Chelmsford Historical Society
Outline of Interview Feb 24, 1975 Elizabeth Holt Spiller
SIDE ONE
13-born in Lowell, Brunswick Block, above Depot on Middlesex Street
21-father worked for American Express
39-moved to corner of Hale and Thorndike Streets, near County Jail
54-attended Elliot and Edson Schools, then Lowell High
60-involved in "Special Studies" in High School
64-achievement allowed early job placement
72-worked at Pratt and Forest for five years
76-graduated from High School in 1916
84-flowers in the jail yard were beautiful
99-American Hide and Leather was near Jail on Thorndike St.
103-worked for a time at James Turner Manufacturing near the Central Fire Station
112-worked also at J.C. Ayer
119-married in 1923
125-left work to care for family
135-returned to work twenty years later
137-worked at a dairy; for twenty years (?)
143-Daughters of the American Revolution-member also belonged to Business and Professional Women's Club, and Middlesex Women's Club
153-purpose of Business and Professional Women's Clubit was open to any woman in business or a profession
180-its aim was the advancement of women,not particularly the liberation of women
182-"women were advancing well"
199-the club served as an incentive
203-retirement
226-moved to Florida but began to miss the trees of New England (discussion returns to earlier life)
301-working hours and wages at Pratt and Forest
311-complications of Lumber Business
321-a raise in pay brought income of nine dollars a week this was considered "pretty good"for a woman
329-cost of living, clothes were quite expensive
332-a shirtwaist for example cost a lot
345-stores didn't carry much in the line of clothes people usually made their own clotheis or had to hire a seamstress
353-hats were "Very beautiful"
369-food was cheaper
370-Fire Department-father was employed as a fireman
380-circumstances of the job, twenty four hours a day
382-horse drawn engine
385-typical work week
392-"day off regulations"
398-fines for not appearing at fire, even on days off
402-salary $19.50 per week, less fines
406-fire prone areas, Tanner Street, a congested area many rag collectors
412-there was a fire bell in subject's home
420-family always delivered hot chocolate to men at fire
427-fires were frequent at the Mattress Factory on Tanner Street
432-at the time there was no Red Cross or Salvation Army to provide services
437-no comparison between today's fire departments and those of the past
446-changeover from horse drawn wagons to trucks
453-Fire House at the corner of Lane and Westford Streets was formerly the "hook and ladder fire house"
472-Recreation "English Garden" trips to cemetery with flowers
482-trolley to Lakeview, five cents always bought a five cent bag of chips
488-Merrimack Park, on Rte. 110 near the present Royal Feast Chip Factory
498-originally known as "Belle Grove", there was a dance hall and a Roller Coaster
508-often went to the Canal Walk with friends on Sundays
515-Willowdale, short walk from Lakeview Pagoda foe dancing and skating popular orchestras and dances "Virginia Reel"
538-WOMEN, the word "discrimination" was never heard
542-Professional Clubs were for the advancement of women
553-a woman's place is in the home with the children
560-comment on today's permissiveness and its harmful results
621-settlement of America,Westward Movement progress, changes in technology
660-World War I, knit for troops through a Red Cross project among High School Students
669-Bond Sales
670-end of the war
672-Armistice, Celebration
678-streets jammed, "pandemonium", happiness everywhere
683-dull, dreary, cold November day
684-businesses closed everywhere
687-homecoming everything was free to the soldiers big celebration on the South Common
691-earlier years there was no fear of walking the streets at night
697-it was safe to walk through the South Common and on Highland street
704-the only source of fear was the Hale Street Bridge because it was very dark

SIDE TWO
08-never any trouble like today
16-unnecessaey to lock doors
23-impact of this experience and situation today is vast, older people not used to this situation are terrified
36-compares today's morality to yesterday's (at length)
78-parents owned a cottage on Forge Village Pond
88-to get there they had to take a trolley to North Chelmsford and then board another car to Ayer this trolley car was on the Railroad tracks and moved a lot faster than the local cars
100-stopped across the lake l had to take boat to cottage
114-on work days, took the early morning train from Ayer, got to Lowell by eight
124-train and trolley tracks ran parallel
131-at cottage l entertainment was provided by a victrola familiar songs; "Moonlight on the Wabash" spent much time dancing
146-there was lost of singing
195-Depression
209-prefers to forget
218-some apprehension about the banks
230-WPA
240-rent, thirty five dollars per month
250-husband worked at Beaver Brook Mill closed during the depression
270-Depression had a strong effect on those who lived through it
274-decline of the Lowell mills strikes, American Hide and Leather, one of the best paid industries struck for more money, Company forced to close
288-by forming unions workers hurt themselves, strikes caused many businesses to leave Lowell i.e. Bigelow Hartford
297-uncle was an overseer
303-there was also the realization that the cotton industry could operate more cheaply in the South
310-firm belief that the unions went too far and as a result the people lost out
323-"I love Lowell"
329-beauties of Lowell
351-stories of life with grandparents Grandfather took several trips back and forth to England
384-grandfather's letters
387-immigration from England, returned there to marry
415-London, grandfather became policeman
420-perambulator walks
429-move to Lowell
441-love for Shakespeare
445-grandfather made 21 voyages to England
490-grandfather's name was David Willman
493-his first trip to America took three months by sailboat, came to Lowell to work so he could return to England to marry
507-wool sorter in one of the mills
516-returns to discussion of own education; in 1912 won City of Lowell Essay Contest writing on Cotton Industry Edson School
532-Mr.Burbank principal

End of interview
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