Documenting the American South Logo
Collections >> Oral Histories of the American South >> Document Menu
Oral History Interview with Kathryn Killian and Blanche Bolick, December 12, 1979. Interview H-0131. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
Audio with Transcript
  • Listen Online with Text Transcript (Requires QuickTime and JavaScript)
  • Transcript Only (32 p.)
  • HTML file
  • XML/TEI source file
  • Download Complete Audio File (MP3 format / ca. 111 MB, 01:00:42)
  • MP3
  • Abstract
    Kathryn Killian and her sister Blanche Bolick recall their upbringing near Conover, North Carolina, and their careers making gloves. They fondly remember the distant world of their childhood, rich in family bonds and community connection. They are less nostalgic for their working lives, however. Killian is the more talkative of the pair, eager to share her dislike for factory work. Her work arrangement was an unusual one: after the death of her husband, who was crushed by a tree, her employer, also her brother-in-law, set up a glove-making machine in her home, making her both a stay-at-home mom and a working mother. This interview offers a useful look at the working lives of women in the early twentieth-century South.
  • Fondly recalling a childhood of hard farm labor
  • A modest upbringing rich in kinship
  • Parents share authority
  • Rejecting characterization as an old maid for marrying after age eighteen
  • Dislike for factory work
  • Working from home while raising children
  • Minimum wages prompts employers to push workers to produce more
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Subjects
  • North Carolina--Social conditions--20th century
  • Farm life--North Carolina
  • Women in the textile industry
  • 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.