William Friday describes the School of Textiles in the 1940s and recalls what it was like to operate textile machines. Interview on September 13, 2011. (3:04)


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My dad wanted me to take over the business that he had. 00:00:00.000 - 00:00:03.716
I had worked in cotton mills as a kid, making a little money in the summertime, 00:00:03.716 - 00:00:08.662
and I worked in a machine shop. 00:00:08.662 - 00:00:12.429
You won't believe it but in those days you worked for eighteen and a half cents an hour 00:00:12.429 - 00:00:19.752
and I made I think seventeen dollars a week 00:00:19.752 - 00:00:24.144
and worked fifty-six hours to make that. 00:00:24.144 - 00:00:27.679
Mr. Roosevelt became President; my pay went to thirty-seven and a half cents and hour, and I've been a Democrat ever since. [Laughs] 00:00:27.679 - 00:00:35.434
Well in those days it was very simple. 00:00:35.434 - 00:00:40.916
We had the standard mill equipment: We had spinning machines, carding machines, 00:00:40.916 - 00:00:47.354
weaving machines, dying machines, all were necessary, 00:00:47.354 - 00:00:52.315
and you had to take your turn learning how to operate all of them. 00:00:52.315 - 00:00:56.878
My father's business was that he built these gigantic machines called slashers, 00:00:56.878 - 00:01:03.236
which put the starch into the fabric that you buy. 00:01:03.236 - 00:01:07.239
But it was all sort of what you'd learn today in a community college, 00:01:07.239 - 00:01:14.098
it was that far back, 00:01:14.098 - 00:01:17.304
and keep in mind now we're talking seventy years ago 00:01:17.304 - 00:01:21.980
and more than that. It was just a little cotton mill really is what it was 00:01:21.980 - 00:01:26.766
and you took your turn. I learned how to run all those machines 00:01:26.766 - 00:01:33.282
and the more I worked at it the more I knew I was never going to do it. 00:01:33.282 - 00:01:37.936
But then graduation came, and senior year was such a wonderful time at State 00:01:37.936 - 00:01:45.201
because there were four of us that stuck together. 00:01:45.201 - 00:01:47.845
Henry Rowe was editor of the Technician, Doug Kaley was editor of the Agromeck, 00:01:47.845 - 00:01:52.071
I was president of the senior class, and Paul Lehman was president of the student body, 00:01:52.071 - 00:01:57.668
and we four stuck together. 00:01:57.668 - 00:02:01.832
They were all in one fraternity. I never joined a fraternity. It was money problems to start with. 00:02:01.832 - 00:02:08.368
The night we graduated 00:02:08.368 - 00:02:15.367
we sat together for awhile and we dispersed 00:02:15.367 - 00:02:20.134
and the shock came that it was all over, and those glorious days at NC State are now history. 00:02:20.134 - 00:02:27.409
We didn't have a big student union so the YMCA had a wonderful man named Ed King, 00:02:27.409 - 00:02:34.497
and all of us became very much attached to an assistant dean of students named Romeo Lefort. 00:02:34.497 - 00:02:41.914
He was a great, wonderful man, championship swimmer when he was a student at State. 00:02:41.914 - 00:02:48.596
But it was a very small kind of package. There were less than three hundred people in our graduating class. 00:02:48.596 - 00:02:56.743

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