Lessons

What Happens to Communities When Industries Leave?

price18.jpg

Dean Morrison, an employee at Brooklynn Custom Leather Works, is “tipping” or spreading dye on finished leather. The company works with furniture makers and interior designers. Image by Larry C. Price. United States, 2016.

Dean Morrison, an employee at Brooklynn Custom Leather Works, is “tipping” or spreading dye on finished leather. The company works with furniture makers and interior designers. Image by Larry C. Price. United States, 2016.

price34.jpg

The moon hangs over Lake Hickory as water flows through the gates of the Oxford Hydro Station dam in Conover, North Carolina. The town’s textile industry fled to foreign shores long ago, but a high-tech fabric industry is ascendant. Image by Larry C. Price. United States, 2016.

The moon hangs over Lake Hickory as water flows through the gates of the Oxford Hydro Station dam in Conover, North Carolina. The town’s textile industry fled to foreign shores long ago, but a high-tech fabric industry is ascendant. Image by Larry C. Price. United States, 2016.

price14.jpg

The ruins of the Zimmer and Son glove factory on South Arlington Avenue is a Gloversville, New York, landmark. For more than 100 years, leather tanning and glove making propelled the economy of this upstate New York town. Image by Larry C. Price. United States, 2016.

The ruins of the Zimmer and Son glove factory on South Arlington Avenue is a Gloversville, New York, landmark. For more than 100 years, leather tanning and glove making propelled the economy of this upstate New York town. Image by Larry C. Price. United States, 2016.

price35.jpg

The Manufacturing Solutions Center is a sprawling innovation complex in Conover, providing research, training, and product testing for 1,500 companies worldwide. The building was designed to resemble the classic fabric mills of the early 20th century, such as the renovated Warlong Glove Manufacturing building seen here. Image by Larry C. Price.

The Manufacturing Solutions Center (left) is a sprawling innovation complex in Conover, providing research, training, and product testing for 1,500 companies worldwide. The building was designed to resemble the classic fabric mills of the early 20th century, such as the renovated Warlong Glove Manufacturing building seen here. Image by Larry C. Price.

price15.jpg

A flag hangs in the window of a small building on the grounds of the former Independent Leather Manufacturing Corporation in Gloversville, one of dozens of Superfund and brownfield sites in and around town. Image by Larry C. Price. United States, 2016.

A flag hangs in the window of a small building on the grounds of the former Independent Leather Manufacturing Corporation in Gloversville, one of dozens of Superfund and brownfield sites in and around town. Image by Larry C. Price. United States, 2016.

price36.jpg

Thread stock at Opportunity Threads in Valdese, North Carolina, about 20 miles west of Conover. The growing co-op is nimble enough to sustain multiple orders of custom cut-and-sew products for clients across the country. Image by Larry C. Price. United States, 2016.

Thread stock at Opportunity Threads in Valdese, North Carolina, about 20 miles west of Conover. The growing co-op is nimble enough to sustain multiple orders of custom cut-and-sew products for clients across the country. Image by Larry C. Price. United States, 2016.

price16.jpg

Women push shopping carts past the former Surpass Leather Company, one of several shuttered tanneries in Gloversville. Image by Larry C. Price. United States, 2016.

Women push shopping carts past the former Surpass Leather Company, one of several shuttered tanneries in Gloversville. Image by Larry C. Price. United States, 2016.

price37.jpg

Former mill towns across Catawba County are slowly coming back. Here, the former Hollar Hosiery Mill in the town of Hickory is now an upscale shopping, restaurant, and entertainment destination. Image by Larry C. Price. United States, 2016.

Former mill towns across Catawba County are slowly coming back. Here, the former Hollar Hosiery Mill in the town of Hickory is now an upscale shopping, restaurant, and entertainment destination. Image by Larry C. Price. United States, 2016.

price17.jpg

Ronald Ferrara, 73, walks past a row of vacant buildings along Gloversville’s Main Street. Ferrara worked in the tannery industry as a young man and said he quit after suffering health effects from chemical exposure. Image by Larry C. Price. United States, 2016.

Ronald Ferrara, 73, walks past a row of vacant buildings along Gloversville’s Main Street. Ferrara worked in the tannery industry as a young man and said he quit after suffering health effects from chemical exposure. Image by Larry C. Price. United States, 2016.

price38.jpg

Downtown Conover, looking northeast along 1st Avenue. After devastating job losses in the textile industry, Catawba County is seeing steady growth, as manufacturers turn to efficient technology to develop niche products. Image by Larry C. Price. United States, 2016.

Downtown Conover, looking northeast along 1st Avenue. After devastating job losses in the textile industry, Catawba County is seeing steady growth, as manufacturers turn to efficient technology to develop niche products. Image by Larry C. Price. United States, 2016.

price19.jpg

Brent Heroth, owner of Brooklynn Custom Leather Works, hangs a freshly painted piece of leather. His Gloversville, New York, shop specializes in applying custom finishes to tanned leather. Image by Larry C. Price. United States, 2016.

Brent Heroth, owner of Brooklynn Custom Leather Works, hangs a freshly painted piece of leather. His Gloversville, New York, shop specializes in applying custom finishes to tanned leather. Image by Larry C. Price. United States, 2016.

price20.jpg

A worker arranges hides in the hanging room at Colonial Tanning Corp. Tanning requires successive baths in a variety of industrial solutions. These hides will dry for eight to 10 hours. Image by Larry C. Price. United States, 2016.

