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Title: Oral History Interview with Paul and Pauline Griffith, May 30, 1980. Interview H-0247. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Griffith, Paul, interviewee
Author: Griffith, Pauline, interviewee
Interview conducted by Tullos, Allen
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
Text encoded by Mike Millner
Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2006
Size of electronic edition: 260 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2006.
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.
The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South.
Languages used in the text: English
Revision history:
2006-00-00, Celine Noel and Wanda Gunther revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
2006-07-21, Mike Millner finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of sound recording: Oral History Interview with Paul and Pauline Griffith, May 30, 1980. Interview H-0247. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series H. Piedmont Industrialization, 1974-1980. Southern Oral History Program Collection (H-0247)
Author: Allen Tullos
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Paul and Pauline Griffith, May 30, 1980. Interview H-0247. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series H. Piedmont Industrialization, 1974-1980. Southern Oral History Program Collection (H-0247)
Author: Paul and Pauline Griffith
Description: 273 Mb
Description: 64 p.
Note: Interview conducted on May 30, 1980, by Allen Tullos; recorded in Greenville, South Carolina.
Note: Transcribed by Dorothy M. Casey.
Note: Forms part of: Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Series H. Piedmont Industrialization, 1974-1980, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Note: Original transcript on deposit at the Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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Interview with Paul and Pauline Griffith, May 30, 1980.
Interview H-0247. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Griffith, Paul, interviewee
Griffith, Pauline, interviewee


Interview Participants

    PAUL GRIFFITH, interviewee
    PAULINE GRIFFITH, interviewee
    ALLEN TULLOS, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
ALLEN TULLOS:
The place to begin, I guess, would be with you, Mr. Griffith. If you could recall anything, if you will, about your grandparents, or where you grew up, your parents, where you all lived, or any memories that you might have.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
You want me to start now?
ALLEN TULLOS:
Yes, sir.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
We come here at Judson Mill in 1905. This was a plantation where this mill was built. That's where we—
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Where the office is.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Where the office is now. This mill was built in 1912. And so I've been around here practically all my life.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What do you know about why it was your parents came here?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
They worked on the farm.
ALLEN TULLOS:
They were both born down near Mauldin.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Mauldin, South Carolina, yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
They grew up on the farm?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What kind of crops do you reckon they used to grow?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Cotton and corn, and something to eat.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How old were they when they came here? You say 1905 is the year. You were told that they came to Greenville? How old would they have been approximately?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
About thirty years old, somewhere along in there.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Was there any particular reason why they left the Mauldin area and came here?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
No. They just came. You know how farmers does.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Your father was a kind of an overseer. Would that be a true?

Page 2
He looked out for this plantation?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yes, plantation, yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Who was the man that owned it?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
A fellow, Seely, owned the land.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How big a place was it?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Oh, I guess there was about a hundred acres in here, or more.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did he own that place a pretty long time, Mr. Seely?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
I don't know how long he owned it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Who was working on it mainly? Who was farming it?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Colored people.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Colored people.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
They grew cotton.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you reckon some member of their families had been here since the Civil War times?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
I imagine there was, yes, back then.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What was you father's job in relation to the black people that lived here?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
He see'd that they had a different job to do, just like the overseer. And at picking cotton time, all of them went together and picked cotton, and the corn, and stuff like that.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you think they just had one big cotton field or did each of the tenants have a separate patch?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
It was just one big field of cotton and one big field of corn, and other vegetables they want to grow, too.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And did each of the black families have a separate house that they lived in?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yeah, a separate house.

Page 3
ALLEN TULLOS:
And do you know what kind of a house your parents had?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Well, it was a frame house, an old frame house.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How many rooms were in it?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
I guess it had about four or five, something like that.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Just one floor?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
One floor, yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You had one sister and one brother? What were their names?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
We called him Bill, W.T. Griffith.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Was he the older brother?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
The oldest one, yes. He was five years older than I was. And my sister's name is Dot Hawkins now.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Dorothy.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Dorothy.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When was she born?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Oh, I believe 1915.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember anything at all about building the mill, or buying the land here to build the Judson Mill?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
I forgot who built it, but anyway they started building the mill in 1912. I forgot who first started off. I don't know whether Milliken had anything to do with that then or not. But sometime in years to come, Milliken got a hold of it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What about your father? What did he do when they built the mill?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Well, he helped build the mill. He knowed something about machinery and he went into the machine shop. Then he became what we called a ‘second-hand’ back then—kinda like a boss.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What would a second-hand do? What kind of authority did he have back then?

Page 4
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Well he had the authority to tell people what to do, and if you didn't do it, he'd just get somebody else.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Was he a second-hand in a particular department?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
In the machine shop.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What did they do in the machine shop?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Well, maybe a piece would break off a loom, or something like that. Then they'd bring it to the shop. They'd fix it in the machine shop, all kinds of things.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How was it that he had some experience with machinery?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Well, he worked on all kinds of machinery before then. Then after he got it there he just picked it up more.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Was it mostly farming machinery that he had worked with before?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yeah.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Had he ever done anything else besides farming?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
No, not that I know of.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember at all the mill being built?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yeah, I can remember they started putting up walls when I was a little fella.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did they build these houses at the same time they built the mill?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
I believe it was about 1913 when they built these houses, or somewhere along in there.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So you were about seven years old. Did you all move into one of these houses?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yeah. Right across the street, and two rooms. And another person had two rooms, back then.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Was it a house pretty much like this one?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Just the same. They just started building them over there, you see. That side over there was built first.

Page 5
ALLEN TULLOS:
Were these houses divided so that two families could move in?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
There's a hall through here.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And there would be two. . . .
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Two rooms.
ALLEN TULLOS:
On each side.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Now some family on the next street had five rooms. And one person had three rooms, and another person had two rooms.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Sometimes a family would take the whole house?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Just according to how big the family was.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What about when you started to school? Did you go to school when you were here in the Judson Mill?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
They just had one room.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How old were you when you started?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
I was about six or seven, somewhere along in there.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember much about that?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Not too, too much.
ALLEN TULLOS:
All the different children would be in the same room?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Uh huh.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How many grades?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Then they just again have school. . . you help me a littl bit on that, Polly?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Well, I imagine maybe one through fourth grades, in the same room.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What about your mother? Did she work in the mill?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yeah, she worked in the mill.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What was her job?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Weaver, she weaved.

Page 6
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember her talking about her work?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yeah. When she first went to work, her and my daddy married, she worked in the mill five cents a day. Five cents a day before her and my daddy married. Then they got to making more.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Where would that have been?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Right down here at Conestee, right down there pretty close to Mauldin. Had a little mill down there.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What was she doing down there? What job would that have been?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
I don't know.
ALLEN TULLOS:
But that's where she had first gone to work?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Uh huh.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When she came up here, what kind of looms do you remember that she was running back then?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
I was small. I don't know nothing about that then.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember her talking about how many looms she had run?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
No, I don't.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What time would she have to get up to go to work?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
They'd blow a whistle up there at five o'clock to wake the people up, and you had to go to work at six o'clock.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
And they worked ten hours a day.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
And they got off an hour for dinner. Then five hours on Saturday.
ALLEN TULLOS:
She would come home for dinner? And your father, too?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yeah.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Then they would get off work about five o'clock? And the whistle would blow?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
About five o'clock. In the morning about five o'clock.

Page 7
ALLEN TULLOS:
And in the evening, too, to get off?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
No, I don't think it would blow again.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And there was really just one shift of workers?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
At that particular time, yeah. Then a little bit later on, they put two shifts.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember when that would have been? About the time of World War II, or World War I or after that? I'm just curious, was she still working there when they had two shifts?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
I don't believe so. She died in 1925.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did your mother work in the mill all the time until her death?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
No, her health went bad.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So she had to retire from the mill?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yeah, she had to quit.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What was the trouble?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Oh, she had an operation I think. Gall bladder trouble back then; they didn't know much about that back then like they do now.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Was there anybody that looked after the children while she was working in the mill?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
No. We had to stay at home. We had to stay at home; [Laughter] my parents were pretty strict. They knew where we was at.
ALLEN TULLOS:
They kept up with you?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yeah.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Well, their ages were separated several years apart, so really I guess your brother, Bill, was almost old enough to look out for the younger two of you?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yeah.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How many grades did Bill finish in school?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Oh, about the same thing.

Page 8
ALLEN TULLOS:
And your sister?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Well, my sister finished school.
ALLEN TULLOS:
High school?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
High school, yeah.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Where did she finish high school?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Slater, South Carolina.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How did she get up there?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
After my mother died, my sister was small, and my daddy married again. And they moved up the country here about fifteen miles, further up the mountains there, called Slater Mill. J.P. Stevens owned that mill up there.
ALLEN TULLOS:
They owned it later? Did they buy it later?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
They built it new. In 1928 my daddy moved up there. He married in '27. Me and my wife here married in the same year. He married about the first of the year, and we married the 28th of May of the same year.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
We married on my nineteenth birthday [Laughter] .
ALLEN TULLOS:
Where did you all marry?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
At Preacher Gualt's parsonage.
ALLEN TULLOS:
His name was Gualt?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Uh huh. G-U-A-L-T.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What job did your father have with the Slater Mill?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
About the same thing.
ALLEN TULLOS:
He was in charge of the machines?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
The machine shop, uh huh.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember your mother ever talking about what the conditions were like inside the mill?

