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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Arthur Little, December 14, 1979. Interview H-0132. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Small changes in the technology of making gloves

Little describes the changes in technology, or lack thereof, in the glove-making process. While technological development has improved glove-making machines, the basic process has not changed. Little also remembers that some glove makers sewed gloves in their homes.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Arthur Little, December 14, 1979. Interview H-0132. 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

JACQUELYN HALL:
What about the changing technology? Has it been pretty much the same machines from the beginning that you're using now, or what kind of changes …
ARTHUR LITTLE:
The machine is the same sewing machines, except they're made stouter and run faster. The glove is made today just like the first one was made years ago in the West whenever there was snow on the ground. They made them in the West in their families. The men would cut them out with scissors, and the women would sew them up. The same today. We've made progress in how to cut them and how to do a lot of the other things to them, but that sewing is the same old way. The machine's got to be guided every move it makes, just like the first glove was made. I had an uncle that spent a lot of time in the West, in Illinois, and he said they cut them out with scissors in the wintertime when there was snow on the ground, and the women would sew them up. They used them in working in the fields in the summertime, and the wintertime, too. They husked corn with them. They made two-thumb gloves, too. And they husked corn with them. Until it got into the factories then. Some of the first gloves made in this country were cut and sent here and sewed together by different women in different.
JACQUELYN HALL:
In this county?
ARTHUR LITTLE:
Yes. Just like, you know, the old tobacco poke things. They were put together and made, and they'd send them in here, and women would run thread through them, you know? You've seen people with these thread tobacco , people that roll their own?
JACQUELYN HALL:
Yes.
ARTHUR LITTLE:
These folks in here made them. And that's what got the idea here.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Are you saying that there were factories here that rolled tobacco?
ARTHUR LITTLE:
There was ladies here that sewed gloves.
JACQUELYN HALL:
They'd sew gloves in their homes.
ARTHUR LITTLE:
Yes. Sewed gloves in their homes and then sent them back to wherever they got them from. Now I'm not as well versed in that as some of the Hermans over here, but that's where they got the idea to make gloves first. They were among the first to make gloves here, and then, of course, Warlong came along. And when Newton Glove came along, they …
JACQUELYN HALL:
So women were sewing gloves in their homes.
ARTHUR LITTLE:
Yes.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Do you know who they were selling the gloves to?
ARTHUR LITTLE:
They sent them back to the people that sent them the cut goods.
JACQUELYN HALL:
Do you know who sent them the cut goods?
ARTHUR LITTLE:
They might could come from Wells, Vermont, or some of those bigger factories in the Midwest. I just don't know.