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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Zelma Montgomery Murray, March 4, 1976. Interview H-0034. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Child Labor Law restricts work hours for those under 16

Zelma Montgomery Murray talks about beginning work as a spinner in the textile mills at the age of 14 and moving to 10 hour days after she turned 16.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Zelma Montgomery Murray, March 4, 1976. Interview H-0034. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
I lived down here with my aunt, and I worked up here. When I become old enough to go to work (you know, they had the Child Labor Law; you had to be sixteen to work all day),I know I was on eight hours, but I don't know whether that was fourteen or what. I know I had to work eight hours until I became, I think it was, sixteen. And I lived down here, and we'd come through the woods to over here, through the pines down this way an on down to the mill. And we worked ten hours a day and five hours on Saturday.
BRENT GLASS:
And what were you paid for your work? Do you remember?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
I worked fifty-five hours a week, and I drawed $11.55.
BRENT GLASS:
That was for your first job? What was your job?
ZELMA MONTGOMERY MURRAY:
Spinning room. I would spin.