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About this recording

Eula McGill interviewed by Jacquelyn Hall, Atlanta, Georgia, February 1976. Interviews # G-39 and G-40 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 early 20th century: Primary sources and readings explore North Carolina in the first decades of the twentieth century (1900–1929). Topics include changes in technology and transportation, Progressive Era reforms, World War I, women's suffrage, Jim Crow and African American life, the cultural changes of the 1920s, labor and labor unrest, and the Gastonia stirke of 1929. (Page 7.4)

In the classroom

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Eula McGill talks about efficiency experts and the Bedot system.


Jacquelyn Hall
Do you remember efficiency experts?
Eula McGill
That’s when the Bidot system came in, the stretch-out came in there about that time. The Bidot system, they called it.
Jacquelyn Hall
Eula McGill
Yes, it was a Frenchman named Bidot.
Jacquelyn Hall
You were a part of it?
Eula McGill
Yes, it was part of this business that cut my wages—give us more sides to run and stretched out the weavers. The weavers were always considered the aristocrats in textile, and I remember they used to talk about they needed roller skates to watch all their looms, you know. Yes, it was part of the struggles there in the turn there coming into the thirties, that Bidot system (or stretch-out, we called it).
Jacquelyn Hall
What about spinning? I thought spinning was a fairly skilled task in a textile mill? Is it not one of the. . . ?
Eula McGill
Well, it’s not as skilled as weaving. Weaving’s the most, I think; it was higher paid than any other, as I remember it, among the jobs. Women mostly, but a lot of men were weavers; very few women, as I remember it, were in weaving. And I tried to get away from spinning so I could get into something else. I always considered my hands were too big and I was too tall for a spinner—I had to stoop too much, you see, to get down. I was not cut out to be a spinner. And I never could get transferred out into nothing else. I asked to be going into winding (felt I could do better) or the warping, where you had to reach high to take the big spools and put it on this frame, and it run down into a big bin that run the warping to go down into the weaving room. And I always figured I’d be better off there. It looked sensible to me to put me over in something like that (me and my height), but I never could talk them into it. I never was able to move; they just wouldn’t transfer you, hardly.