Robert Bostick Oral History Interview

March 22, 1978; April 12, 1978
Oral History #OH0063
Lennon, Donald R.; Bostick, Robert
Physical description
0.005 Cubic Feet, 1 audiocassette, 0.5 hour, 7 pages
Preferred Citation
Robert Bostick Oral History Interview (#OH0063), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Scope and arrangement

Benjamin Robert Bostick (b. ca. 1910) was raised in New York state and traveled to Argentina ca. 1928 with Gale Murphy, an executive of the British-American Tobacco Company. Bostick describes the lengthy train rides from a suburb of Buenos Aires to a firm of livestock brokers at Tablada to whom he was apprenticed (p. 1). He later worked at a BAT experiment station at Bonpland, a town in the northeast corner of Argentina on the Parana River. He describes their goal as improving the type of tobacco produced on small farms and notes the fear of the German immigrant farmers that the flue-curing barns would catch on fire (p. 2). He also describes the baling process and such local entertainments as drinking rum in the tavern, sitting in the plaza watching the boys and girls go walking, and an occasional farm dance party (p. 3).

In 1929, Bostick joined the Export Leaf Tobacco Company, a BAT subsidiary, and worked in a redrying plant in Rocky Mount, N.C. He relates that when the plant closed in 1933, he and one other person were the only ones left to receive tobacco and reship it to their other plant in Wilson, N.C. (p. 4).

In 1933, Bostick took a position with BAT in China. He describes his train trip to Seattle, Washington, in a first class compartment(p. 5), his steamer trip to Shanghai, China (pp. 5-6), cabarets in Shanghai, and the bathroom facilities at the Astor House Hotel there (p. 6).

Administrative information
Source of acquisition

Gift of Robert Bostick

Processing information

Processed by M. Boccaccio, October 1991

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Copyright notice

Repository does not own copyright to the oral history collection. Permission to cite, reproduce, or broadcast must be obtained from both the repository and the participants in the oral history, or their heirs.

General note


Key terms
Personal Names
Bostick, Robert
Corporate Names
British-American Tobacco Company--Employees
Tobacco industry--Argentina
Tobacco industry--China
Tobacco industry--North Carolina--Rocky Mount
Tobacco workers--Argentina
Tobacco workers--North Carolina--Rocky Mount
Argentina--Description and travel--20th century