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Oral History Interview with Carrie Lee Gerringer, August 11, 1979. Interview H-0077. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Carrie Lee Gerringer was born in Greensboro, North Carolina, around 1909. She focuses primarily on what it was like to raise a family and work in the textile industry in Bynum, North Carolina. Gerringer recalls spending more time at household chores than at play during her childhood. She left school at the age of fourteen to begin working in the textile mills—an occupation she kept for more than fifty years—and married at the age of sixteen. She and her husband had six children, one of whom died from leukemia as a child. She discusses at length how it was often difficult for her family to make ends meet: she and her husband juggled shifts in the textile industry so that they would not have to hire extra help with the children, and her husband often took on extra work painting houses. Gerringer offers vivid portraits of working in textile plants.
    Excerpts
  • Single parent family economy in a working community
  • Leaving school for work at age fourteen
  • Balancing work and family in a working community
  • Lack of knowledge about birth control methods
  • Courtship and marriage before reaching age of consent
  • Tensions between workers and strategies for overproduction
  • Lung problems associated with work in the textile mills
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  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Subjects
  • Children--Employment--North Carolina
  • Women in the textile industry
  • Textile industry--Technological innovations
  • Bynum (N.C.)--Social life and customs
  • 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.