Page 9
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Well, she said when she first went to work, she had to have a box. She was small and she had to have a box to stand on and reach what she was doing.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How old was she when she started? That would have been before she moved up here.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Oh, I don't know. She was pretty small.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
I believe he does a better job than I can.
ALLEN TULLOS:
I think you all both do fine.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Thank you.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Why don't we get you to go back in the same way that Mr. Griffith has, if you can, and remember some of your early memories about where you grew up and family and what your family did and things like that.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
We lived in the country in Hendersonville and they raised corn and beans. It was just generally vegetables mostly in that area. And they had apples. They raised chickens. My daddy was just a farmer. And they raised hogs. We grew everything we ate right there at home, except you know, the commodities you'd have to buy in the store. It was quite a treat to get to go to the store. Because everything was made at home, and the things from the store were outstanding to all those kids. We looked forward to go shopping sometimes with my dad. They used to sell eggs to buy other things, you know. They swapped eggs instead of money.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
For coffee.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
For coffee and sugar and things like that. I remember them telling about the first car that came through there. My two sisters were going to the store with a basket of eggs and they saw this car coming. It frightened them so that they ran up the bank to see it go by, so it

Page 10
wouldn't hit them [Laughter] . Isn't that funny? And then it was rare back then to see an automobile. It's hard to imagine that now.
We had a happy home life. My father was a Christian man, and my mother. We went to church and that was one of the main things in their lives.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What church did you go to?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
At first we didn't have a church. We went over the hill, over a mountain. My daddy would carry me on his back. It was in my aunt's home. They had Sunday school then. They just had a worship service. And finally there was a church built in our area. And my uncle, on my grandmother's side, was the pastor. He had twin boys, Elbert and Albert. It was just a good country church.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Was it any particular denomination?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
It was Baptist, uh huh, and they'd have prayer meetings and singings and different things, you know, to go to. We would go in a wagon, and that was quite a treat, you know, to get to go to church in the wagon. That was a big day.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How often would you go?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
To church?
ALLEN TULLOS:
Yes. Would it be every week that you'd get to go?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Yes. We had service every week. We had a good happy life. Our community in which we lived, the people were thoughtful of each other. We had good fellowship among our neighbors, friends.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When was it that you came to Greenville?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
When I was about seven years old, and I was born in 1908.

Page 11
ALLEN TULLOS:
Why was it that your family came here?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Well, the crops were kind of failing at that time, and they thought that it would be better to move. It was a necessity to move and get a job, rather than depend on the farm. That's why we came.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Can you remember at all your parents trying to make it on the farm? Did they want to come to the mill? Or would they have rather stayed on the farm?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Well, they would have preferred to stay on the farm, but you've heard of famines in the Bible. It was kind of like that. We could have survived but it wouldn't have been easy. So they thought it would be easier for the family to come. My two older sisters worked, and my father.
ALLEN TULLOS:
They started to work as well as your father?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Yes, they were weavers. My daddy worked in the. . . what was that shop he worked in?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
I forget what department it was.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
It's where they dyed the yarn.
ALLEN TULLOS:
It was here?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
At Judson.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What about your mother? Did she work in the mill?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
No, sir, she never worked in the mill at all. And my mother was never in the hospital.
ALLEN TULLOS:
She looked after the children?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Yes, she looked after us and kept the home.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did she have a garden?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Yes, sir, she had a garden. She had pigs. Coming from the country, they used to allow us to have a place where we could have

Page 12
a hog pen. And she liked to do that. And we had a cow, too. We had our own milk and butter. She grew a lot of vegetables in the garden. We all worked and helped.
ALLEN TULLOS:
She was in charge of the garden and your livestock?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Yes, sir.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did she can food?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Yes, she did. We canned up food, you know, and helped out, just like in the country, only it was on a smaller scale.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you ever notice any difference between the people who had moved here from the mountains where they had grown a lot of vegetables and different kinds of crops before, and the people who were more accustomed to growing cotton, who hadn't grown so many different kinds of things?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Well, I was amazed at the cotton. I couldn't imagine it growing like it did. And as I got a little older, I had some friends whose daddy had some cotton. I tried picking some to see how much money I could make. I picked thirteen pounds and I thought I had picked a bale [Laughter] . It was real interesting.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Were there any differences between the people that had come from the mountains and those who were cotton people?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Well, I couldn't tell any difference. At the time that we came to the mill, the mill people had a good standard that the people had to live by. There were no roughnecks allowed in the village. They were choice people. You didn't even have to lock your doors. If you wanted to go to town or somewhere, you could just go to town and come back, and everything would be there.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Would that be true for the several mill villages at that time?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
I guess it was. It was for this one. Because the

Page 13
ones that were over the plant, they would just as soon make people move if they didn't live up to standard. They just simply wouldn't have anybody that wasn't the best type people. And it was a good thing. Because, without some kind of stardard, people's lives deteriorated. They're just not up to par, and it affects communitites in the ways they don't want to be affected. We had lots to be thankful for in that.
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you know why it was that your mother and father chose to come to this particular place?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
I had an aunt that lived here, and she worked in the plant. She's the one that got the jobs for them at the time.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How did she do that?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Well, she contacted the bosses at the plant. And we lived in the house with her. She lived on one side and us on the other. There was just a hall in between.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Was she living by herself?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
No. Her husband and three children. But we all lived in the same house, except for the hall.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Until they could get another house. They was building more houses then.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How did you arrange your half of the house? I guess you had five or six people living. . . .
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
I guess that house had six rooms. We had three and our aunt had three. Our brothers were small enough that we didn't have too much problem. They were younger then. I was the youngest girl.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What about the houses then? Did they have any kind of utilities, electricity, water?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Not at that time. And the floors were open. You

Page 14
could see under the house, walking along. And in the winter time, it was really airish [Laughter] .
PAUL GRIFFITH:
That there was when they was in the country.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Yeah. And they didn't have any insulation of any kind back in the mill houses at that time.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You're talking about the mill house when you moved here? That you could see through the floors?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
No, sir. In the country. But back then, we couldn't afford linoleum floor coverings, or any rugs. And we would save our water that we washed with, suds, and scrub the whole house and both porches. That was the way we lived back in that day and we didn't think anything about it. I had washed many a time—the entire house, porches and all—and after a while when the clothes begin to dry, bring them in and iron them, all in the same day [Laughter] . We didn't think anything about it. We seemed to have plenty of time. The time didn't go as fast as it does now.
ALLEN TULLOS:
About your aunt: what job did she have in the mill?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
I think that she worked in the cloth room.
ALLEN TULLOS:
She put in a word then with the bosses. Who would that have been exactly? Like a second-hand or an overseer?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
I don't know. See, I was small.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And so your father and your two older sisters?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Worked.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And they went to work immediately?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And what did they do?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
They were weavers. My daddy worked in the dye room.

Page 15
ALLEN TULLOS:
What was it like for them when they first went into the mill? Do you remember them talking about that, what they saw, and felt, and heard?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
They were scared [Laughter] . See, they had never been used to having a boss over them, and they were scared to death. And the looms made so much racket, they couldn't hear theirselves, you know. And couldn't hear other people. It took a little while to get adjusted to that. I went to work when I was fourteen. And the big boss came through and he asked me what my name was, and I couldn't hear him. He had a big old gruff voice, and he was a great big man, and I asked him three times what he said. Finally I said, "I don't know. Ask my sister." [Laughter] . It tickled him because I couldn't hear him, you know. He went down there and he said, "Vita, your little sister couldn't hear what I was asking. She asked me three times and she felt embarrassed to ask me any more and she said, ‘I don't know. Ask Vita.’ " [Laughter] . It was right funny. Back then they just paid about six dollars for anybody learning. So the spare hand—the person that didn't have a set of looms, they called him the spare hand—made fourteen eighty-five. The first ticket I drew was fourteen eighty-five. So I went to this big boss that I was scared to death of, and told him about it, because I didn't want to be dishonest, and he said, "Well, Pauline, I know you could use that money better than the company could. It would take a lot of book work to get on back to that. You just don't say a word about it. I give you permission to keep it." So I started off at the spare-hand wages. I felt rich. [Laughter] .
PAUL GRIFFITH:
She's talking about the weaving room. When you haven't been used to it and a person goes in there, you can't hardly hear. You just have to get accustomed to it. That's the way she was. She just had went to work, maybe a day or two. It takes you several days to catch people's voices

