Global Expansion


Albany Felt mirrored the industry's growth, expanding its facilities, broadening its product lines, and searching out new markets. By 1920 Albany Felt had a work force of 223 employees and was the second-largest firm in the industry. Sales had grown from $27,000 in 1896 to $2,000,000. Three years later, the Company had entered the world market with sales agents in England, Sweden, India, and Japan.


All the Company's operations were conducted in the Broadway plant from 1902 until 1947.  But the post-World War II global economic boom led to expotential growth for Albany Felt. In 1950 Albany was a domestic manufacturer with three plants and annual sales of $14 million. In 1968, just before the creation of Albany International, the company had 17 plants in seven countries, and sales had reached a level of $56 million. 

Management developed a simple strategy: select a new market, build sales volume, and then erect a free-standing plant. The first target was Canada, and when sales reched a critical level, Albany built its first plant outside of the United States, a 90,000-square-foot press fabric plant, in Cowansville, Quebec, in 1952.  

Over the next twenty years, the Company also established a felt mill in the Southeastern United States, expanded into overseas markets with joint ventures that brought it into Scandinavia, Latin America, The Netherlands, France, and Australia, and made major expansions into industrial fabrics and plastics.