They performed in the studios of Charlotte’s powerful radio station WBT and signed contracts with national recording companies like RCA and Columbia Records. Folk medicine formed an important part of the worker’s culture. Sources: Interviews with Bessie Buchanan, Edna Hargett, Grover and Alice Hardin, Louise Jones, Paul and Don Faucette; Carrie Gerringer, Harvey Ellington, and Hoyle McCorkle, Southern Oral History Program, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Looking back from our sanitary and efficient 21st-century perspective, life was dirty, hard, dangerous and just plain depressing. “She knowed more about young’uns than any doctor. Inevitably they met their spouses on the job and courted there as well. They’d have a good crop of cabbage, [and] they’d get together and all make kraut.” Villagers helped one another not with an expectation of being paid but with the assurance that their neighbors would help them in return. Favorite Answer. Harvey Ellington remembered that “you’d have a dance in somebody’s house—they’d take the beds and all out, and then we’d just play.” With the introduction of radio and inexpensive record players in the 1920s, Ellington and many other mill musicians became local celebrities. In such remote locations companies had little choice but to provide housing where none existed before. KS2 Sir Caustic. We decided then just to get married.”, Like farmers, mill hands worked hard to grow much of their own food. The Textile mills have a significant presence in the national economy as well as in an international economy. Children were apprenticed at nine and were given lodgings, food and an hour of schooling a week. 0 0. 1 Answer. Textile mills were important because if a consumer wanted some textiles he or she could not purchase them from corn mills. Why did the factory owners want orphans to work in their factories? Workers in factories and mills were deafened by steam hammers and machinery. Textile production was the first great industry created. Reprinted with permission from the Tar Heel Junior Historian. Between 1827 and 1876, the managers of the Hamilton Manufacturing Company kept information about each of their employees in registers like the one shown below. 8 years ago. And doggone if she didn’t come through the night and live!”. Life in the Mill Whist some mills owners like the Fieldens of Todmorden took care of their workers, whilst others, such as the Calverts at Wainstalls and the Hinchliffes of Cragg Vale Mills, treated them very badly. If you prefer not to leave an email address, check back at your NCpedia comment for a reply. In textile mills, children were made to clean machines while the machines were kept running and there were many accidents. Mill hands made their homes in villages owned by the men who employed them. I’d get up a[t] five o’clock in the mornings, because you had to be at work at six. Read about our approach to external linking. After working in the mill for ten or twelve hours, Bessie’s mother and other village women came home to cook on wood stoves and to wash clothes in large iron kettles over open fires. At the time of this article’s publication, James Leloudis was a staff member of the Southern Oral History Program and doctoral candidate, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. And working in the textile mill seemed like a step up from working on the family farm. It had its bad points; we didn’t make much money. Working hours in the mills were long—six days a week. But the mill village was more than a place to work and earn a living. Furnaces were operated without proper safety checks. Depending on where you lived you could also hear the whistles from other surrounding mills. of History. “We met, and it must have been love at first sight because it wasn’t long after we met that we married. Well, you can give us some [meat], and we can give you some. If healers were the most respected women in the village, musicians held that place among men. In times of sickness they turned to their own healers and home remedies. NCpedia will not publish personal contact information in comments, questions, or responses. Even in muddy streets and cramped cottages textile workers managed to create their own world of pride and dignity. What was life like for children apprenticed in textile mills? What jobs did they do in the cotton factory, and how long did they work each day? “I guess there were two hundred houses on this village, and I knew practically all of them from a kid up. With the new technologies came a reduced workforce since less labor was needed to produce the products. Textile mill workers no longer wanted to live in housing provided by the mills and the textile mills wanted to stop being landlords so textile mill villages shut down. Huge mills were built in the 18th and 19th centuries. Then step outside to experience where they lived, from the basic mill worker’s homes to the more lavish abodes of the mill manager’s. Working in textile mills was completely different from working at home in the textile industry. “They’d just visit around and work voluntarily,” one man recalled. They could then, if they