Page 17
when you go in the weaving room.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
But he was a good boss. He was a good overseer. He had a gruff voice, and a great big built body, but he was real mild in his nature towards people. I enjoyed working.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What was his name?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Tidwell.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And he was overseer of the weaving room.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Yes he was. He was Mr. John Tidwell. And he was a mighty good overseer. But later it was right funny. We had this seat, you know, where you could sit? And we all got our looms running and just for fun, we played like we was sitting down—you know how young people are. And this time, a Mr. Copeland had come to be the bigshot. Mr. Tidwell had moved on. And he looked down the alley and saw us, and he got so mad. Here he come, like to scared us to death. And we ran over there and got our looms started. He balled us everyone out. He liked to scared us to death. So from there out, we didn't try that trick no more.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You all were just playing a joke?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
You know how young people are? They'll just play like they're going to do. We could not set in each other's laps without the swing a-falling. We was just playing like we would, you know. There were about five of us. Boy, he got us all [Laughter] .
ALLEN TULLOS:
Explain how that seat worked.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Well, like the loom is on this side, the leather would be fixed to the seat, and it'd be fastened securely. Then over here would be something to hang it up on and make a seat out of it. But normally it just hung by the loom, all the way. When we'd get tired, we could rest a littlewhile. That was back then, during John Tidwell's time.

Page 18
But not in Copeland's day. He didn't allow us to be seated [Laughter] .
ALLEN TULLOS:
What was his first name, do you remember?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Copeland? I don't remember his first name.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
I don't remember either.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
It was kind of cruel, but we sure knew to tend our own work and to stay on it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Let me just go back, so I can understand what you all were doing. You were pretending you were sitting in each other's laps?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Yeah. Playing like it. You know, just like the seat was here, you know. And we just stooped over kind of like we was sitting in each other's laps. We really weren't.
ALLEN TULLOS:
All five of you in one seat?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
All one another. [Laughter]
PAUL GRIFFITH:
It was just about this wide apart, the looms on this side and looms on that side, and this strap come over here. Like I'm sitting here. Then the other kind of put themselves right on up like this.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
We was just playing like, and we was all young, right in there. You have to have some fun as you go along with your work, to make it interesting.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You were hoping that he would catch your eye, really, or somebody would see you all doing this?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
No, we weren't thinking about that. We was just having fun. We wasn't doing it for anybody's attention. We were just playing with each other, just having fun. Young people play leap frog, and different things, you know, and we was just doing that. Because the one over him, word gets around. And they didn't allow people to be abused back then, which was wonderful. I think it's nice for the people to get to

Page 19
work under good conditions. We turned out a lot of work, but we had to have a little fun along.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You said the word would get around: would he hear this from some of the workers, perhaps?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
They probably would, you know. We wouldn't say anything about it, but you know word does get around. If the boss is good and kind, it gets back. And if he abuses, that also gets back.
ALLEN TULLOS:
In other words, you all could really have a lot to say about who the boss was. The people who were weaving or working in the weaving room had something to say, at least, about whether a good boss got to stay, or one that was bad had to leave? Would that be true?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
No. Not back then. Not necessarily. But the one over the top watched so closely until he could sense what was going on. He was just a wonderful person, Mr. Bobo. He was real good. To see that working conditions were what they should be.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Take Bobo. When people go a-quitting, he'd be wanting to know what's the matter. See, he had a second-hand under him, over the people. And if that second-hand was too hard on the help, and they go to quitting—see, there'd be several mills around and a person could just quit and go to another mill. And when several do go, he'd be calling somebody in, wanting to know what's the matter with the help.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
That's the way he found out.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So really the workers did have a lot to say about things indirectly.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yeah.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So people would start quitting, and they'd have to make some changes.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Yes they would, because back then, if you wanted to go down in and work, all you had to do was go over and ask for a job and

Page 20
you could just go right to work. The same way these other plants around.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did the different mills have different reputations at different times about one being a better place to work than another? Some overseer being a better one to try to work for or things like that?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
I imagine they're about the same.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
I think they're about the same. They kind of work together, you know, kind of like a unit. Different plant managers checked with the others, and it's about the same.
ALLEN TULLOS:
We should go back a bit to your coming in to learn how to weave. Did someone teach you? Who did you work with?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
My sister, Vita. They put me with her and she had the looms, and all her looms were in one alley. [unknown] So I just learned two weeks, and they put me on a set of looms by myself in the next alley. [unknown] And Vita would come and help me, you know. She'd get hers going. And then I had a good loom fixer, Earl Kelly. He was my first loom fixer. And he would start up some of my looms and help me out. In that way, I was weaving, really, in two weeks. I liked it. I enjoyed my work. Even though I had to work to make a living, I really enjoyed it. And my looms, they just run good. Because, if you like your work, you can do a better job of it. I'd pray a lot, too, while I was working. And I felt like the Lord helped my looms to run, and he did. And I made good. In fact, Mr. Kelly said he raised me, because he was my first loom fixer, and he said he'd put me up against any weavers they had. He said I was the best. I did have a good rating.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How many looms were a set of looms back then?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Well, I believe there was about twelve back then, don't you, Paul?

Page 21
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Somewhere along in there.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And so you started out operating twelve looms?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Yes, sir.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What kind were they?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
They were the Crompton-Knowles.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And so they were those box looms? What were you making, do you remember what you first learned how to make?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
I think it was more of a plain weave back then, don't you, Paul?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yeah, it was a plain weave then.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Yes, it was plain weave at that time, but later they put more fancy on.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Were you running several colors when you started?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
No, just one.
ALLEN TULLOS:
But you were still working on a box loom?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
On a box loom, uh huh. But, see they could fix it where it would use just the one shuttle. Or if it was a pattern that needed to put in designs, they could use all of the boxes, to come up.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So you were really operating as if it had been an ordinary Draper, plain loom.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Uh huh.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You weren't using but one of the shuttles. That's interesting.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
They didn't have magazines on them then. We had to thread our shuttles. And we had to watch when the yarn on the shuttle was about out. If we'd catch that and stop it off and put in another bobbin, we'd make better quality.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Before it ran out?

Page 22
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Uh huh. There was a lot of watching we had to do, you know, to keep up with it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did they have what they used to call the ‘suck shuttle’, do you remember that, where you had to kind of suck the thread through the hole in the shuttle?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
No. Ours had a kind of an eye, and we had to have spindle in the shuttle, and we'd have to pull that up and put the bobbin on there, and push it down and pull it.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Through that eye.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Pull it through the eye of the needle from the shuttle. And then we'd have to put it where it wouldn't make a bad start of it, you know. It was usually best to begin it from the side. Then there wouldn't be a place in the cloth.
ALLEN TULLOS:
If there was a place in the cloth, what would it look like? What would they call that?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
That would be where you started up. I know I had long hair and one time, accidentally, some of my hair—I could have been combing my hair at the time, or some could have dropped down. And so one time I had to go to the cloth room. They said, "Pauline, we appreciate your doing a good job weaving, but please don't let any more hair get in." [Laughter] He
PAUL GRIFFITH:
See, if you don't catch that, it makes a little thin place, like a thread out. That's what it is: just that thread.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
In cloth, a lot of times, it sold for first quality, but having been a weaver, I can tell when it isn't. Because a lot of times you pay for first-quality cloth, where there would be a thread out, or where they had drawn the ends wrong in the warp and

Page 23
make a fleck, they called it. It looked different. And I can detect it, where people that never have wove, they'd never notice it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember when you switched over from running the twelve looms into learning the different kind, or fancier, weaves?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Yes, I worked on crepe finally. But first I worked on, I believe, was casket lining. It was real fine. And the warp was real fine. You could hardly see it. It was wrapped funny.
There was a boy that the second-hand wanted me to like and wanted him to like me, and they would run the cloth over a frame and I had to go to the cloth room, and I was doing my best, it just worried me to death, and he finally admitted that he was doing that all the time on purpose [Laughter] . I said, "Mr. Dodson, how could you be so cruel to do that?" And he said, "Pauline, I was getting a kick out of that. You was just working yourself to death and trying to improve all the time, and you were doing perfectly good cloth." But he was just trying to get us together to talk. That boy worked on that frame. But he didn't make any success there because Paul and me were courting [Laughter] . He started courting with my sister, that taught me how to weave, and I thought that when I went along with them, that he was courting her. And he told me that he was courting her; that I'd be along was why he was courting her.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Her mother wouldn't let her court until she was sixteen. And her sister was two or three years older than she was. So I courted her some, and Pauline went along, so that's the way we got to going.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Where would you all go, when you were courting?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Mainly to church. And they used to have a playground, they called it, up here in the mill yard. And they had swings.

