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Mercury Mills was established in 1912 by John Penman who was an innovative knitting industry leader who moved to Hamilton from Paris, Ontario. Mercury Mills first had a plant on Park Street North. At its peak, it employed over 1,100 people at three sites in the province with the main plant built in 1916 on Cumberland Avenue between Gage and Prospect avenues.
During wartime, Mercury Mills produced materials used in military uniforms and parachutes. In later years, it faced increasing competition and eventually closed down in 1955. The building was demolished in 1983.