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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Josephine Glenn, June 27, 1977. Interview H-0022. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Conditions in the mills

Glenn describes what conditions were like in the mills where she worked.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Josephine Glenn, June 27, 1977. Interview H-0022. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

CLIFF KUHN:
What was work like during the World War II era? Did it change at all, or was it harder? Did you have to meet production more?
JOSEPHINE GLENN:
All through the years we had production.
CLIFF KUHN:
So that's all the way through from 1927 to ...
JOSEPHINE GLENN:
Yes. Really, all the time I ever worked, I never got paid by piece work, but still they expected you to do so much, and you knew how much you were supposed to do. They'd give you machines to keep going, and you were supposed to keep them going.
CLIFF KUHN:
Did the number of machines change over the years?
JOSEPHINE GLENN:
Yes and no. [Laughter] They got more modern machines that didn't take as much attention, and naturally you had to do more. And they were high-speed; they were speeded up so much.
CLIFF KUHN:
How would that affect what you did?
JOSEPHINE GLENN:
You'd have to put up so much more yarn for a high-speed than you would for the slower running machine.
CLIFF KUHN:
How about stools? Did they ever have stools?
JOSEPHINE GLENN:
Yes, they had stools, but I was one of the lucky ones. I was tall and had extra long arms. I could work from the floor. [Laughter] A lot of times, I would be the only one that did work from the floor; the rest of them would have to have a stool. I have unusually long arms. [Laughter] [END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A] [TAPE 1, SIDE B] [START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]
JOSEPHINE GLENN:
I don't think they did anything about the noise level. Down at Cannon, while I was working down there they got to hollering about the noise, and a lot of the places they had to wear earplugs. But where I was at it wasn't so noisy, and we didn't have to wear them. But they did, I guess, in most of the mill. What I did, there was only three machines running in that department, and that wasn't a whole lot of noise. They didn't make much noise, and we didn't have to wear earplugs. They didn't wear them in the dye house. But where there was a lot of noise they wore earplugs.