New Leisure-How Is It Spent
by Frances Hampton
Researched in June 1934 in Leaksville, Spray and Draper, NC)

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A 1934 study, New Leisure, revealed how enthusiastically mill workers embraced the pleasures introduced in the 1920s.  Sociologist Frances Hampton interviewed 122 workers in Leaksville, Spray, and Draper--a mill complex thirty miles northwest of Burlington, North Carolina.  Her study showed how much times had changed since the days James Pharis (of Spray) remembered, when the only thing to do in summertime was to go to the mineral spring. 

"The road would get thick with people going to the spring, trying to spend a bigger part of their Sundays with nothing to do but just drink water and talk." 1

Now, on soft summer evenings, millhands moved inside to listen to the radio or walked to the theater to see a movie.  Eighty-seven of Hampton's 122 informants had radios in their homes, and, with the exception of some housewives who listened while they worked, most people gave broadcasts their undivided attention.  Stringband music and jazz were their favorite programs. Although half of those interviewed owned Victrolas, most considered them "out of date" compared to a radio.  One family found the radio so alluring that they sold their piano in order to purchase one.

Page I.


 A study of What One Hundred Twenty-Two Textile Workers of Leaksville, Spray, and Draper Are Doing with the New Leisure Created by the N. R. A. as Applied to Certain Types of Activities  wpe3.jpg (53411 bytes)

                          (Click on image at right to enlarge)

                                                    Table of Contents

           Chapter                                                                           Page

  I.   Introduction………………………………….........…....I

 II.   Increased Leisure: A Problem………………….………1

III.  Reduction of Hours Since 1776…………............….…..7

IV.  A Brief Summary of the Industrial Growth in the South,
       And a Description of the Mill Village …................……20

  V. A Brief Summary of the Historical Development of
       Leaksville, Spray, and Draper………………....….......24

VI.  Findings……………………………………………....51

VII. Conclusions…………………………………………..99



I. Introduction

        What is leisure?  How should it be used?  Who shall have it?  How much shall he have?  Such questions have existed for a long time, and many different answers have been given.  Today, questions concerning leisure have a peculiar significance- they are questions arising from a pulsing social problem of comparatively recent origin: namely, the creation, by an act of the Federal Government, under the direction of the National Recovery Administration, of new leisure for the laboring class.  One might well pause here for another question:  Why is the new leisure for the laboring class a social problem?  An answer is suggested by another question:  How is the new leisure spent?

      Questions of this kind actuated the present study, the chief purpose of which is to show what certain textile workers are doing with the new leisure created by the N. R. A.  A brief review of the history and the development of the mill village in the South; a summary of the gradual reduction of working hours for textile workers since 1776; and a few facts about the communities which served as a field for the study, are given as a background for the findings.

 Page II


       Those in search for something, rarely ever begin at home- foreign places are much more alluring.  However, in selecting a field for this study, the investigator did not seek unfamiliar ground:  the “home-town” presented itself as a most interesting source for the information desired.  Thus, the mill communities of Leaksville, Spray, and Draper became an area for investigation.  Representative streets of the three communities were chosen, and a house-to-house canvass made.


       During the interviews with the textile workers, data concerning their leisure-time activities was collected.  In order to support general impressions, the resulting information was tabulated according to sex, age, and community, and, in some instances, combinations of the mentioned classifications were used.


      It is generally understood that in a study of this type, a formal questionnaire cannot be used.  Questions concerning what one does with one’s spare time cannot always be correctly answered with a mere “yes” or “no”.  Certain modifications are frequently necessary.  However, as a guide in directing questions during the interviews, the investigator did use a rough schedule of possible leisure time

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activities.  Willingness to talk, on the part of the one questioned, is often checked when he sees that the questioner is writing what he says.  In order to prevent this situation, the investigator did as little writing as possible during the interviews, resorting only to checking items and taking down catch words or phrases.  The bulk of writing was done after the investigator reached home.

      It is necessary here to make further comments about the reliability of the answers given to some of the questions.  Sometimes “no” (or “yes”) would be given as the answer to a question, whereas further questioning would prove the inadequacy of the first answer.  For example, let us take an actual case:

1. Question: “Do you read very much during your spare time?

                        1. Answer: “Right smart.”

 2. Question: “Do you read magazines?”

2. Answer: “No.”

                        3. Question: “Do you read newspapers?”

                        3. Answer: “Yes, I read the funnies.”

               4. Question: “Do you read books?”

4. Answer: “Nothing but the New Testament.”

The criterion of how much reading “Right smart” actually is, seems to vary with the individual.  However, during the casual conversation, which in some cases was quite humorous, much light was thrown on the answers to certain questions.

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 II.   Increased Leisure: A Problem

       Leisure, meaning freedom from necessary occupation or business, continues to be a subject of much comment and agitation.  For many years, interest in the question was chiefly centered around argument for and against shorter working hours for the laboring masses.  Gradually, the working hours have been reduced, and with recent years, discussion of leisure has taken on a different tone.  With the realization of increased leisure has come the problem of what to do with it.

      Many difficulties have arisen from the attitude of large numbers of people toward leisure.  Conditions during the early development of this country emphasized the value of work, and leisure was more or less placed under a ban.  Only the jobless rich had the privilege of enjoying freedom from work;  the poor were considered indolent if idle.1  The old proverb, “the Devil finds work for idle hands to do,” expresses a traditional attitude.  Fortunately, this point of view has been gradually modified, and large numbers have accepted a philosophy based upon the idea that man cannot live by bread alone and that time is needed for life enrichment.

      The increased amount of leisure and the new view of its importance have led to a more critical consideration of the

1.  Cutten, G. B.  The Threat of Leisure, p. 16

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forces which influence the use of leisure, and of the various ways in which the American people are making use of it.  What one does during his free moments is largely determined by his tastes, interests, attitudes, background, and loyalties, plus the existence or absence of appealing opportunities.2  His action mirrors the influence of individual and group examples.  What are some of these major influences?  First in importance is the home, because it is here that the first habits, attitudes, and interests are formed.  The school and the church are also influential factors.  The former creates opportunities of self-development and opens up new avenues of interest.  The church serves as a moral influence, directing the individual’s choice of leisure activity.  The neighborhood and community tone- “They say,”  “It isn’t done,” “It’s the thing to do,” “They’re doing it,”- likewise exercise a control over the individual’s inclination.3  Not to be ignored as major influences in determining the use of leisure, are advertising and commercial amusements in general.  It would be difficult to ascertain the actual extent to which advertising is responsible for the wholesale participation in certain activities;  however, the fact that it is a significant

2.  Lies, E. T. , The New Leisure Challenges the Schools, p. 28

3.  Ibid., p. 253

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 influence is unquestionable.  Closely associated with advertising are the commercial amusements.  Too frequently, one’s leisure activities are entirely confined to the passive enjoyment of the various commercial amusements offered in his community; in fact, the outstanding characteristic of the attitude of certain groups of American people toward diversion in general is that of passive participation. 

      What are the most popular leisure time activities of the people of such groups?  Pleasure motoring, attending movies, reading newspapers and light fiction, listening to the radio, and attending baseball and football games are the foremost diversions.4  In practically every case, they are activities which require no active participation on the part of the individual.  What a contrast are those diversions which absorbed the leisure time of our forefathers!  The difference is largely due to the fact that the present generation is more or less dominated by the machine.  Stuart Chase informs us that the total annual cost of all forms of play and diversion in the United States is roughly estimated as twenty-one billions of dollars- about one half, or nearly eleven billions, of which is spent for diversions impossible without machinery.5  He further states that the machine has affected play in a number of major ways: (1) It has given us more

4.  See Chase, S., Men and Machines, p. 257

5.  Ibid., p.256

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playthings;  (2) More leisure in which to play; (3)  More income per family with which to buy the increase in output of playthings; and (4) Mass production in amusement.6  The result is that we have become watchers rather than doers; we have acquired a restless passion for being entertained. 

      The importance of having some leisure time is no greater than that of the proper use of this time- we have attained the first, but the latter constitutes an immediate social problem.  How to avoid the misuse of leisure- which Burns defines as “any occupation of spare time which leads to a degradation of personality or of the tone of social intercourse or to a degree in health, intelligence, or vitality of any one, owing to what he or she does in that spare time- is the problem to be solved.  It is during one’s leisure moments rather than during the hours of work that character is made or marred 8-what one does during his leisure time reveals what he really is; it is the supreme test of his inner life.  Because of its significance in the molding of personality, and because of the opportunities which it offers for life enrichment, individuals must be trained for the proper use of leisure time.  Herein lies a challenge to education:  Children must be taught how to live and not

6.        Chase, S., “Play”. Ch.XIV.  Whither Mankind, p.343

7.        Burns, C. D. , Leisure in the Modern World, p. 220

8.        Lies, E. T., op. cit., p. 28.  See also Gulick, L. H., A Philosophy of Play, p. 120

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merely how to make a living.  Training must be given during the school years to develop interests and traits that make for a richer and more satisfying adult life.  A man or woman who has been educated for leisure will not depend upon these people to keep amused.9  Man’s happiness comes from within himself, and the happiness which his nature demands is impossible until the creative part of him is awakened.  The reason so many people are at a loss what to do with themselves in their leisure time, and make a stupid use of it in consequence, is that their creative faculties were never awakened when they were young.10  In order better to meet these demands, the school program should include physical education, reading and literature, dramatics, music, and the handcrafts, nature study, and social life.11

      The responsibility of training individuals for a proper use of their leisure time is not confined to the school, for there are individuals who enjoy only a brief period of schooling.  The various community agencies, Y. M. C. A.s, clubs, etc., must share this responsibility.  Individuals have to learn to appreciate good literature, good music, games, and sports.  The community not only must offer desirable opportunities for occupying leisure time, but it must also teach the individual to make use of such

9.        Jacks, L. P., Education Through Recreation, p.40

10.     Ibid., p.102

11.     Lies, E. T., op. cit., p.253

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opportunities.  The problem will be solved, according to Cutten by means of two complementary methods:

 “In the first place it should be through communities organizing to bring about desirable means for occupying leisure time, and, in the second place, the individual will be trained to spend his own leisure in a satisfying manner.  Little can be done until public opinion and community spirit instill a general ideal, and community organization aids in consummating it.” 12

All this points to the need of a positive program rather than to our present negative or indifferent attitude.  We must realize that leisure is and must be a means and not an end;  that its true value is measured by what we do with it- by whether it lifts us or lowers us in the world not of material but of spiritual values. 13

      Aside from the theoretical question concerning leisure, we are primarily interested in the problem from the standpoint of the textile worker.  In what ways is he making use of his newly acquired privilege- increased leisure?

12.  Cutten, G. B., op. cit., p.113

13.  Alger, Geo. W., “Leisure- For What?’, Atlantic Monthly, CXXXV (April, 1925), p. 492   

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 III. Reduction of Hours Since 1776

Arguments For and Against Shorter Hours

      In order fully to appreciate the significance of the present leisure for the textile worker, and to understand more sympathetically the manner in which he is making use of such an opportunity, it is necessary to consider the working hours before January 30, 1934, and to review briefly the industrial growth of the South.  Before reviewing the gradual reduction of working hours since 1776, let us consider for a moment some of the arguments for and against shorter hours, or increased leisure for the laborer.

      Arguments for shortening the work day in the United States at first were based on the grounds that children should have more opportunity for education, and that adult workers should have sufficient leisure to permit them to exercise more intelligently their rights as citizens.  In recent years, the health dangers of excessive hours have furnished the chief excuse for shortening the work day.1  The benefits of shorter hours are briefly summarized in the Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences as follows:

 “When the hours of labor are excessive, the worker is denied the opportunity to become a capable citizen.  A democratic regime acquires vitality

1.  National Industrial Conference Board, Legal Restrictions on Hours of Work in the U. S., p. 

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only through the shortening of working time, which releases millions of people for civic activities.  Shorter hours also contribute to social progress in another way: increased leisure at the disposal of employed workers tends to stimulate new wants, leading to an expansion in the demand for consumer goods and to a more intensive operation of the productive system.”2  

Arguments against the shorter hours seem to follow, in general, the old adage: “Idleness is the Devil’s workshop.”  This attitude is summarized as follows:

“Strange as it may seem, leisure is looked upon with misgivings by some high-minded, moral and well-meaning people.  They seem to feel that the American people will not know what to do with leisure; that they will accumulate bad habits of mind and action; that it will cause a general breaking-down of good intentions and of moral ways of living.”3


History of Working Hours

      In the North, the length of the working day has been reduced much more gradually than in the South, where the changes, in some instances, have been extremely abrupt.  These differences should be kept in mind while reviewing the history of working hours.

      At the beginning of the factory system in the United States, the hours of work were exceedingly long.  This of course, was a natural outcome of an earlier agricultural society in which the hours of labor were from sunrise to sunset.  In the early factories (1775-1835) the working day

2.  Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences, VII, 478

3.  Walker, L. C., Distributed Leisure, p. 226

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was, in summer from 14 to 16 hours a day with 2 hours or less off for meals; in winter, 9 to 12 hours, with 1 hour or less for meals.4  An estimate of the time worked in factories was made in 1839 by James Montgomery, who is quoted by John R. Commons:

“In many, and perhaps the majority, of the middle and Southern States, the average was about 13 ¾ hours per day or 82 ½ hours per week in summer, and about 75 ½ hours per week throughout the year.”5

      The first attempts to shorten the length of the work day met with more formidable opposition than any modern effort to gain an eight hour day, for public sentiment could appreciate no reason why an employer should not require his wage earners to work as long as the former shop keepers or housewife.6

After making unsuccessful appeals to Congress for legislation for a shorter working day, labor early in 1835 appealed directly to President Jackson, who ordered the ten hour day established in government work.7  In 1840, President Van Buren issued an executive order, making the ten hour day in government work a permanent policy.  Many states, of which New Hampshire was the first, passed laws making ten hours the legal day, and by 1870, the ten hour day was the

4.        Beman, Lamar T., Five-Day Week, p. 43

5.        Commons, John R., History of Labor in the U. S., I, 172

6.        National Industrial Conference Board; op. cit., p. 3

   7.     “America’s Trend Toward Shorter Hours Since 1791”, an editorial, Congressional Digest, XI (October,1932), 22

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 rule in crafts, but bakeries, transportation, cotton mills, and others worked eleven to fourteen hours.8  The South did not respond to the demand for a shorter working day.

      During the late sixties a drive for an eight hour day had begun, and by the middle of the eighties it had rolled up great momentum under the leadership of a large labor union called the Knights of Labor.  On May 1, 1886, 190,000 workers struck, 42,000 successfully, and 150,000 others won shorter hours without striking. 9

“The eight hour question had appeared in December 1865 when Senator Grotz Broun of Missouri offered to the Senate a resolution instructing the committee on judiciary to inquire into ‘the expediency and rightfulness’ of enacting a law providing for eight hours on all government work.”

In 1868 the U. S. Congress passed the eight hour law for laborers employed on Federal Government work, but private enterprise hesitated to follow the example.

Union organizations continued their fight for the shorter working day, and in many industries the hours were reduced.  Naturally, the labor unions have centered their attack upon those industries which were made up primarily of men employees (in contrast to women and children).  On the other hand, the fight for shorter hours by legislation has chiefly applied to women and children.  In practice, however, this has meant (at least in those

8.  Beman, Lamar T., op. cit., p. 48

  9.  Ibid., p. 43

10.  Commons, John R., op. cit., p. 104

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occupations including many women) the limiting of the operating hours of the establishment, thus accomplishing the purpose of shortening hours for all members.  By 1906, 76% of the workers in manufacturing industries throughout the United States worked 54-60 hours a week, and 8% over 60.  The South was especially slow in reducing the hours, and as late as 1917, approximately 79% of the workers in the South were in establishments where the prevailing nominal hours were 60 or more per week; only 18.3% were in establishments where the hours were as few as 56 per week.  None was on a shorter schedule than 56 hours. 11

      The situation in the South from 1907 until the enaction of the present N. R. A. Code can be seen by observing the law regulating the hours of work for women and children in Southern Industry:

 “The maximum hours of work fixed by law in 1907 in cotton mills were sixty a week in Virginia , South Carolina , and Alabama , and sixty-six in North Carolina and Georgia .  Mississippi had no legal restriction.” 12

By 1933 some improvement had been made: Arkansas , Louisiana , Oklahoma , and Texas limited the hours of work for women to nine hours a day and 54 a week, with exceptions.  North Carolina limited the hours of employment of women workers in manufacturing , except season industries, to

11.     National Industrial Conference Board, Hours of Work as Related to Output and Health of Workers, p. 4

12.        Otay, Elizabeth L., “Women and Children in Southern Industry”, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, (January 1931), 166

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eleven hours a day and 55 a week.  Georgia , Kentucky , and Mississippi limited the employment of women to ten hours a day and sixty a week; Virginia ten hours a day, but no limit to the week; and Tennessee allowed a ten and a half day and a fifty-seven hour week for females.13  Alabama had no regulations concerning the hours of work of women.