Page 24
They had different things, you know, to enjoy. And they would have things up there, you know, for the people to go and be amused and enjoy.
ALLEN TULLOS:
The mill would sponsor it?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yes. They kept it up.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
It was real nice.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
In the meantime, over here—we call it the gobbler's knob—every Fourth of July, they'd have a big to-do over there, with firecrackers. They'd have a greasy pig and baseball game over there.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
It was right funny: we went to a church get-together, and they had a womanless wedding. That's before Paul and I got engaged. And so coming back, we took a girlfriend of mine home, you know, after going to this meeting, and Paul proposed to me coming back from a womanless wedding [Laughter] .
PAUL GRIFFITH:
I was in one. And they fixed me up with a young girl.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Yeah. He was in a womanless wedding then years later, after he had married. I got him all fixed up and put lipstick on him, and got him a pink hat and a pink dress. I did fine, until I got down to his feet, and I couldn't find shoes big enough [Laughter] . But he made a mighty good-looking woman. We had lots of fun.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did they put a black face on then? At some of those womanless weddings, they paint their faces black.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Oh, they had a black mammy and she ‘Boo-Hooed’ at the wedding. It was real funny.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
All of them were men.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
I said that was right funny that we was coming back from the womanless wedding and he decided he'd propose.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Were you all walking, or riding back?

Page 25
PAUL GRIFFITH:
We had to walk. We didn't know what automobiles were back then.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
They used to have a street car run on a train track, and that was our transportation to go to town.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Would you ever go in together to see movies? When you were courting?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
A few times, not much.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
My mother was real strict, and she knew which way I went. And his mother, in her lifetime, was real strict, too. So we had to tow the mark. So we didn't have too much excitement in life.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You didn't get to go to dances?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
No, sir. Nothing like that.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did the mill have a band that it sponsored back than, with all the brass bands, or anything like that?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
No. I don't think they did. Like I say, they sponsored baseball leagues. Each mill had a ball team.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you ever play on one of those?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
No, I didn't. I used to box some.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Box? They used to have golden glove tournaments at different mills in towns, didn't they?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yeah.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you all remember what they called these hillbilly bands—string bands that played for dances in people's houses?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
They didn't allow that here.
ALLEN TULLOS:
They didn't allow it?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
No
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
There used to be some medicine shows sometimes.

Page 26
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Coming through.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
And they'd put on a little dance or program or something and we'd go see that, you know.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And they would have a couple of musicians, and someone holding up a bottle of medicine?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yeah.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And putting on a show?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
But they didn't allow nothing in the village, what I mean, house-to-house thing, or anything. They'd let them come through.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
They were really strict in that day.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Sometimes I've heard of different string bands having shows at the school house or something like that. Do you remember that? Performances? A band like Bill Monroe's or something?
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[TAPE 2, SIDE A]

[START OF TAPE 2, SIDE A]
ALLEN TULLOS:
Well, let me go back again, before we can too far away from it, and talk about the weaving job and what that was like. At the time, you say that you all were making plain goods on the Crompton-Knowles looms, how many looms would have been making this? All of the looms in the mill, or maybe half of them? Would some be making the plain and some the fancier goods? It looks like they weren't using these looms up to their full potential.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Well, they had different sections that had different materials. Now, some materials could be woven with a drier temperature, and some had to have more humidity. And they had to put them accordingly.

Page 27
ALLEN TULLOS:
Well, when you were making the casket linings, how many of the shuttles were you using?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
One.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Still just one. Do you remember the first time that you used more than one shuttle?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Well, it wasn't too long. The looms over next to us were weaving handkerchiefs, and it wasn't long until they put me on the handkerchiefs, because they could put somebody on the plain weave better, and they needed someone on the handkerchiefs. That was interesting. We made beautiful handkerchiefs.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Four boxes?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Some of them had three and some four. Just according to what kind of handkerchiefs they were making.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
On the end of the loom, the boxes would come up and come out, you know, according to what design.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Had to make a chain to make them boxes go up at a certain time—different ones—and then they'd drop down. [unknown] so many [unknown] in there, and then it'd go back in there in its place, and then that'd come up in there and go and do the same thing. Just like this right here. They had one, two—this here is the same box—and they'd have one for this one. Then they'd weave so many picks right here, kind of like that around your arm there.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And that's what you were doing, making the pattern chain?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
We'll catch up with that, and get you to tell us about that. Let me ask one or two more of these questions. How many sets of looms do you reckon were making the plain goods at the time you were making them?

Page 28
Is there any way just to take a guess?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
About four of five alleys.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Yes, about four of five alleys.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
I guess there was about thirty looms in an alley.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So maybe one hundred twenty-five, to a hundred and fifty looms.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
In a section. Weaving all that one time.
ALLEN TULLOS:
That's real helpful. Who made the decision that twelve looms was a set?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
The designers would decide how many looms a person could run, I would think. And Paul worked closely with the designers office.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Maybe we should go back now and kind of catch up where we left off with you, Mr. Griffith. We can start back I think at about the time you started to work. How old were you when you started?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
I was going on about seventeen.
ALLEN TULLOS:
That was about 1923? And you started out here at the Judson?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What was your first job?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Laying up filling in the weave room.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Could you describe what you would do?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Well. They had a box at the end of the loom, to keep the bobbins in the place, the bobbins with the yarn, so the weavers could get it when they wanted it. I guess I had about four or five alleys I had to keep different. . . .
ALLEN TULLOS:
That's not the same as filling the magazine, is it?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
No.
ALLEN TULLOS:
That was before they put the automatic magazine on there?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yes.

Page 29
ALLEN TULLOS:
You were just putting the bobbins down where the weavers could get it?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
In a little box, about a foot wide I reckon, and about a foot high. I had to keep so many bobbins in there.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How was it that you got your job?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Well, after that I changed jobs and I got to putting those chains together, and make a different design or colors.
ALLEN TULLOS:
But before that, how was it that you got your first job laying out the filling? Who did you talk to?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Well, my daddy helped me get that.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Let's see, you had gone to about the ninth grade?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
About eighth or ninth, somewhere along there.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you go right to work after you stopped school?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yes, uh huh.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So you didn't ever have any other kind of paying jobs before this, did you?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
No. I've been in mill work like that ever since. Then I got my left eye hurt. I learned this job for building them pattern chains before I got my eye hurt and they just kept me on there.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How did you hurt your eye?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
A nail flew up and hit me in the eye.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When you were working here at home?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
At the mill.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Could you tell me about that?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
I was helping a fella take down a harness, draw it in. When she got through with it we just put it on the truck. We had an extra piece. One side of it was stationary, and another place was loose.

Page 30
And we put that harness over there where it was stationary. And we put this other piece on there to hold them harnesses up. You had to drive a nail in each end to keep them [unknown] from falling off. I was driving a nail just about waist-high, and the nail slipped and hit me in the eye. I learned that job. I was just helping. I learned that job building them chains working for the designers office, so they just kept me on that job.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What year did you have the accident?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
1926. Last day of November, 1926.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What happened? Did you go to a doctor? Did the mill help?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yeah. They seen what happened, and they rushed me to a doctor, Dr. Carpenter. We called him the old man. He had a boy, retired here a couple of years ago, Carpenter. We called him the old man.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Was he the mill doctor?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
No, just an eye doctor.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
He was a specialist.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
A specialist. And he worked on it, and he didn't give me nothing for pain. He just got me up there about six o'clock. He got me in that chair, put me back where you put your head back there. The way he had his knee and everything, he worked on that thing. I grit my teeth hard while he was doing all that, so my jaw stayed sore for four or five months. It tore my nerves up some.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Was there any kind of accident coverage, insurance, for the mill?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
No. Buddy, he won't give me nothing. But I finally got a thousand dollars out of it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you lose part of the sight of it?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
No, I can't see a wink out of that at all.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Was there any kind of accident insurance in the mill?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
No.

Page 31
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
If there was. . . .
PAUL GRIFFITH:
They did pay the doctor bill and I had to stay in the hospital about three days.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did they pay for that?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yeah, they paid for that.
ALLEN TULLOS:
But they didn't really want to pay any kind of compensation?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
No. We let it rock on about a year. Then they finally compromised a thousand dollars.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you get a lawyer to help you with that, or did you just handle that yourselves?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
We just handled it ourselves.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What sort of person would you have talked with in the mill about it? What level of administration?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
The big boss up there. They had two men talk to me and my daddy several times. But we did never come across any until they wanted to get it settled, then they come across with a thousand dollars. We settled for that.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What would happen today if an accident like that happened?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
I guess they got insurance and things like that. I could have gotten ten or twenty thousand dollars for that now.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
And a thousand back in that day was real money. You could buy much more for it than you can today.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Let's see you had gone to work in '29? Or '27?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
'27 somewhere along in there.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And then this accident happened in?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
'26.
ALLEN TULLOS:
'26? You had been working in the laying out the filling job.

