Format Audio Recordings
Contributors Jones, Leonard
Levitas, Susan
Dates 1994
Location New Jersey
Paterson
United States
Language English
Subjects African Americans
Economic Aspects of War
Ethnography
Industrial Facilities
Interviews
Labor Unions
Oral History
Sound Recordings
Work Ethic
Work Processes
World War
Title
"My next job was in a wire mill, I was a wire insulator."
Contributor Names
Jones, Leonard (Narrator)
Levitas, Susan, 1961- (Interviewer)
Created / Published
1994-08-19
Subject Headings
-  African Americans
-  Labor Unions
-  Oral history
-  Interviews
-  Sound recordings
-  Work processes
-  Work ethic
-  Industrial facilities
-  Economic aspects of war
-  World War, 1939-1945
-  Ethnography
-  United States -- New Jersey -- Paterson
Genre
Ethnography
Interviews
Notes
-  Interview with Leonard Jones, urban gardener, hardware store worker, motorcycle club member.
-  Summary of audio segment: Became a wire insulator at the wire mill; you insulate fine wire, fine as your hair; took a couple of years to learn how to do that; worked there for fourteen years and five years in another place. "I mastered it pretty good." One was called Universal Manufacturing - they made the ballast for flourescent lamps - worked there fourteen years. The first one he worked for was American Wire Corps on California Avenue making copper wire until the war when we started making trip wire -- olive drab; then we went back into copper, and he closed down. Then I went into the service and when I came out I worked at Universal. Universal was in the Riverside section. I liked machinery I liked to use my hands; in that you had to use your hands and your brain, it was a challenge. You were always doing something, it wasn't like doing one thing only, you had to take care of machines-- oil and grease them see that they're taken care of so they'll run properly for you. The more I took care of them, the more time I had to sit down; that was my downfall, because they didn't like me sitting down, even though I had done my job. . . . I told them, 'I'm not here to see how much work I can do, I'm here to see how much work I can't do.'" His job was to see that machines ran well; "that was a union shop and I couldn't have said that to them if it wasn't. As an operator, my job was to keep the machines running, but they still didn't like it.
Medium
Digital Audio Tape
Call Number
AFC 1995/028: WIP-SL-A017
Source Collection
Working in Paterson Project Collection (AFC 1995/028)
Repository
American Folklife Center
Digital Id
http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.afc/afcwip.sla01704


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