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About this recording

Carl and Mary Thompson interviewed by James Leloudis, Charlotte, NC, July 9, 1979. Interview #H-182 in the Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007), Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Southern Oral History Program
Date created
This recording copyright ©2004. All Rights Reserved
Original audio housed by UNC Libraries / Documenting the American South

See this recording in context

  • North Carolina in the New South: Primary sources and readings explore North Carolina in the decades after the Civil War (1870–1900). Topics include changes in agriculture, the growth of cities and industry, the experiences of farmers and mill workers, education, cultural changes, politics and political activism, and the Wilmington Race Riot. (Page 3.5)
  • North Carolina History: A Sampler: A sample of the more than 800 pages of our digital textbook for North Carolina history, including background readings, various kinds of primary sources, and multimedia. Also includes an overview of the textbook and how to use it. (Page 5.2)

In the classroom

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Mary Thompson and her husband Carl discuss injuries in the workplace.


Jim Leloudis
Did either one of you ever get injured on your job?
Mary Thompson
Carl did. He’s got one …
Carl Thompson
Yes, a finger cut off here, then two more tore-up fingers.
Mary Thompson
Two New Year’s Days, straight together. [Laughter]
Jim Leloudis
What happened?
Carl Thompson
Caught it in a half-lap on a comber.
Jim Leloudis
You worked in a card room?
Carl Thompson
Jim Leloudis
Was that pretty dangerous work?
Carl Thompson
Yes, it was, in a way it was pretty dangerous. You’d have to watch yourself. On cards, especially, there were so many things that you could… Even cleaning up, getting your brush maybe caught in a belt or something or other.
Mary Thompson
Really, it’s about the dangerousest job in the mill now, is work in the card room.
Carl Thompson
And maybe if your brush would get caught in a belt or in a pulley or something like that, naturally it’s going to jerk your hand, and all you could do is keep from it, jerking maybe your hand in there or arm. Well, as soon as it caught it, just turn it loose and let it go. But some of them would try to hold it, and they’d jerk more than anybody. And I’ve seen them jerked in the cards thataway and maybe get their whole arm and all broke, and …
Mary Thompson
It is a very dangerous job, card room work is.
Carl Thompson
… the skin pulled off, maybe slam through the bone and all.