Closing: The Life and Death of an American Factory | National Humanities Center

Work of the Fellows: Monographs

Closing: The Life and Death of an American Factory

By Cathy N. Davidson (NHC Fellow, 1995–96) and Bill Bamberger

Factories; Factory Workers; Labor History; Local History

Durham, NC: Center for Documentary Studies, 1998

From the publisher’s description:

Closing explores the meaning of work—what it means when you have it, what it means when you do not. The story of the White Furniture Company—a century-old, family-owned business that was bought out by a huge corporate conglomerate and later closed—puts a human face on an economy in costly transition. Bill Bamberger took his revealing and powerful photographs during the last four months of operation on the factory floor, working side by side with the White employees. Cathy N. Davidson’s text focuses on six people who represent every economic level in the American workforce: a CEO, an executive assistant, a middle manager, a supervisor, a skilled artisan, and a manual laborer. Whether male or female, young or old, black, white, or Hispanic, these workers understand that what has happened at White Furniture is happening everywhere. Theirs is a story of hope in the face of tragedy, a story of the workers’ pride, skill, loyalty, and dedication during every part of the manufacturing process—down to the very last moment of the last day of operation.

Economics / History / Factories / Factory Workers / Labor History / Local History /

Davidson, Cathy N. (NHC Fellow, 1995–96). Closing: The Life and Death of an American Factory. By Cathy N. Davidson and Bill Bamberger. The Lyndhurst Series on the South. Durham, NC: Center for Documentary Studies, 1998.