Results (most relevant first)
Thomas Ellington, a longtime employee of the Sellers Manufacturing Company, describes employee interactions in the mill and how the owner, Everett Jordan, treated his employees.
James Pharis reflects on his forty years the textile industry, most of which he spent as a supervisor.
Cambodian-American Kong Phok describes his experiences at Guilford Mills in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Gladys Harris grew up in a farming family during the 1910s and 1920s. In 1940, she went to work as an inspector and as a sewer in Gastonia, North Carolina, hosiery mills. Because her husband was unable to work, Harris was the chief earner for her family. She describes her experiences at work over the course of several decades.
Ivey C. Jones, who spent sixteen years working at the White Furniture Factory in Mebane, North Carolina, describes the effects of the plant's takeover and closing.
Icy Norman recalls her long working life, most of which was spent at a textile mill in Burlington, North Carolina.
Alice Evitt describes her rural childhood and life as a millworker and mother in North Carolina in the first half of the twentieth century.
Hill Baker recalls his long working life as a railroad worker and a factory employee in Conover, North Carolina.
Oscar Dearmont Baker spent his childhood and most of his adult life in Conover, North Carolina. In this interview, he describes his experiences working in the furniture and hosiery industries, paying particular attention to his time spent at Conover Furniture. He also describes broader changes within the city of Conover.
Paul Cline remembers mill work as a violent, unhealthy profession.
Hoy Deal recalls his youth and young manhood in rural North Carolina, including stints at lumber mills and glove factories, two industries that, along with textiles, were a vital part of the state's economy in early twentieth century.
Roy Lee Auton reflects on a string of jobs and a string of wives in this engaging interview.
Junie Edna Kaylor Aaron remembers her long working life in the clothing industry in North Carolina.
Eva Hopkins worked in a cotton mill from the 1930s until 1952 and recalls various aspects of millwork, union activity, social activities, and life in the mill villages.
Robert Riley Sr. describes his thirty-one years at the White Furniture plant in Mebane, North Carolina, a tenure that ended with the plant's closing in 1993.
Eula McGill grew up in Sugar Valley, Georgia, during the early twentieth century. Raised in a working class family, McGill had to leave school because of her family's economic hardships and began to work in a textile mill as a spinner at the age of 14. By the late 1920s, McGill had moved to Alabama, where she became a leader in the labor movement in Selma. Throughout the Great Depression, McGill primarily worked as a labor organizer, first for the Women's Trade Union League and later for the Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union.
George and Tessie Dyer discuss their jobs in Charlotte cotton mills and their lives outside of work. They describe their childhood and the work their parents and grandparents did. They recall the parties and social events that their friends participated in after work. The interview ends with their observations about local union activity.
John W. Snipes grew up in an agricultural family during the early twentieth century and worked on a farm, in a cotton mill, and in the timber industry. He offers a unique perspective on various industries, and he describes in vivid detail various aspects of workers' lives and culture.
Eunice Austin remembers her life in Catawba County, North Carolina, focusing on her many years working in the textile and furniture industries.
Dora Scott Miller reflects on the changes in tobacco factory work from the perspective of an African American woman.
Vickie Jacobs describes her career in North Carolina's furniture industry, including her time on the job and her response to the closing of the Hillsborough location of the White Furniture Company.
Roger Gant explains the professional and personal activities of his father-in-law, Everett Jordan, Democratic United States Senator from North Carolina. Gant discusses how he became involved with Jordan's textile mill and how Jordan structured his business. Jordan's skill at relating to people helped him in business and in politics. Gant focuses on a few of Jordan's political successes, including the way he helped Lyndon Johnson before his presidential bid.
Frank Gilbert recalls his laboring life in and around Conover, North Carolina.
Tracy L. H. Burnett finds financial success after the closing of the White Furniture Company.
Cynthia Sykes Cook recalls the closing of the White Furniture Factory in Mebane, North Carolina.
Letha Ann Sloan Osteen discusses how farming and mill work affected the mobility, size, health, and activities of families from about 1900 to the 1930s.
David DeVries, who spent fifteen years at the Center for Creative Leadership, reflects on the organization's history and its contributions to leadership training.
Arthur Little describes glove making from his perspective as the owner of a glove mill in Newton, North Carolina.
Lloyd and Betty Parker Davidson grew up in Danville, Virginia, during the 1910s and 1920s. After establishing themselves as weavers in Danville, they moved to Burlington, North Carolina, in 1932 to work at the Plaid Mill. In this interview, they describe their experiences as weavers, focusing especially on working conditions in the 1930s and 1940s.
Blanche Scott describes her careers as a tobacco factory worker and beautician in Durham, North Carolina.
Edward Gruber ran Spring City Mills, his family's Pennsylvania-based underwear manufacturing company, for several decades beginning in the 1930s. He explains the expansion of the company; its relationship with department store chains; his efforts to maximize profits by producing a superior, yet affordable, product; and his personal and working relationship with North Carolina Senator and textiles businessman B. Everett Jordan.