      As has been said the North was far ahead of the South in the reduction of hours.  Since our study is primarily concerned with the situation in North Carolina , let us pause, in our discussion of the reduction of hours, for a brief view of the situation in this particular state.  Before the passage of 1903, of a law limiting the number of working hours in a week to 66, the length of the working week ranged from 63 to 75. with the average close to 69. 14   The legislature of 1901 would have passed a bill but for an agreement signed by most of the mills limiting the hours to 66 and the minimum age to 12 years. 15  A ten-hour law was introduced into the state senate in 1911 by a senator from Leaksville, the late Allen D. Ivie, who won his campaign through the stand he took in regard to shorter hours.  The working hours of the majority of the mills in the state, as reported by the various commissioners of

13.        Ripkin, Charles W., “Social Legislation”, Ch. 30 Culture in the South, p. 133

14.        Thompson, Holland , From the Cotton Field to the Cotton Mill, p. 133

15.   Ibid., p. 134

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Labor (1921-1926) ranged from 10-11 hours a day, or 55 or 60 hours a week.  Night work has been as universal in North Carolina as have been the long hours.

      The state, has from time to time, passed laws regulating the working hours of women and children.  The League of Women Voters has played an important role in the struggle for shorter hours for the children of North Carolina .  A summary of what had been accomplished by 1929, was given by Mrs. Bulus B. Swift, Chairman of the Committee on the Working Child of the North Carolina League of Women Voters, in an article, Child Labor Laws are an Outgrowth of the Public Demands of the State, published in the Sunday Herald Sun of October 20, 1929. 16

“The General Assembly of 1903 passed a statute forbidding children under 12 years to work in factories or manufacturing establishments, but specifically exempted canneries where oysters needed to be opened and shucked.  Children under 16 and over 12 years had their working week limited to 66 hours by this Assembly.

“In 1907 the Child Labor Law was amended by throwing out the exemption referring to canneries, and adding that children between 12 and 13 years could not work in any factory except in an apprenticeship capacity, and only then after having attended school for four months out of the preceding 12 months.  Night work in factories was also forbidden at this time, to boys and girls under 14 years, between the hours of 8 p. m. and 5 a. m.

“The legislature of 1913 took another step forward when it raised the night work prohibition of children from 14 to 16 years of age, even though the hours were changed from 9 p. m. to 6 a. m.

16.  In file, “Child Welfare”, North Carolina Collection, Library of the University of North Carolina .


Page 14

“By this same legislature employment certificates for children over 12 and under 13 years, showing age and school attendance, were made mandatory

 for manufacturers, and county superintendents of schools were given the duty of investigating violations of law.

“In 1915 a 60-hour week and 11-hour day was enacted for minors and women.  In 1919 the state child welfare commission, consisting of the state superintendent of public education, secretary of the state board of health, and commissioner of public welfare, was created.  To this body was given the power of making rules and regulations for the enforcing and carrying out of the child labor rules.  By law in this year, children under 14 years were forbidden to work in any mill, factory, cannery, work shop, manufacturing establishment, and in or about any laundry, bakery, mercantile establishment, etc., except in cases under regulation of the Child Welfare Commission.  Children under 16 were forbidden to work in mines and quarries.  By ruling of the Commission, the legal work day of children under 14 years was limited to 8 hours.  Girls under 14 years were prohibited from working in any of the above mentioned establishments, and work certificates based on proof of age were made mandatory.

“The 1927 law which permits children between 14 and 16 years who have passed the fourth grade to work 11 hours a day and 60 hours a week, while the working hours of children who have not reached this educational requirement are limited to eight hours a day and 48 a week, also prohibits night work between the hours of 7 p. m. and 6 a. m. for children under 16 years.

“The present rulings (1929) may be summarized as follows: There is an 8 hour day for children under 14.  There is a 48 hour and 6 day week for children 14-16 in occupations specified under minimum age, except that children of 14 who have completed the fourth grade may work 11 hours a day and 60 hours a week.”

      In 1931, the notorious “fourth grade clause” was eliminated, that the 8-hour day  and 48 hour week would apply to all children under 16 in the occupations covered by the child labor law- except to boys over 14 who were supporting themselves or widowed mothers.  The working hours for women

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over 16 years of age, in factories and mills, were limited to 11 hours a day and 55 hours a week by another bill which, however, removed all restrictions on hours of men over 16.  Girls between 16 and 18 years of age were also prohibited from working in mills, factories, canneries, etc., after 9 p. m. and before 6 a. m.

While the prevailing hours in North Carolina, and in the South in general, were sixty hours a week, the North, which had generally won the eight-hour day, began agitation for a five-day week.  In addition to the usual argument of “justice to the worker in order that he might have more time in which to enjoy life,” another reason was advanced.  From 1929, the situation in industry arising from the depression brought forth a general appeal for parceling out work in a manner that would keep as many workers employed as possible.  The executive council of the American Federation of Labor voiced such an argument in its plea for permanent adoption of the five day week:

“It is the one remedy which can be quickly applied, and which in operation will restore jobs for millions of working men and women who are now idle, and who are suffering from hunger, distress, and want.  Surely these idle people have some claim upon our economic, political, and social order.

“Labor holds that they may properly demand the right to work.  Industrial management can make vital and active the exercise of this right by making an equitable distribution of the amount of work available.

“The failure of industry, industrial management, and individual ownership to meet the situation voluntarily through the National Chamber of Commerce, Manufacturers’ Association, or financial organizations, to allocate the available amount of work among all

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who are able and willing to work, makes it necessary to call upon the Chief Executive of the Nation, speaking for all the people and supported by public opinion to demand, in the name of all the people, that industrial management institute immediately the shorter work day and the shorter work week not in isolated industries, but in a national way and upon a national basis.” 17

During the late twenties, many industries did adopt the “share the work” policy, which was an attempt on the part of the employers to hold their working organizations together, and to insure all families some little source of income.  The leisure time thus created for the worker was forced, irregular, and uncertain.  In addition to these disadvantages, wages were naturally reduced, and during the “enforced leisure” there was no income whatever.

      Pro and con discussion of the five-day week continued, and in the North, many industries began to adopt it as their working schedule.  The South, again, was slow to make any further reductions in the working hours.  However, the textile industry, because of overproduction, tried to limit the hours of operation by voluntary agreement.  The plan, which originated with a group of southern mill owners, resulted in the organization, in June 1926, of the Cotton Textile Institute.  The first really effective attack on the long-week and on excessive production in the textile manufactures was the 55-50 plan, involving voluntary

17.  “The Nation Wide Drive for the Five Day Week”, an editorial, Literary Digest, (August, 1932), p. 4

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reduction of hours to 55 hours for the day shift, and 50 hours for the night shift, which was adopted by the Institute in March 1930. At a meeting of mill executives in Atlanta, Georgia, June 6, 1930, George A. Sloan, president of the Institute, stated that “68 out of the 83 narrow sheeting mills in Georgia, Alabama, North and South Carolina, or 91% of the productive capacity of this group in the United States, computed on a loom basis, have endorsed the soundness of the 55-50 plan and have already put its principles into effect- mills in the North and South, with some 23,500,000 spindles, about three-fourths of the going mills in the United States, have approved this voluntary adjustment  downward in working hours.” 18  

In the summer of 1930 there developed an increased conviction that night employment of women and minors should be eliminated, and by March 1, 1931, a preponderant part of the mills were following a recommendation of the Institute to this effect.  The continued effectiveness of the movement was dependent upon the pursuance of this policy, after March 1, 1932 , by 80% of the spindles, including a corresponding percentage of night runners.  An agreement was reached by which mills, representing 86% of the spindles in going mills in the United States including 82% of those in night classification, were to pursue this policy after

18.  “Finding Favor for 55-50,” an editorial, Textile World, LXXVII (June, 1930), 42

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March 1, 1932 . 19   In advance of the signing of the recovery act, the Institute agreed to a new schedule of hours: a maximum of 40 on the day shift and 40 at night.  The industry was thus ready to act immediately in the new business of code-making.

      Throughout the nation, agitation for the shorter work day and the shorter work week increased, until finally, a national program for a shorter work period was inaugurated under the direction of the National Recovery Administration.  The Code for the Textile Processing Industry, as approved on January 30, 1934 , states the maximum hours for employees as follows:

“Employees shall not be permitted to work in excess of forty hours per week, subject to the flexible provision that because of the exigencies of the Industry it may be necessary to work employees more than forty hours per week on occasion, provided that no such employee shall work more than an average of forty hours per week during any twelve months and not more than forty-eight hours in any one week.  Supervisors, receiving and shipping crews and truckmen may be employed with a tolerance of four hours in excess of the standard maximum hours stated herein.  Firemen and Watchmen may be employed up to fifty-six hours per week.” 20

      We must not lose sight of the fact that the present hours of work under the N. R. A. Code were a considerable and sudden jump from the ten and eleven hour day which

19.  “Cotton Industry, Policy in Night Work Overwhelmingly Re-affirmed”, an editorial, Textile World, LXXXI, (March, 1932), 27.

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prevailed in the South.  Without any preparation for the use of leisure, laborers, after the code went into effect, found themselves with a considerable amount of “time on their hands.”  Aside from reducing the working hours of the textile workers, the National Recovery Administration also provided a guaranteed wage-scale for them

“No employee shall receive for forty hours of labor less compensation than he received or would have received as of May 1, 1933 , for not exceeding fifty-two hours per week, and the wage differentials for all operations shall be equitably adjusted.” 21

Such a protection makes the new leisure much more significant, because wages greatly influence the use of leisure time.

      Thus hangs the story of the reduction of hours since 1776- a story which has aroused much interest and speculation, but a story whose last chapters are yet to be written.

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IV.  A Brief Summary of the Industrial Growth in the South
And a Description of the Mill Village

Even as the reduction of working hours was much later in the South than in the North, so it has been with the industrial development.  From the early colonial days, conditions in the South favored agriculture, the profits and settled habits of which were more attractive to the Southerner than were manufacturing and cities.  In spite of the predominance of agriculture, there were in 1860 about 160 mills in Southern states, with 300,000 spindles, and a yearly product worth more than $8,000,000.1  The establishments were small, less than one-third the average size of mills in New England, and few attempted to supply more than the local demand  for coarse yarn which the country women knit into socks or wove into cloth.

      During the Civil War, however, these mills were worked to their full capacity, and many of them were literally worn out at the close of the war.  In 1870, there were fewer mills in operation than before the war, but during the decade which followed, hope of industrial success began to return to the South.  By 1890, nearly a million and three quarter spindles in the South compared with less than six hundred thousand in 1880. 2  Between 1880 and 1920 the number of manufacturing wage

                1.  Thompson, Holland , The New South, p. 88

2.  Ibid., p. 91

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earners in the Southern states increased from 318,000 to 1,432,000, an increase of 350 per cent.3   The South now has more looms than has New England , while a decade ago New England had 85,000 more than had the South.  In 1927 the Southern mills used 72% of all the cotton processed in American mills, had 53% of the country’s active spindles, and turned out 57% of the country’s cotton goods by value.  In 1930, the South had 277,820 wage earners in cotton mills, or 49% of the country’s total.4

      The natural advantages of the South in waterpower, coal, water transportation, and the newly developed rail transportation, nearness to raw material, lower cotton, cheaper labor, and lower cost of living;  together with better and cheaper construction of mills, cheaper power, lenient tax policies, and longer hours of operation are responsible for such a rapid progress.

      The early mills, largely manned by the people of the vicinity, were built on the streams to utilize the small water power advantages.  As the mills grew in size, however, it became necessary to import labor.  Naturally, the needed supply was chiefly recruited from agricultural areas- both from the mountains and from tenant farms.  In

3.  Evans, Mercer G., “Southern Labor Supply and Working Conditions in Industry,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, (January, 1931) p. 28

4.  Mitchell, Broadus, “Growth of Manufacturing in the South,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, (January, 1931) p. 28

 Page 22

order to care for the housing of the newly congregated and large groups of factory workers, the mill village was created, and became a traditional part of the industry.

      To the employee, the mill village offered a place to work, a home, and all the opportunity for recreation, education, and spiritual expression that was available to him.  To the employer, the mill village presented many social problems which resulted from the congregation of large numbers of untrained and unsocial ruralists, unused to the necessity of living in groups.  The mill owner saw a social duty toward his employees, and he sought to fulfill it.  There resulted management-controlled policing, management-made laws and regulations, management-influenced schools, management-devised codes of morals, management-maintained poor relief during of unemployment or in cases of accident, sickness or old age, and management-supported churches.5

      Such a policy of supervision and control on the part of the employer, of the political, religious, educational, and physical life of the employees has been attacked from all sides.  In terms of material comfort the mill worker probably gained a good deal, but subjection to the new forces of social control caused them to lose a large part of their initiating power.  The mill worker has become so accustomed to having everything “handed out” to him that

1.  Evans, Mercer G., op. cit., p. 160-161

Page 23

he makes few attempts to do anything for himself.  Such dependence has created problems, among which are those concerning the use of increased leisure.

Page 24

 V.  A Brief Summary of the Historical Development of
       Leaksville, Spray, and Draper

       The background for our study of what certain textile workers are doing with the new leisure is not complete until we have been introduced to the three communities which served as the field for our study.

      In the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, along the banks of the Smith and Dan Rivers, are the communities of Leaksville, Spray, and Draper- the region chosen for this study.  Located in the extreme northern portion of Rockingham County, North Carolina, they are sister communities- Draper is less than four miles northeast of Spray; while Spray and Leaksville are practically one town.

      Of the three communities, Leaksville alone is incorporated, and the corporate limits cover a very small area of the town itself.  The population of Leaksville is listed in the latest census as 1,814; for Leaksville Township, the total is given as 14,154.1  The people are largely of  Scotch-Irish ancestry.  From the earliest days of settlement to the present day, the influx of population has been chiefly from the neighboring state of Virginia. 2

1  U.S. Bureau of the Census, Fifteenth Census of the United States: 1930  I. 795

 2  In tracing the early history of the three communities, the writer has obtained much of her material from feature articles published (1925-1929) in the Arrow, a weekly newspaper sponsored by the Carolina Cotton & Woolen Mills for its employers and employees- the paper has been recently discontinued.

 Page 25

       Spray, which had its beginnings in the first mill boom of the 1830s is one of the oldest mill villages in the state.  After the first mills were built, however, the little village remained as it was until the ‘90s, when a second period of growth became manifest.

      The first mill, a corn and flour mill, was built in 1813 by one Mr. Barnett.  It was five stories high, and was run by an overshot water wheel having a fall of twelve feet.  During a real estate boom in May, 1818, John Motley Morehead (later governor of North Carolina) and his brother Samuel, with their father, purchased considerable quantities of the land and the two brothers established a combination business, later developing it into various kinds of mills, general merchandise, and supplies of all kinds.  In the Greensboro Patriot, dated October 16, 1833, the firm of Barnett and Morehead ran an advertisement of a plant “composed of a saw-mill, oil mill, carding mill, cotton gin, blacksmith shop, general merchandise, and supply store, and their own line of boats on Dan River.”

      In 1839, John Motley Morehead built the first cotton mill at Spray, located not far from the old flour mill, but further up the ravine where a fall of nineteen feet could be obtained.  It was built of stone and came to be known as the “Old Rock Mill” although its official name was the Leaksville Cotton Mill.  In connection with the mill, several brick houses were built as dwellings or boarding houses for the workers.  About this time was built

 Page 26

 “Old White House”, a two-story frame tenement with apartments for six families, which remains today as one of the old landmarks.