Page 32
What was the next job you had? Was that when you first started to make the pattern chains? Was that the very next job you had?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
I done learned that job. And they just let me stay on it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
On the pattern chains?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Uh huh.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How would you learn about that? Did someone teach you that?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
I had to learn it myself. They showed you, and everytime I made a mistake a fella told me that really knowed it. Everytime I made a mistake they made me start from the beginning to go down and catch it myself. That's the way. I had to get it the hard way. Now I can go up there and if a person makes a mistake, I can tell it. I don't have to look on the draft or nothing.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How many of you were there working in that department?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Back at that particular time, there was about four. Building them chains.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What kind of patterns and materials going to make?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Different handkerchiefs and ginghams, crepe, on different looms. They had different places. Crepes in one place and handkerchiefs in one place.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Seersucker, too.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yes, seersuckers, too.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Was the pattern chain job a little better paying job?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yes, uh huh.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Well, how was it that you managed to get that job?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Well, I just taped it out. I've been at it ever since.

Page 33
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
He went by a design. They had a designer.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
To design it. And I went by that, kind of like a blueprint.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When you started to work, how many shifts was the mill running then? In 1924?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
One shift. Then they got to running two shifts. Then they cut it down to eight hours here. They were running two shifts for a while, and then they put it on three shifts. Eight hours a day.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So, for a while they were running eight-hour shifts for just two shifts, and then eight-hour shifts for three shifts?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When did they start doing the two shifts?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
I don't know what year that was, do you Polly?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
No, I don't exactly.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
But anyway, they put on two shifts, then sometime a little later, they put on another shift, to make it go around the clock.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Was it pretty easy to get a job in the mill in the twenties, the nineteen-twenties?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yeah, you could get a job.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did it ever get to be hard to get a job back then, or was it harder than any other time?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Well, when the war was going on it was pretty hard to get a job.
ALLEN TULLOS:
World War II?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
World War II, uh huh.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What about the Depression? What was that like for getting a job?

Page 34
PAUL GRIFFITH:
You couldn't hardly find none.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
A lot of people, back during the Depression, were out of work. And some of them had to go and apply for flour and things like that. It was a real trying time, during the Depression. And anybody was lucky to even have a job during that time.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
See, my daddy moved up there to Slater in '28, and I was working then and our daughter come along in '29. So, in the Depression with my daddy working, he helped us out for about three months. There wasn't much weaving up there then, nothing going on. That mill up there in Slater, they was working four and five days a week. And he had a pretty good job, so he helped us for about three months, until the Judson got on their feet again. [telephone call]
ALLEN TULLOS:
So the Judson mill had to close down some?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yeah, there wasn't much running up there. So my daddy helped us. That's the way we pulled through. But it was in the summertime, and that helped us out a whole lot.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Was that the only time, just that three months, that it closed down altogether?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Well, all of it didn't close down, just the biggest part of it did. My department wasn't going so well. So he helped us 'til then, 'til it got started up again.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Back at that time, you could buy a week's groceries for three dollars. Now that's how money was.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Now, were you able to keep working during that time? Now, that was when your daughter was born.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
That's when our daughter was born.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So you stopped for a while?

Page 35
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
I had to stop for a while, and then our little boy came along, so I couldn't work for a while.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How long up to the time your daughter was born, did you work?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Let's see, she was about four years old, when I went back to work.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When was your son born?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
He was born two years later than Margaret. She was born in '29.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
And he come along about '31.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
And he just lived two months and seven days.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
He took pneumonia.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you work up to two or three months before your daughter was born, and then stop work? Or did you work on like that or not?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
I didn't work after she was going to come along, for a while.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So you went back to work in about '33 then?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Something like that.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And was it hard to get your job back?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
No. You know, if you got a good reputation, you don't have a hard time.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You let them know that you wanted to come back?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
And they were ready.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Just pretty much whenever you got ready?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
They had a dinner hour where they let people go home, and I first started working at that. And my mother would keep Margaret, you know. And that was three hours a day, I started back like that. And that way I could be with Margaret and I could still make some money.

Page 36
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Then when she got a little older, Pauline got to working eight-hour shifts.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So that would keep some of the looms going during the dinner hour?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Yeah. I had three different weavers. One every hour, you know. I worked that way at first.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So all the looms would keep on running, but the people would go home?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Yes, for their dinner, they had an hour off.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You all talked a while ago, about how easy it was to get jobs up until the Depression started, and then it got pretty hard to find work?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yeah.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When could you first tell that in the mills? Would it have been before 1929—a few months, or a couple of years before then—when things started to slow down?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Somewhere along in there, yeah. It didn't happen all at once, it just got worse. Laying off people. We were living in a house and the mill owned it, and we were just paying twenty-five cents of rental and it had three rooms. After I didn't have no work or nothing, they didn't charge us no rent at all, no lights, nothing. Water, nothing then. Then I forgot what year they got to charging us for our lights and water. Duke Power took it over and then we had to go paying for our lights and water. We used to get all that free. Since they went to selling these houses, we had to go paying for our utilities.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When did you buy this house?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
'40.
ALLEN TULLOS:
1940. Is that when they sold all the houses?

Page 37
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Well, they sold some of them in '39 and '38 and '37. It took them about three years to sell. See over yonder knob, they had some. They had some up here at number two, they called it, and some down here, back down thattaway, then back in the mill. And this here was the next to the last one they sold, in '40.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
This was a preferred section.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
And they sold them houses across the street, I'd say about a year-and-a-half after we bought this one. Maybe two years.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Why was it that they decided to sell the houses?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Well, I imagine they had a right smart expense on them. And different mills was selling theirs and Judson went to selling then. Our payment was ten dollars a month, and I had so many years to pay for it. My wife was working then. It was eleven and a quarter and that left us with a thousand dollars. We paid that thing off in about three years. After the mill got going and got to making a little bit more and we paid our regular payment of ten dollars, and what we had left over, we put it on the principal. And we paid it off in about three years, no more.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When did you retire from work?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
It's been about eight years ago. See I'm seventy-three now. And sixty-five—it's been about eight years ago.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And you stayed with the same job all the time?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yeah, ever since I got my eye hurt.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You worked at the same mill, you didn't ever move around?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yeah.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
They gave him a twenty-five year watch.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yeah, this is my twenty-five year watch.

Page 38
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
And he's got another one for fifty years.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yeah, for fifty years in yonder.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What about you?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
I didn't work that many years because my health went down and I had to quit. I had to be at home.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When did you last work in the mill?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
It was '44 or '45?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
'44 or '45. Maybe '42. Somewhere along in there.
ALLEN TULLOS:
A while ago you talked about how things speeded up, the work speeded up. When could you first notice that?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Well, as the years went by, there were improvements in everything. And—what year would you say they speeded up?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
I'm afraid to say, but anyway other places were adding more on people and give more work.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Stretching out.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Stretching out, and giving more work. I don't know exactly when that happened. But as long as they can stretch out, they give you more.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
See they do that to make more money. You make more production and so they do that. They stretch you just as far as they can [Laughter] . They speed the loom up, so it'll turn out more cloth. They speed you up, too.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
They can put a gear in there and speed them looms up, and make it run a little bit faster.
[END OF TAPE 2, SIDE A]

[TAPE 2, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 2, SIDE B]
PAUL GRIFFITH:
And then they give you more looms. Then they got to

Page 39
putting the person weaving to stop to see how long it would take you to start that loom up.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
A checker.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
A checker. Just like that. And they'd see where you can do more, they'd give you some more looms. Up there, some of them got to run fifty or sixty looms up there. Where you used to didn't run eight to twelve. They put that much on you.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When you first started weaving, how would you be paid at that time?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Well, they'd begin to pay by the ‘cut’, they called it.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
So many yards.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
So many yards to a cut. They paid you by that. It was according to how much work you really turned out, to how much you made.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
But now they got a pick clock on there. You turn on the first, second, and third. And when the first comes in there, they turn it to the second or third shift, what shift you're on. No they pay you for so many picks you get.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When you're being paid by the cut, would you try to do so many cuts in a day, or would everybody say we'll do so many before lunch and so many after lunch? Or would everybody work at their own speed?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Well, you worked at your own speed and it's according to how your looms would run. Now they'd get out of fix sometimes. Maybe a warp would come out. You wouldn't get paid for that time like you would if the loom was really running. And maybe a loom would break down for a whole day. When they was paying by the cut you didn't even get any on that loom that day. But later years, they

Page 40
did make some provision. Sometimes they would allow so many picks so you would get production. If you had a good boss. But if you had one that didn't care, you just lost that day.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Which boss would you be talking about here? The overseer in the loom room?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
The second-hand. It's according to who you worked under as to how things really go. The condition of the looms—if they don't break down. I had one loom fixer, he told me he knew if I put a flag up that he knew he needed to bring that little satchel he had with all the things in it, because I made mine run unless they really needed to be fixed.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So there were things that you could do to make them run better?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Yeah, there were many things.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What were those? Could you name some things?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Well, I'd go along behind my looms and, in behind the drop wires, sometimes maybe some lint would fall back there. And I would let the loom run on and take my scissors and get that lint out. You know, they blow the looms off and things like that, and sometimes there would be some kind of a knot in the warp, and I'd work and get that seen about, before it would break the end, and keep the loom a-going. I worked on the back of my looms a good bit and that helped it to keep going.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Would there be people who would try to make more cuts, or make more cloth by working when they were supposed to be having lunch, or trying to get started earlier than the real time to start up? Were there some people who tried to just make more than other people by running longer, or extra time, or things like that?

