WOOLWORTH CO., F. W., an American chain store sys tem, was started in Feb. 1879, in Utica, N.Y., by F. W. Wool worth (q.v.). Woolworth's brother, C. S. Woolworth, his cousin Seymour H. Knox and his close friends F. M. Kirby and E. P. Charlton, as well as his old mentor W. H. Moore, all started stores of their own after F. W. Woolworth.
All of these parties operated independent units until 1912 when they were merged into the present F. W. Woolworth Co. There were 598 stores in the combined organization on Jan. 1, 1912. On Dec. the chain had grown to 1,957 stores, and the business had grown from $60,557,767 for the year 1912 to over $270,000,000 for the year 1934. The stores of the F. W. Wool worth Co., cover every State in the Union, also Canada and Cuba. In addition to the United States Company, the F. W. Woolworth and Co., Ltd. of England, which started in the autumn of the year 1910, operates 597 stores ; and the F. W. Woolworth Co. of
Germany, which started in the year 1927, operates 81 stores. The F. W. Woolworth Co. of New York holds the controlling in terest in both of these companies. (H. T. P.) WOONSOCKET, a city of Rhode Island, U.S.A., on the Blackstone river. Pop. (1920) (37% foreign-born white, of whom over half were French Canadians) ; 1930 Federal census The river with its tributaries, the Mill and the Peters, provides abundant water-power. The city manufactures woollen and worsted yarns, pile fabrics, rayon, rubber articles and clothes wringers. Its output in 1927 was $80,398,764. The city's assessed valuation for 1927 was $86,339,350. Settlement began about 1666, when Richard Arnold built a saw-mill on the Blackstone. Woonsocket Was separated from Cumberland and incorporated in 1867 and was chartered in 1888.