Robert Knight.

Managing Real Estate Broker with Fathom Realty PB00068179

Robert Knight was born in Old Warwick, Rhode Island back in 1826 to Stephen and Weltham.  The family moved to Cranston, Rhode Island where his father put him to work in the Cranston Print Works at the tender age of eight.  In 1845 he studied for a year and a half at Pawcatuck Academy in Westerly.  Afterwards, he taught school in Exeter for four months.

In 1846, you could find him working for John Hopkins Clarke as a clerk in his factory store in Pontiac.  Clarke was elected to the U.S. Senate; Robert and a partner purchased the business becoming owners of the Pontiac Mills.  In 1852 Robert and his brother Benjamin formed the B.B. and R. Knight manufacturing and grain firm.  The brothers purchased numerous manufacturing operation in New England.  The Knights built employee housing, mill villages and donated funds to help build churches.  Robert died in 1912, he was 86.

What you may not know about Robert is that he and his brother Benjamin in 1851 founded a clothing brand, maybe you’ve heard about it?  Fruit of the Loom?

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NW Arkansas the home of WalMart, JB Hunt Trucking and Tyson Foods.


Come for a visit stay for a lifetime.  



Comments (21)

Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello James - thank you for this information.  It seems Mr Knight had a tradition of being on top of a lot of things.  Obviously "under" some as well.   

Feb 27, 2021 04:12 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Hi James... I've certainly heard of and purchased Fruit of the Loom... but had no clue just how old this company is.

Feb 27, 2021 04:18 AM
Raymond E. Camp
Ontario, NY

Good morning James,

The name had me thinking of Indiana!

The product I have worn on occasions!

Make yourself an astonishing day.

Feb 27, 2021 04:52 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

Another Robert I can look up to... or down at as I put on my underwear in the morning. Have a wonderful weekend James Dray .

Feb 27, 2021 05:30 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning James Dray,

Well I learned another tidbit about our history today. Thank you for sharing as I certainly had no idea Fruit of the Loom was founded in 1851!

Feb 27, 2021 05:30 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Hmm, I have never heard of this Robert Knight, but I have heard of Bobby Knight the legendary basketball coach.

Feb 27, 2021 05:35 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning James. Never heard of Robert but certainly know Fruit of the Loom. Enjoy your day.

Feb 27, 2021 05:37 AM
faye schubert
Retired - Branson, MO
Living the Branson Lake Life

Fruit of the Loom, such a well known brand! Now we know the rest of the story.

Feb 27, 2021 07:11 AM
Rocky Dickerson
Realty One Group - Las Vegas, NV
Superior Service!

Good morning James Dray and thank you once again for another fascinating biography

Feb 27, 2021 07:25 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning James Dray - well know brand and I love Michael Jacobs comment!

Feb 27, 2021 07:57 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, James, for sharing this story.

Take care, be safe and have an outstanding weekend.

Feb 27, 2021 08:29 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Interesting story, James. All of this was news to me except the name of the company! I had no idea the company was that old! And it's wonderful how giving these brothers were!

Feb 27, 2021 09:30 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Wow James, the company is that old, I did not know.  Was it sold out a number of times?


Feb 27, 2021 09:36 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Well that was interesting!!! I am familiar with Fruit of the Loom but had no idea of the back story. 

Feb 27, 2021 10:28 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

So that's where Fruit of the Loom came from. Interesting James Dray 

Feb 27, 2021 01:04 PM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Now we know the history of Fruit of the Loom, and their commercials are truly silly in my opinion.  A

Feb 27, 2021 01:21 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

I had absolutely no idea but can proudly say I know him intimately by wearing some of his products:))Endre

Feb 27, 2021 09:51 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

that area around Rhode Island and Massachusetts was responsible for lots of mills and shoe factories.  Not surprised that one of them has lasted this long.

Feb 28, 2021 01:36 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

James just been thinking about this post any relations to the Coach Booby Knight? Inquiring minds want to know, Endre

Feb 28, 2021 10:35 PM
James Dray

Not a clue

Feb 28, 2021 11:41 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

I do love success stories. The story of the successful career of Robert Knight is exceptional.

Sep 06, 2021 05:49 PM