at the ATHM. Guests were said to be very impressed by the realism offered by virtual samples produced on APEX3.
“The American Textile Hall of Fame continues to symbolize excellence in the textile industry domestically, yet we also recognize that innovation in the industry has no boundaries,” Stevens said.
“We are living in a global community and, while honouring our individual cultures, we recognize that it is a much smaller world than it was a century or even a few decades ago. I am proud that this institution is moving into the future with a broad scope of awareness and inclusion of the dramatic technological developments.”
Recognized as a leader and visionary throughout his illustrious career in the textile industry, Peter Scotese served in Europe during World War II as an officer in the Parachute Infantry and was awarded two Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star medal. In 1947, he began as a territory salesman at the Nashua Division of Textron, which was spun off and became the Indian Head Mills, working his way up to corporate vice president.
In 1969, Scotese was appointed president of Springs Industries, Inc., one of the nation’s largest producers of textile home furnishings. The first non-family president since the company’s 1887 founding, he went on to serve as CEO until his retirement in 1981. Under his leadership, Springs experienced impressive long-term growth, even during 1970s recession.
In accepting his induction plaque, Mr. Scotese attributed his successful 35 years in the textile industry – and particularly his leadership at Springs – to an unwavering dedication to put employees first. He in turn praised ATHM, saying, “I applaud ATHM for all you do in keeping the textile industry alive, well and progressive.”
According to the ATHM, the 2012 American Textile Hall of Fame was made possible through the generous sponsorship of Gold Sponsors: Peter G. Scotese and Shima Seiki Mfg. Ltd., Silver Sponsors: W.L. Gore & Associates and Timothy P. Horne; Copper Sponsors: Brown Brothers Harriman, Lowell General Hospital, and Marlene and Frank Marchilena.
The American Textile Hall of Fame Committee members are Chairman George W. Shuster, Chairman and CEO, Cranston Print Works, Cranston, RI; J. Matthew Coggins, Senior VP/Marketing Director, Enterprise Bank & Trust Co., Lowell, MA; Karl H. Spilhaus, President, National Textile Association, Boston, MA; Jonathan A. Stevens, President and CEO, American Textile History Museum, Lowell, MA; Ruth Ward, Weavers Guild of Boston, Stoddard, NH.
Author: Billy Hunter