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Oral History Interview with Sidney Leneer Pete Underdown, June 18, 2000. Interview I-0091. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Excerpts
  • Underdown family furniture companies succeed under Parks Underdown
  • Underdown admires Richard Nixon as a visionary
  • Parks Underdown had little money left after a streak of financial mishaps
  • Admiration of grandmother's fortitude in the face of harsh circumstances and age
  • Regret that the street named after the Underdown family has a reputation for crime
  • Working for family paper company as a young teenager
  • Underdown's father died from an electric shock in a factory elevator
  • Ministerial background helps Underdown succeed in the furniture industry
  • Underdown family members helped each other in their businesses
  • Many men look outside Lenoir when courting
  • An employee loses her health working in Parks Underdown's cigar factory
  • A supervisor at Hickory Springs Furniture company struggles with a drinking habit
  • Learning machinery technique to avoid reliance on only one skilled employee
  • Hickory Springs company faces financial difficulties in the 1940s
  • No employees were hurt in a fire at one of the Hickory Springs furniture plants
  • Segregation persists in the Hickory Springs plant until after the 1951 fire
  • Unions did not try to organize Hickory Springs because of its integrated staff
  • Hickory Springs prospers thanks to Parks Underdown and several managers
  • Citation
    Interview I-0091, in the Southern Oral History Program Collection #4007, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Subjects
  • Furniture industry and trade--Southern States--History--20th century
  • Hickory Springs Manufacturing Company
  • Underdown, Sidney Leneer (Pete)
  • 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.