The Kendall Company is a twentieth-century American industrial success story. In 1903, Henry P. Kendall, at the age of 25, took over management of the Lewis Batting Company, a small, failing, family-owned cotton bleachery in Walpole, Massachusetts. Over the next decade, he grew and transformed that plant into a successful producer of absorbent cotton and gauze, primarily for medical use. He then began acquiring new plants in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and the Carolinas. The Lewis Manufacturing Company was renamed in 1924 and incorporated in 1928 as the Kendall Company. It acquired the surgical dressings firm of Bauer and Black in 1928 and the Bike Web Company in 1929, expanded holdings in the South, and added plants in Mexico in 1947 and Canada in 1950; in the 1960s it had 18 operating plants.