      A contemporary picture of this young industrial village is found in an article printed in the Fayetteville Observer and reprinted in the Richmond Whig in June, 1850.  The Fayetteville writer tells of a visit to the village:

 “Being attracted by the magnitude and number of the buildings, I stopped a few hours to look around.  Here was a large stone building, the cotton factory, constructed in the most substantial manner and of the most durable materials.  It is situated at the mouth of a magnificent canal, leading from the Smith River and operated by the largest and finest metal water wheel I have ever seen.  Near by are the oil mills, flour mills, and saw mill, -all operated by water from the same canal which appears to have a fall of twenty-five feet, and at slight expense could be made to propel millions of dollars worth of machinery.  After surveying this immense water power and canal, capable of being made to control the entire current of Smith River, I looked upon the hills that jut in towards the manufacturing establishments, to see the neat and substantial dwellings- some brick and others frame- where hundreds of laborers and their families live, who earn honest and respectable support from the capital here invested.  The store house and factory appear to have been built some years, and all the establishments and plans show that intelligent enterprise and capital have accomplished much here for the benefit of the country, when such improvements were in their infancy in North Carolina.”

    The status of this mill in 1860 can be learned from the United States Census for that year, for that work credits Rockingham County with only one cotton mill; therefore, the figures given for the textile industry for the county refer to the Leaksville Cotton Mill.  It is represented as having

Page 27

a capitalization of $70,000, employing twenty-five men and eighty women, paying $12,000 annually in wages, using materials valued at $33,000 and turning out products valued at $64,000. 4

      The cotton mill at Spray was one of the industries that continued operations during the Civil War, and escaped the ravages of that period.  At the death off John Motley Morehead in 1866, his second son, James Turner Morehead, assumed management of his Spray properties.

      Governor Morehead was responsible for the establishment of another mill at Spray, The Leaksville Woolen Mill, which is at present owned by Mr. John Lindsay Morehead II, who describes the origin of this mill as follows:

“The Leaksville Woolen Mill was originally founded by Governor Morehead in the loft of the commissary built for the convenience of his cotton mill operatives and his idea was to card and spin the wool grown on his own land by machinery and to do away with the irksome task of carding and spinning by hand.  The mill was first operated on the barter and exchange system, the farmer bringing in so much wool and receiving so much yarn for it.  It was entirely a community proposition and was not commercialized till later.  At some stage of the game, Mr. Noah Ford, a nephew-in-law of Governor Morehead, became associated with the Leaksville enterprises,and at his insistence that the wool taken as toll from the farmers be manufactured into blankets and cloth and sold commercially, some looms and finishing machinery were installed in buildings, which were really additions to the original commissary, in whose loft the carding and spinning machinery had been placed.  From this beginning, the Leaksville Woolen Mills continued to grow, but even as late as 1898 all its wool was received from farmers

4  Leaksville News, Development Issue, August 1934, Section A, p.4

 Page 28

 and its commercial production was made entirely of toll wools.”5

      About 1892, the late Mr. B. Frank Mebane and associates purchased all the Spray property except the Leaksville Woolen Mill Properties from the firm of J. Turner Morehead and Company.  This deal included extensive holdings of land and mills.  Two companies were formed, the Leaksville Cotton Mill Company, and the Spray Water Power and Land Company, with the latter controlling water rights and landed properties separate and apart from the manufacturing side of the interests.  Mr. Mebane, son-in-law of Mr. J. T. Morehead, became president of both companies.  Besides developing the water power, the company organized and built several cotton and one woolen mill.

      Before considering the history of the mills which this particular company established, we should take notice of a mill which was built in 1896; namely, The Spray Cotton Mill, which was incorporated by Reverend F. J. Murdock, W. R. Walker, and Clem G. Wright.  Most of the stock of the new venture was owned originally by local people, but two individuals interested in the promotion of the cotton industry in this section, namely Dr. Karl Van Ruck, of Asheville, and Mr. Benjamin N. Duke, of Durham, held considerable stock.  At first, there were only 12, 000 spindles, but after two years,

 5  Ibid., p.4

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  of progress in which were seen a growing demand for the knitting and weaving of yarns, which the mill was producing so efficiently, additions, more than doubling the original capacity, were made to the mill.  The prosperity of the mills continued until the general panic of 1907 swept the country.  Spray Cotton Mills escaped bankruptcy, but the mill operated unprofitably for a good many years.  The Spray Cotton Mills, run by power generated by the water from the canal which flows alongside the plant, and by an auxiliary stem plant, now has 25, 968 ring, and 3,700 twister spindles, and employs 350 workers.6  The activity of the mill is confined to the spinning of knitting and weaving yarns in warps, skeins, and on tubes and cones.  The yarns are spun in numbers twelve to twenty sixes, both single and double ply.

      Under the direction of the company mentioned above, several mills were built in Spray.  The first of these was the Nantucket Mill, the first unit of which was built in 1898.  It was less than half the present size of the building, and was, at first, devoted strictly to weaving.  Less than forty machines were in actual use when operations began in the fall of 1898, but by 1926 there were 700 looms, and spinning equipment adequate to correspond to the number of looms.  Carding and spinning were begun in 1901.

6. Davison’s Textile Blue Book, p. 265

  Page 30

        There are now 17, 568 ring spindles; 2,028 twister spindles; 68 cards; and 300 broad looms.  The mill employs 300 workers, who weave automobile upholstery and sheeting.7

      The Lily Mill (another of the mills promoted by the Mebane interests) was built in 1900 to make outings, but in 1910, it was changed to make ginghams.  In 1911, the Lily and Nantucket Mills were bought by the Marshall Field and Company.  When the company bought the mills, the old equipment of the Lily Mill was junked and entirely new materials installed.  At present, the mill is known as the Lily Silk Mill, and there are 412 broad looms for making silks and rayons. 8

      Around 1900, another mill, the Morehead Cotton Mill, was built.  This plant, a three-story brick building of standard mill construction, produces warp and skein yarn.  There are 13,440 ring spindles.9

      The American Warehouse was built and put into operation in 1900.  The name is hardly indicative of the functioning of this particular and very important plant, which not only warehouses a large percentage of the manufactured products of the other mills, but also performs the task of finishing and packing these products.  The plant finishes, bills, and ships such products as cotton and wool blankets, ginghams, rayon dress goods, and outings.  The mill has 108 napping

7.        Ibid., p.365

8.        Ibid., p.436

9.        Ibid., p.265

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 machines and employs 350 workers.10

      The Spray Woolen Mill was incorporated in 1902 and the construction was completed in 1903.  This plant produces woolen blankets, and soon after it became the property of Marshall Field and Company (around 1912), a carbonizing plant- to remove the specks of foreign matter from the wool- was installed.  The mill now has 100 broad looms, 5,580 spindles; dyes, bleaches, and finishes blankets; and employs 250 workers.11

      The Rhode Island Mill, the home of the very high grade cotton blankets, was built and incorporated in 1903.  The mill started with 140 looms, 34 spinning frames, 40 cards, and 9,000 spindles.  In 1912, the Carolina Cotton and Woolen Mills Company (Marshall Field) bought the mill, and in 1914, several additions were made to the equipment.  A bleaching unit was built around 1918.  On August 2, 1930, The Rhode Island Mill was forced to close, but reopened in 1934 as a suiting mill.  There are at present 12,592 ring, and 4,128 twister spindles; 60 cards; 210 broad, and 24 narrow looms.  Two hundred workers are employed.12

      In 1910, negotiations for a disposal of some of these textile plants to another company was made, and Mr. Mebane sold his control in all the mills, with the exception of the Leaksville Cotton Mill and the Morehead Cotton Mill, to

10.     Ibid., p.643

11.     Ibid., p.361

12.     Ibid., p. 265

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 The Marshall Field Company of Chicago.

      Under the direction of this company, the Spray Bleachery was started in 1916.  This plant has a capacity of 80 tons weekly for bleaching and finishing sheeting, and finishing muslins, cambrics, etc.  It employs 200 workers.13

      Today, there are ten textile plants in Spray, six of which are owned by The Marshall Field and Company, (under the name of Carolina Cotton & Woolen Mills).  The population is scattered over a large and hilly territory, of which there is little unity.  The business sections are likewise distributed, but there are two chief centers.  Some portions of Spray are distinctly rural, and the social life of the people is greatly influenced by this lack of compactness.

      Before 1906, what is now known as Draper, consisted of only a few shacks and a small railway station called Sharp.  At this time, Mr. A. J. Draper, who planned the town, and for whom it is named, came to this section in view of opening a mill.  His plans did not materialize as he expected and he soon left.  However, the mill was built in 1906 by the German-American Company, a stockholding corporation to which the late B. Frank Mebane is understood to have held a considerable block of stock.  This mill, called the German-American Mill had 38 cotton cards; 11,936 ring spindles; 12 sets of wool cards; 5,280 mule spindles; and 189 blanket looms.  About 280 persons were employed in the

13.     Ibid., p. 643

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mill.  About one hundred houses were built for the employees, and a boarding house and two general stores were also constructed.

      In 1912 the German-American Company declared itself bankrupt, and at an auction sale held the same year at Wentworth (the County Seat), The Marshall Field Company secured the plant at Draper as well as several plants at Spray.  The mill at Draper was started up again as the Draper American Mill, and there are at present 54 cards, 33 set cards, 480 broad looms, and 32,848 spindles.14

      In 1916, The Marshall Field Company built the Wearwell Sheeting Mill, which now has 80 cards, 498 looms, and 22,944 spindles.15

      The population of Draper, in 1910, numbered less than 500.  The company’s houses were constructed intermittently with no special detail as to planning.  The streets were muddy and almost impassable during winter weather.  Electric lights were unknown.  The scope of amusements was naturally very limited for a long time.  After the World War, Draper began to grow.  Many homes, other than those owned by the company, were constructed, and many new business concerns were established.  An asphalt road was completed to Spray, and the streets were improved throughout the town.  Draper today is a compact town with a population of approximately

14  Ibid., p.246

15  Ibid., p.246 

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 3,500 people.  There is only one chief business section, and the social life of the community is practically confined to the various activities sponsored by the Y. M. C. A., by the churches, and by the school.

      Leaksville, the oldest of the three communities, has the youngest mill history.  The town was laid out during the previously mentioned real estate boom of 1818, with the belief that it would become the head of transportation on Dan River.  The attempts to increase service of the river transportation were not successful, however, and resulted in the grounding of the first vessel in shallow water.  By 1839, two schools were being successfully operated in Leaksville, and there were several churches.  In the years that followed, the town enjoyed a period of  prosperity;  trade was drawn from many of the counties of Virginia, and from the adjoining counties of North Carolina.  At one time, there were three tobacco warehouses and several tobacco factories, which thrived until put out of business by larger companies.  The town of Leaksville was incorporated by act of the General Assembly in 1784; the present charter was granted in 1901.

      The aristocratic Leaksville felt herself superior to her sister industrial communities (Spray and Draper), and when there was talk of establishing a mill in Leaksville, the aristocrats became indignant. “Think of our children having to go to school with such riffraff.”  The wailings, however, were to no avail, and in April or May of 1916, the

 Page 35

 Athena Knitting Mill was established, on the banks of the Dan River, just back of the business section of Leaksville.  Owned by The Marshall Field Company, the mill was originally located in Chicago, but the machinery was shipped to Leaksville for installment in the spring of 1916, and operations began in the late summer of the same year.  In 1930, the mill was transferred to Roanoke, Virginia.

      In 1917, another mill was established in Leaksville- the Bedspread Mill.  When operations began later in the same year, there were 76 satin looms and 100 crochet looms.  At present there are 65 cards, 254 broad looms, 17,280 ring and 2,700 twister spindles, and a total employment of 300 workers.

      In 1922, the South was introduced to the carpet and rug-making industry.  In fact, the only carpet factory south of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was started in Leaksville in the building left vacant by the removal of the machinery of the Athena Knitting Mill.  The carpet mill was called the Homecrest Mill, and at first, there were only 24 looms, which were later increased to thirty-five.  Regular grades of the Axminister rugs were made.  In 1928, the machinery was altered, and a new type of rug is now made.  The name of the mill was also changed, and is now called the Karastan Rug Mill, a trade name for the type of rug (imitation of oriental rugs) now manufactured.

      In 1917, the company had in Leaksville one hundred and sixty-seven houses. In 1923, it built 40 more houses, and in

Page 36

1925, it built twenty. Many of the houses are of brick and stucco construction. This development is on the southern side of Leaksville, and is called "New Leaksville." Even though there are separate business districts, churches, and schools, recently the lines of demarcation have become less distinct. Now shopping is chiefly centered in the older business district, which has been greatly enlarged due to the increasing population. Within the past year, the schools were re-districted, and the boundary line for the Burton Grove School (in New Leaksville) was moved to include that portion of Leaksville in which many of the older, more prominent families reside. There has always been only one high school, which serves all three communities- Leaksville, Spray, and Draper.
The following summary appeared in the July 18, 1929 issue of the Arrow (several changes have occurred since that date):

Leaksville- Spray- Draper, North Carolina
(State Highway 709)
Leaksville Township

Textile Plants: Total 15
3 spinning mills
2 cloth mills
2 cotton blanket mills
2 woolen blanket mills
1 bedspread mill
1 carpet and rug mill
1 bleachery 
1 finishing mill
1 silk mill

16 Both kinds of blankets are made in one of the mills.

Page 37

Invested capital…………………………..$9,500,000
Total spindles 167,880
Total wide looms 2,016
Total narrow looms 1,200

Floor space 2,047,423 sq. ft. - 47 acres

No. of Employees 3,615

Raw Material consumed annually
Cotton (American) 24,160,000 lbs.
Cotton (China) 2,700,000 lbs.
Wool 3,450,000 lbs.
Jute 800,000 lbs.
Total raw material 31,110,000 lbs.

Annual Production
Yarn spun (for sale) 7,400,000 yds.
Cloth woven (Auto Upholstery, etc.) 3,000,000 yds.
Sheetings 7,500,000 yds.
Cotton blankets 3,000,000 prs.
Wool blankets 700,000 prs.
Bedspreads 900,000
Silk & Rayon 1,500,000 yds.
Rugs- over one hundred thousand large and small

Other statistics
31 churches
4 Y. M. C. A.s
1 Girls' Club
8 Grammar Schools
1 Township High School
6 Negro schools
6 Banks
2 Building & Loan Associations
2 Newspaper weeklies
1 Furniture Factory (novelties)
1 Commercial Gas Company
1 Electric Light & Power Company
1 Telephone Company
1 Pasteurizing Plant
1 Hospital
2 Job Printing Plants
1 Bakery
1 Steam Laundery
1 Florist & Flower Grower
6 Dairies producing Grade A Milk
2 Grade A Slaughterhouses
15 Grade A Markets

Page 38

Leaksville (town incorporated, own water system, white way on Washington Street)
Kiwanis Club, Rotary Club, Business & Professional Women's Club, American Legion Post, National Guard Company, Township Sunday School Association, Township Ministerial Association.

Population 16,000
Assessed Values $15,000,000 

Influential Factors in the Use of Leisure

Of significance to the present study, are the various organizations in the three communities which influence the use of leisure. Such organizations are the churches, Y. M. C. A.s and Girls' Club. Other sources of entertainment are the theaters, community baseball, and the public library. Let us stop to consider briefly these organizations.
There are nineteen churches, representing nine different creeds, in the three communities. (This number includes only those groups represented in the Ministerial Association of Leaksville, Spray, and Draper.) Since Leaksville is the oldest of the group, naturally, the first churches were organized in that village. By 1844, there were four churches in Leaksville- Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist, and Episcopal (listed in the order in which they were organized). With the help of members of these groups, together with the financial aid of mill employers, similar denominations were started in Spray, when the population of that village had increased to the extent that separate organizations were needed. The first church in Spray, however, was the First Christian Church, organized

Page 39

  in 1891.  In 1900 the Methodists organized, and the Baptists in 1903.  In Draper, the Methodist group organized a Sunday School in 1906, in the very earliest beginnings of the town.  Soon after the building of the first mill in Draper, the Baptists organized.

      The churches have had a marked influence upon the lives of the people of the three communities, especially upon those of Spray.  In this community there are numerous denominations and many sects of the same denomination.  There is a group who call themselves the “Church of the Living God,” the originator of which has broken away and formed a second sect.  Primitive Baptist groups are especially numerous in Spray.  In New Leaksville, there are only two churches- a Baptist and a Moravian.  The Methodists, only a few in number, worship with the Leaksville congregation.

