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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Carl and Mary Thompson, July 19, 1979. Interview H-0182. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Drawing-in machines replace skilled workers

As the textile machinery improved, skilled workers such as Mary Thompson often found themselves out of work.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Carl and Mary Thompson, July 19, 1979. Interview H-0182. 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

You see, we had to draw by a draft that was made for us to draw threads, and there'd be from maybe a thousand ends in the whole pattern to maybe, I have drawn them twenty thousand. That'd be finer than your hair. But you see, it's just according to the styles it was then, and now, too, as far as that's concerned. The only thing is, they've got draw-in machines now that does most of it, what little there are. There ain't so much now; most of it now is knit and print. Back then there was lots of woven material. So that's the reason I was laid off so much.
JIM LELOUDIS:
Instead of printing the stripe, it would be woven in.
MARY THOMPSON:
Yes. You don't see too much woven material now. It was better then than it is now, I thought. They just kept making different kinds of patterns and had to have different things as styles come in. But all of that's about gone now. And what they do have, mostly, they've gotten machines to do it.
CARL THOMPSON:
Them draw-in machines would take care of a lot more hands. They could take one machine, and it'd take the place of maybe ten or twelve hands, what maybe ten or twelve could do. And it was a whole lot cheaper and a whole lot faster, too, put out more work.