Jonathan Coulter Trundle is an Associate Professor of Photography at Middle Tennessee State University, and someone who appreciates the value of historic photography. Several notebooks of negatives with meticulous notes were rescued from a dumpster following the mill's shutdown. These date from 1947-1949+ and are all from black and white 6x9 negatives, giant by today's digital photo standards.
Trundle digitized many via a dedicated Nikon film scanner at 4000DPI, allowing us to see remarkable details of this workplace and community that supported many families for decades.
These good times would not last forever, as competition forced automation and a continually reduced workforce. Through the decline of the textile industry in America, changes in ownership, and eventual bankruptcy, the mills were completely closed by 2003.
In the years following - three men were found guilty of pillaging employee pension plans, including Kenneth Combs, president of SCT, who pleaded guilty to 31 counts of mail fraud, embezzlement, graft, conspiracy to commit money laundering and money laundering.
Combs committed suicide the day before his sentencing.