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Oral History Interview with Johnnie Jones, August 27, 1976. Interview H-0273. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Johnnie Jones started working at the Pomona Terra Cotta Factory in Greensboro, North Carolina, when he was fourteen, doing odd jobs despite the objections of his father, an employee there. Jones spent his career in the factory, applying his keen mechanical mind to making sewer pipes and performing maintenance. In this interview, Jones describes some of his experiences at the factory, including some of the details of his tasks, workplace accidents, the arrival of unions, and his relationships with his fellow employees. Jones is an interesting character with a great deal of confidence in his problem-solving ability. Researchers may find useful material in his description of the terra cotta production process and the portrait Jones paints of himself.
    Excerpts
  • An inexpensive rental home courtesy of Pomona Terracotta
  • Starting work at a young age
  • Mill workers raise food with help from their employer
  • Remembering a more lighthearted past
  • Mother as disciplinarian
  • Regret for dropping out of school
  • An independent streak drives a long career
  • Accidents at work, including a fatal explosion
  • An abortive effort at unionization at Pomona Terracotta
  • Courtship and fatherly advice
  • Staying afloat during the Great Depression
  • Neither surprise nor discomfort with racial integration
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Subjects
  • Trade-unions--Textile workers--North Carolina
  • Greensboro (N.C.)
  • The Southern Oral History Program transcripts presented here on Documenting the American South undergo an editorial process to remove transcription errors. Texts may differ from the original transcripts held by the Southern Historical Collection.

    Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.