      A recent survey (conducted in June 1934, by the Ministerial Association) shows 45% of the citizens of Leaksville-Spray (or 3,540 out of 7,774 interviewed) are members of some church.  The following table gives the names of the various churches represented in the three communities, together with the church membership, Sunday School enrollment, and average attendance at Sunday School.  (Information concerning the numerous Primitive Baptist groups, and those of the Church of the Living God could not be obtained):

Page 40 

                            Church Statistics (June 1934)

Name of Church                   Members   S.SEnrollment   Av. Att. at S.S.   

Leaksville Methodist                        327                  150            120
Draper Methodist                            345                  392            225
Spray Methodist                              525                  300            200
Draper Methodist Protestant              85                  125              90
                                                     1282                  967            635

Leaksville Baptist                             400                300             240
King Memorial Baptist                     305                340             220
Spray Baptist                                   375                300             236
Draper Baptist                                 255                300             250
                                                     1335               1240            946
First Christian                                  650                470             383
Second Christian                             140                180             120
                                                       790                650             503
St. Luke's Episcopal                        140                225             163
Church of Epiphany                           77                  75               60
                                                       217                300             223
Leaksville Presbyterian                     125                100               90
Spray Presbyterian                           131                247             200
Riverside Presbyterian                        90                110               85
                                                        346                457             375
Moravian                                           70                130             100
Church of the Brethren                     380                275             220
Pentecostal Holiness                          75                140             100
Draper Holiness                                 --                   --                --
                                                        525               545             420
Grand Total                                 4495              4159           3102

 Page 41

                                        Church Statistics (Continued)

Community                          Members  S.SEnrollment  Av. Att. at  S.S.      


Methodist Church                            327                150             120
Baptist Church                                 400                300             240
Church of Epiphany                           77                  75               60
Presbyterian Church                        125                100               90
                                                       929                625             510
New Leaksville

King Memorial Baptist                     305                340             220
Moravian Church                              70                 130             100
                                                       375                 470             320


Methodist Church                            525                300             200
Baptist Church                                 375                300             236
First Christian Church                       650                470             383
Second Christian Church                  140                180             120
St. Luke's Episcopal Church             140                225             163
Presbyterian Church                         131                247             200
Riverside Presbyterian                        90                110               85
Church of the Brethren                     380                275              220
Pentecostal Holiness                          75                 140              100
                                                     2506               2247            1707


Methodist Church                            345                392             225
Methodist Protestant                          85                125               90
Baptist Church                                 255                300             250
Holiness Church                                --                   --                 --
                                                       685                817             565

Grand Total                                 4495              4159           3102
An influential factor in the use of leisure, is the Young Men’s Christian Association.  In the three communities, there are four such organizations.  In 1910, the Spray Civic Association (an organization composed of one representative

Page 42

from each of the mills of Spray- the Carolina Cotton and Woolen Mills, Morehead Cotton Mills, Leaksville Woolen Mill, and the Spray Water Power and Land Company) appropriated $25,000 for the construction of the Spray Young Men’s Christian Association.  The present active secretary has been with the organization since 1922.17  Activities are not confined to boys, but also include older men.  There are now 700 paid up members.  The athletic program embraces nine baseball clubs for boys, between the ages of 6-18; twelve hiking and swimming groups for the smaller boys; indoor baseball for men; and four indoor teams for women.  During the winter, the physical program is mainly concerned with basketball, of which there are usually three men’s teams, and several teams among the smaller boys.  In addition, there are wrestling and boxing teams.  The spiritual influence of the “Y” is of likewise importance.  During the winter, the Y. M. C. A. sponsors a the Men’s Bible Class which meets every Monday Night.  Of special interest is the Sunday Gang, with 358 members.  To become a member of the Gang, a boy must be a member of some Sunday School.  The reading equipment consists of about 300 books and several magazines and papers.

      Associated with the Central “Y” is the North Spray “Y” which has been directed by its present secretary for fifteen years.  For the 250 members, no physical program is

17.  He has recently resigned, his resignation to become effective Jan, 1, 1935.  The Secretary of the Leaksville “Y” has been appointed to fill the vacancy- he will continue his present work.

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sponsored inside the building, but an outdoor playground is used for volley ball

            and baseball.  The library consists of around 300 books and five or six magazines, among them which are the Saturday Evening Post, Literary Digest, and Ladies Home Journal.  Three newspapers are also included.  Another important service of this organization, is that it offers bathroom facilities for both men and women.  (There is no water in the houses of this section).

                  The Draper Y. M. C. A. opened its doors in May 1919, and today, 512 members enjoy opportunities which it offers.  In 1923, the present secretary began his work, and under his direction, a camp (Camp Carolina) was built several miles outside of Draper.  At Camp Carolina is a swimming pool which is an extremely popular rendezvous during the hot season.  The physical program at the Draper “Y” includes tennis and golf, during the summer; and basketball, wrestling, volley ball, bowling, and football during the winter.  The library equipment consists of about 100 books.  The Draper “Y” also sponsors a Sunday Gang, similar in organization to that of Spray, which has already been discussed.

                  In Leaksville, the Y. M. C. A. was opened in 1920 through the benevolence of the Carolina Cotton & Woolen Mills.  In contrast to the first membership drive which resulted in 200 members, is the membership of 800.  The present secretary has been in service since 1926.

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            During the summer, interest is focused upon the 100 x 22 ft. concrete swimming pool which holds 90,000 gallons of water.  In June 1934, there were 3,000 entrances into the pool, and in July, there were 3,250.  In addition to a large, well-equipped gymnasium that is used alternately as a basket and volley ball court and as a meeting place, the “Y’s” physical program prompted it to construct the $2,000 Community Ball Park located near the “Y”.  The park is used by over 500 boys under the age of twelve, 412 boys between the ages of twelve to sixteen, and 316 employed men and boys, as an ample playground for baseball.  The grandstand of the park has become the meeting place for the Children’s Bible Class during the summer months.  The grandstand has been equipped with electric power in order to show the average 125 attendance of the Monday Meetings of the Class, the story of the Bible through the use of the stereopticon machine.  The “Y” also sponsors a Bible Class for older people.  This class has a weekly attendance which has reached as high as 580.  Boy’s educational clubs which are concerned with the teaching of everyday problems have a membership of 344.  The women have access to the gymnasium, the swimming pool, and are members of the Bible Classes.  The “Y” also sponsors a girls’ basketball team.

                  In 1928 or ’29, the mills within the tri-cities employed a Home Economics instructor to offer to the girls of the communities instruction in home building, clothing making, cooking, and other subjects indispensable to home makers.

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Immediately, Girls’ Clubs were formed in Draper, Spray, and Leaksville.

                  Today, there are two instructors- one at Draper, and one for the two communities of Leaksville and Spray.  At Draper a total of 121 class meetings were held from October 1933 to June 1934.  The total attendance of these classes was 1,375, the total enrollment being 176.  The units taught were: Night lunches, Gifts for Girls’ Rooms, Planning and Preparation of Suppers, Renovation of Clothing, Relation of Foods to Health, Making Christmas Toys, Home Arts, Meal Planning, Planning and Construction of Summer Outfits, Dining Room Etiquette, Table Service and Home Socials, Feeding the Family, and Beginner’s Clothing Construction.  Aside from class work, the program includes parties and social activities.  There is also a library which offers good books and current magazines.  The athletic program is chiefly concerned with basketball, and the Draper girls have produced many good teams which have rivaled those of neighboring towns.

                  There are four separate groups of the Girls’ Club in Leaksville and Spray, and the meetings are held at each club once a week.  Both communities have a club room which serves as a meeting place for the two largest groups.  The other two clubs meet from house to house in the neighborhood in which they are organized.  During the past year, 100 girls were enrolled for class work.  In the Leaksville Club there were 50 members, with an average attendance of 27 at the weekly meetings.  At the Spray Club the membership was 434; while

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            the combined membership of the other two groups totaled 42.  Among the subjects taught in the various clubs were: the cooking and preservation of foods, the making of clothing, the art and craft of home furnishing, personal and community hygiene, and home beautification.  In the recreational program were included picnics, outings, and seasonal encampments.  Birthday parties, and parties at Hallow’een, Christmas, and Valentine, are among the social activities.  Every fall for the past three years, the club has sponsored an Older Girls’ Conference which lasts for three days, and to which the enrollment is restricted to one hundred.  One of the highlights of the Conference is the Mother and Daughter Banquet.

                  The Girls’ Club Room at Spray is made up of a reception hall, gymnasium, dining room, library room, and eight showers.  In the library there are around 1,700 books, which have been carefully selected.

                  These communities offer many opportunities for one of the favorite leisure activities of the present day- attending picture shows.  In Draper, there are two movie houses, one of which is in connection with the “Y”.  Here, they show three different pictures a week, with two performances every night.  In addition, a midnight show is given every Monday and Friday nights for the benefit of those who have to work until 11:55 P. M.  On Boys’ Night at 6:00 P. M. another picture is given for their benefit.  The admission for each is only ten and twenty cents.  The pictures selected are those offered at any average up-to-date theater.  At the

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            other theater in Draper, the pictures are chiefly Wild Western.  The admission is the same as at the “Y”, and the schedules are about the same.

                  At the central “Y” in Spray, two different pictures are shown a week, with six different performances- one performance four nights a week, and two midnight shows (for those whose working hours conflict with previous performances).  The admission here is also ten and twenty cents.

                  There is a theater at Leaksville and one at Boulevard (a business section which joins Leaksville and Spray), both of which are operated by the same manager.  At both theaters, four different pictures are shown a week, with two complete performances each night.  A matinee is given on Saturday- the program beginning at 2:00 P. M.  At Leaksville, a midnight show is given each Friday night.  The admission is ten and twenty-five cents.

                  The tri-cities have always been especially interested in baseball, and they have been represented in every league organized in this vicinity.  Until this year the teams were non-professional, and made up of local amateur talent.  This year, certain members of the Leaksville Y. M. C. A. became interested in building a community baseball park, and a committee was appointed to work out the plans.  Within a short time sufficient funds to build a fence and grandstand were raised, through the sale of advertising.  The Carolina Cotton & Woolen Mills leased, without cost, the property for the park, and all the labor of grading the

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            land was done “gratis” by members of the “Y” and baseball enthusiasts.  During the early spring, Martinsville, Danville, and Fieldale, Virginia, and surrounding towns began organizing and reviving the old Bi-State League- this time as a professional League known as class D (the lowest form of professional baseball).  Leaksville, Spray, and Draper were invited to join the league, and interested local people got together in an attempt to organize a local team.  For capital stock, needed to join the League, stock was sold at $5.00 a share to around 250 stock holders.  The League opened its season May 3, 1934, and played an average of four days a week, with two games at home.  The season closed September 3, with the Tri-cities taking fourth place during the first half of the season, and third place during the second half.  The park has a seating capacity in the grandstand of around 600, while in the two bleachers, the capacity totals around 500.  During the season, the park was frequently filled to capacity.  Admission was twenty-five cents, or thirty-five cents for a seat in the grandstand.

                  In June 1930, Mrs. Lily C. Mebane provided housing quarters and 750 volumes from her private collection of books, in order to give to the citizens of Leaksville and Spray a public library.  Other citizens contributed liberally to its growth.  In 1931 the Leaksville-Spray Business and Professional Woman’s Club sponsored a drive for the library, resulting in a fund of around $900 which was used for the

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             purchase of new books and a meeting of current expenses of operation.. At the July 2nd meeting of the County Board of Commissioners, $1500 was voted for the support of the library in compliance with a plan presented by the Library Board.  This plan calls for the $1500 appropriation to be spent for additional books which are to be distributed in circulating library manner among nine different communities in the County.  In keeping with the newly acquired County support, the library board of the Leaksville Township Library voted to change the name to Rockingham County Public Library.  The library at present has 1,182 books, which saw a circulation of 20,960 during the year 1932-33.  Each book circulated on the average among twenty subscribers.  There are 1,760 subscribers, and in most instances only one member of a family is issued a card.

                  In addition to the reading opportunities offered by the public library, and those at the various Y. M. C. A.s and Girls’ Clubs, there are batches of books at many of the drug stores in town.  At three different drug stores, there is a circulating library of around 200 books at each place.  People may use a book for three days at 10 cents, and two cents a day for as many days as kept thereafter.  These books are chiefly western, detective, and love stories.  Much more popular with the textile group, however, than these books, are the following magazines: True Stories, Western Stories, True Romance, Detective Stories, and Movie Magazine.

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                  The total membership of the various Y. M. C. A.s and clubs of the three communities sounds large, but in view of the fact that the average on the payroll of the Carolina & Woolen Mills of Leaksville, Spray, and Draper (there are three other mills besides) is 4300, the figures lose some of their significance.  It must also be noted that a large number of these people join the “Y” primarily for the privileges of getting baths.  There is no running water in many of the houses of this group.

VI. Findings

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        We have seemingly deviated from the purpose of this study as stated in the Introduction; however, each of the three digressions- the history and developments of mill villages in the South, the story of working hours since 1776, and the brief sketch of Leaksville, Spray, and Draper – were necessary for a better appreciation of the data gathered from interviews with one hundred ninety-two (122) textile workers.

      A little has already been said concerning the method used in collecting this material, but further comments might prove helpful.  The investigator, over a period of a month, June 1934, called at every house on eight representative streets of the three communities.  After exchanging a greeting, she introduced herself (in a few cases, an introduction was not necessary), and stated the purpose of her call- to find out “what everyone is doing with his extra time, now that the mills are running shorter hours”, -the information to be used in a “thesis which I expect to write.”  After obtaining the consent of the mill employee to talk with her, the investigator produced the mimeographed copies on which certain possible leisure-time activities were listed, and checked them according to the answers that were made to her questions.  Inquiries were not confined to such activities, but the investigator lingered long enough to carry on casual conversations,

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during which much information was gathered concerning attitudes toward the shorter hours, etc.  Observations were made of the homes, of the workers themselves, and of anything which might shed light upon the problem at hand.

      Willingness on the part of the person interviewed to answer questions to which he could have well said were “nobody’s business”, were most unusual.  There were some who merely answered questions and offered no comments, but on the whole, the response was quite enthusiastic.  Not one refused to be interviewed; in fact, the majority appeared pleased to have someone to talk with them.  In one instance, the  investigator was viewed with open suspicion, although her purpose had been clearly stated at the first.  During the inquiries concerning music as a leisure-time activity, when it was asked if the person owned a radio, a victrola, a piano, etc., the questioning was interrupted with: “Oh, I know what you’re doing!  You are listing the ‘income tax.”

      In order to see both those who worked during the day, and those who worked at night, it was necessary to regulate the time of visiting.  Calls were made in the morning (after nine o’clock) to catch those who worked at night, and during the late afternoon and early evening (from 3:45 to 8:30 P.M.) to see those who worked during the day shift.  Most of the mills run on two shifts: first shift, 7:00 A.M.- 3:40 P.M, second shifts, 3:40- 7:00 AM; in such

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during June, July, and August, was on a program of six hours a day for five days a week.1  Of  the one hundred twenty-two workers interviewed, seventy-seven worked the first shift; thirty-nine worked the second; and six were on the third shift.  Naturally the form of leisure-time activities was influenced by what shift the worker was on.

      Even as heredity and environment are the chief factors which condition behavior, they are also important influences in the use of leisure.  The opportunities for leisure-time activities as found in Leaksville, Spray, and Draper have already been mentioned.  Something of the backgrounds of the workers interviewed can be discerned by noting any previous occupations, and the number of years spent in mill employment.  Of the total number, sixty-six have always worked in the same mill in which they are now employed, having never had any other occupation;  sixteen have been employed in some other mill (three of which have worked more than two different mills); thirty-one have either farmed or lived on a farm in their youth; two have worked in a bakery; one has clerked in a store; one has helped in a filling station; one has operated a saw mill; two have been carpenters; one has been a telephone girl; and one has served as a policeman.  The latter has served in an unusual combination of police and barroom tender.  Before Draper was built, and before Prohibition days, he operated a saloon

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which was located on what is now the Draper-Leaksville road. When Draper was built he gave up his work to become a policeman in the new town; continuing this job until he went to work in one of the Draper mills, twelve years ago.

