Quick Update From DC

I have just completed week three of my internship at the National Museum of American History and so far it is going great. It has been challenging at times, but I am learning so much.  This is a very exciting time at the museum, both for American Enterprise and for the museum as it will be receiving a new Executive Director on the 23rd of July.

One of my main challenges so far this summer has trying to find a time to research, while trying to intern and focus on my own thesis research, while trying to manage it with the relatively restrictive hours of archives and professional development opportunities available through my internship.  I luckily have found around 3-4 hours a week I can devote solely to ELE physically doing research.  To do this more efficiently, I have been checking out books and all other materials beforehand so I can know exactly what I need when available.  This past week I was able to look through books while at home and try to find relevant material not available at USC.  In the process, I was able to find a good book that we can order through USC that looks like it will provide good research on all aspects of cotton and cotton production, while also having some great photographs.  However, I am still focusing more on finding materials not available in South Carolina, and so far have a few potential books and one of the National Cotton Council Photographs from 1960 to 1980 that I hope to go through soon.

Though I may not get a chance to do as much research as was hoped for ELE this summer, I am planning on attending a three hour workshop about evaluating web-based learning (Total Cost: 30 dollars). This will hopefully give us good information and possibly new ideas for developing and accessing the learning modules.  This also will allow us to share our project and get feedback with a larger audience of museum professionals.  I plan to take good notes and make them available to all in ELE.

Total hours for ELE the past 3 weeks: 18 hours

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Newspaper Update

I’ve been a bit lazy in terms of posting, but over the past few weeks I’ve made my way to the end of 1950. At the beginning of the year, the textile industry was struggling a bit, but had bounced back by the end in part due to the start of the Korean War.

I had high hopes when I came across articles describing pamphlets celebrating Pacific Mills’ 150th anniversary – but really, articles about Pacific Mills were a bit slim. The two major ones were the celebration of 285 days without lost time, and catching 5 men who had been stealing fabric from the mill. There was no mention of renewing a labor contract.

To this point, there has been no mention of Pacific Mills buying new equipment, unfortunately. I have collected quite a number of articles about other mills doing so – many that are not even in the Columbia area – so I am inclined to think it simply happened later than I had supposed.

The overwhelming majority of the articles discuss developments at individual mills in South Carolina, or the greater Southeastern textile industry. Of particular interest might be: the visit of British textile experts to Columbia Mill, several articles about the textile “recession” during the first half of 1950, and a very long – and eventually violent – strike at Greenville mill that resulted in an occupation by the National Guard.

I’ll leave you with an image that I find fascinating, both in terms of this project, but also as a resident & historic preservationist in Columbia: a map of city population based on specific districts. The Olympia district is so small, but still has a larger population than many of the geographically larger districts around it.

Hours: 11