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Oral History Interview with Cynthia Sykes Cook, February 19, 1994. Interview K-0091. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Cynthia Sykes Cook started work at the White Furniture Factory in Mebane, North Carolina, in 1980 and stayed there until the factory closed in 1993. Cook had a college degree and worked in a variety of positions in the factory office, including sales and the creation of manuals for furniture assembly. Cook describes some of the elements of these jobs, but she focuses on the plant's closing, which preceded this interview by only eight months. Cook remains upset about it; the interviewer stops the tape once when she begins crying. Cook believes that the factory was an essential part of town life. Its loss was a devastating shock that, as time passed, revealed the factory's importance in providing an environment where workers could cultivate friendships. That kind of a workplace no longer exists, Cook believes.
    Excerpts
  • Grief upon learning about company reorganization
  • Scarcely believing news of a company closing
  • Furniture factory as an essential part of town
  • Disappearance of a good employer
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Subjects
  • Furniture industry and trade--North Carolina
  • Furniture workers--North Carolina
  • White Furniture Company
  • North Carolina--Social conditions
  • Cook, Cynthia Sykes, 1957-
  • Women--Employment--North Carolina--History--20th century
  • 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.