      As can be seen from this list, the majority of workers have always lived in one of the three communities, and the next largest groups have come directly from agricultural areas.

      As for the number of years spent in mill employment, a tabulation which groups the workers interviewed into five-year periods of work, shows almost equal distribution within a fifteen year limit, with a small proportion over fifteen years:

      Number of workers (122)         Years of employment (in any mill)

                     30                                                Under 5

                     35                                              5 through 9

                     26                                            10 through 14

                     13                                            15 through 19

13                                                                                                  over 20

Of the last group, nine have worked as many as thirty years or over.  The person who has been in mill employment the greatest number of years is an unmarried woman who started to work in Schoolfield, Virginia, when she was around ten years old.  She has been working for 45 years, seventeen of which she spent in Draper, the other years having been spent in Schoolfield.

      In a  study of what the textile workers are doing with their new leisure, a glimpse at their activity when the investigator called is rather suggestive.  Of course, one

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must make allowances for any activity observed after the first day of visiting in the same neighborhood.  On subsequent visits made on the same street on separate days, it was often necessary to correct certain rumors that were spreading:

“Oh, you’re th’ young lady makin’ a gov’ment report, ain’t cha?  You don’t reckon they’re goin’ to make us go back  t’ long hours, d’ you?”

On most of the visits, the workers were on their porches, waiting their turn to be questioned.  Frequently, they were merely sitting, whereas, a few were reading newspapers.  (In one case, an attempt to give a favorable impression, on the part of the worker, was made by reading a textile magazine, but fearing that the significance of his action was not noticed, he made several comments concerning the value of  “studying one’s work” during the new leisure.

      No attempt is made here to differentiate between what activity was normal, and what had the appearance of being conditioned by the expectancy of the investigator’s call.  However, there were only a few who knew in advance that they were to be interrogated, and as has already been said, these were on their porches either reading or merely sitting.  There were many others engaged in the same activity who had not been forewarned.

      The following figures tell their story: thirty-two were merely sitting on their respective porches, nine were reading, one was playing a guitar, one was sweeping the porch, twelve were tending babies or small children, ten were

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visiting the “next-door” neighbor, six were preparing a meal, five were washing clothes, one was ironing, two were listening to the radio, two were dancing, two were sewing, one was plucking her eyebrows, one was shaving, one was mending a screen door, one was mending a punctured automobile tire, one was sharpening a knife in order to put on new soles on a pair of shoes, one was chopping wood, and three were in their gardens.  The activity in which the remaining 24 were engaged is not known; they had to be called.

      Before further discussion, it should be stated that the hundred and twenty-two people interviewed do not represent so many different families; however, members of ninety different families were interviewed.  In one family, five members were interviewed, in four families, three were questioned, and in twenty families, two members were interrogated.  In some cases, all the working members of each family were not seen, since it was impossible to find everyone at home at the same time.  Frequently, both the father and mother were employed, usually working on different shifts.  Such an arrangement was observed in several cases, even where there were small children.  Usually the families are large- there were several with over ten children; in fact, in one family interviewed, there were thirteen children, the oldest of whom was under twenty years of age.

      It would have been a good thing to compare the amount of time given to the various activities now and before the

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 N. R. A. went into effect, but the impressions were much too vague.  Except in the case of “sleep”, no comparison is attempted.  Only those activities which now absorb leisure time of the 122 textile workers who were interviewed, are discussed in this study, the chief findings of which center around the following list of possible leisure-time activities (arranged in the order in which the findings are presented):

1.      Music

a.       Radio

b.      Victrola

c.       Piano

d.      Self-player piano

e.       Guitar

f.        Banjo

g.       Violin

h.       Uke

i.         Horn

2.      Riding

3.      Sports

a.       Baseball

(1)   play

(2)   attend games

b.      Pitching horeshoes

c.       Walking (for pleasure)

d.      Swimming

e.       Fishing

f.        Hunting

g.       Golf

4.      Card and similar games

a.       Bridge

b.      Set-back

c.       Poker

d.      Rook

e.       Checkers

f.        Pollyanna

g.       Pool room

5.      Domestic activities

a.       Garden

b.      Flowers

c.       Chickens

d.      Hogs

e.       Cows

f.        Dogs

g.       Cats

h.       General improvements around the house

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(1)   Repairing the screens

(2)   Painting the inside of the house

i.         Embroidering

j.        Crocheting

k.      Tatting

6.      Reading

a.       Novels

b.      Bible

c.       Magazines

d.      Newspapers

7.      Movies

8.      Other forms of entertainment

9.            a.  Clubs

                  b.  Visiting

c.       Hang-outs

d.      Dances

      Other activities, such as washing, cooking, sewing, and house-work in general, absorb most of the time away from the mill, but since they fall more in the category of work than they do in any classification of pleasure pursuits, they are to be considered as a separate part.

      Of the forty-six different activities listed above, the smallest number of different things that any individual does is two, and the largest number of different forms of leisure activity of any individual is twenty-one.  The largest number of different things done by the greatest number of people is ten activities to eighteen people.  As can be seen from the following table, the largest distribution falls between six and ten activities:

                             Different Activities           Number of People


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      It is interesting to note that the two different things, which absorb all the leisure time of one of the mentioned individuals are: caring for a small garden and reading the Bible- he was sitting on the porch doing nothing when the investigator called.  The other individual who participates in only two activities, listens to the radio and rides.  The twenty-one varieties of entertainment enjoyed by the other individual are: listening to the radio and victrola; playing the banjo; attending baseball games; walking; swimming; playing set-back and poker; frequenting the poolroom; helping in the garden; feeding a cow, hogs, and chickens; reading novels, magazines, and newspapers; attending two movies a week; making use of membership in the Y. M. C. A.; visiting friends; loafing at the “Y”; and attending dances.

      Attention has already been directed to the fact that eighteen people took part in ten different activities during their leisure.  The ten leading time-absorbing items (given in the order of the decreasing popularity, and indiscriminate of age or sex) are: listening to the radio and visiting

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(both activities maintain the same vote); reading the newspaper; attending the movies; caring for the garden; riding; playing the victrola; reading magazines; swimming; and participation in various clubs.  It is significant that the ten leading activities are chiefly those which the individual provides for himself.  In spite of the many opportunities offered in the three communities, the majority of our group do not take advantage of them.  Instead of reading library books, they prefer newspapers and magazines which they either buy for themselves or borrow from a neighbor.  Many of those who swim prefer the river or out-of-town places to the “Y” pool.  Only 29 ½% of our group belong to clubs of any kind.  Very few take advantage of the recreational programs sponsored by the Y. M. C. A., except for the “movies”.  This is the one activity which attracts large numbers of our group—the performances are so arranged as to fit in with the working schedules of all groups.

      Let us take a close-up view of the reaction of the entire one hundred twenty-two textile workers toward the forty-six activities of our list, examining the items in the order in which they are listed on pages 57-58.


      Music as a leisure-time activity is subdivided into nine types, the first of which is the radio.  Here we are impressed with the large number of people who have become addicted to one of the outstanding diversions of the

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present-day.  Eighty-seven of our group of 122 individuals have radios in their homes.  Several admitted that they kept it turned on “practically all the time”, unless the static was too annoying:

“I listen to the radio practically all the time.”

“The radio is kept going all the time there ain’t no static.”

“I like the radio better in the winter; static’s too bad in the summer-time.”

“I’m tickled over (having) the radio.”

Except for some housewives who listen to the radio while they are busy with their tasks, most of the group devote their entire attention to whatever program they tune in on.

      Of course, programs over the radio are not exclusively musical; however, music appeals to the majority who mentioned radios as a form of entertainment.  They like the string-music programs, and jazz orchestras.  One young married woman declared the Crazy Waterfall Crystals program her favorite.  Frequently, members of the family cannot agree upon the program.  An elderly man, unique in several ways, confessed that he had been turned against the radio because his family wanted musical programs, whereas, he didn’t want to listen to anything but “preaching and talks on the government.”  He further objected to the radio because “y’ can’t talk back to it.”

      Dislike for, or disinterest in music in general was expressed by a few:

“ I don’t care for music of any kind.  I’m one of those


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old-fashioned persons, you’ve heard about, who don’t believe in such nonsense.

“I don’t believe in music since I joined the church.”

Another replied to the question of whether or not she had a radio

“Yes, our five children are all the radio and victrola we need.”

The victrola has been somewhat displaced by the radio, but fifty-two of the one hundred twenty-two persons interviewed still have victrolas.  In forty cases, the individual had both a radio and a victrola, but in such instances a preference for the radio was expressed by all but one.  Frequently, the victrola was used merely as a substitute for the radio, when static interfered.  One person, giving voice to an opinion which many others suggested by their manner, remarked that victrolas were out-of-date.

      A small group provide their own music (often supplementing the radio)- five play a guitar, three a violin, two a banjo, two a uke, two a piano, and one a horn.  Another enjoyed a player piano, and still another was fond of listening to an old-time organ.  It was once the “thing to do” for everyone of means to give the daughter piano lessons.  In this day of radios, however, even the “well off” do not practice this custom, unless certain talent is evident.  The piano has suffered in the group studied, as is shown by the following: one family sold the piano to buy a radio, and another did the same thing in order to pay off  some debts.  Another person could not afford a piano since she married.

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From 1919, until three years ago, the Spray Civic Association employed a full-time director of music, who organized and directed several bands and orchestras in the three communities.  During the summer of each year, “Music Week” was celebrated, at which time musical programs were rendered.  Today, the chief relic of this highly organized program is a small band which meets in the homes of its various members for practice, and on special occasions renders brief programs.

      In this day of radios, there were only seventeen people, either because of lack of interest or lack of means, have no music of any kind in their daily program.


      Not only the use of leisure, but modern life, in general, has been practically revolutionized by the automobile.  Young and old, black and white, laborer and capitalist- all have felt the influence of the automobile.  The family, the church, the school, and other social institutions have been forced to acknowledge its power.  For its support, individuals have denied themselves food, clothing, and homes.  The automobile holds sway over a great majority of the American people who willingly submit to its one law: “Keep going.”

      What is the response of the textile workers to this powerful influence of present day life?  To be near certain mill gates at closing time- to watch the streams of  

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cars filled with employees; to note the small group who walk- is to be convinced that the influence exists.  Naturally, in towns in which the employees live within short distances of the mill, the number of cars is not so great.  Both considerations are noteworthy in our present study.

      Of the one hundred twenty-two textile workers interviewed, sixty either own a car, or have access to one during their leisure.  (Two of the groups without a car have recently sold theirs.)  A check upon the use made of the car by the sixty individuals who ride, shows that: thirty take weekend trips, twenty-two ride merely for the pleasure of riding, four go out-of-town to movies, and four use the car primarily for business.

“I never use the car unless I’m goin’ somewheres- t’ see the doctor or visit the relatives.”

“I keep goin’ s’ long as I have money t’ buy gas.”

“We go t’ the country every week-end.” ( The “country”, referred to in this case, is a rural section in one of the neighboring counties of Virginia , where this individual once lived, and where many of her relatives continue to reside.)

“We go somewhere every week-end.  Went to Burlington Saturday.”

  “Yes, I love to ride.  Me and my ole man went almost to West Virginia , Sunday.”

“I go to Reidsville, or Greensboro,‘bout every week to the movies.”

Quite different from these comments is the answer given by the oldest woman of the group:

“No, I never ride because I’m afraid of cars.”


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      In spite of the various opportunities found in the three communities for participation in some sport, forty-seven of our group take no part whatever in any sport (not even walking for pleasure).  Apparently, interest in sports is not confined to participation in only one sport; that is, persons who enjoy one sport, usually take part in several.  Seventy-five different individuals take part in one or more each of eight different sports as follows: Four play baseball; thirty-four attend baseball games; four pitch horse-shoes; twenty-seven enjoy walking; thirty-six go swimming; twenty-three go fishing; three hunt; and one plays golf.  Again we find a large number who do not take advantage of the physical programs offered by the various Y. M. C. A.s.  None of our group play basketball, volley ball, or tennis; none belong to wrestling or boxing teams; only one makes use of the golf links; and only four play baseball—all of which activities are sponsored by the Y. M. C. A.s.

      As was shown in a previous chapter, a keen interest in baseball has been evident for many years in Leaksville, Spray, and Draper.  The enthusiasm is manifest in the attendance at games, rather than active participation in the game itself.  Of those interviewed, only one of the four who play baseball is associated with the Tri-city League; the other three are members of  a Sunday School class team.  In each of the three communities, the “Y” has

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indoor baseball teams for both men and women, but the members of our group do not take part in them.  Ten of the thirty-four who attend baseball games, average one game a week.  When questioned about attending the games, one man said: “I go every chance I can get fifty cents.”2

      At one time, pitching horse-shoes was considered quite a game, but today other diversions are much more exciting to the multitudes.  Several expressed their attitude toward the game:

“Pitching horse-shoes ‘s gone out of date.”  

That game’s ‘bout played out.” “---not much fun.”  

“Interest in the game comes in spells.  

“Maybe the game will come back in style before Roosevelt goes out- it was popular before Hoover went out.  Y’ know that’s a depression game.

      Few realize that walking is much more than simply a means of getting to a certain destination- a means that is not too frequently used in this day of automobiles.  The chief pleasures derived from walking (communion with nature and meditation upon the sedate queries of life-in-general) are not in harmony with the hurry and bustle of modern life.  Most of the jobs of those interviewed require so much walking that after working hours there is little desire for such exercise.  Despite the great majority there are a few who enjoy


2 The admission was 25 cents and 35 cents, the latter for grand-stand seats.  Cold drinks and peanuts are always sold during the game.


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this inexpensive, yet beneficial leisure-time activity.  (The “Y” sponsors hiking clubs for the smaller boys but none for the older groups.)  Those who like to walk give different reasons for such enjoyment:

“I like to stroll at night, always a crowd o’ us girls walk after supper, and usually end up at the café or drug store.  

“I walk more than anything else, except sleep.”

One young lady lamented the fact that she had nowhere to walk:

“I wish I did have somewhere to walk so’s I could reduce.  It’s too dusty on the big road.”

A man who admitted he got “a great kick out o’ walking” added:

“I used to walk three miles to school and ain’t never got out o’ the habit.”

Another man actually confessed that he liked “to walk in the woods,” and made a habit of going with his children on Sunday afternoons.

      Many do not consider walking any great pleasure, and frequently it is associated with work:

“I don’t walk any more ‘n I c’n help.”  

“I have to walk enough at work.”  

“I sometimes walk to save gas.”

“I walk a lot to graze the cow.”  

“I get plenty o’ exercise walking after the children.”

One woman replied that she did not walk enough:

“I have what we call at the mill, the dropsy.”

      Swimming as a form of exercise, as well as great fun,

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absorbs the leisure time of 36 individuals.  Some use the pool at the “Y”, others go to the river, and several go out of town to recreational centers, or to beaches.

“I go to the river.  Too many people at the “Y”.

“I stay in swimming the biggest part o’ my time.”

“Swimming is the best exercise you can get.”

      Fishing appeals only to the more persevering members of our group.  Dislike for this sport was expressed thus:

“I don’t have the patience to sit an’ wait for a bite.”

“It’s too hot, and I don’t have the patience.”


                 Cards and Similar Games

Playing cards or similar games, interest only forty of the one hundred twenty-two persons: three play bridge, twenty set-back; six, poker; nineteen, rook; five, checkers; three, Pollyanna; and two visit the pool-room.  In almost every case, those who expressed an interest in bridge, checkers, and Pollyanna limit such enjoyment to the one game.  With the other games, interest was somewhat divided: the two who visit the pool-room also enjoy poker and set-back; and all six who play poker also play set-back.

      As a leisure-time activity, cards are more popular during the winter, because, as several stated, “It’s too hot to sit in the house in the summer.”  Except for one girl who said, “I just can’t learn to play,” the eighty-two who did not play cards or games at all, gave as their reason a disapproval of, or lack of interest in such activity.


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“Games an’ cards, they jest ain’t right.”

“I don’t allow anyone in my house t’ play cards.”