Gladys Irene Moser Hollar and her husband, Glenn Hollar, share recollections about work and rural life in the early twentieth century.
Sherwood Smith, chairman of the board of Carolina Power and Light, reflects on the energy business, and business in general, in North Carolina from the 1960s to the late 1990s.
Jessie Lee Carter remembers life as a mill worker and mother in rural South Carolina.
Johnnie Jones remembers his fifty-year career at the Pomona Terra Cotta Factory in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Murphy Yomen Sigmon reflects on a working life, most of which he spent in a cotton mill in Hickory, North Carolina.
J. Carlyle Sitterson discusses his tenure as University of North Carolina chancellor during the 1960s and 1970s. He describes the difficult balance he struck between the Board of Trustees and the student body on issues of student rights.
During the mid-1970s, Gemma Ziegler became a nurse in Louisville, Kentucky, and joined the campaign to organize nurses. In this interview, she discusses her experiences as a nurse; her work as an organizer for We're Involved in Nursing (WIN); her role in the founding of the Nurses Professional Organization (NPO); and the NPO's various activities from the late 1980s into the early twenty-first century.
Louise Riggsbee Jones describes life and work in Bynum, North Carolina, a cotton mill town, during the first half of the twentieth century. Jones discusses the role of religion, marriage, and family in her life and in the community. In addition, she describes working as a winder in the cotton mill, focusing on such issues as work conditions, gender, balancing work and family, relationships between workers, and workers' benefits.
Herman Norton Truitt describes running a grocery store from the 1920s to the 1940s. The store was patronized primarily by mill workers in Burlington, North Carolina.
Robert Cole recalls a violent strike in a textile mill located near the Tennessee-North Carolina border.
Eula Durham and her husband Vernon recall their experiences as mill workers in Bynum, North Carolina.
Mareda Sigmon Cobb and her sister Carrie Sigmon Yelton both worked long careers in North Carolina textile mills, completing the family journey from farm to factory in the early decades of the twentieth century. Here they describe their family lives both as children and parents, the many implications of the Depression, working conditions in the mills, religion, and other themes central to social and labor history. The economic and material realities of textile employment are explored in detail; each suffered a major injury on the job, neither favored unionization (though their husbands did), and neither received a pension.
David R. Hayworth describes the history and business model of his family business, Hayworth Roll and Panel Company.
Annie Mack Barbee describes her life as a worker in the segregated Liggett & Myers tobacco factories, and discusses how gender, class and race affected her life and the choices she made.
Frank Durham discusses how his family first came to work in the mills and describes other people they got to know there. He describes the inner workings of the mill, the ways management negotiated labor complaints with the employees, the social structure of the mill village, and the commonalities of mill town life.
Ethel Bowman Shockley and her daughter Hazel Shockley Cannon describe life and work in the mill town of Glen Raven, North Carolina. Shockley worked at the Plaid Mill from 1927 to 1964; she describes how working conditions changed through the Depression, World War II, and the postwar years.
In this 1979 interview, Nell Putnam Sigmon describes her upbringing in a large family, her decision at age eighteen to take a job sewing women's gloves, her work in the mill, and her experiences as wife and mother of two children.
Robert Sidney Smith, president and CEO of the National Association of Hosiery Manufacturers, discusses the hosiery industry in North Carolina and the United States.
Naomi Sizemore Trammel recalls her life as a textile mill worker in Greer, South Carolina.
George Perkel evaluates the failure of unions in the post-World War II South.
Samuel and Leonia Farrar remember a lifetime of hard work in rural and urban North Carolina.
Daniel Pollitt describes his admiration for University of North Carolina Campus Y director, Anne Queen. He discusses his and Queen's engagement in social justice movements and the city of Chapel Hill's reaction to student political engagement.
Mill workers Carl and Mary Thompson describe their experiences as skilled employees and active members of their local communities.
Barbara Hanks remembers her career at the White Furniture Company and the effects of the company's closing on her community in Mebane, North Carolina.
Carlee Drye was a founding member of the local union for aluminum workers in Badin, North Carolina, which later merged with the Steel Workers of America. Drye served as president of the local in the 1950s, during which time he worked actively to change policies of racial discrimination in the Alcoa aluminum plant. He retired from the plant and from the union in 1970s. He speculates about relations between the union, the community, and Alcoa following his retirement.
Flossie Moore Durham fondly remembers mill work, the mill community, and her long life as a wife and mother in Bynum, North Carolina.
Sisters Mattie Shoemaker and Mildred Shoemaker Edmonds discuss their experiences at a textile mill in Burlington, North Carolina.
Flake and Nellie Meyers describe what it was like to live and work in and around Conover, North Carolina, during the early to mid-twentieth century. As a worker in various furniture companies and as the foreman at the Southern Desk Company, Flake Meyers describes in vivid detail the various kinds of skills involved in furniture making, the role of machinery in the industry, and workplace relationships. Nellie Meyers similarly describes the kinds of family labor systems and social customs that shaped their lives.
