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Oral History Interview with Gordon Berkstresser III, April 29, 1986. Interview H-0263. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    This interview could be called a manual on the past, present, and future of the textile industry in the American South. Gordon Berkstresser III moved from management positions in the textiles into academia, where he studies the industry. In this detailed, dense interview, Berkstresser describes some of the changes that have taken place in American textiles over the course of the twentieth century and how industry leaders have responded to those changes. He sees the textile industry as dynamic, both technologically and methodologically, but also sees it in a state of crisis, threatened by imports, a weak political position, and calcified ideas. Berkstresser describes complex political and business arrangements with clarity, making this interview a useful, detailed source for information about the textile industry.
    Excerpts
  • Insularity of the textile world
  • The textile industry: technologically and methodologically dynamic
  • The textile industry: technologically and methodologically dynamic
  • Gender and race distinctions in the textile industry
  • Small, flexible companies, and large, capital-rich ones find success in textiles
  • Overseas competition poses a real challenge to American textiles
  • Thoughts on American government subsidies for the textile industry
  • Need for American companies to identify and seize manufacturing opportunities
  • Questionable benefits of outsourcing
  • Lack of unions, then other factors, bring the textile industry south
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Subjects
  • Textile industry--South Carolina--Greenville
  • North Carolina State University. Dept. of Textile Management
  • 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.