University of North Carolina at Asheville
D. Hiden Ramsey Library
Special Collections/University Archives

Oral History Register
for

J. Wilson Ayers


American Enka Plant
Ewart M. Ball Photographic Collection, balln5525b
D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, UNC Asheville, 28804

Title

J. Wilson Ayers Oral History
Creator J. Wilson Ayers

Alt. Creator

Interviewer: Dr. Louis D. Silveri

Subject
LCSH:

Enka Village -- History
Pollution
Textile industry
Manufacturing processes -- Health aspects
Rayon

Subject
Keyword:

American Enka Corporation ; Hendersonville Times-News ; Akzona ; Industrial pollution ; Labor ; Labor unrest ; Journalism ; Employee relations ; Rayon ; Textile manufacture

Description

This interview is a comprehensive description of the manufacture of rayon and the growth of the American Enka plant. The company purchased twenty-two hundred acres of land on which to build a plant in 1928. At the time it began operations July 1, 1929, it was hailed as a boon to all of Western North Carolina.

Mr. Ayers tells of the prosperous impact of the company on the life of the people of the area. He also describes the formation of Akzona, the research program carried on by the corporation in this country and in Holland. The interview also covers such factors as labor unions and strikes, plus industrial pollution problems.

Publisher

D. H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville, NC, 28804

Contributor

J. Wilson Ayers

Date

Electronic Record Issued: 2001-07-11

Type

Text

Format

TRANSCRIPT 35 pages

Identifier

http://toto.lib.unca.edu/findingaids/oralhistory/SHRC/ayers.html

Source

Louis D. Silveri Oral History Collection, D. H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville

Language

English

Relation

John E. Jervis Labor Collection ; SHRC Dorothy Gaston Oral History ; SHRC John E. Jervis Oral History

Coverage

c1930's-1975 ; Enka, NC ; Hendersonville, NC
Rights No restrictions ;  Any display, publication, or public use must credit the D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville. Copyright retained by the authors of certain items in the collection, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Acquisition

Donor number: 23 ;  Date of acquisition: August, 1977

Processed By

Southern Highlands Research Center staff , 1978 ; Special Collections staff, 2001

Interview Date

1975-07-10

Biography

Mr. Ayers became a sports reporter for the Hendersonville Times-News at the age of thirteen and continued while attending school and working for the local theater. He entered the employ of the American Enka Corporation in 1944. During his years at Enka he conducted recreation activities in many areas for the employees at Enka, as well as serving as editor of the employee publication.

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