Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Weave Shop Ran 24 Hours a day in World War II

My father died during the great depression in 1932. When the Japanese attached Pearl harbor in 1941 and President Roosevelt declared war, my mother worked as a weaver in the Osprey Mill in Porterdale Georgia.
The Cord Weave Shop looms ran 24 hours a day During World War II to weave the heavy cloth used in making truck and tank tires.

Mama, an intelligent and hard working woman became quite expert as a weaver in the Cord Weave Shop. She seemed to be one of the few people who knew all about how to thread the warps and looms to begin a new supply of heavy cord material.

As I understand it, when a bolt of cloth was cut off the looms to be bundled up and shipped out, a new bolt of cloth could be begun in a relatively simple way. But to begin a different width of cloth required the loom to be threaded in a different way.

During World War II, with so many men away in Europe or the South Pacific, the word went out to recruit everyone who would work in the textile plants. I worked for a few months and was assigned to work in the Cortd Weave Shop and saw for myself Mama was exceedingly knowledgeable about all the workings of the warps and weaving of the heavy cloth.

Mama was no longer young and had deep concern her two youngest sons who were everseas in the Army. My brother Tom was in the Army Infantry in Europe and Jack was in the Army Air Force serving in the South Pacific. Mama was working in the Textile plant Mondays through Friday. She handled the massive looms with energy and skill. The woven cord was used in the production of tires for trucks and tanks as well as for tents.

Long after Mama retired and was no longer on the payroll, on several ocassions the Bibb Manufacturing Company officials sent a car to her home on Hazel Street to take Mama back into the Osprey Mill to thread the looms for a new batch of cloth. She was always happy to go back into the building to thread the looms and teach the skill to other weavers.

I do not remember that Mama was ever paid for this service. But to Ieula Dick Baird, the lady who collected food for families "out of work, " the women who helped deliver babies or visit the sick when the need arose, the lady who told me we came for "good stock," this deed was typical of her. So going back to her old job in the Cord Weave Shop to help someone learn the skill was just another neighborly thing to do.

1 comment:

Carol said...

I'm glad to know this about Mama Baird. I don't recall your telling us about it before.