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Collection Number: 04938-z

Collection Title: Ed Yowell Autobiography (#4938-z) 1996

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the section for more information.


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Size 1 v. (286 p.).
Abstract Ed Yowell, born in 1918 in Nashville, Tenn., was a sales executive in the textile industry. This collection consists of an autobiographical manuscript, "Ed Yowell, A Climber of the Steep Ascent" (1996), which documents Yowell's career as a textile industry sales executive, specializing in threads and elastics. Beginning in 1937, Yowell held a variety of positions in the textile industry. In 1942, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He was trained in various specialties, met his future wife, but never saw combat. The manuscript shows that, after the war, Yowell worked for textile companies in New York and, 1953-1959, for the Episcopal Diocese of New York as director of promotion. In 1959, he returned to the South, working for textile companies in North Carolina and other southern locations until 1996. The text deals to some extent with Yowell's childhood and to a lesser degree with his adult family relationships, but centers on his career and the changes that he witnessed during his long tenure in the textile industry.
Creator Yowell, Ed, 1918- .
Language English.
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Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Provenance
Received from Ed Yowell of Asheboro, N.C., in June 1998 (Acc. 98149) and updated, corrected version received in November 1999 (Acc. 98515).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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Ed Yowell was born in Nashville, Tenn., on 15 November 1918. As a result of the Great Depression, his father declared bankruptcy in 1936. The following year, due in part to his lack of money, Ed was forced to cut short his formal education and embark on his professional career. In the next several years, he held a variety of positions, including selling Hoover vacuum cleaners in Orlando, Fla.; selling Singer sewing machines and vacuum cleaners in Tampa; and becoming an industrial sewing machine mechanic at a du Pont ammunition plant in Pulaski, Va. He then became a sales trainee at Union Special Machine Co. in Chicago.

Yowell volunteered for the Army Air Corps in April 1942. During World War II, he spent time at Fort Sumner Glider School and B-17 school in Roswell, N.M., where he met his future wife, Pvt. Elizabeth Wren of Minden, La. He also attended the Army Air Force Aerial Gunnery School in Kingman, Ariz., and trained to be a tailgunner in Tampa. The war ended before he was sent overseas.

After his discharge, Yowell worked for Union Special Machine Co. in New York. In 1953, he accepted the position of director of promotion for the Episcopal Diocese of New York. In 1955, he became division manager at Airkem, Inc., and then headed up a Brooklyn sales office for Singer Manufacturing Co.

In 1959, Yowell returned to the South, becoming technical director in the Thread Division at American Efird Mills in Mt. Holly, N.C. He worked there until 1972, eventually serving as vice president and general sales manager. Yowell then served as sales manager for thread products at Dixie Yarns in Chattanooga, Tenn., and later as southern vice president for the New York-based Plymouth Thread & Yarn Co. In 1977, he became sales manager for the Elastic Division of Stedman Corp. in Asheboro, N.C. After retiring as per company policy on turning 65, Yowell went back to work for Plymouth Thread & Yarn as a vice president in 1983. His career with the company ended in 1996.

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This collection consists of Ed Yowell's autobiographical manuscript, "Ed Yowell, A Climber of the Steep Ascent" (1996), which documents Yowell's career as a textile industry sales executive, specializing in threads and elastics. Beginning in 1937, Yowell held a variety of positions in the textile industry. In 1942, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He was trained in various specialties, met his future wife, but never saw combat. The manuscript shows that, after the war, Yowell worked for textile companies in New York and, 1953-1959, for the Episcopal Diocese of New York as director of promotion. In 1959, he returned to the South, working for textile companies in North Carolina and other southern locations until 1996. The text deals to some extent with Yowell's childhood and to a lesser degree with his adult family relationships, but centers on his career and the changes that he witnessed during his long tenure in the textile industry.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Autobiography, 1996.

1 v. (286 p.)

Ed Yowell's autobiographical manuscript, which he titled "Ed Yowell, A Climber of the Steep Ascent" (1996), follows his life from his birth in Nashville, Tenn., through his career as a sales executive in the thread industry. The text deals to some extent with Yowell's childhood and his relationship with his parents and siblings, and to a lesser degree with his adult relationships with his wives and children. The main focus of the text, however, is his professional life.

According to the manuscript, Yowell's career began in 1937, the year after his father declared bankruptcy. Due in part to lack of money, Yowell cut short his formal education and embarked on his professional career. In the next several years, he held a variety of positions including selling Hoover vacuum cleaners in Orlando, Fla.; selling Singer sewing machines and vacuum cleaners in Tampa; and becoming an industrial sewing machine mechanic in a du Pont ammunition plant in Pulaski, Va. He then became a sales trainee at Union Special Machine Co. in Chicago.

The autobiography describes Yowell's experiences after the outbreak of World War II. He volunteered for the Army Air Corps in April 1942. During the war, he spent time at Fort Sumner Glider School and B-17 school in Roswell, N.M., where he met his future wife, Pvt. Elizabeth Wren of Minden, La. He also attended the Army Air Force Aerial Gunnery School in Kingman, Ariz., and trained to be a tailgunner in Tampa. The war ended before he could be sent overseas.

After his discharge, according to the manuscript, Yowell went back to work for Union Special in New York. In 1953, he accepted the position of director of promotion for the Episcopal Diocese of New York. In 1955, he became division manager at Airkem, Inc., and then headed up a Brooklyn sales office for Singer Manufacturing Co.

In 1959, Yowell returned to the South, becoming technical director in the Thread Division at American Efird Mills in Mt. Holly, N.C. He worked there until 1972, eventually serving as vice president and general sales manager. Yowell then served as sales manager for thread products at Dixie Yarns in Chattanooga, Tenn., and later as southern vice president of the New York-based Plymouth Thread & Yarn Co. In 1977, he became sales manager for the Elastic Division of Stedman Corp. in Greensboro, N.C. After retiring as per company policy on turning 65, Yowell went back to work for Plymouth Thread & Yarn as a vice president in 1983. His career with the company ended in 1996.

In addition to his personal story, Yowell's manuscript documents changes he saw in the textile industry during his long career selling thread and elastic products.

Folder 1

"Ed Yowell, A Climber of the Steep Ascent" #04938-z, Series: "Autobiography, 1996." Folder 1

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