“I don’t take much stock in that.” (cards and games)


Domestic Activities

      A consideration of domestic activities calls for an explanation of our meaning of the term “leisure”.  In the Encyclopaedia of Social Sciences, Ida Craven defines it: “For purposes of social analysis, the concept is usually narrowed- and widened- to mean simply freedom from activities centering around the making of a livelihood.” 3   When we speak of the new leisure created by the N. R. A., we have just such a definition in mind.  However, in discussing the ways in which our one hundred twenty-two textile workers use their leisure, we want to distinguish between those activities which a person may choose to do, and those tasks which he must perform, even though they are duties entirely apart from his work at the mill- duties which are therefore, associated with his leisure.

      Among the list of eleven domestic activities which involve work, but activities which a person may choose to perform during his leisure, we find that ninety-four individuals take part in one or more each, as follows: sixty-four have a garden; thirty-one have flowers; twenty raise chickens; thirty-five raise hogs; seventeen keep a


3 Encyclopaedia of Social Sciences. Vol. 9, p.402


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cow; four have pet dogs; two keep pet cats; eight devote some time to the general improvements around the house; thirty-three embroider; twelve crochet; and one makes tatting. (Of the one hundred twenty-two interviewed, sixty-five are female and fifty-seven are male.)  

 To those who always have always kept a garden, one of the most cherished advantages derived from the shorter working hours is that of more time to spend in their gardens.  The new leisure has not added any new names to our list of garden growers, but it has certainly encouraged those who had never surrendered all of their previous habits as farmers.  Only two of the fifty-eight without a garden stated they would like to have one if they had a place for it.  In most cases it was not the lack of a place, but the lack of a desire- usually the space was there, but too frequently it resembles a wilderness.  Occasionally, the soil was not suitable for a garden:

“I’ve tried to grow a garden, but the ground jes’ ain’t fit.  Y’ can’t plough it.  Y’ have t’ dig it up with a mallet.”

Several commented upon garden pests:

“The beetles are terrible. They’ve ‘bout eat up my garden.”

“Looks like there’s a bug for ev’ry plant, an’ they’ve ‘bout took my garden.”

In spite of the many worries, a large number manifested great enthusiasm:

“You can now grow a good crop and still work in the mill.  It’s like havin’ two jobs.”


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“I spend more time in th’ garden than anywhere ‘cept in the mill.”

“I get up early to work in m’ garden before time t’ go t’ the mill.  It’s better t’ work while the dew’s on the ground, and before it’s too hot.”

Several have increased the size of their gardens since they have more time to work in them.  Sometimes those who do not care for a garden, allow the neighbor to use his space.

“I now have three or four acres of garden.”

“I have three different gardens- all kinds of vegetables.  We don’t sell anything ‘cept what won’t keep."

      Many ordinary homes have been made attractive by the use of flowers.  Only thirty-one are willing to take the time and trouble to improve the appearance of their homes in this way.  Some who like flowers admitted that they simply did not want to “bother with them.”

“It’s too hot to fool with ‘em.

“It’s too far to carry water for them, an’ they won’t grow without it.

      Chickens are raised in large numbers by a few- some specialize in fryers, while others are interested in hens.  Two of the twenty who have chickens, keep around fifty at the time.  One person complained that she could not keep any chickens because they scratched up the garden, and they wouldn’t lay if she kept them up.  Another complaint was:

“My chickens ain’t layin’ ‘cause they ain’t getting the proper food.  I can’t afford to buy scratch for them when the mills are running jest part-time.”

      Much of the spare time of several is devoted to the care of hogs, cows, and pets.  One kind, old man expressed

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his affection for his pet cats thus:

“I have three cats that I love jest as much as other people loves their children. 

      Among other constructive uses of the new leisure, but a use which is sadly neglected, is that of improving the general conditions around the home.  Of the eight who spend some time in this direction, one has painted the inside of his house; one has built up his lawn, and planted flowers; one has made an ice-box, and some chairs for the porch; and the other five have repaired screen doors, and windows.  Because most of the employees live in homes owned by the mill company (and have assumed the indifference of tenants in general), the condition of general improvement and beautification are left almost entirely to the direction of the management.

      A number of the women devote some of their time to embroidering, crocheting, and making tatting (only one enjoys the latter).  Those who like this type of activity are partial to embroidering, while twelve individuals divide their interest between crocheting and embroidering.  Several remarked that they could not learn how to crochet, and some confessed that they could not sit still long enough to do any kind of needle work.

      Aside from all these domestic activities, there are still others which are really essential and which absorb a good deal of time.  Naturally, these daily tasks have been somewhat lightened by certain modern conveniences,

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but in some districts many of the ancient chores (cutting wood, bringing in water, etc.) still remain.  Of the more frequent household duties, it was found that: eight wash and iron; (several have washing machines); four others merely iron (have their clothes washed); fifty-seven help with the cleaning; forty-four cook; thirty-one can and preserve food; and forty-four sew.  These activities are distributed among sixty-six individuals, some of whom perform only one or two of the tasks (usually cleaning or sewing).  Of the one hundred twenty-two workers, six hire help for cooking and cleaning; eight have their washing and ironing done; and ten are boarders, who do not help with any of the housework.  In six instances in which both the husband and wife work, the household responsibilities are shared equally.  Another responsibility which is shared equally is that of tending small children- a prevalent responsibility among the majority of the families interviewed.

      Of the total number of females interviewed (sixty-five) forty-four devote some of their time to sewing- twenty-four of them make all of their own clothes. And frequently sew for other members of the family.  One or two prefer to buy their dresses, because “It’s much easiest to get ‘em already made, and they don’t cost no more.”  Another remarked that she made all of her print dresses:

“They th’ only kind you need.  I don’t go nowhere ‘cept to work.”

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      To some, reading is considered a vital process in the daily program; to others, it is looked upon as a difficult task which belongs only to the school-room; to some, reading is looked upon merely as a habit which may or may not be of any significance; to others, it is regarded as the favorite excuse of those who are too lazy to help with the domestic chores.  Attitudes toward reading, frequently determine the choice of reading material, as well as the amount of time which is devoted to such activity.  One may choose types of literature which are sources of great mental and spiritual strength, or he may resort to literature which is unwholesome or even indecent.  There are good reading habits and there are bad reading habits- either can be cultivated.

      What kind of habits do our textile workers possess, do they read much, and what do they read?  There are twenty-six who never read, fifty-four who read “a little”, and forty-two who read “right smart.”  Reasons given for not reading, or for reading very little are: twenty-four do not like to read; four do not know how; four have bad eyes; and three do not have time to read.  Lack of interest in reading is sometimes due to inability to read with any degree of ease.  Thirty read novels (chiefly Wild West and detective stories); fourteen read the Bible (two of whom read nothing but the Bible); forty-three read magazines; and seventy-four enjoy various newspapers.  Some divide their time among all four types of reading materials.  Only those who read

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books (novels primarily) make use of the public library.  The majority prefer newspapers and magazines which they chiefly provide for themselves.  In a magazine popularity contest, the Western Stories, Love and Romance, True Stories, and Film Magazines win with a vote of thirty-five; the Saturday Evening Post has three votes; Colliers has two; Textile Magazines have two; and the Literary Digest, McCalls, and Popular Mechanics have one vote each.  (One person reads three different magazines.)  Of those who read the newspapers, eleven individuals merely look at the “Funnies”; one is interested primarily in the sport page; and several enjoy the sensational happenings, and the continued stories.  A smaller group keeps up with current events and politics.  The three newspapers most frequently read are the Greensboro Daily News, The Record, and the Danville Bee.  Only one stated a preference for the local paper, The Leaksville News.  Enthusiasm for newspapers was expressed by several:

“I’ve taken the Greensboro Daily News ever since Roosevelt was elected, an’ no matter what time I get through work, I read that paper ‘fore I go t’ bed.”

“I read th’ paper first thing when I get home from work.”

“I couldn’t go t’ sleep nights, if I didn’t read m’ paper.”



The movies hold an extremely important place in modern life- both as a popular form of entertainment and as a target for merited criticism.  There is no need, here,


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for a discussion of the renewed attempts to protect the public from indecent pictures, nor is it necessary to enumerate the good and bad points of such an influential form of amusement.  Everyone is aware of the role which movies play in molding attitudes, in spreading knowledge, and in offering a brief interlude to reality, with its ensuing problems.  In spite of individual opinions, however, one cannot overlook the force of motion pictures as a prevalent leisure-time pursuit.

      It has already been said that “attending the movies” ranks very high as one of the ten leading activities on our list.  A total of seventy-three participate, with varying frequency, in this form of amusement; sixteen go to the movies once a week; thirteen go twice a week; nine go three times a week; and one goes four times a week.  Less frequent attenders are: five who go only to “special pictures”; ten go on the average of one a month; twelve average two pictures a month; and one attends around four a year; four average three a year; and two go only about twice a year.  Of the forty-nine who never go to the movies, eight have attended in the following infrequency: one has seen only two pictures in his life; one has been three times during her life-time; two have seen one picture in eight years; one has not seen a picture in seven years; another has not seen but one in six years; one has only been twice in five years; and another has seen one picture in two years.  Several gave reasons for not going; thirty-two are not interested; seven

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cannot financially afford to go; five do not approve of the movies; two have no way of getting to the theater, and live too far away to walk; one has bad eye-sight; one is too busy; and one cannot go on account of small children.

      Various comments upon the movies, or upon the attendance at them, are of interest:

“Movies are the ruination of children.  Mine go but I don’t approve.”

“I like to go when Janet Gaynor is on, ‘cause she’s so innocent.”

“Movies is all right.  I’ve nothin’ against ‘em, but I c’n fin’ a better place fo’ m’ money.”

 “I go ev’ry time Will Rogers is playin’.”

“I go ev’ry time I c’n git a quarter.”

“I go once a week- that’s all a married man can afford.”

“I like the movies.  Lots o’ times a crowd o’ us goes to Greensboro or Reidsville t’ the picture show.”

“I have to work ‘til mid-night, but I go to the mid-night show twice a week.”

“It’s nothin’ t’ ‘em, an’ I don’t have th’ money to spare.”

“It’s jest money thrown away, an’ I need it.”

“I don’t bother with ‘em- there ain’t no good in ‘em.”

“I don’t believe in ‘em, t’ain’t right t’ go.”

“I quit since I joined church.”


Miscellaneous Forms of Entertainment

      Other forms of entertainment which absorb some of the leisure time of this group of one hundred twenty-two textile workers are: thirty-six are members of clubs,

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eighty-seven visit friends and relatives; ten have “hang-outs”; and twenty attend dances.

To this group, Club membership consists primarily in affiliation with various organizations associated with their work, the church, the “Y”, and with certain insurance groups.  We find thirteen members of the Y. M. C. A. (many of whom look upon such membership as primarily obtaining privileges of getting a bath); five are members of the Girls’ Club; three belong to the Missionary  Society; one belongs to the Young Woman’s Auxiliary; one belongs to the Ladies Aid Society; four are members of the Carolina Council; 4  three are members of the Junior Council; 5  three are Modern Woodmen; one belongs to the Mutual Aid (an insurance organization)

4  The Carolina Council is an organization composed of certain employees of the Carolina Cotton and Woolen Mills Company, such as managers, superintendents, foremen, second hands, section men, and loom fixers, etc.  The object of the Council (which was organized on September 22, 1920 ) is to promote among its members (both employees and employers) a better spirit of cooperation, and to give to each member  an opportunity for self-development.  At least eight meetings during the year are held, two of which meetings are of a social nature.  The programs vary, including lectures, debates, and dramatic and music performances.  On the various programs have been such speakers as Dean D. D. Carroll, Dr. Rondthaler, Col. Fred Olds, Charles Milton Newcomb, L. W. Wallace, and others.  The Carolina Playmakers and the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra have also presented programs for the organization.  Each member pays nominal dues of $1.00 per year.

5  The Junior Council, which has been only recently organized, is composed of certain workers in the plants and offices.  There are only four meetings, during the year, one of which is of a social nature.  Like the Carolina Council, the Junior Council has interesting and instructive programs.


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one is a member of the American Legion; one is an Odd Fellow; one belongs to the Junior Order; one belongs to the Bear Association; and another is a Mason.  Only two people are members of two or more different clubs; both are women, each of whom belong to the Carolina Council and to the Missionary Society. In view of the large number of available organizations associated with the church, the “Y”, etc., the per cent (29 ½%) of our group who take part is quite small.

      In speaking of clubs, one man remarked:

I don’t mess around with them.”

An interesting attitude toward the Y. M. C. A. was expressed by a middle-aged man: “The “Y” is mostly for young people and children.”  One man who is not affiliated with any club, said that he once belonged to an insurance club but had to drop it during the depression.

                  Visiting and listening to the radio, as we have seen, head the list of leisure-time activities.  Thirty-five visit none at all; fifty-five visit “a little’; and thirty-two visit “right smart.”  Of those who spend some of their time visiting, eight visit only the sick, while the others go to see relatives, friends, and neighbors (given in order of decreasing numbers).  Several feel it an urgent duty to visit the sick, and confine all visiting to those thus afflicted.  The custom of calling upon friends, and lingering for hours in conversation about the various events of the day- events of both local and national importance- and frequently joining the family in a meal, seems to have


    Page 80

            been relegated to the “old-fashioned”.  At least, such a custom is not as prevalent as it was in the “good old days,” when a large portion of the southern population was rural.  Today, few people take the time to pay even a short call to their next-door-neighbor.  Many of those interviewed acknowledge that they now have more time for visiting, but that they “jest don’t.”  One woman answered that she “never was no hand to run aroun’”!  Those who have cars, however, usually visit relatives who live in the country, or who live in some neighboring city; in fact, many of these individuals have retained certain rural habits because of the frequent contact with relatives and friends “back home.”  Ownership of a car is closely associated with visiting- a prevalent attitude is: “What’s the use of wastin’ time goin’ t’ visit people y’ have to see at work ev’ry day?”

                   Only ten admitted having “hang-outs”: four loaf at “the store”; three like to   “hang-aroun’ th’ “Y”; one loafs on the street; one “hangs around th’ bridge”(across Smith River); and another is a member of a group of men who like to gather in a neighbor’s back yard.  (This back yard is extremely popular during the baseball season, as the altitude and location are favorable for a good view of the game- a view without cost.)  The question of “hang-outs” offended several who “never was no han’ t’ loaf.”  Apparently, loafing on one’s own front porch is much more respectable than loafing anywhere else.

       Of those who attend the Saturday Night dances (sub-


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            scription dances given at a warehouse in Leaksville each Saturday night, the only attendance requisite being 75 cents a couple), sixteen attend “sometimes”; and four attend regularly.  One man replied that he attended “every dance he heered tell of”. Another, a bride of three months, said that she used to go to every dance, but now that she was married she had “settled down”.  One or two stated that they danced at home, but never attended public dances.


       An activity which has not been mentioned on our list of leisure-time pursuits, but one which should be considered, is “sleep”.  Naturally the amount of sleep is conditioned by whatever shift an individual might work, and since the shift has been altered in many individual cases, it is impossible to determine (in this study) the full significance of the effect of shorter hours upon sleeping habits.  However, without any check upon the change of shifts, a count was made of any change in sleeping habits since the enaction of the N. R. A.  It was found that seventy-one sleep the same amount as before the shorter hours; forty-one sleep more; and ten sleep less; twenty-eight take naps during the day; six sleep later on Saturday mornings; and three rest more than they did when they worked longer hours.  Of the ten who sleep less, three said that they were not as tired since the shorter hours, and consequently did not need as much sleep as formerly.  Seven cannot sleep as much


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because they have been changed to a night shift, and are unable to sleep during the day.  Several reasons were given for inability to sleep during the day: in some instances, the noise of children, or of other members of the family made it impossible to sleep; some prefer having breakfast with members of the family who work during the day rather than sleeping; others (cases in which both husband and wife work) have to get up to prepare meals or to tend small children; and some have the idea that “day sleep, like night air, ain’t good for you.”

      We have observed how one hundred twenty-two textile workers spend their leisure time.  Likewise, it is of interest and significance to note the attitudes toward the shorter hours as expressed by some of the group.  Strangely enough, the only two people who voiced any disfavor of the present hours, were the same two individuals previously mentioned as taking part in only two leisure time activities.  One objected that the “piece-time” worker cannot make a decent living, because when a certain amount of work is completed such workers are sent home.  She centered her attack of the present system, not upon the local authorities, but upon President Roosevelt, “who is keepin’ mill workers from makin’ a living.”  She climaxed her complaint with this declaration: “Last election was the first time I ever voted th’ Democratic Ticket, but if the Lord will deliver me from my error this time, I’ll never vote it ag’in.”

