Journal Article

"From Farm to Factory: Transitions in Work, Gender, and Leisure at Banning Mill, 1910–1930s"

Teresa Beyer-Sherwood

in The Oral History Review

Published on behalf of Oral History Association

Volume 33, issue 2, pages 65-94
Published in print January 2006 | ISSN: 0094-0798
Published online January 2006 | e-ISSN: 1533-8592 | DOI:
"From Farm to Factory: Transitions in Work, Gender, and Leisure at Banning Mill, 1910–1930s"

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Abstract This study explores new and traditional forms of leisure enjoyed by white southern rural millhands at Banning Mill between 1910 and the 1930s. As they moved from farm to factory, millhands experienced unfamiliar working conditions, changes in gender roles in and outside the home, and an increase in leisure time. While both farmers and millhands had opportunities to socialize, this study will compare traditional forms of entertainment available to farmers with similar and new recreations found in rural mill villages such as Banning Mill in Carroll County, Georgia.

A comparison of leisure activities also reveals new ways in which rural cotton millhands separated themselves in social settings. Gender divisions in village recreation reflect changing roles at home as men and women coped with the transition from farm to factory in different ways. Specific or individual interests created an atmosphere in which wives, husbands, teenagers, and children typically socialized with members of their own sex and age. Juxtaposing the ways in which men and women choose to spend their free time suggests husbands had a more difficult time adjusting to work and life in mill villages than their spouses or children.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Oral History

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