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The speaker is a 67-year-old White woman with a high school education from Prairie Grove, Arkansas; she was recorded in 1966.



County: Washington
State: AR

Commentary:
Prairie Grove has a present-day population of 4,380 and is known by history buffs as the site of renewed conflict between Confederate and Union forces in December of 1862. Although the Battle of Prairie Grove resulted in a stalemate, it was a strategic victory for Federal troops, securing Union control of northwest Arkansas. The battle is reenacted biennially at Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park, which is recognized by the American Battlefield Protection Program as one of the nation???s most intact Civil War battlefields. In this segment the speaker explains what carding is and talks about the carding mill her family owned.
Inf: And he had a mill, a grist mill, and a carding mill, the only one in that part of the country.

FW: Now what???s a carding mill?

Inf: It???s where they card wool and cotton before they spun the thread.

FW: What do you mean by carding?

Inf: Uh, don???t you know what carding is?

FW: I don???t know what carding is, no, ma???am.

Inf: Well, uh, you never did see anybody card batts for a quilt?

FW: No, ma???am.

Inf: Well, you, for that you would take, uh, a card is about nine inches long, eight or nine, I wouldn???t be too sure, because [FW: Uh-huh] my mother had two sets of ???em. And got a wooden handle on ???em. And you put the cotton on it, or wool, whichever you???re gonna card, and it???s full of little tiny fine wire teeth. And you pull them back and forth thisaway and card it. Till you get it all smooth and every little mote picked out of it. Then, when you get it all fixed, you turn it back this way, and pull it over, and then you???ll take the back of the card and turn it this way, and you roll it up and then that makes the roll that they spin on the spinning machine and make thread.

FW: Oh, I follow you now, know what a carding machine is.

Inf: Well, now that was a machine he had [FW: In a carding mill]. Now this was the hand cards that I???s telling.

FW: Uh-huh. But now he had a machine that did the same thing as the hand card.

Inf: Yes [FW: Uh-huh]. And this, uh, water mill ground corn and wheat [FW: Mm-hmm] for meal and flour [FW: Mm-hmm]. And, uh, it was a overshot like that.

FW: Now what do you mean by an overshot?

Inf: Well, the water came at the top of the wheel.

FW: Mm-hmm. And the way that the water???s dropping on there caused the wheel to turn.

Inf: Caused the wheel to turn [FW: Mm-hmm]. And it was just like perpetual motion, only [FW: Uh-huh] it was water that [FW: Mm-hmm] caused it [FW: Mm-hmm].

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