From Gaiety To Tragedy In A Puff Of Flame
RETIRED IN NOVEMBER—Second hand W. B. Ward chats
with Grover Woody on Mr. Woody's last day of work. The re
tiree looks over a department store gift certificate, presented by his
fellow workers in Spinning.
Retirement A Full-Time Life
For Former Section Man
When in November he worked
his last shift as a section man
in Spinning, Grover Woody step
ped into a world of retirement
with a long list of plans to keep
him happy and busy in the
Behind him was a span of
some three decades within walls
of textile mills in North Caro
lina. Before him; New places to
A wide-open field of career
opportunities may be found in
textiles, a Carolinas textile lead
er told the freshman class at
NC State College in November.
Carl R. Harris, manufacturer,
said that the industry offers
seven or eight jobs to every tex
tile graduate. He said that the
starting salaries range from $350
to $475 a month.
Emphasizing the importance
of the textile industry in the
North State, the speaker pointed
out that of the more than 476,-
000 factory employees in North
Carolina, approximately 228,000
work in textiles.
December is Off-the-Job Safe
ty Month at Firestone Textiles.
visit, new friends, flowers to
cultivate at his 1121 West Third
avenue home, upcoming sum
mers of baseball games, and sea
sons around the calendar of
other sports to consume his in
terest. Then, too, there would be
many fruitful hours spent at the
Firestone Recreation Center,
participating in the activities
“I’ve made a lot of friends
since I came here in 1928—seven
years before the Company start
ed operating in Gastonia,” he
The retiree’s first work in in
dustry was on-a job in a cotton
mill at Marion, N. C. Then a
while in a similar job at Ruther-
THE NATIVE of Clyde, Hay
wood County, N. C., was a foot
soldier in World War I. He saw
action in some of the famous
battles of Europe, including Ar-
gonne Forest. After his dis
charge, he reenlisted twice be
fore settling down to his life job
Throughout his years on the
job here and at other places he
has been in Spinning, with ex
ception of a brief time as a
weaver. He has been section man
for the past 13 years.
Color and gaiety of the happiest season of the
year can turn to tragedy in a puff of flame.
This stark reminder from the plant Safety de
partment points up the fact that danger of home
fires is increased at the Christmas season. Over
worked lighting systems, Christmas trees, gifts,
decorations and wrappings are but a few hazards
on the list.
Safety Director Alvin Riley calls attention to
the efforts of the National Fire Protective Asso
ciation at this time of year, in urging house
holders to be especially careful of fire.
These familiar rules of safety, listed here, can
help you avert tragedy and disaster from fire
this Christmas season:
The Christmas Tree
Choose a tree as fresh as you can find. If
obtained early, keep it outside with the trunk in
water until you are ready to decorate it inside—
preferably around December 24. Remove soon
after the 25th.
The smaller the tree, the better. When you set
it up, saw off the trunk at an angle at least an
inch above the original cut. Anchor in a sturdy
base and provide a way to keep it watered all
the time it is inside the house.
Place tree away from heat sources, or where
standing or fallen, it could block passage from a
room or out of the house, should fire break out.
Eliminate all open flames wherever you can.
Candles on the tree or other flames near com
bustibles invite tragedy. Use only lighting sys
tems that have the Underwriters’ Laboratories
label. Before putting into use, check lighting sets
for frayed wires, loose connections and damaged
sockets. Don’t overload any wiring system.
If you’re not experienced, leave lighting ar
rangements to the licensed electrician. Over
loading of extension wires is a chief danger. Turn
off tree lights during sleeping hours and when
you leave home for any length of time.
Decorations and Wrappings
Never allow wrappings to pile up. Burn in an
incinerator or put in a covered metal trash can.
It is dangerous to burn paper in an open fire
Non-burnable materials such as glass, metal,
asbestos are safest for home decorations. If you
must use combustible materials, insist on “flame-
proofed” items. Paper decorations and materials
for clothing usually ignite easily. True of Santa’s
About Those Gifts . . .
Put these at the top of the list as good fire-
starters: Non-flameproofed articles such as cow
boy suits, pyroxylin plastic dolls and other toys,
and toys operated with alcohol, kerosene or gaso
line. Insist on the Underwriters’ label on elec
trical toys. This assures that they have been test
ed for fire and shock hazards and may be reason
ably safe if properly used and maintained.
Among Other Reminders . . .
Careful with that cigarette, pipe, cigar! No
smoking in bed. Plenty of large ashtrays are
good fire control equipment.
Screen open fireplaces.
Especially watch children around matches,
lighters, candles, all open fires.
Have you inspected those home fire extinguish
ers lately? Now is a good time. Have handy some
buckets of water and your garden hose, just for
Slow down in the holiday rush enough to give
thought to what you would do in case of fire.
Should fire break out, keep calm, and ex
tinguish the blaze if you’re sure you can. Mem
orize the telephone number of your fire depart
ment before an emergency arises. Should you
forget or fumble for it in case of fire, have that
number written down in a prominent place near
On the day of his retirement
Mr. Woody glanced back over
the years, reviewing some
changes in the textile industry.
“I’ve seen many improve
ments in equipment, methods of
doing the work, and increase in
workers’ benefits,” he said. “For
example, the overhead cleaning
equipment in spinning rooms. It
allows for better quality work
and cleaner surroundings.”
“Another good thing that has
come about in fairly recent years
is workers’ benefits, like social
security and the Company re
tirement fund,” he added.
The son of Mr. and Mrs.
Charles Young (arrival: Novem
ber 3, Gaston Negro Hospital),
has been named Melvin Eugene.
The father is a picker tender in
-From Page 4
People and Places
Louella Queen. Cable Twisting and Respooling inspector, and
her mother, Mrs. Emory Isham, went to Halifax, and Weldon, N. C.,
in November for a visit with Mr. and Mrs. Edward Sweat and fam
ily and Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Willis. Mrs. Sweat is a niece of Mrs.
George Pendergrass and John Jenkins have returned to work
after a few days of illness.
Fellow workers of William Byrd, picker tender, express their
sympathy upon the death of his sister, Christine Byrd.
Louise Sutton, creeler, spent a week end in November visiting
her father in Dillsboro, N. C.
Faye Kennerly, winder tender, and Mr. Kennerly took a fall
trip to Tennessee for a visit with relatives.
In November, Lillian Seism underwent treatment at Gaston
School Teachers Visit Plant On BIE Day
High school teachers and people in business,
industry and other professions swapped scenes
for a day for Gastonia’s annual BIE Day, Novem
ber 13. The Business-Industry-Education event
is sponsored by the Gastonia Chamber of Com
merce. Its purpose is to acquaint school students
with the business-industry-professions picture, at
the same time allowing their teachers to find
out first-hand what makes the wheels of industry
and business go ’round.
T. B. Ipock, Jr., director of Industrial Relations
here, spoke to students at Ashley High School on
textile manufacturing. Three teachers from Ash
ley went on a tour of the Firestone plant, ending
with a conference at which Company staff mem
bers answered questions concerning operations
The photos above—Left: In Carding, employee
Fred Chastain shows card sliver to R. L, Denton,
algebra teacher at Ashley High School. Center;
Walter Wray, Ashley cabinetmaking instructor,
studies cotton spinning, as operator Eula Church
explains the process. Right: Loom fixer J. B.
Warren shows nylon fabric to literature teacher
Robert Riddle, Jr., (right). With them is J. V.
Darwin, Plant Sales, tour guide for the visiting