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Collection Occupational Folklife Project

Boeing Aircraft Factory Workers in and around Wichita, Kansas

In 2012, Murl Riedel, historian and grants officer at the Kansas Humanities Council in Topeka, Kansas, received an Archie Green Fellowship from the American Folklife Center to document the occupational folklife of Boeing aircraft factory workers in and around Wichita, Kansas. Undertaken in cooperation with the Wichita-Sedgwick County History Museum, the oral history project specifically focused on the occupational experiences of workers in Boeing’s massive aircraft manufacturing and maintenance facilities in Wichita, which were in the midst of being shuttered after 85 years of being a major regional employer. In addition to interviews with multigenerational Boeing factory workers, the 20 interviews in this collection include interviews with Boeing executives, salespeople, local shop owners, and Representative Mike Pompeo, who was then representing Kansas’s 4th Congressional District in the US House of Representatives.

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