Lonaconing Silk Mill history
or 10th grade," recalled Ed Nolan. Robert Shockey remembered an unsuccessful walkout. "Workers went back to work for lower wages than they had before they went on strike."
Most employees at the mill were unionized, though the definite date for unionization is unknown. The workers belonged to the United Mine Workers union. This affiliation was due to the fact that many of the workers already had family in the UMW. Eventually, union representation changed and mill employees joined the United Textile Workers of America. Union dues were collected by a steward, on company time, until the mill closed. Margaret Williamson reported that management provided one hour for her monthly collection. The UTWA also represented workers of the Cumberland silk mill, also owned by Klotz Throwing Company, as early as 1917. Union dues in 1917 were 15 cents per month. Mr. Shockey, a union negotiator for the Lonaconing workers, recalls that dues were 75 cents during his tenure.
It is also evident that workers began employment at the mill early in life, a common practice at the time. Personnel records reveal that fourteen to fifteen-year-old employees were frequently issued checks. It is known that at least one youngster was seriously injured at the mill when his foot was crushed by the elevator.
Photographs: Above: Glass Factory (left) and Silk Mill, Lonaconing, Md. Photo prior to 1932, when the Glass Factory was destroyed by fire.
Right: 1920-1922 United Textile Workers of America union dues book
Allegany High School, Oral history project
Allegany High School, Cumberland
28 cms x 22 cms
Anne Failing, Erin Degyansky, Chris Jewell, Amber Sallerson, Dan Whetzel and Mike Lewis
Allegany County (Md.), History; Lonaconing, Allegany County (Md.), History; Lonaconing Silk Mill; Silk mills, History.
Allegany County (Md.), 1907-1957