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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Oscar Dearmont Baker, June 1977. Interview H-0110. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Changes with transition to new owner

Baker describes the changes implemented during the Broyhill takeover of Conover Furniture. After the company went bankrupt in the late 1930s, Jim Broyhill bought the company from Walter Baker. The transition brought higher wages, innovations in production, and new benefits. According to Oscar Baker, most of the employees were pleased with these changes.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Oscar Dearmont Baker, June 1977. Interview H-0110. 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

PATTY DILLEY:
When Broyhill took over, did they bring in higher wages?
OSCAR DEARMONT BAKER:
It gradually got …
PATTY DILLEY:
It gradually got higher.
OSCAR DEARMONT BAKER:
Yes. And they brought in new styles and new furniture. Started making different stuff than what it was making. That was a kind of a cheap line that they run, and they stepped it up.
PATTY DILLEY:
What kind of benefits did Broyhill bring in besides the gradual rise in wages?
OSCAR DEARMONT BAKER:
When I was there, that wasn't yet in existence. But it is now. But how they brought it in, I wasn't there then. I just don't know how they did it, but it's there now. Now you take the Fourth of July coming up here, Lord, the money they're going to give away: the bonus, and then the week of pay, you know, the week off of the Fourth. You get paid for that week, and then your bonus.
PATTY DILLEY:
That's pretty good.
OSCAR DEARMONT BAKER:
Yes.
PATTY DILLEY:
Do you think people were happy when Broyhill took it over?
OSCAR DEARMONT BAKER:
I would think so. Oh, yes.
PATTY DILLEY:
What opinion do you have of Mr. Broyhill as compared to Mr. Brady as an employer? Which one would you rather work for?
OSCAR DEARMONT BAKER:
Oh, Broyhill. He couldn't touch him.