Ernest Bezold Berry– Born Sept. 3, 1915
Years of Service NC State 1951-1969
- Assistant Professor Weaving, 1951 – 1965
- Associate Professor, Textile Technology – 1967 – 1969
- 1934-1942 Collins and Aikman Corporation, Philadelphia, PA – Textile Designer
- 1942- 1945 – U.S. Navy
- 1945-1948 La France Industries, La France, SC – Textile Engineer
- 1948-1951 Clemson College – Instructor
- 1951-1965 N.C. State University – Assistant Professor
- 1965 – 1969 N.C. State University – Associate Professor
BS Textiles Clemson College 1951
Figure Ernest B. Berry, Associate Professor, Photo Courtesy of NCSU Archives
Ernest Bezold Berry joined the faculty of the School of Textiles in 1951 after 17 years of preparation. Berry began his industrial career at Collins & Aikman in Philadelphia in 1934 and was lucky to get a job in those depression years. He took night courses at Philadelphia Textiles until the U. S. Navy came calling in 1942. After the war, Berry accepted a position as Textile engineer at LaFrance Industries, La France, S.C. After three years at La France, he decided to take leave and study textiles full time at Clemson College while earning his living as an Instructor. Following graduation, he accepted the position of Assistant Professor at the School of Textiles. He taught weaving and design courses. Along the way, he wrote two books, one on Leno Weaving and the other, on Design. The publishers of the Encyclopedia Americana chose him to write the article on textile fabrics.
He was a wonderful teacher with years of practical experience. He won Outstanding Teaching awards four times, culminated with the ultimate when he was selected as the Outstanding University Teacher in 1966. (4-7) Berry was always interested in getting his students engaged in their work. He wanted to show them the project he had in mind had a practical side.
While teaching senior-level students in the late 1950s, he challenged his students to use a narrow fabric loom capable of weaving a two-inch tape. All the better, the loom was connected to a jacquard head. In the fall semester of 1958, he challenged his students to design and weave a calendar with a School of Textiles design in the top two inches followed by the twelve months positioned two by two for the next five inches. The winning design resulted in a green-and-white calendar assembled with surplus Fortisan warp and acetate filling. The calendars were such a hit with the members of the class, faculty, staff, and alumni, that the project became an annual event. William J. (Willie) Brown, Jr., class of 1959 remembered working on that project. In ensuing years, under the supervision of Berry, calendars were woven with red, black, and white yarns featuring the N.C. state colors and the wolf mascot. After Berry retired in 1969, Professor Joe Porter took on the responsibility. (2) Framed examples of these tapes are on display outside the Office of the Dean of Textiles.
Figure Left – First Calendar Tape -1959; Dean’s Office, COT, NCSU. Photo Gary N. Mock
Computerized Jacquard Design
Ernest Berry consulted with IBM Corporation in the development of a computer-based jacquard design project. A design was entered into the computer and displayed on a Cathode Ray Tube. A designer then worked directly with a light pen to change the design. The first public display was prepared for the Southern Textile Exhibition in Greenville, S. C. October 21-26 1968. (9)
Styling and Merchandizing
The School of Textiles instituted a new dimension of textile education with the creation of a new senior-level course to give a view of the Madison Avenue side of the industry. Fred Eichenberger of the N.C. State School of Design agreed to lecture on the principles of design. Frederick Holt, president of the Consumer Products division of West Point Pepperell and a former president of Fieldcrest Sales Corporation spoke about marketing. Frances W. Massey of Textile Technology explained color and Berry taught the technical aspects of weaving and weaving machinery.
Consumer products considered included carpeting, drapery and upholstery, towels, linens and clothing. At the conclusion of each product, the students took field trips to observe how design is incorporated into fabric for each specific product. (10)
- Southern Pile Fabric Co., Greenville, S.C.
- Gastonia Weaving Co., Gastonia, N.C.
- Airborne Instrument Lab, Mineola, N.Y.
- Frissel Fabric, Inc., Ossipee, N.C.
- Barber Colman Co., Rockland, IL
- Terrell Machine Co., Charlotte, N.C.
- Cone Mills, Haw River, N.C.
- Copland Fabrics, Burlington, N.C.
- Chatham Manufacturing Co., Elkin, N.C.
- Grinnell Corp., Providence, R.I.
- Beacon Manufacturing Co., Swannanoa, NC
- Hercules Powder Co., Wilmington, DL
Figure Ernest Berry of the textile faculty demonstrates threading of warp yarns during a course on upholstery fabric processing while furniture students look on. Photo courtesy of NCSU Archives
Honors and Awards:
- Member – Phi Kappa Phi, honorary academic fraternity
- Member – Delta Kappa Phi, professional society
- Member – American Association of Textile technologists
- Outstanding Teacher, Textile Technology Department, one of 27 award winners from different departments.
- Outstanding Professor of the University, June 10, 1966
Figure Carl R. Harris, president of the North Carolina State University Alumni Association and former executive of Erwin Mills, presents a $500 award to Ernest B. Berry, associate professor of textiles 1966. NC State University students chose Berry as the Outstanding Professor at the Raleigh campus. (7) Photo courtesy of NCSU Archives
- Berry, E. B., Double-Faced Pile Fabrics, Textile Forum, February 1953.
- Berry, E. B., Fundamentals of Leno Designing, book, School of Textiles, N.C. State College, Raleigh, N.C., 27 pages, (1960). TS 1475.B47
- Textile Fabrics, Encyclopedia Americana, New York, N.Y.
- Berry, E. B., Cover Factor, a booklet, School of Textiles, N.C. State College, Raleigh, N.C., (1963) TS1490.B444
- Textile Designing – Pure and Applied, book, School of Textiles, N.C. State College, Raleigh, N.C., 27 pages, (1964). TS 1475.B49
- Berry, E. B., Chapter 16: Weaving and Designing, American Cotton Handbook, Third Ed., (1966) TS1575.H36
- CV, through 1966, NCSU Archives.
- Mock, Gary N., A Century of Progress, The Textile Program, North Carolina State University, 1899-1999, North Carolina Textile Foundation, Raleigh, N.C., 2001, pages 105; 141-2.
- Ernest B. Berry, Office of Information Services, Faculty-Staff Files, January 28, 1965, NCSU Archives.
- Outstanding university professors, Office of Information Services, NCSU, May 26, 1966, NCSU Archives.
- Ernest Berry receives highest honor, Office of Information Services, NCSU, June 10, 1966. NCSU Archives.
- Ernest Berry receives $500 award for teaching, News release, Office of Information Services, NCSU, June 17, 1966. NCSU Archives.
- News Release “NCSU TEXTILE PROFESSOR WINS AWARD,” with photo of Berry receiving check from Carl B. Harris. Undated, NCSU Archives.
- Consumer products overview, New dimension in textile education, News release, Office of Information Services, NCSU, August 25, 1968.
- Computerized jacquard design filmed, News release, Office of Information Services, NCSU, September 19, 1968.
- Consumer Styling program, News Release, Office of Information Services, NCSU, October 16, 1968.
- Ernest Berry retires, News Release, Office of Information Services, NCSU, June 9, 1969.