had already looked at children working in coal mines, be asked about the differences between working in a coal mine and in a factory. These men were pioneers in transforming the sounds of the Carolina hills and mill villages into today’s country music. All Please submit permission requests for other Textile mills were very important to people who liked to read a lot. It was also the setting in which men and women fell in love, married, reared their children, and retired in old age. Many people use the term to refer specifically to a plant where textiles are made, although it may also refer to facilities that process textiles and turn them into finished products, such as clothing. If you were a child in Gaston County you and about 25,000 other mill workers would have heard the same whistle. In match factories, children were … Lv 7. Paul and Don Faucette remembered how it was done. He made do by putting a harness around himself and having his children “stand behind and guide the plow.” Louise Jones’s family also gardened, kept a milk cow, and raised “homemade meat.” Her parents “had a big corn patch and a few chickens around the yard. Today, the volumes serve as excellent sources for studying the demographics and retention rates of employees in a long-lived New England textile mill. The children living in cotton mills also had another problem to deal with. The Lowell mill girls were young female workers who came to work in industrial corporations in Lowell, Massachusetts, during the Industrial Revolution in the United States. To understand what life was like for the children who worked in textile mills in the 1800s ‘‘‘The children who built victorianbritain’ What were the child workers known as in the 1800s? Fall 1986. Children of first-generation workers married newcomers, knitting individual households together in broad networks of sharing and concern. She was a spinning-room person, and I would go, when I could, up to the spinning room, and we’d lay in the window and court a little bit. We have, as yet, failed to find a firsthand account. For personal use and We didn’t have a living room or a den or nothing like that.”, Bessie Buchanan’s family also did not own any of the modern appliances that make life easier today. Working conditions for children were worse than they were for adults. Born into a family of Alabama textile workers who supported unions, McGill described herself and her family as "firm trade unionists" in a 1974 oral history interview conducted by Lewis Lipsitz (p. 8). They could discuss whether all Victorians felt the same way about children working. The mills were hot and dusty places so they were hard to breathe in. As in the countryside, village life was based on family ties. The textile industry in America began in New England during the late 18th century. I got up in the morning and I’d make up dough and have biscuits for my children. Textile Workers Industrial Revolution ©1996-2019 It was kind of a cliché or something like that: You grew up here and you knew everybody. Relevance. His system, however, differed markedly from Philadelphia homespun or the craft-factory model used in Rhode Island. Many more stand empty and neglected. Bessie Buchanan, who grew up with eight brothers and sisters, remembered what it was like. If you would like a reply by email, note that some email servers, such as public school accounts, are blocked from accepting messages from outside email servers or domains. Some people did not learn to read and they were never aware of the importance of textile mills. Until well into the twentieth century mill hands could not afford doctors’ fees. In many ways that perception was accurate. at Watkins Woolen Mill State Historic Site. Most mill owners at that time saw nothing wrong with children working and it was common business practice to employ children. 9 years ago. To produce cotton and woollen cloth, the mills needed a vast workforce which included children. Investigators from the United States Bureau of Labor reported in 1910 that “all the affairs of the village and the conditions of living of all the people” seemed be “regulated by the mill company. They could research child labour in cotton factories to see if all factories were the same, and how conditions in factories changed during Victorian times. Children worked long hours and sometimes had to carry out some dangerous jobs working in factories. LESSONS - More Info. Where and when? And for young women at the time, it was considered an opportunity to assert some independence from their families despite being … Complete guidelines are available at “They all done it and nobody owed nobody nothing.”, Community values governed mill village life, but there was also room for individual accomplishment. Anonymous. At the turn of the century 95 percent of southern textile families lived in factory housing. Edna Hargett’s father planted vegetables every spring but could not afford a mule to help break the land. What was it like to work in a Mill say from 1880 through 1910? textile mills were simply put. Many children lost fingers in the machinery and some were killed, crushed by the huge machines.