Benjamin L. “Uncle Ben” Whittier

Born 1899 Died 1961
School of Textiles, North Carolina State College
Years of Service at NC State 1948 – ­1961

Whittier was born 1899 in Lowell, Massachusetts. He graduated from Williams College with an A.B. degree, and also attended Lowell Tech and the Harvard School of Business Administration. He served in the US Navy during WW I and entered the textile business in Boston with the Wellington, Sears Co. Arthritis took him out of the rigors of manufacturing and, in1924; he joined the Mt. Vernon – Woodbury Mills in Baltimore as a Sales Engineer

Whittier came to the School of Textiles in 1948 as Head of the Weaving Department to take the position of T.R. Hart, who became Director of Instruction. He was named to the Edgar and Emily Hesslein Professorship in Textiles. He was an authority on heavy industrial fabrics and was chairman of ASTM Committee D13 on Textiles. He was also a charter member of the Fiber Society. He was an active member of Phi Psi Textile Fraternity.

Whittier Named to Faculty 1948
Courtesy NCSU Archives and Textile Forum










Whittier and a student at a Loom
Courtesy NCSU Archives and Textile Forum







Whittier Off to Peru 1955
Courtesy NCSU Archives and Textile Forum







He was one of the faculty who supported the Peru Project in the middle 1950s. He died in the early morning hours when his automobile crashed near Georgetown, Massachusetts while driving to his summer vacation home in Maine. Whittier was married and had three children: Stephen T. Whittier, Towson, Maryland; Carol (Mrs. Karl Stuart) of Southern Pines, NC; and Sally (Mrs. Bruce Adams) of Los Angeles, CA. (1)



  1. Freeman, Robert, “The School of Textiles Presents its Newest Personality,” Textile Forum, Fall 1948, pages 11, 28­9.
  2. Whittier, B.L., “Strength Factor,” Textile Forum, December 1955, pages 20­21, 32.
  3. Whittier, B.L., “Per Cent,” Textile Forum, April 1956, pages 13, 32­33.
  4. Whittier, B.L., “Yarn Diameter,” Textile Forum, December 1956, pages 16­19, 22.
  5. Whittier, B.L., “Engineering in the Textile Industry in the U.S.A.,” Textile Forum, June 1957, pages 12­13.
  6. Whittier, B.L., “Textile Education – Department of Fabric Development,” Textile Forum, June 1958, pages 7­ 11. 7. School of Textiles Newsletter, July 10, 1961.