Vintage Beacon Blanket Tracing Its 90-Year Roots
All things old are new again, perhaps due to the stories woven in their very fabric. The Beacon name is deeply rooted in Western North Carolina and one that has been imprinted on so many hearts.
In July 2018, we had the pleasure of connecting with a couple, Bill & Pat Lundy, who coveted their vintage Beacon Blanket and were on a mission of tracing its roots. The family heirloom had been passed down from their Comanche grandmother who had received the blanket in the 1930’s. Imagine if this blanket could speak of all it's seen in its almost 90 years of life? While it will never be able to voice stories past, it continues to tell its own.
One of tradition and love. What was originally thought to be a Pendleton, turned out to be in fact one of Beacon’s vintage designs, the Inca. The lovely couple wanted to know the history of the design and were surprised to trace its roots back to Swannanoa, North Carolina. Beacon had once been the name in blankets in the United States, as it was America’s largest blanket for most of the 1900’s. In fact, not too long ago it was a globally recognized brand, a lifestyle. Beacon blankets have become collector’s items in recent years.
There may never have been a more heartbreaking moment, when the factory closed its doors in 2002, due to economic factors, and then again when the building and all its vintage contents went up in flames soon after in 2003.
In Western North Carolina, Beacon meant family. As we conversed with the granddaughter and her husband about their blankets origins, we could not help but smile. The Beacon name is still deeply-rooted in families across the U.S. This blanket of the past had re-emerged intact with only one minor blemish. Speaking volumes of the timeless Inca pattern and quality.
Listening and acknowledging the stories tied to each and every Beacon blanket is something we thrive on at Beacon Linens. Our startup is bringing Beacon blankets and linens back because we believe in passion, tenacity, and “Making Warm Friends.” Company President and Co-Founder, Tedd Smith, grew up in Swannanoa and his parents worked for years in the blanket mill. All the close ties & heartfelt family connections to Beacon remain part of the incentive to rebuild the Beacon brand.
To the couple that graced us with their story and their Inca vintage beacon. It is because of people just like you, that we continue the tradition of Beacon Blankets. Thank you Mr. & Mrs. Lundy.
The replica of the original Inca blanket will be available for purchase in September 2018. Click here for pre-orders.
Do you have a Beacon Blanket family story? Whether it involves Iconic Beacon Camp Blankets, Beacon Baby blankets or the nearly extinct Beacon Robes that were so popular in the early 1920’s-1950’s, we want to hear it. Share it here, for your chance to be featured.