      Contrary to such an attitude, is that expressed by several


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who laud the shorter hours because “you c’n make jest as much money an’ don’t have to work nearly so hard.”  Piece-workers express opposing views: some declare that one can draw as much pay under the present system as formerly, while others agree that it is impossible to complete enough work during the shortened hours to maintain the same weekly pay as during the longer working day.  An energetic young mother of two children, who has done “piece” work for six years, attempted to answer this puzzling situation:

“What the ‘piece-worker’ gets is up to the individual worker.  The wage-rate has been increased, which fact off-sets the shortened hours.  I make more money under the present system than I did before.  It’s up to the worker.  You can’t stop on the job. Those who complain are prejudiced against the party, and they wouldn’t admit they liked anything that the Democrats do.  If Roosevelt raised their salary $10.00, they would grumble- would probably say it wasn’t right for him to do so.”

      She further discussed the shorter hours by pointing out their advantages to working mothers:

“The present hours are a God-send to working mothers.  I wouldn’t work if I had to leave my two small children with colored help, but my mother is glad to look after them for me, while I’m at work.  Now I’m able to do all of my housework- cooking, cleaning, ironing, and sewing.  Of course, I’d be too tired to do this if I had to work ten hours.  Besides not being so tired, I have a lot of time before dark to do the many things around the house.  My husband helps me a lot.”

Another house-wife spoke of the advantages of shorter hours:

“Work is not a burden now; I can get my work at home done.  It’s nothing to wash and iron when I can get through before dark.”

Several pointed out a correlation between good health and shorter hours:

“My health is much better since I do not work the

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  longer hours.”

  “I have gained weight since the shorter hours.  They have helped everybody.”

  “I couldn’t go back to the long hours now.  I don’t believe I could hold up under them.”

  “When you work with machinery it keeps your nerves on edge.  Before the shorter hours, I used to be so tired I couldn’t sleep, and when I did finally get to sleep, it didn’t do me any good.  Now I’m more rested and can sleep better.”

  Shorter working hours have created more wants, is the attitude of several.

  “If I have more time aroun’ the house t’ see what’s needed an’ want t’ get it.”

  “I spend more money when I’m working such a short time.”

  A thoughtful father of three children expressed himself thus:

  “This is the first time we’ve really had a chance to live;  to enjoy the fruits of our work.  Before the shorter hours, I was too tired to do anything but eat supper and go to bed.  Now, I have time to enjoy what I earn.  Best of all, I now have time to be with my children;  to train them;  and to teach them good manners.”

  Obviously, this group has different attitudes toward the present hours, and even though the majority favor shorter working hours, frequently the leisure time is not constructively used.  An elderly man unconsciously summarized the situation when he said:

“People use the time differently; I rest more, while my son goes more, and spends more money.”

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  Variations According to Sex

        There is some variation in the manner in which men and women, boys and girls, use their leisure-time.  Naturally, there are some activities which appeal more to men than to women, and vice versa.  On the other hand, there are a large number of leisure-time pursuits that appeal to individuals, irrespective of sex.  These interests have been cultivated through other influences, such as environment and opportunity.  Another factor which plays an important role in the use leisure is age.  We find that the young, the middle-aged, and the older groups have different interests.  It is perhaps worthwhile to observe briefly, the leisure-time pursuits of the one hundred twenty-two textile workers from these three viewpoints: sex, age, and the community in which they live.

      The group represents an almost equal distribution of male and female; fifty-seven males and sixty-five females.  Of some significance is the fact that forty-nine of the males and thirty-seven of the females are married.  In addition, there is one widow, and one who is separated from her husband.

      The men as a whole, have been in mill employment longer than the women, as can be seen from the following table: (no consideration is given here to the number of males and females represented in the three age groups.)

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Males   Females   Years In Mill Employment

                                                          9           21               under 5

                                                        13           23            5 through 9

                                                        17           11          10 through 14

                                                          7             6          15 through 19

                                                        11             5               over 20

      More men than women have had previous occupations;  twenty-one males to ten females have lived on the farm;  nine males to seven females have worked in a mill other than the one in which they are now employed.

      As a group, the females surpass the males in diversified activities.  However, two men hold first place in the greatest number of different activities.  The largest number of females participate in from six to ten different activities, whereas the largest number of males engage in either four, nine, or ten different amusements.  (It is necessary to keep in mind that the number of females interviewed exceed the number of males.  There are eight more than the former):   

                        No. of Different Activities     Male   Female   Total

                                          1                          0            0            0

                                          2                          1            1            2

                                          3                          2            2            4

                                          4                          7            6          13

                                          5                          4            3            7

                                          6                          3          10          13

                                          7                          4            7          11

                                          8                          5            8          13

                                          9                          7            7          14

                                        10                        10            8          18

                                        11                          5            3            8

                                        12                          4            5            9

                                        13                          2            2            4

                                        14                          0            1            1

                                        15                          1            0            1

                                        16                          0            1            1

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                                        17                          0            1             1

                                        18                          1            0             1

                                        21                          1            0             1


      The ten leading activities (and the number participating in each) among the male group are: listening to the radio (38); caring for a garden (38); visiting (37); reading the newspaper (36); attending the movies (30); attending baseball games (28); riding (25); participating in club activities (23); swimming (21); and fishing (20).  Among the female group, the most popular pursuits are: visiting (50); listening to the radio (49); attending the movies (43); reading the newspaper (38); riding (35); listening to the victrola (35); embroidering (33); caring for flowers (29); caring for a garden (26); and reading magazines (24).

      Again, we note that the leading activities of both groups are chiefly these which the individual provides for himself, rather than those offered by the various organizations of the three communities.  The men, however, participate more frequently in activities sponsored by the “Y” and other clubs than do the women.  It can be seen that several of the activities appeal to both sexes, in slightly varying degrees of popularity; whereas, baseball, club membership, swimming, and fishing are especially appreciated by the men.  The women substitute for these interests: embroidering, the victrola, flowers, and magazines.

      In only one other of the entire forty-six activities

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is there any observed difference in the numbers of males and females who participate- playing cards.  Of the forty who play cards during their leisure, the greater majority are men.  Rook is most popular among the women of our group, and it is the only card game in which they participate to any marked degree.

Obviously, any mixed group would display some division of interest according to sex.  The only significance which may be found in viewing the activities of our one hundred twenty-two textile workers from such a standpoint is that of noting the differences in popularity of those pursuits which are common to both sexes.  These differences can be seen from the above paragraph which lists the ten leading activities of both groups.  Six of the ten activities appeal to both sexes, but in the following degrees of popularity: the radio and the garden tie for first and second places among the men;  the radio holds second place among the women;  whereas, the garden ranks ninth.  Among the men, visiting is third in importance; to the women visiting is first in importance.  The newspaper holds fourth place for both the men and the women.  To the men, movies come fifth, but to the women, they come third in interest.  Riding, the last of the six leading pursuits, common to both sexes, ranks seventh with the men and fifth with the women (listening to the victrola ties with riding for fifth and sixth places among the women.)

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Differences According to the Three Age Groups

       Of greater significance than these differences in the popularity of the various activities according to sex, are the differences which can be observed in the three age groups.  Those interviewed fall into three age groups as follows:

Young    (16 to 25 years, inclusive)- 30

Middle   (26 to 39 years, inclusive)- 55

Older      (40 years and over)          - 37

In the first group, the females predominate, with twenty-three females against only seven males.  This is an unfortunate but unavoidable situation, considering the methods of interviewing used.  Attention has already been called to the method used, and frequently some members of the family were absent during the time of the investigator’s call.  Besides the difficulty of finding the younger men at home, there was an apparent predominance of girls and women in the families which were interviewed.  In the second group, the distribution of males and females is practically equal, with twenty-seven of the former, and twenty-eight of the latter.  In the third group, the males maintain the larger number with twenty-three males as opposed to only fourteen females.  This distribution, together with the differences in the popularity of the activities according to sex, as has already been shown, should be kept in mind while observing the variations found in the three age groups.

      First of all, we note a dissimilarity in the number of

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 diversions in which the groups take part:

                        No. of Activities   Young   Middle   Older    Total

                                            1                      0           0            0            0

                                            2                      0           2            0            2

                                            3                      1           2            1            4

                                            4                      2           6            5          13

                                            5                      0           3            4            7

                                            6                      3           6            4          13

                                            7                      2           6            3          11

                                            8                      4           5            4          13

                                            9                      4           4            6          14

                                          10                      4         10            4          18

                                          11                      2           3            3            8

                                          12                      4           3            2            9

                                          13                      1           2            1            4

                                          14                      0           1            0            1

                                          15                      0           1            0            1

                                          16                      1           0            0            1

                                          17                      1           0            0            1

                                          18                      1           0            0            1

                                          21                      0           1            0            0


      The majority of young people take part in eight, nine, ten, and twelve activities; in the middle group, the largest numbers fall into four, six, seven, and ten activities; while more older people concentrate upon four and nine diversions, with a smaller number participating in five, six, eight, and ten different things.

      The more popular leisure-time amusements of the young group are: listening to the radio (28); attending movies (26); visiting (21); playing the victrola (20); reading the newspaper, chiefly the funny sheet (17); reading magazines (16); reading novels (14); riding (14); walking for pleasure (14); swimming (13); and dancing (12).  To the young people, the hours outside the mill are primarily for pleasure.  However, their pleasures do not include any interest in domestic activities, such as improving the conditions around

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 the home.  With them, the picture-show offers the most enjoyable form of entertainment, but when money is scarce, they can find pleasure in jazz radio programs or victrola records, visiting and reading.  Entertainment, not self improvement, is the key which unlocks the treasure box of their leisure.

      The middle group find some time for domestic interests, but they, too, seek other forms of entertainment.  Here the more prevalent amusements are: visiting (40); attending the movies (35); listening to the radio (34); reading newspapers (32); riding (29); growing a garden (29); reading magazines (22); club membership (18); playing the victrola (17); attending baseball games (16); swimming (16); caring for flowers (16); raising hogs (16); and embroidering (16).

      The older group present a slightly different picture in their use of leisure time, with the following activities leading: growing a garden (28); visiting (26); listening to the radio (25); reading the newspaper (25); riding (17); playing the victrola (15); raising hogs (15); going to the movies (12); embroidering (10); attending baseball games (9); and club membership (9).

      A comparison of the most popular diversions of the three groups, shows that only the young people (as a group) read novels, walk for pleasure, and attend dances.  On the other hand, it is the only group which does not include among its more prevalent activities: helping with a garden, raising hogs, attending baseball games, embroidering,

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 and belonging to clubs.  Another difference in the most prevalent activities of the three groups is the absence of reading magazines, caring for flowers, and swimming in the older people’s list.  Cultivating flowers appears as one of the more prevalent diversions, only of the middle group.  As a group, the middle-aged take a somewhat more active part in those opportunities offered by the organizations of the community than do the other groups.  However, such activities are not among the first, even with this group.  Thirty-three per cent of the middle group, twenty per cent of the older group, and thirty per cent of the young group belong to clubs.  The latter group does, however, make more use of the library than do the other groups.  All three groups take advantage of one of the opportunities offered by the communities- the motion pictures.

      The six activities which are found in all three groups are considered in varying degrees of popularity: the radio heads the list among the young people; it appears third in the middle and older group.  Movies are second in importance to the young and middle-aged; while older people put them eighth in popularity.  Visiting is of much interest to all three groups- third on the younger list; first on the middle list; and second on the older list.  Playing the victrola (an excellent substitute for the musical programs of the radio when there is no money to buy new radio tubes; or when the static is too bad) is considered fourth by the

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young people; ninth, by the middle-aged; and sixth, by the older people.  The newspaper occurs fifth on the first list and fourth on both the second and third list.  Riding, last of the mutual interests, holds eighth place for the younger, and fifth for both the middle-aged, and the older group.

      Differences as to the frequency in which the individuals participate in the more popular activities can be observed in the three age groups.  Especially are these differences observed in habits of reading, attending the movies, riding, and visiting.  In the younger group, five read none at all; nineteen read some; and twenty-four read a great deal.  Only six of the older group devote much time to reading, while twenty-two read a little, and nine do not read anything.  Of the latter group, twenty-five read newspapers, five read magazines, five read the Bible, and two read novels.  Of the young group, only one person mentioned the Bible as one of her sources of reading material.  More frequent excuses for not reading (any or only very little) were given by the older group, who either do not know how to read, or read with such difficulty that it is more of a task than a pleasure. 

      Of the more frequent “movie-goers”, one of the middle group attends (average attendance) four pictures a week; five young, three middle-aged, and one older go twice

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 a week;  four young, nine middle-aged, and three older go once a week.  The majority of the older people never go to the movies.  The chief reason for not going is a lack of interest in this form of entertainment, while several gave as their excuse either lack of money,  or disapproval of the movies.

      The automobile serves different purposes for the three age groups.  To the young people, it seems chiefly an opportunity to ride for the sole pleasure of riding, without any special destination in mind.  In some cases, the car is a means of getting to neighboring towns to see the latest pictures- the young men think nothing of driving forty miles to see what they think is a good movie.  Some of the middle-aged and older people also enjoy riding, but more frequently, the chief purpose of the car to both groups is a means of going out of town to spend the week-end with relatives.  In this respect, the car is closely associated with visiting.  Distinguishing between the varying degrees in which individuals visit, we find that ten of the young, seventeen of the middle-aged, and five of the older visit “right smart”; eleven of the young, twenty-three of the middle-aged, and twenty-one of the older visit some; while nine of the young, fifteen of the middle, and eleven of the older visit none at all.  The young people visit among friends in town, while the other groups, as has been said, enjoy visiting relatives or friends “back home.”

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Differences According to Community

       The last viewpoint from which we observe the leisure activities of our textile workers is from that of the three different communities in which they live.  Naturally, differences as to opportunities offered by the communities would influence the use of leisure.  Forty individuals were interviewed in Draper, forty in Spray, and forty-two in Leaksville.  Since both sex and age cause some differences in the use of leisure, the following table is given to show the distribution of those interviewed in the three communities:

                                                  Leaksville              Spray               Draper
Male  Female      Male  Female       Male  Female

  Young (16-24 yrs)         2       11              4         7              1         5

  Middle (25-39)              6         9            11         7            10       12

              Older  (40 up)                8         6              9         2              6         6

Something of the stability of the workers can be observed from tables showing the number of years spent in mill employment, and any previous occupations.

Years in Mill Employment           Leaksville        Spray      Draper

                       Under 5                                         9                8           13

                     5 through 9                                    13              13             9

                   10 through 14                                  10              10             8

       15 through 19                                    6                3             4

            over 20                                         4                6             6

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 Previous Occupations              Leaksville       Spray      Draper

            Total without any previous

occupation                                        21              24            21

            Lived on Farms                                11              10            10

Worked in Bakery                             1                0              1

Worked in Store                                1                0              0

Filling Station                                     0                1              0

            Police and Barroom tender                 0                0              1

Telephone girl                                    1                 0              0

Saw Mill operator                              0                 1              0

Carpenter                                          1                 1              0

Worked in some other mill                 6                 3             

Worked in more than two

            different mills                         0                 1              2

       As to the use of leisure, we find some differences in the number of activities which interest the individuals in the various communities:

No. of Activities                  Leaksville         Spray        Draper      Total

               1……………………….       0                   0                 0             0

   2……………………….       0                   2                0             2

   3……………………….       2                  1                 1             4

               4……………………….       4                  6                 3           13

   5……………………….       2                  1                 4             7

   6 ………………………       5                   5                3           13

   7……………………….       2                  4                 5           11

   8……………………….       8                  2                 3           13

   9……………………….       4                  5                 5           14

 10……………………….       6                  5                 7           18

 11……………………….       5                  3                 0             8

 12……………………….       3                  4                 2             9

 13……………………….       1                  0                 3             4

 14……………………….       0                  0                 1             1

 15……………………….       0                  0                 1             1

 16……………………….       0                  0                 1             1

 17……………………….       0                  0                 1             1

 18……………………….       0                  1                 0             1

 21……………………….       0                  1                 0             1

 The table above shows such a scattered distribution that no sharp contrasts are shown between the three communities.

