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Oral History Interview with Eula and Vernon Durham, November 29, 1978. Interview H-0064. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Eula Durham and her husband Vernon recall their experiences as mill workers in Bynum, North Carolina. The Durhams discuss the integration of their mill in the early 1970s and the failures of unionization, but their recollections of their lives as mill workers pale in comparison to their vivid memories of their childhood in Bynum and the many colorful ways they found to entertain themselves. Eula's memories of the joys of her childhood are more vibrant than Vernon's: she remembers making candy, decorating Christmas trees with popcorn, and snipe hunting; box parties, spin the bottle, and chicken stews; ball games, carnivals, and stealing chickens. This interview will be somewhat useful for researchers interested in mill work, more useful for those interested in childhood and adolescence in the rural South.
  • First job at a textile mill
  • Close-knit work environment has evaporated over time
  • New, professional management has rigidified the textile mill environment
  • Integrating smoothly at a textile mill
  • Failed attempt at organization at a textile mill in the late 1930s
  • Mill workers' disinterest in striking
  • The New Deal boosts textile mill wages
  • Bynum residents band together to alleviate the effects of Depression-era poverty
  • Christmas in early twentieth-century Bynum, North Carolina
  • Courting in early twentieth-century North Carolina
  • Remembering a childhood rich in play
  • Various social gatherings in the rural South
  • A textile mill transitions from water power to electricity
  • Workplace injuries in a textile mill
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Subjects
  • Trade-unions--Textile workers--North Carolina
  • Textile workers--North Carolina--Social conditions
  • Women in the textile industry
  • Textile industry--Technological innovations
  • Bynum (N.C.)--Religious life
  • Bynum (N.C.)--Social life and customs
  • 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.