Three sweepers in Clifton Mills in Clifton, SC. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.
Industry came to South Carolina as entire families worked in the textile mills and factories in the Upstate.
- Like a Family: The Making of a Southern Cotton Mill World
Learn more about the lives of cotton mill workers and their families around the South.
- Greenville Textile Heritage Society
The Greenville Textile Heritage Society aims to preserve and teach about mill heritage in Greenville. Check out their journal and mill histories to learn more about the mills in the Upstate.
- The Camperdown Mills History
The Camperdown Mill was established in 1768 as a grist mill and later became a cotton thread factory.
- "When the Whistle Blows . . . I Come Home and Get Supper": Women and Work in the Interwar Years
Read an interview from 1929 with a female cotton mill worker in Greenville. She talks about her work at the mill and her second duties at home with her husband and five children.
- Huguenot Mill in Greenville, SC
This postcard shows a cotton mill in Greenville, similar to mills around the state.
- Textile Town: Spartanburg, South Carolina
Watch an interview with the author of a book about the textile mills in Spartanburg, SC.
Child Labor in the Mills
- Wylie Mill
See photos of child labor in the Wylie Mill.
- Children in Newberry MIlls
Children as young as 8 were often working in mills in South Carolina.
- Child Labor in the Carolinas
Read this account of an investigation done into child labor in North and South Carolina cotton mills in 1909.
- Child Labor in the Cotton Mills
Listen to the story of children who went to work in the mills with their parents and siblings.
A Changing State
- Populist Movement
In the late 19th century many Southerners supported the Populist Movement, which fought for a change in economic legislation.
- Maps of South Carolina, 1895-1912
Several counties were formed in this time period, including Saluda County, Bamberg County, and Lee County.
- The Spanish-American War in Motion Pictures
Watch 68 motion pictures produced between 1989 and 1901 of the Spanish-American War and the subsequent Philippine Revolution.
- Fort Fremont (1899-1921), St. Helena Island, SC
Fort Fremont was built to defend the coast during the Spanish-American War. No shot was ever fired from the fort.
- South Carolina Inter-State and West Indian Exposition
The Exposition in Charleston, SC was a fair promoted to stimulate trade through the city's harbor.
- Platform Adopted by the Equal Suffrage League of South Carolina, 1914
This pamphlet from 1914 outlines the objectives of the Equal Suffrage League of South Carolina, which was part of a national movement to gain suffrage for women.
- The Pollitzer Sisters
Carrie, Mabel, and Anita Pollitzer became prominent advocates for women’s rights and organizers in the National Woman’s Party,
- Mercer Silas Bailey
M.S. Bailey was a successful businessman in Clinton, who owned two cotton mills and was active in banking and other local businesses.
Photographs and Video from Around the State
- Spartanburg at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century
Discover what Spartanburg looked like at the turn of the century.
- Gregg Graniteville Photographic Archive
These photographs highlight the Graniteville Manufacturing Company in Aiken County, built by William Gregg in 1845.
- Images of Ware Shoals
See the inside of a cotton mill in Ware Shoals in 1932.
1886 Charleston Earthquake
The Charleston Earthquake of 1886 occurred at 9:50 p.m. on August 31, 1886, and lasted just under a minute. The earthquake damaged 2,000 buildings, causing $6 million worth in damages. Between 60 and 110 lives were lost.
African American Education
- Simpson Industrial Home of Claflin University, Orangeburg, S.C.
See young women students at Claflin University circa 1900. They are taught sewing, dressmaking, and cooking.
- Harbison Agricultural College Photograph Collection
The Harbison Agricultural College in Irmo, SC was an all-male school that focused on agriculture, but also taught literature, religion, and music.
- Lake City Lynching
In 1898, the African American postmaster in Lake City and his infant daughter were killed by a white mob. There was a significant amount of press and a federal trial, but none were found guilty of the murders.
- Voting Then, Voting Now
Learn more about the ways African Americans were prevented from voting in the South and do the "Try to Vote" activity to see if you could navigated the system to cast your ballot.