      In Leaksville, the more popular diversions are: listening to the radio (30); visiting (30); reading newspapers (27); riding (23); playing the victrola (20);

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 reading magazines (15); embroidering (15); belonging to clubs (13); growing a garden (12); and walking for pleasure (12).

      There is a slight variation in Spray, where the leading activities are: listening to the radio (30); growing a garden (28); reading newspapers (23); playing the victrola (18); attending movies (16); raising hogs (16); riding (14); attending baseball games (13); and reading magazines (12).

      In Draper, the more frequent pursuits are: visiting (30); attending movies (29); listening to the radio (27); reading newspapers (24); growing a garden (24); riding (23); reading magazines (16); swimming (15); caring for flowers (15); and playing the victrola (14).

      Eight of the ten leading activities appeal to a large portion of all three communities, but in varying degrees of popularity.  In Leaksville, listening to the radio and visiting, tie for first and second places; while listening to the radio comes first in Spray, and visiting ranks third.  In Draper, listening to the radio is third in popularity and visiting is first.  Attending the movies holds third place in Leaksville, sixth in Spray, and second in Draper.  Reading the newspapers holds fourth place in all three communities.  Of fifth importance in Leaksville is riding, which holds seventh place in Spray, and sixth place in Draper.  Playing the victrola ranks sixth in Leaksville, fifth in Spray, and tenth in Draper.  Reading magazines holds

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 seventh place in Leaksville, tenth in Spray, and seventh in Draper.  The last of the eight activities common to the three communities, is growing a garden, which interest ranks tenth in Leaksville, second in Spray, and fifth in Draper.

      The other two pursuits which make up the ten leading activities, differ in each community.  In Leaksville, embroidering is especially popular to the women, and such a pastime vies with reading magazines for seventh and eighth places among the ten most popular activities.  Participation in club activities holds ninth place, and walking for pleasure ties with growing a garden for tenth and eleventh places.  In Spray, raising hogs interests an equal number as attend movies, both activities holding sixth and seventh places.  Attending baseball games ranks ninth with the individuals of Spray.  In Draper, swimming and caring for flowers have the same number of participants, interest in which holds eighth and ninth places.

      One other difference is noted in the reaction of the three communities toward certain leisure-time pursuits.  In Spray, reading the Bible is the chief source of diversion and frequently the only source of reading material, for several individuals.  To the general question of , “Do you read very much during your spare time?” eleven people in Spray answered, “I read the Bible” (or the New Testament).  Such an answer was given by one person in Leaksville, and by two individuals in Spray.

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 VII. Conclusions

       Workers in Southern cotton mills changed suddenly from a working day that started at 7 a.m. and lasted to 6 p.m. to a day of eight hours, with Saturdays free.  Our attention has been directed to a consideration of the activities which absorb the leisure time of certain textile workers of Leaksville, Spray and Draper.

       1. PARTICIPATION.  We find that the one hundred twenty-one textile workers who were interviewed for this study divide their leisure time among two or twenty-one each of forty-six activities, the average for the group being ten.

      Our list of activities may be grouped into eleven major divisions, as follows: music, riding (automobile), sports, cards and similar games, domestic interests, reading, movies, clubs, visiting, “hang-outs”, and dancing.

      2. MUSIC.  Music absorbs some of the leisure time of 86% of the group.  The greatest number of them prefer jazz programs over the radio.  When the static is bad or when there is no money to buy tubes or other repairs for the radio, the victrola and old records are a popular substitute.  Twelve per cent (12%) of the group play some kind of musical instrument, and 14% of the group have no music whatsoever in their daily program- many of whom object to it because of certain religious principles.

      3. RIDING (AUTOMOBILES).  Forty nine per cent (49%) enjoy riding as a leisure-time pursuit.  Four of the sixty

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 who own cars (either individual or family ownership) use it primarily for business purposes.  Twenty-five percent (25%) use their cars for week-end trips, usually returning to rural sections where they once lived, to visit relatives or friends.  The younger boys and girls (16-25 years inclusive) use the car frequently to go out-of-town for movies.

      4. SPORTS.  In spite of the numerous opportunities for sports offered in the communities, 38 ½% of our group take no part whatsoever in such activities.  Of those who do participate, in one or more of eight different sports, we find that 36 go swimming, 34 attend baseball games, 4 play baseball, 27 walk for pleasure, 23 go fishing, 4 pitch horse shoes, 3 hunt, and 1 plays golf.

      5. CARDS AND SIMILAR GAMES.  Thirty-three per cent  (33%) of the group play cards or similar games: 3 individuals play bridge, 20 play set-back, 6 play poker, 19 play rook, 5 play checkers, 3 play pollyanna, and 2 enjoy the game of pool.  The chief participants are men, except in playing rook.  Many of the older group disapprove of playing cards or similar games.

      6. DOMESTIC INTERESTS.  Domestic interests absorb some of the leisure time of 77% of our group.  Fifty-two per cent (52%) of the entire group have gardens, the greatest number of which are in Spray and Draper.  Of the 122 individuals, 35 raise hogs, 31 grow flowers, 20 raise chickens, and 17 keep a cow.  Eight people devote some time to general improvements around the house.  Other domestic interests, however, include 52% of the women and younger girls who

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 embroider- twelve individuals of this group also crochet, and one individual makes tatting as well as embroidery and crocheting.

      7. READING .  We find that 79% of our group devote some of their leisure time to reading.  Of the twenty-six who never read, many do not know how, and several read with such difficulty that they seldom attempt it.  The reading materials most frequently used are newspapers, especially the “funny sheet”, and magazines of the “Love and Romance” type.  Twenty-five per cent (25%) read books or novels; 60% read newspapers, and 35% read magazines.  The Bible is the chief source of reading material for fourteen of the group, and the only reading material for two of the fourteen.

      8. MOVIES.  Sixty per cent (60%) of the group attend the movies.  One member of the group averages 4 movies a week, 9 attend on the average of 5 a week, 13 go twice a week, and 16 go once a week.  Less frequent attenders are: 5 who attend only the “special pictures”, 10 who average 1 a month, 12 who attend 2 a month, 1 who goes to 4 a year, 4 who go to 3 a year, and 2 who attend only about 2 a year.  Disapproval of this type of amusement was expressed by many of the 49 who never attend.  Lack of interest, money, and time were given by others as reasons for not attending.

9. CLUB MEMBERSHIP. Twenty-nine and a half per cent (29 ½%) of the group belong to clubs, and two of this group belong to more than one club each.  Thirteen (13) individuals are members of the Y. M. C. A., 5 are members of the

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 Girls’ Club; 5 belong to the Missionary Society; 1 belongs to the Ladies Aid Society; 4 are members of the Carolina Council; 3 are members of the Junior Council; 3 are Modern Woodmen; 1 belongs to the Mutual Aid (an insurance group); 1 is a member of the American Legion; 1 is an Odd Fellow; 1 belongs to the Junior order; 1 belongs to the Bear Association; and another is a Mason.  Numerous opportunities for club activities associated with the Y. M. C. A.s and  churches are offered by the communities, but little advantage is taken of these opportunities by members of our group, only 10 ½% of whom are are members of the Y. M. C. A.

      10. VISITING.  Visiting ranks in popularity with the radio- both of which interests absorb some of the leisure time of 71% of our group.  Twenty-six per cent (26%) visit frequently; while 45% visit less frequently; and 29% visit none at all.  Eight of those who visit less frequently than do the others, feel it their urgent duty always to visit the sick.  Twenty-five per cent (25%) visit relatives “back home” during the week-end.

      11. MISCELLANEOUS  FORMS OF AMUSEMENT. The two remaining activities appeal to only a small portion of our group. 

        a. DANCING.  Sixteen per cent (16%) dance.  Throughout the year, weekly subscription dances are held at a warehouse in Leaksville.  The fee for attendance is 75 cents per couple.  Large numbers of our group, because of religious principles, severely condemn this form of entertainment.

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       b. “HANG-OUTS”.  Eight per cent (8%) of the group have “hang-outs”.  Of these, four loaf at a neighborhood store; three loaf at the “Y”; one loafs on the streets; one “hangs around” the bridge which crosses Smith River , not far from the neighborhood store in North Spray.  The majority of our group think it much more respectable to loaf on one’s front porch than to loaf on the street or in other public places.

      12. SLEEPING HABITS.  The amount of time at one’s disposal frequently influences the individual’s sleeping habits. A compassion of these habits before and after the shorter working hours shows that 34% of our group now sleep more than they did before the shorter hours, and 8% now sleep less than they did.  Several stated that they did not require as much sleep when the working hours are short because they are not as tired as they were when they had to work longer hours.

      13. SEX VARIATIONS.  There are some variations, from the standpoint of sex, in the activities in which our group participates.  We have already noted that the average number of activities in which the entire group take part is ten, the most frequent of which are: listening to the radio, visiting, reading the newspapers, attending movies, caring for a garden, riding, playing the victrola, reading magazines, swimming, and participating in various clubs (listed in the order of decreasing popularity).  Six of these activities (radio, gardens, visiting, newspapers, movies, and

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 riding) appeal to large numbers of both sexes, but in varying degrees of popularity.  The chief differences occur in two of these activities, caring for a garden and attending movies.  Sixty-six and two thirds per cent (66 2/3%) of the men care for a garden, whereas only 40% of the women help with one.  Fifty-four per cent (54%) of the men attend movies, whereas 66% of the women attend.  Among the activities which appeal primarily to the men of our group are: attending baseball games, club membership, swimming, and fishing.  The women substitute for these interests: embroidering, the victrola, flowers, and magazines.

      14. AGE DIFFERENCES. Differences are also noted in the three age groups. We find that the young people maintain a more varied program during their leisure time than so either of the two other groups.  The most popular activities with this group are: attending movies, listening to the radio, visiting, and reading.  It is the only group which includes among its more prevalent activities reading novels, walking for pleasure, and attending dances.  On the other hand, it’s the one group which does not include among its foremost interests such activities as helping with a garden, raising hogs, attending baseball games, embroidering, and belonging to clubs.

      15. CHIEF DIFFERENCES AMONG THE AGE GROUPS.  The following per cents show the chief differences among the three age groups: 93% of the young, 62% of the middle-aged, and 68% of the older group listen to the radio; 87% of the

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 young, 64% of the middle group, and 32% of the older group attend movies;  70% young,  73% middle-aged, and 70% old visit;  47% young 53% middle-aged, and 46% old devote some of their leisure time to pleasure riding;  47% young, 25% middle-aged, and 5% of the older group read novels;  53% young, 40% middle-aged, and 13% of the older group read magazines;  57% young, 58% middle, and 67% of the older group read newspapers; and 30% of the young, 33% of the middle, and 24% of the older group belong to clubs of any kind.  Twenty-seven per cent (27%) of the young, 38% of the middle, and 49% of the older take no part whatever in any sport.

      16. COMMUNITY DIFFERENCES.  In the three communities there are chiefly two activities in which any variation is shown: attending movies and growing a garden.  In Leaksville 67% of our group attend movies, 40% in Spray, and 72% in Draper.  Of significance is the fact that certain sections of Spray are at some distance from any theatre or place where pictures are shown, and many of those who do not have cars do not attend the movies because of the long walk.  Others do not go because they look upon such entertainment as contrary to their religious principles.  In Draper the motion picture affords the chief form of amusement to those who live in that community.  In Leaksville, 29% of our group care for a garden, 70% in Spray have gardens, and 60% of those in Draper.  Many sections of Spray are especially rural, and large numbers of the people there not only grow

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 their own vegetables but also raise hogs, and chickens, and keep a cow.

17. LACK OF PARTICIPATION IN ACTIVITIES OFFERED BY THE COMMUNITIES.  We find that the group, except for a few individuals, does not take advantage of the activities offered in the three communities.  There are several explanations for this lack of participation in the programs sponsored by the Y. M. C. A.s and similar organizations of the communities.  First, those who have access to a car, choose visiting relatives out-of-town, pleasure motoring, and attending movies in neighboring towns, in preference to taking part in the activities in the community in which they reside.  A second explanation is that a large number of individuals look upon the “Y” as existing primarily for the entertainment of the very young.  Aside from this attitude, there are those who are indifferent to games or sports of any kind, and those who disapprove of such diversions, no matter how wholesome, because of certain religious inclinations.

      The influence of the church, especially in Spray, is unusual.  In all three communities, there are individuals who manifested interest in the church, but in Spray, the influence is most marked.  In this community there are many different religious groups, some of which are entirely original.  Attending movies, listening to music or playing any kind of musical instrument, or participating in games or sports, are considered sinful by many of those who

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 reside in Spray.

      Visiting relatives out-of-town has already been suggested as a contributing factor to the lack of participation in the activities offered by the three communities.  Because of the constant contact with relatives and friends who live in the rural section of the neighboring counties (in North Carolina and Virginia), a large number of these people, especially those of Spray, have retained their rural habits.  Growing a garden, raising chickens and hogs, and keeping a cow are among those habits which many of these individuals have not given up.


      1.  From conclusion 2, we find that a very small per cent play any kind of musical instrument.  It is suggested that the former program of directing community music which was discontinued three years ago, be reinstated as soon as expedient.

      2.  We cannot dictate the individual’s leisure time pursuits, but it is suggested that restriction be exercised in allowing the young people to promiscuously use automobiles as a major means of leisure.  Since the communities offer interesting programs of activity, it seems best that the young people participate more freely in its varied activities.

      3.  There are hundreds of various card games.  These games afford opportunity for many hours of wholesome

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 leisure time activity.  There is a need for the community to develop a broader attitude toward games of this kind.  We believe that the church and school can aid the home in the utilization of these games.

      4.  One of the major hobbies of today is home beautification and improvement.  Conclusion 6 clearly indicates the need in these three communities along this line.  We believe that  a concerted action sponsored by some of the civic groups could develop interests along this line, and within a short time, revolutionize the home surroundings and bring added beauty for the enjoyment of the community.

      5.  There is a very good library in the community.  Conclusion 7 definitely indicates that those we studied are not using it.  Something should be done to either bring these people to the library or to bring the library to the people.  We also find a need for some definite work in the field of adult education to eliminate illiteracy and many border cases of illiteracy.  The night schools of the communities should make some provision for teaching reading and writing as well as offering more technical instruction.

      6.  Conclusion 8 shows that many of the group need to exercise some discrimination in attending movies.  Interest in this type of entertainment should not be developed to the exclusion of all other types.

      7.  From conclusion 9, we find that a very small per cent are interested in local, state, or national clubs.  Today there are hundreds of clubs for adults, both for male and

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for female.  Likewise, there are numerous clubs of an educational, recreational, and social nature, for younger boys and girls.  We suggest that a greater emphasis be given on the part of community leadership for a wider participation in the clubs already existing.  It is also suggested that a study be made of the local communities to ascertain whether all the age groups and interests are satisfied, and from this study a program in regard to community life be developed.

8.      There still exists in modern life a group of people who condemn what we call social dancing.  Physical educators believe that wholesome dancing is a worthwhile activity- it possesses social as well as physical values.  We suggest that the school, church, and community agencies sponsor folk dancing as a substitute for social dancing.  There are hundreds of folk dancing available to leaders, and wherever this form of entertainment has been tried, both the individual and the group have responded wholeheartedly to the activity.

9.      It is very evident from conclusion 14 that we need to build a leisure time program with its emphasis upon the adult.  From the trend of this study it is the adult who has been given leisure, and it is imperative that we substitute adult leisure time activities for adult hours which have been taken away from work.  We believe that the school and church can take the lead here in making a study of adults in an attempt to promote interesting and worthwhile activities.

10.  Possibly there is a needed variation in the program offered in the three communities.    Therefore, we urge

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the community agencies of all types to join in a conference to study the leisure time program of the communities; to further facilities, activities, and programs; to find weaknesses and strengthen them; and to plan a long-time program looking toward a satisfactory development of the leisure life of the people of the communities.  The evidence is overwhelming that leisure time will increase.  This but emphasizes the challenge to promote a program.

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Page 113

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A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the University of North Carolina in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in the Department of Sociology 

Chapel Hill

 © This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.

Source Description:

Title :

New leisure : how is it spent / by Frances Hampton.

Author :

Hampton, Frances.

Publisher :


Description :

1 v. ; 29 cm.

Notes :

Thesis (M.A.)--University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1935.
Includes bibliography.

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