John and Annie Thuener Oral History
Item — Box: Individual Oral Histories Box 4: Sm-T, Folder: 6
Scope and Content
Collection consists of audio recording and a printed document providing background for and summary of the interview. John Thuener is the primary correspondent, and Annie Thuener periodically joins the conversation with additional information, but she is generally less audible. John and Annie talk about their childhoods, family backgrounds, meeting and courtship in Pittsburgh, their marriage and early married life, the arrival of their own children, and their resettlement in Detroit. John talks about his varied working life, primarily as an optical technician but also as a streetcar operator and in the insurance industry; his union organizing in Pittsburgh, Detroit, New York, and Texas (first for the International Jewelry Workers’ Union, which included optical workers and later for the United Optical Workers); union office positions, which culminated in his presidency of the optical workers union local from 1972 until his retirement; and his struggles with union busters throughout his career. John and Annie reflect on the impact on their lives of significant events such as World War I, the Spanish Flu epidemic, the opening of the Panama Canal, and World War II. Annie recalls her family’s rural roots and details of her family history.
- Baker, Bob (Interviewer, Person)
Language of Materials
Material entirely in English.
Collection is open for research.
Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library
Rules for Use of Archival Materials.RESTRICTIONS: Due to the personal nature of oral history, the Library prohibits use of the material in any way that infringes on individual right to privacy, or results in libelous statements or slander, in accordance with U.S. law.
In the summer of 1978, as part of a personal project to document his family’s history, Bob Baker interviewed his grandparents, John and Annie Thuener, about their lives, family, and John’s work and his foundational union organizing efforts and union leadership in the optical industry.
.25 Linear Feet : (1 printed interview guide).
2.09 Gigabytes ((3 files). ) : Consists of WAVs.
In the summer of 1978, as part of a personal project to document his family’s history, Bob Baker interviewed his grandparents, John and Annie Thuener, about their lives, family, and John’s work and his foundational union organizing efforts and union leadership in the optical industry. Collection consists of audio recordings and a printed document providing background for and summary of the interview.
Printed interview guide (background and summary) arranged alphabetically by surname with other individual oral history transcripts at the Walter P. Reuther Library.
The original name of the interview was “A Conversation with John and Annie Thuener.”
Donated by Bob Baker, circa 2011.
Processed and finding aid written by Rebecca Bizonet on September 29, 2016.
- Guide to the John and Annie Thuener Oral History
- Processed by Rebecca Bizonet.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Description made possible by funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.