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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Flossie Moore Durham, September 2, 1976. Interview H-0066. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

A pleasant work environment at a cotton mill

Durham remembers the cotton mill where she worked as a decent work environment: mill workers were friendly with one another and their overseers, and were permitted breaks to rest or take a drink of water.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Flossie Moore Durham, September 2, 1976. Interview H-0066. 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

MARY FREDERICKSON:
When you worked inside the mill, what was it like? Did you have a lot of friends who worked in the mill, too?
FLOSSIE MOORE DURHAM:
Oh, yes, they was all… one big family. A lot of people'd say, "Aw, it's just about like one big family." There weren't so many houses over here then. No. This house was here, and them over there, of course, and the parsonage. But there's a lot of these other houses was not here.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
Did you have time when you were working to talk to the people around you and sort of joke around?
FLOSSIE MOORE DURHAM:
With most of them you could. Yes, they had pretty good overseers. No, they weren't bad, no.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
If you got tired and wanted to sit down and rest or something, could you do that?
FLOSSIE MOORE DURHAM:
Oh, yes, if you had your work up, you could sit down any time you wanted to. What water we had was drawed out of a well and brought in there in the bucket.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
So could you always stop and get a drink of water when you needed it?
FLOSSIE MOORE DURHAM:
Whenever you wanted to. And there was always that bucket sitting up on the big post place, and a dipper in it. I can almost see anybody go there now, take that dipper and knock the lint back off of it, and get them a drink of water. And a lot of the time, when they'd first bring in the bucket of water, that's when a lot of them would get their water.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
[Laughter] Before it got lint on it, huh?
FLOSSIE MOORE DURHAM:
Before it got lint on it. [Laughter] In my imagination I can almost see anybody take the dipper and then kind of push that lint back and get them a drink of water. And we didn't think nothing about it.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
Did the lint ever bother you? Did you ever have trouble?
FLOSSIE MOORE DURHAM:
Oh, not enough to know any difference, no.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
You didn't catch colds from it or have asthma or anything.
FLOSSIE MOORE DURHAM:
[Laughter] Anyway I've lived through it till I'm ninety-three years old. [Laughter] And so I'm the oldest one here in Bynum.