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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Clyda Coward and Debra Coward, May 30, 2001. Interview K-0833. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Welcoming the arrival of electricity

Coward welcomed the arrival of electricity in her house—she no longer had to clean lampshades blackened by soot or kerosene.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Clyda Coward and Debra Coward, May 30, 2001. Interview K-0833. 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

LEDA HARTMAN:
Do you remember how it changed people's lives, anyway? How, for instance, your house would be different because it had electricity?
CLYDA COWARD:
Well, I'll tell you, I was just so glad to see it, I could've eat it if it had been possible. But it was really an experience for us because we had been in the dark for so long. We would go in in the afternoon, and Mama would tell us we had to get our lessons. And we had these lampsߞ. That was something else I didn't like: we always had to wash the lampshades. We would turn the lamp up so it would be brighter, but it would smoke. She never said anything to us until the next day; then she'd tell some of usߞwhich ever one of us done itߞ"You got to wash all the lamp shades this evening." And that was what we had to do.
LEDA HARTMAN:
So you didn't have to bother with that any more when electricity came in?
CLYDA COWARD:
Oh, no, no. No more of that, and I was glad.