A worker arranges hides in the hanging room at Colonial Tanning Corp. Tanning requires successive baths in a variety of industrial solutions. These hides will dry for eight to 10 hours. Image by Larry C. Price. United States, 2016.

price21.jpg

A row of old Singer sewing machines stacked in a storeroom at Samco recalls the region’s heyday as the self-proclaimed glove-making capital of the world. Image by Larry C. Price. United States, 2016.

A row of old Singer sewing machines stacked in a storeroom at Samco recalls the region’s heyday as the self-proclaimed glove-making capital of the world. Image by Larry C. Price. United States, 2016.

price22.jpg

Chromium (III) salts stain the door of a tumbler at a Gloversville tannery. Most leather today is tanned with chromium. In the United States, environmental regulations require tanners to capture and treat their wastewater to remove chromium and other chemicals. Image by Larry C. Price. United States, 2016.

Chromium (III) salts stain the door of a tumbler at a Gloversville tannery. Most leather today is tanned with chromium. In the United States, environmental regulations require tanners to capture and treat their wastewater to remove chromium and other chemicals. Image by Larry C. Price. United States, 2016.

price23.jpg

Today, Gloversville is working hard to make a comeback. Amy Thompson lives next door to Colonial Tanning Corporation. The leather-processing facility, she said, is a good neighbor. Image by Larry C. Price. United States, 2016.

Today, Gloversville is working hard to make a comeback. Amy Thompson lives next door to Colonial Tanning Corporation. The leather-processing facility, she said, is a good neighbor. Image by Larry C. Price. United States, 2016.

price24.jpg

The Glove Theatre, which opened in 1914 as a vaudeville house and showed first-run movies until the 1970s, when it closed. Locals saved the theater from the wrecking ball in 1995 and now host live performances there. Image by Larry C. Price. United States, 2016.

The Glove Theatre, which opened in 1914 as a vaudeville house and showed first-run movies until the 1970s, when it closed. Locals saved the theater from the wrecking ball in 1995 and now host live performances there. Image by Larry C. Price. United States, 2016.

price25.jpg

The Mohawk Harvest Cooperative Market is among the first businesses on Gloversville’s Main Street to receive grant funding under the city’s redevelopment program. General Manager Sean Munk places the flag that flies outside the market. Image by Larry C. Price. United States, 2016.

The Mohawk Harvest Cooperative Market is among the first businesses on Gloversville’s Main Street to receive grant funding under the city’s redevelopment program. General Manager Sean Munk places the flag that flies outside the market. Image by Larry C. Price. United States, 2016.

See the Educator Notes for Common Core standards

Introduction:

  1. When you want to learn about a current event or topic, how do you do that? Where do you get your news and how do you learn more about a topic if you want to know more about it?
  2. How is this information presented to you? Is it long-form written stories, illustrations, interactive graphics, etc.? A combination?
  3. Think about the news you consume. Do you prefer one type of medium to others? Why?

 

Reading and Discussion:

  1. Read Debbie Price's stories "In Upstate New York, Leather’s Long Shadow" and "In Appalachia’s Foothills, a Leaner Textile Industry Rises," and view Larry Price's photos for both. Make sure you view the interactive versions of the stories on UnDark.
  2. While you are viewing the story think about
    1. Why did the Prices' choose to use both photographs and the written word to tell their story?
    2. How do they compliment each other?
    3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using both?
  3. As a class, discuss
    1. How did the industries discussed in the stories impact the town's economy, environment, and public health?
    2. What factors led to the decline of the tannery, glove, and textile industries in the late 20th C?
    3. How did some American companies in these industries survive? What role does specialization and technology play?
    4. What happened to the local areas during the period of decline?
    5. How are Gloversville and Catawba County adjusting now?
    6. What are the pros and cons of creating health and water regulations?
    7. What are the pros and cons of automation in the textile industry?
    8. Do you think getting rid of regulations would bring the leather industry back to New York? Do you think the people of Gloversville would accept the consequences of unregulated industries?
    9. Do you think getting rid of automation would bring more textile jobs to Catawba County? Does large-scale garment manufacturing need to return for the county to be sucessful?

 

Narrative Timeline:

  1. As a class, use the story (both text and photos) to create a timeline of the tannery and glove industries in Gloversville and the textile industry in Catawba County.
    1. Use a chalkboard, a whiteboard, a piece of butcher paper, or an online document to create your timeline.
    2. Use quotes or images from the Prices' story to create the timeline. Explain why you chose to use an image or text in a certain place.

 

Creating Your Own Timeline:

  1. Choose a current event that interests you.
  2. Do research to find reliable sources that explain the historical context of the current event? Make sure you have at least two different types of media to use in your timeline.
  3. Create a timeline for your current event using the sources. Make sure you cite which source you used at each point of the timeline.
  4. Present your timeline to the class and answer any questions about the content of your timeline or how you constructed it.
Educator Notes: 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.1
Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.2
Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.3
Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.7
Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
CSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.2
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.3
Identify key steps in a text's description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.7
Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
 
 

Lesson Builder Survey