Thomas R. Hart

School of Textiles, NC State College

Thomas Roy Hart April 29, 1890-1956
Years of Service NCSU 1919-1956

Thomas R. Hart was born in Monroe, North Carolina, on April 29, 1890.  Hart was an honor graduate of NC State College with a B.S. Degree in Textile Industry (1913).  He also earned T.E. (1920) and M.S. (1924) degrees from the College and a certificate from the A.E.F. University, Beaune, France.  Following practical experience at Icemorlee Mills, Monroe, N.C., Aurora Mills, Burlington, N.C., selling looms for Draper Corporation and overseas service in World War I, He returned to the College in 1919 as an Instructor in Weaving and Designing, eventually becoming the Head of that Department in 1937 and serving until he was raised to the position of Director of Instruction in 1948. (1)

Thomas Roy Hart 1890-1956
Textile Forum February 1956

Professor Hart is the author of “Color and Its Application to Textile Design”; “The Textile School –Its Past and Present”; co-author with Dr. Thomas Nelson of “Cloth Calculations”, and has contributed numerous articles to textile journals. (1)

Thomas Hart, the man has passed on; Tom Hart, the spirit, still fills the halls of the Nelson Building.  For “Tom”, or “Windy” or “Professor Hart” or whatever name he was known by, was and is more to the School than a Director of Instruction.  In thirty-seven years he became an institution, a living memory of a student’s four years at State College. (1)

Professor Hart was one of those few men who at once could be an exacting task-master, and a “buddy”.  And, a better friend no student ever had.  It is with love tempered by more than a little gratitude that his students will remember him.  For many of these students owe their graduation to his manipulation of their course of study and his wisdom in choosing their courses. (1)

As a teacher, he was a revelation.  Indeed, it was with reverence that alumni could say, “You haven’t really graduated ‘til you’ve taken one of T.R.’s courses.” (1)

His devotion to family and friends is common knowledge; his devotion to duty and the School a labor of love. (1)

T.R. – “You filled the unforgiving minute with sixty  seconds worth of distance run; yours was the Earth and everything that’s in it, You were a Man, My Son!” (1)    

This closed the In Memoriam piece in the Textile Forum.   The above poem is based on the work “If” by Rudyard Kipling.

Hart’s labor of love resulted in the publication of two editions of his history of the School of Textiles.  He documented the history and included a complete list of graduates from the very beginning.  For the second edition, he wrote,” It has been my good fortune to spend 40 years at North Carolina State College as a student or staff member and see first hand, much of the remarkable progress made by its textile division.  North Carolina State College alumni have every right to be proud of their School.”He included a history of the school’s first 56 years (1899-1955), the current curricula, profiles of the administrative staff, a list of the faculty, a section entitled “Alumni in Industry” complete with advertisements, and an alphabetical list (150 pages long) of all textile alumni and their occupations. What a labor of love. The second edition provided a giant first step in the writing of Mock’s history in 2001.



  1. “Thomas R. Hart 1890-1956”, In Memoriam, Textile Forum, February 1956, page 7.
  2. Mock, Gary N., “A Century of Progress: The Textile Program North Carolina State University 1899-1999,” North Carolina Textile Foundation, Raleigh, 2001.
  3. Hart, Thomas R., “The School of Textiles, N.C. State College– Its Past and Present,” Raleigh, North Carolina State College Print Shop, 1951; second edition 1955.