From Farms to Factories: The Textile Mill Option
In the later years of Reconstruction and beyond, many sharecropping families began to move from their rented plots of land to cities where factory work in textile mills was available to them and their children. This photograph was taken in a Georgia textile mill.
This photograph depicts men and women working the dangerous, fast-moving carding machines in a NC textile mill.
Here is a photograph of workers in a factory weaving room.
This photograph shows African American men opening bales of cotton at a cotton mill in NC. It was one of only a few cotton mill jobs available to African Americans.
This eleven-year-old girl is working in a hosiery mill.
Families hoped for a better life and future for their children than the cycle of debt and poverty they had experienced as sharecroppers. They trusted that work in the mills would make that brighter future a reality.
Photographs courtesy of the National Archives and Records Service and the National Museum of American History