Page 41
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Yes, there were. Sometimes when they had the first shift, they'd go in early and start up. And then, after, in the later years, when they put pick clocks on, there was people that would get them a key to that clock and they would turn them things. I know for a time I filled magazines—when I first went back to work, you know, so that I could kind of get on to the weaving again—and there was one fella, he said, "I like you, Pauline." I said, "Well why?" And he said, "Well, you tend to your own business. They's some of them that'd tell on me for turning the pick clock." And I said, "Well, I'll tell you what. You're a sinner and I'm a Christian. You're going to have to give an account of the life you lived and I am, too. What you do, that's between you and the Lord. I'm not bothering your business." But he would. He'd just talk to you filling magazines or batteries and he'd turn them clocks, and he made more than any of them around there. But he got saved before he died. He died with cancer. And I'd talk to him about his soul and he'd listen to me, but he wouldn't let a lot of people talk to him. If he didn't have confidence in their life, he'd just cut them off.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did he make this key to turn the clock?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
He had one, but I don't know where he got it. But he'd stand there. He'd just flip that thing, and he'd be talking to the magazine battery filler all the time. And the looms, a lot of them would be standing, they'd wouldn't be making their production, but he was.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What effect would that have? Say, somebody who started up their loom early or worked extra? Would the company then readjust the price at all so that everybody. . .do you see what I mean? If people

Page 42
worked extra they would make more money, and there might be the idea that the workers could actually work faster.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
They would expect more production out of the other people. They made it harder on the others. It really did.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Was there anything that the other workers would do about that, to try to keep that from happening? Would they go and talk to these people?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Well, a person like that you can't really reason with them. They're going to do what they want to, and you just have to do your best.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Well, I guess in general people might have had a certain way of doing things, and when you came into the weaving room to start, you picked up what everyone else was doing and, in order to be a good weaver, you tried to do like everybody else.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Yes, skills. It's a skill. You tried to improve all the time.
ALLEN TULLOS:
But some of that might have kept you from running the clock up, or from working extra time because you felt like it just wasn't right.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
I gave a good honest day's work and I think that's better, because you don't have to stay awake at night [Laughter] . Doing a good job.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You said for a time you filled the magazines, do you remember when they first went to automatic bobbin changers on the loom?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Do you remember that year, Paul?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
No, I don't. They didn't have it on all of them. It was just mostly on those Drapers.
ALLEN TULLOS:
They called it the nothrup loom. Did they actually buy new looms?

Page 43
PAUL GRIFFITH:
No.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Modified the old looms?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yeah. They worked them over and put that unifil - 25. . . automatic bobbin things in there.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Well, do you remember what the reaction was among the weavers when that machine was added?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
They kept them about the same thing.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did they change the rate of pay?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
I don't know about that. It's been so long now.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did any of the people object to making that kind of change?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Well, they'd object, but that's all they could do. Take it or leave it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You do remember that people might have appeared that they didn't accept it so easily, or can you remember that?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
I think that people realized they had to do what was put there. And so they just worked together and did. The people were very congenial in doing, and they tried to make the best whatever happened.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When they put those new devices on the looms, it actually enabled you to make twice the cloth you could make before that.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Well, that cut out some help. See, it's a big old round thing like this and you put so many bobbins on that, and when you get around. . . .before they put them on there they had to have more help. But after you put these on there, they layed somebody off, you see.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
They had four kind of spaces, most of them, where they put bobbins, and the loom did change the filling itself. That caused it to be where they could make more production.

Page 44
PAUL GRIFFITH:
And they give the weavers more looms.
ALLEN TULLOS:
It looks like if the looms were making more cloth that the weavers would have made more money.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yeah, but what killed that was that they'd give you more looms and by the time you do that the production's up and they won't give you any more money.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
See, they kind of rate it, you know.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So they changed the rating?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Changed the rating, yeah, and then you'd be putting out more, but you're getting about the same amount of money.
ALLEN TULLOS:
That's what I was trying to ask about. It looks like people would have grumbled or been right in thinking that they were being asked to work harder and faster and make more cloth and yet they were making about the same amount of money. I just wondered if you remembered people talking about it at that time at all?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Well, there were some that quit, you know, just wouldn't do it. But a lot of the people had to do it.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
They had to because they was in debt and they had to live, and things like that.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
At that time, see, the mill owned the houses, and you had to work here in order to have a house, and so they kind of had it over the people.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Would they have done some of that maybe during the Depression years?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
It was after.
ALLEN TULLOS:
After the Depression was when what you're calling the ‘speed-up’? Or the stretch-out, that took place after the Depression?

Page 45
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yeah.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Then, was it still pretty hard to get a job in the thirties, so that the people would not be so likely to quit and move around like they had in this earlier time?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
That's when it was in the Depression and, like I said, there wasn't no use to go nowhere because you couldn't find no work. Just as well to stay where you was at.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Well, let me change the subject just a minute and talk about some other things. For instance you all's church activities: has that been an important part of your lives?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Yes, it really has.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you want to talk some about what church you belonged to and what that's meant?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
We love the Lord and we love the people.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
And we work with any age group, from the smallest to the oldest.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Which church is it that you belong to now?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Pentacostal Holiness Church.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What's the particular name here, the particular church?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
The Cathedral of the Cross.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And how long has that been here?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Well, we've been working with this group about four years. It's a church that really needed help and workers.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
We like to go and help little churches, help build it up.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Which ones did you belong to when you first came here?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
I was Baptist and he was Methodist.

Page 46
ALLEN TULLOS:
What were the names of those particular churches?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Judson Baptist, and Judson Methodist.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
What they call it now, down at this Methodist is Christ Methodist Church. It's the same church but they changed the name.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When you were married, what church did you go to?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
I went to Judson Baptist and he went to the Methodist.
ALLEN TULLOS:
After you were married?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
When I knew that we were going to have a little one, I went with him, because I don't believe in a man and wife being separated in their Christian living. I went with him and I worked in that church just as much as I ever worked in the Baptist. In fact, I worked in the mill and I come home and taught bible school for ten days at night. And I had forty.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Seven 'til nine.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Seven 'til nine. I had forty juniors by myself. I gave out more certificates. Over half the Bible school was in my class.
ALLEN TULLOS:
This was in the Methodist?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
That was in the Methodist. That's the type work we done. Now, last year I was director over the bible school in church.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When is this Bible school you were talking about at first, at night? When would that have been?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Well, now that was a long time ago.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
About thirty-five, thirty-seven years ago.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Thirty-seven years ago.
ALLEN TULLOS:
That was back in the forties?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
No, it was before the forties.

Page 47
ALLEN TULLOS:
Late thirties then?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yeah, it was in the thirties.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
It was in the thirties because we bought the house in the forties.
ALLEN TULLOS:
It was before you bought this house?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
How long would these classes last?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Two hours.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And for how many days?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Ten days.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What time of the year would it be?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
It was in the summer. I had a good class. They cooperated good.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Would you do this every year?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
No. I did that particular year that I had worked in the bible school, you know.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What churches did most of the people who worked here belong to?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Judson Baptist and Methodist.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Were there any other denominations, back in the twenties and thirties?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yeah, Church of God, and Church of Christ, back then. And Assembly of God.
ALLEN TULLOS:
But they weren't so big as the Baptist?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
No.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did they have a church building, those others: Church of God, and the Assembly of God back then?

Page 48
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Well, we helped build one assembly, helped out.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
We was there at that one assembly, how long?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Thirty-one years.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What was it called?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Southside Assembly of God.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
We helped that church get on its feet, then the Lord helped it get over-growing now. Helped them out.
ALLEN TULLOS:
This is unusual, isn't it? Most people just join one or two churches and stay with that.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Well, we figured if you're really from the Lord, and want to do his will, you don't know what you're going to wind up as. That's what we felt like.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
If we're born again. We're all going to the same heaven. So where there's a church that has a need of help, we have gone and helped. In fact, when we went to Southside, we walked. Everybody just about walked where they went, unless they rode that street car I was telling you about. We'd be going to church, us and our daughter, and people would holler at us and say, "Where are you going?" And we'd tell them, and they'd say, "Well, come down next Sunday and we'll go with you." And did you know that over half of the people that went to Southside went as a result of people knowing our lives. So that's been the way it's been, you know.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Then we walk in the village, we used to go see the shut-ins. That's what I call where people can't get out. We'd go over there and sing and read scripture and cheer them up. Sometimes we'd get to talking to them shut-ins and we'd come back more rejoiced than what they'd give us. We got a real lot of good blessings.

