MM: Was it very dusty in the mill?
NORMAN: Yeah, it was pretty dusty in the cotton part. That creeling job was something on cotton until they put them fans that run around the track. That would blow the lint off of it. It was terrible until they put that up there. Out there in the cotton winding room, I don't know whether they ever did get anything. Now they did on the twisters, they had them blow things on the twisters that would run around the track. That kept the lint off of the yarn. But now the winding, they'd have to stop off about twice a day and clean up in the cotton winding room.
MM: Did people have trouble breathing sometimes?
NORMAN: I don't know. I never did work in the cotton winding room. The only cone winding I done was on them little Universal winders. But I did work on the cotton creeling. Them fans kept it blowed. The lint, and it wasn't too linty. When the mill was stopped off and we was changing the mill or creeling a mill on it was pretty linty. But when we started it up them fans would start blowing. Then the lint would all blow off.
Oral history interview with Icy Norman, April 6 and 30, 1979, in Burlington, North Carolina. The interview was conducted by Mary Murphy. Norman is describing a North Carolina cotton mill in the 1920s, about 20 years after the photograph was taken. http://docsouth.unc.edu/nc/norman/norman.html