Diane English recalls her job experiences and quest for homeownership in Charlotte, North Carolina, beginning in the late 1960s. She also discusses her role as an activist for neighborhood safety and her fight to save her neighborhood from gentrification.
Paul and Pauline Griffith spent their working careers in the Judson Mill in Greenville, South Carolina. They offer an overview on conditions in the mill and how the work changed from the 1920s into the 1970s.
Hog farmer Jim Connor describes the impact of Hurricane Floyd and the details of his business, and emphasizes his concern for the environment.
Julia Virginia Jones traces the development of her professional career, which culminated in a federal judgeship. She illuminates the impact her gender had on her growth in the legal field.
George Esser remembers his contributions to the North Carolina Fund and pulls back the curtain on a network of organizations that worked for social justice in the 1960s.
Tobacco auctioneer Edward Stephenson reflects on his two decades of brokering tobacco sales and shares his concerns about the decline of the industry.
Julius Fry was a textile worker for Mansfield Mill in Lumberton, North Carolina from 1927 to 1943. During the early years of the Great Depression, Fry was increasingly drawn to labor activism, especially after the election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the rise of the New Deal. Fry describes what it was like to work at the Mansfield Mill, the organization of a union in Lumberton, and his own role within the labor movement in the South.
During the course of her career, Josephine Glenn worked in several mills around Burlington, North Carolina, allowing her to compare the textile factories in Burlington and their various working environments. She covers many topics, including wartime production, the end of segregation, and the changing roles of women in the factories.
Lyman Johnson traces his lifelong pursuit of racial equality through his father's rejection of racial hierarchies, his experiences as an educated black Navy solder, his observations of racial violence, and his efforts to get equal pay and union representation for Louisville teachers.
Joseph Pedigo was an active participant and leader in the labor movement among textile workers in the South during the 1930s and 1940s. In this interview, he describes his role in the formation of a local union at American Viscose in Roanoke, Virginia, and his work with the Textile Workers Union of America towards organizing textile workers throughout the South.
Frances Hogan was in charge of finding facilities, equipment, and competitions for the women's athletics program at the University of North Carolina from 1946 to the 1970s. She discusses how students and coaches worked around the limitations to plan their own tournaments and occasionally succeeded on the national level. She describes the change from club sports to NCAA division sports and the introduction of Title IX in the 1970s. The interview ends with her summary of why the program is successful.
Chandrika Dalal describes her experiences as an Indian immigrant in the United States.
John G. Medlin Jr., CEO of Wachovia, discusses the growth of the Charlotte-based bank.
James Atwater discusses life in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, from the 1930s to the 1950s. He describes the black community, the impact of segregation on schools and neighborhoods, and experiences of African American staff at the university.
Jim Goodnight describes the founding and growth of his corporation, SAS.
Jimmy Carter, the governor of Georgia, discusses the growing influence of the Democratic Party in southern states and links it to distinctly southern trends, such as increased voter participation and the impact of the civil rights movement.
Geddes Dodson worked as a textile mill employee for sixty years. During that time, he progressed through the factory's employment hierarchy, seeing many different aspects of life within the mills. He often focuses on issues involving masculinity and unionism.
Ralph Waldo Strickland grew up on an Alabama farm before joining the navy and later making a career with the Seaboard Railroad. He offers a range of recollections concerning his childhood in the rural South, his encounters with the Roosevelts following their relocation in 1921 to Hot Springs, Georgia, and life as a railroad worker and union member.
Born in 1895, Lucy Somerville Howorth was born and raised in Mississippi. An activist for women's rights from an early age, Howorth was actively involved in the campaign for women's suffrage before she became a lawyer, a judge, and a politician. She describes her involvement in numerous women's organizations, her perceptions of the women who led those organizations, and their evolution over the years.
Clark Foreman worked in the Atlanta Commission on Interracial Cooperation, the Roosevelt Administration, and the Southern Conference for Human Welfare from the 1920s through the 1940s. This interview traces his efforts to provide equal social services and political rights for African Americans through these organizations and explains how he developed these goals. He also discusses his travels in Europe, his work with Black Mountain College and organized labor, and his criticism of the Red Scare.
Richard Bowman reflects on growing up in segregated Asheville, North Carolina, and facing racism during his employment with the army and the Los Angeles Department of Motor Vehicles. He also discusses his work to improve the current Asheville school district and rebuild his old high school. He lived in Los Angeles for four decades and experienced two major riots.
University of North Carolina women's soccer coach Anson Dorrance reflects on his teams' remarkable successes and his career as a male coach of a women's team.
Virginius Dabney traces his involvement with the school desegregation crisis in post-1954 Virginia. Dabney's political and social beliefs about integration appeared in the newspaper he edited, the
Richmond Times-Dispatch. This interview spans the breadth of his career from the 1920s to the 1970s.