Audio Recording "Foundry work is hard, hot, and dirty."

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About this Item

"Foundry work is hard, hot, and dirty."
Contributor Names
Reed, Willie (Narrator)
McCarl, Robert (Interviewer)
Created / Published
Subject Headings
-  African Americans
-  Oral history
-  Interviews
-  Sound recordings
-  Work ethic
-  Watson Machine International
-  Foundry workers
-  Ethnography
-  United States -- New Jersey -- Paterson
-  Summary of audio segment: Foundry work is hard, hot and dirty. They used to mold with green sand. Then they got a "no-bake" - you mix the chemical in with the pure sand and it gets hard -- the two chemicals make something like an epoxy. That makes it a lot easier on the workers When they used to use the green sand they had to bake it to get the marks on. But they got rid of all them. We had a big rotary furnace that I used to operate for them. That was nice and interesting work. The cupola was outlawed, the city wouldn't let them operate it because of pollution. They used to light that thing up and they would have fires and they would smoke. And every time they used to set that thing up they would have smoke downtown. They had not used that for a long time. About the only way they could have used that now is if they had a big recouper on top of it to keep the smoke and keep the pollution from getting in the air so bad. But being that got a furnace or use the furnace with a little bit of coal it smokes a little bit at the beginning, but it was nothing like the cupola and once it gets hot it would all just disintegrate and it wouldn't put out no smoke at all. It worked nice for a long time, though. And then when they closed it down they couldn't sell it, they had to give it away. So we loaded it on the truck and say goodbye. Sometimes you'll be glad to see the hard work gone but sometimes you wished you had it when it was gone. I was in much better physical condition than I am now, you know. That physical work keep you feeling better a lot of the time. But then you get lazy and work too long, not doing any physical work you get tired all the time.
-  Interview with Willie Reed at the Working in Paterson office. Willie is a painter and combination man in the Watson Machine Company works.
Analog Audio Cassette
Call Number/Physical Location
AFC 1995/028: WIP-RM-A007
Source Collection
Working in Paterson Project Collection (AFC 1995/028)
American Folklife Center
Digital Id
Online Format

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Credit line

Working in Paterson Project collection, 1993-2002 (AFC 1995/028), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Reed, Willie, and Robert McCarl. "Foundry work is hard, hot, and dirty.". -08-10, 1994. Audio.

APA citation style:

Reed, W. & McCarl, R. (1994) "Foundry work is hard, hot, and dirty.". -08-10. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Reed, Willie, and Robert McCarl. "Foundry work is hard, hot, and dirty.". -08-10, 1994. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.