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Oral History Interview with Christine and Dave Galliher, August 8, 1979. Interview H-0314. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Christine Galliher was born in 1912 in Elizabethton, Tennessee. Christine met and married Dave Galliher (born 1908) in 1927. Though the Gallihers are interviewed together, the focus is on Christine's memories of life and work in Elizabethton. The same year she was married (at the age of 15), Christine Galliher went to work in the textile mills in Elizabethton, first as a winder in the Bermberg plant and later as an inspector in the Glanzstoff plant (later called North American). In 1929, Galliher was an organizer of and participant in a walk-out strike at the Glanzstoff plant when management refused to raise the workers' wages. Recalling her role in the strike, Galliher describes working conditions in the textile mills, the developing role of organized labor, and her participation in the Southern Summer School for women workers that summer. Both she and her husband were subsequently "blackballed" from the textile industry in Elizabethton. Her husband went to work with the city and in construction work during the 1930s; Christine, meanwhile, did not work again until 1935, remaining at home to care for her new child and struggling to make ends meet during the Great Depression. In 1935, she returned to the Glantzstoff textile plant, where she worked as a winder until 1946. The latter portion of the interview focuses on issues of balancing work and family, changes in working conditions and attitudes in the 1930s, and family history.
    Excerpts
  • Going to work in the textile mills at the age of fifteen
  • Grassroots walk-out strike at textile mills in Elizabethton, Tennessee
  • Grassroots actions lead to organization of labor in Elizabethton, Tennessee
  • Surviving during the Great Depression without work
  • Lack of friendship with fellow workers
  • Positive impact of the Southern Summer School on a female worker
  • Balancing work and family
  • Relationship between textile plants and the working community
  • Competing memories of the gender roles in the 1929 walk-out strike
  • Description of courtship and marriage
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Subjects
  • Textile workers--Tennessee--Elizabethton
  • Strikes and lockouts--Textile industry--Tennessee
  • Labor unions--Tennessee
  • Women textile workers--Tennessee--Social conditions
  • Galliher, Christine Hinkle
  • Galliher, David B.
  • 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.