Page 49
ALLEN TULLOS:
The Southside Church that you all mentioned: was it in another village?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
It was down here, but they sold that building and built out on Anderson Road. It's way out.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Colored people bought that Southside building.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
I think the Seventh Day Adventist bought it, the colored people.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
But quite a few of our elder people we visit back yonder, several years in the past. They done dead and gone on.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What would happen, again, back in this earlier period, when some of the workers would get older and they couldn't keep up with their jobs like they had before, and yet they still needed to work? Would there be ways for them to stay, to keep jobs; would they be given other kinds of jobs?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Well, they can.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
A few of them.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
A few of them did, but the company just had to let them go.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What would usually become of those folks?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Their children, why they just had to do the best they can.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Their children took them in, at that time.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Until this social security come along.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
It would be bad today for the elderly, if they didn't have social security, because a lot of people haven't layed back anything for their older days. Having a family to support and everything. So they would be in a terrible financial fix.

Page 50
ALLEN TULLOS:
How would it be decided that someone back then was getting too old, or unable to keep up their job?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Well, the lack of production. That would determine if they would continue to use them in that work or what.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Sometimes would the people try to help out the other, older, person, to make sure they got better production?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Well, I did in times past, when I didn't have too many looms on me; I could help out. In fact, I taught others to weave. But there was one I couldn't teach. She was to be a missionary to Africa, and I tried my best. They put her in the next alley to me on some looms, and that poor girl couldn't do it at all. But she was a wonderful missionary. She went over there and won a lot of souls. And now she's home; she's a retired missionary.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So people, back before they were given too many looms, could help each other out.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Yes. And it was a privilege to do that. They placed those that had been taught near those that did teach them. That helped them. I taught a lot of people, but I never drew any money for it. But if they made bad work, I got to see that [Laughter] . I had to give an account of it. So I was pretty careful to watch that they didn't do too much bad work.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Would people sometimes want to come to, say, nurse their babies, or go to a ball game, or go fishing, and not have other people around their looms for them. Could they work out arrangements so they could take off an hour or two?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
They didn't allow that much, did they?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Not unless you got sick, or if you sent out and get

Page 51
somebody to come in and work in your place. They do that a lot of times. A lot of times they sent out and tried to get somebody to come in and work on your job, and let you off.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
When our daughter was little, I changed from the first shift to the second so he could be with her on one shift, even though we had a maid to come in and do work. We wanted to know what was happening. Because, one time in particular, she cried every time I'd leave her, and this maid didn't seem to be too nice. I mean, she was ill. So she didn't get to stay long. But him being with her on one shift and me the other, we could do very well. But we bought her a piano as soon as we could, and she's a music teacher. I thought of the days when she would have little ones, she could teach music in the home, and she's done that. It's been a good livelihood as well as being a minister's wife, and being president over all that area of where they live, of the missionary ladies.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Was it a pretty common practice for a husband and wife with young children to make that sort of arrangement, with alternating shifts like that?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Well, we did it to make sure we protected her, because, to me, when you have children, God gives them to you, and you're responsible how you bring them up.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did other parents do that?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
I didn't notice it, did you, Paul?
ALLEN TULLOS:
So this would have been unusual?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Uh huh. We tried to manage within our own family.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What about the maid? Where did she live and how often did she come to work?

Page 52
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
She worked five days a week, and on Saturdays she'd come in and just do the beds and things like that.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Would she come in and clean and cook? And do the beds?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Things like that.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Was this a black woman?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Yes, she was a black woman.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Where did her family live?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
She lived over. . . .
PAUL GRIFFITH:
About a mile from where we lived.
[END OF TAPE 2, SIDE B]

[TAPE 2, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 3, SIDE A]
ALLEN TULLOS:
What were the wages back then for a maid? What did you all pay her to come in?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
I believe it was five dollars a week, wasn't it?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
I think so.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Were there any of the folks in the black community who were working in the mill at all?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Mighty few.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What jobs were they in?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
One fella was in mopping and they had one out there—one or two—in the warehouse. The heavy stuff they'd have. Had a boiler. They used one out there on each shift on the boiler.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Shoveling coal.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yeah, shoveling coal, to keep it going.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What about in the opening room, or card room?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
They had mostly all white people. There weren't no people working in the mill. It's changed now. They've got about a third

Page 53
in the departments now, niggers.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When you started out weaving, were there as many men weavers as women weavers back then, when you learned how?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Men wove just about as good as women, don't you think?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yeah, uh huh.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Would there have been more women than men, when you began?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
It was pretty equal.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did that change over the period of time, up until the time you retired, or did it stay about the same?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Well, the man, just as soon as they could, they learned to fix looms. They'd make more. Or they would get to be a second-hand, which is an overseer, and they'd make a little more, as they would try. But the men were good weavers. And the ladies, too.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you think that the women were better weavers than the men were?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
I wouldn't say so, because the men turned out good cloth, in general. I think they were pretty good at it. In fact, they could get around good. Some of them were taller, and they could reach over and tie in. Get it in real quick. Now, little short people had a hard time. They'd have to get on their tip-toes, you know, to draw in an end. But I was pretty good average height for that type of work. I've seen some of them have to really climb up on the loom, like, to draw an end in. They had a time of it. They had a time of keeping up production.
ALLEN TULLOS:
It seems to me that back there early in the industry, around the turn of the century, there were a lot more more women weavers than

Page 54
there were men. The men seem to have evened out a bit.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
The men now are doing handcrafts more, too, than they used to. And I think that had a lot to do with it. Their interest had been different.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When you began weaving, when you finished weaving a roll of cloth, did someone come along to doff the cloth roll, when you first started out? Or did you have to do that as well?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Well, back then, we had to mark it, you know, what style and all and the number from which loom it was taken, and we had to put it where it would be taken up. They had a cloth boy.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
You didn't have to take it off.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Yeah, at first.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You had to take it off the loom?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Yeah, at first. And then the cloth boy would come along. But later. . . .well, I still had to take it off the loom as long as I worked.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
But they soon changed that and then they marked it, and they got a flag on there, where they needed it taken off. They'd put that flag down and this here fella would come around and take that off. You had a roll, and women couldn't take it off. So they changed and put men on there. In fact all they done was go up the alleys and maybe take up quills for their job, too, when they got caught up taking off that cloth. And they got some of them that were just so heavy that lady-folks just couldn't take it off.
ALLEN TULLOS:
But you remember taking a lot of that cloth off yourself?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
I sure had to, during my working days.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And that was up to '29, 1929 or so that you still had to take it off, before you stopped worked?

Page 55
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Something like that.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When you went back to work, did you have to doff any cloth yourself, take the rolls off then?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Yes. I took it off as long as I worked.
ALLEN TULLOS:
So you don't ever remember having any. . . .
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Somebody to do it for me. They make improvements all along.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you think that ever had any effect on people's health? Back strain or things like that?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Well, it could, according to how you'd lift. You could hurt yourself just making an awkward step. Anybody can really hurt themselves.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember any stories that you remember about people having accidents? You referred to your accident about your eye.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
My brother came to have just about all his thumb cut off, up there.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What was his job?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
He worked in the machine shop. They had a machine there that cut different things; they had a saw in there, and he got his finger, his thumb, too close to it. Now what I understand that little bit he got cut off, he got five hundred dollars for that.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When was this?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
He's dead now. See, he's been dead. . . . I guess it's been twelve or fifteen years ago. If I'd a gotten my eye then, I'd a gotten maybe twenty-five, thirty thousand dollars for it, roughly, possibly that much.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Can you recall any other accidents or injuries, or anyone being killed in the mill at all?

Page 56
PAUL GRIFFITH:
No, not killed.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What about unions? Did you all remember any unions coming to the Judson mill back before World War II anytime?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
They tried to get one here when I was a kid. There was a fella got killed up here. They never did find out who done it. But there was some wanted union here and some of them didn't, and one fella got killed.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Leeds, wasn't it?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Leeds, something like that, I don't recall. But anyway, I was a kid. What year did the bunch come through here, trying to get the mill in the union?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
It was after our little boy died and I went to work. He was born in '29.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
It was about '31, and this bunch come through here and tried to shut this mill down, tried to get in the union. And they didn't make no success out of it.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
I got scared that night. I didn't go in that night, because they had sticks and I don't know what all they didn't have. And they were real rough. It was a bunch that really meant business, So I didn't go in that night. But I went in the next time, the next day. And I was working away and all at once there was a big old noise, kaplop, right down by me, and I thought, ‘uh oh, they've got on top of the mill; they're about to get me.’ It happened to be the handle off of what you pull to start the loom up, had just come loose and fell off. I felt like taking to my heels that time. They were really rough. It would have been dangerous to have gone in that first day.
ALLEN TULLOS:
These people were not from around here?

