Caradco, 1964 to 1976, Picture Windows
I started at Caradco about twelve years before they closed. My husband worked there too. He worked right upstairs above me in the door department and I worked in the basement making picture windows. My husband’s name was Bill—William R. Wright. He worked at Caradco a long time before me, but I’m not sure what year he started. It was right after he got out of the service. Well, we were married in 1952 and he was working there then.
I’m from Lost Nation, Iowa and when I was sixteen I moved to Dubuque. My first job was at the Pack and I worked there until I was married. We had six children. The youngest is fifty-one now and the oldest is retired—he’s sixty-six.
There were mostly women working in my department and most of them are gone now. We made big picture windows. I had to lift the windows onto a cart. I was always scared they would break in my hands or something. That happened, but it never did to me.
Sometimes, when we weren’t busy, we had to clean underneath the elevators. The elevator operator was a fellow with one arm—he’d lost his arm in an accident. But this guy would take the elevator up and stay there and we’d clean underneath it. Well, one time me and the lady that worked across from me—she’s dead now—but her and I had to go down there and were cleaning and he started going down! We let out a scream and he stopped but … we could’ve been crushed. That was a crazy experience—you didn’t know if you’d be coming out alive. He was supposed to stop and stay up there but he didn’t.