G. Robert Vincent Voice Library
Lansing Auto Town Gallery

Frances Barnhart discusses her career at REO Motor Car Company

Frances Barnhart talks about her brief career at the REO Motor Car Company, in Lansing, MI, from 1942 to 1953. Barnhart describes growing up in Lansing and going to the REO Clubhouse as a child, working at Kresge's in downtown Lansing, and finally being hired into the REO Navy Department to make make bomb fuses during the war. Barnhart describes the many family connections that brought her to the plant, earning 65 cents an hour, piece rate, safety issues, and being one of the older women to work at REO. She says that she moved to the lawn mower line after the war, met her husband, was soon laid off and declined a callback in 1959 to raise her family. The interviewers are Shirley Bradley and Lisa Fine. Recorded as part of the "REO Memories" oral history project.

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