Page 57
PAUL GRIFFITH:
No, some of them wasn't, and some of them was.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
They had been over to Dunean, what's [unknown] J.P. Stevens now, first. And then they came over here, all wound up. And it was just nearly time for me to go to work. I had been to the store and I happened to see all of them.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
I guess there were about seventy-five of them, or a hundred.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
It was a scary time. So, we didn't have any problem with them.
ALLEN TULLOS:
This was about when you were going to start the second shift?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Yeah, it wasn't long after I went to work on the second shift.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What time of day would that have been? That you would have started out for the second shift?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
I guess they come out about two or three o'clock, somewhere along in there. They had to go to work at four.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
And they were going to be well ready for the people [Laughter] .
PAUL GRIFFITH:
One coming out and one going in.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
And they called people all kinds of names that wasn't nice.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Could this have been 1934?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
It could have been.
ALLEN TULLOS:
They had what they called the general strike all over the South, in the country, different textile mills closing out.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
They're still trying to get J.P. Stevens in the union now, but they haven't made no success of it yet.

Page 58
ALLEN TULLOS:
Well, were they able to close this mill down anytime?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
No. They didn't ever close it.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
They never did totally do it, but they caused some of us to stay out, that day.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
'Til it died down.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you all ever remember a strike here that would have lasted more than a day or two?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
That's all we knew of.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
That's all we knew of, of a strike.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When you think back when you were a boy, there was another time when someone was killed, and your father was working?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yeah. But it didn't last but just a day or two. Now, over here at Brandon here, about that time, some of them was out over there about two or three months, but they finally got it straightened out. Over at Brandon?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
But it shut down.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
It shut down but, the reason it shut down, I think. . . you know the way they got these new machinery now? And about four stores have now, somewhere along in there. And this new machinery they got is too heavy for that kind of mill. See if they had to put all the biggest part of this machinery in there now, they'd have to have a cement floor. Some of these looms they got up there now, they weigh five or six thousand pounds.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What was your father's attitude about joining the union back then?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
I don't know. I was a kid.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What did the workers in the mill think about it?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Well, some of them wanted it and some of them didn't. They finally got it settled down. When that fella got killed, I think that

Page 59
settled the whole thing.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
They said they got him in the entrance to his home. It's awful.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Now which side of it was he supposed to be on?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
I think for the union. That's what I understood.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you all remember the national guard ever being called out here to deal with it?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
No, it's been pretty peaceful out here. The people have been pretty peaceful. Unions all right if it's done right. But now, if they have some hotheads in there that causes trouble, that's where the trouble is. But we never did join the union, neither of us.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you know of anybody that ever did?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
My youngest brother did. There was some hothead that caused a strike at this mill, and so he didn't cause trouble, but he just went out rather than to have trouble with them, and he thought he was really in dutch with the boss because he even went out. He tried to get work everywhere, but he couldn't. So, he was down here among us and we all helped him out. And he went back up there where he had worked, and they had his job waiting on him, because he hadn't given any trouble and was a good worker. And so, it's bad if there's some hotheads among anything. But I don't know that he belongs to it now. He suffered from it, and we all participated in it to help him. If working conditions are nice, and you can live, I think it's best not to get too involved.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Maybe you could say a little bit about the layout of the Judson mill, what was on each floor and something like that, so I can understand it.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Well, they got different departments.

Page 60
ALLEN TULLOS:
Let's go back to the twenties and thirties again and what it looked like.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Oh, I don't know [Laughter] .
ALLEN TULLOS:
What was on the ground floor back then?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Old looms. See they've changed looms now, and old looms, different things like that.
ALLEN TULLOS:
The weaving was all on the same. . . .
PAUL GRIFFITH:
No, they had some on the second and some on the ground floor. Where they can, they can weave some on the second floor. In the meantime, they had them sixty-four-inch looms; they had so many up there one time, they had to put up brick pillars on the outside to keep that floor from sagging so much, vibrating in there so much. They finally had to take out some of them and put some more little ones up there.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Those were the Draper looms?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
The Draper looms, yes. Those sixty-four-inch looms, you can lay a sixty-four-inch cloth on it, so it had to be a little bit wider. But now, like I said, they got those sausage looms, and if they put some of those up there, they'd just fall through the floor. They have to put those on a cement floor.
ALLEN TULLOS:
The oldest kind that you remember would be the old Crompton-Knowles looms?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Some S-5 looms, too?
ALLEN TULLOS:
Drapers?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
S-5's, yes.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And then you mentioned another kind that I'd never heard of before: Cotton King?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Cotton King looms, yes.

Page 61
ALLEN TULLOS:
Were they box looms?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yes, them all was box looms.
ALLEN TULLOS:
But you don't know where they were made, do you?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
No, I don't.
ALLEN TULLOS:
I'd just never heard of those. They were all in there at the same time, the three different kinds?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yeah, uh huh.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What about the humidity, and the heat, and the dust inside the mill? What was that like?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Well, I didn't think it was too bad. Now, in the card room, it was dust and stuff like that, but in the weave room, it done pretty well, don't you think? But in the card room, in the spinning room, they had the dust from cotton.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Do you remember people trying to work in there for a few days and saying it was too dusty and quitting, or anything like that?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
See, I worked mostly in the weave room. I couldn't hardly go through there, though, and I could tell that I went through there, and stayed any length of time. A person just had to get used to it.
ALLEN TULLOS:
But in the weave room, you say you all could open the windows sometime?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Yes, before they got this air-conditioning and things like that.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
But, like I say, they got air-conditioning in there now, and in the card room, they got these new spinners and things like that. The way they got it set up, on a frame, they go around and soak that dust in there out.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Would there be any one time of year where it would be more

Page 62
uncomfortable working there, like it would be too hot in the summertime or too cold in the winter, back in the thirties and twenties?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Well, a long time ago they had to keep it hot, and it'd be uncomfortable then. But we could raise windows and we could help that situation. If it didn't bother the material we was working on. But the humidity, by it being controlled, it would help keep down the dust and all, so it made the work run better.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What about a particular time of day. Some days would be hard to keep going, you'd get real sleepy on the job? Wish you could rest or have some time off during the day?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Well, you didn't have time to think about it [Laughter] . You had to keep going, until you completed your work hours. Now, when they used to run ten hours a day, and they gave you an hour for lunch, you could eat and you could lie down and rest. But during that time Paul and I were courting, and I'd hurry back, and he did too [Laughter] . That's the way we spent our hour.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Could you be outside?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Yeah. You could go home during that hour.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And then you'd hurry back and talk outside?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Just so we got back inside in time to go to work.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
That was good because it did break the monotony of continuation. And mama, she say, "Now, Pauline, you ought to rest some." But she just didn't know I had to get back to talk to Paul [Laughter] .
ALLEN TULLOS:
Could you talk a little bit about what became of your brothers and sisters: did they ever work in the mill, and how long, and just in general, what became of them later on?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
Well, they all worked in the mill, and they were

Page 63
weavers. In fact, my youngest brother, Clarence, he just retired this past year. But he became a loom fixer in time. He was being a loom fixer for years. Now, Vita, she didn't work in the mill long because she married, and she had five children. So she had that to tend to. But the rest of them continued to weave as long as they were able. My other brother died. He got bit by one of these foreign ticks and didn't know it and his intestines bursted inside of him.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did your brothers and sisters get to go to school very much? Did they ever finish high school?
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
No. None of them didn't finish high school. They got along pretty good. Now Clarence went farther in school than the rest. He was younger.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Now, what about you, Mr. Griffith? What became of your brother and sister?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Well, my brother's dead now. But he got about the same education I got.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did he work in the mill?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Yeah, he worked in the mill. He was a supervisor in the machine shop for about twenty-five years.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Where about?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
In the Judson.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And what about your sister?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
She worked in the warper room. She married and her husband is a boss. But now, she's retired here, a few years ago. Her eyes went bad on her. She had to quit. I guess about five years ago. She had to give her work up.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You all were unusual, I guess, in staying in one place for so long.

Page 64
It seems like there are lots of people who used to move around from mill to mill.
PAUL GRIFFITH:
I tell you, we haven't moved but three times since I've been married. Three times.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
And it was on the village.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Why do you think that was, that you all decided to stay here?
PAUL GRIFFITH:
Well, I had a good job, and we liked it here, and so when we would go off we'd want to get back. We never did see another place we liked any better. We got some good neighbors. If we have need of them, they'd be glad to help us. Just let them know.
PAULINE GRIFFITH:
We have a neighbor watch that we formed ourselves. If one goes off we all watch after whatever they have, and so far, we've not had any break-ins. And that's worth a lot. We looked after my neighbor's things there—she's a little lady—she went off that Christmas to her son's in Virginia and she hasn't been back.
END OF INTERVIEW