Arts & Sciences


Harry Carpenter


Photo of Harry Carpenter holding a babyMy name is Harry Carpenter. I earned a Bachelor of Ceramic Engineering degree from Georgia Tech in 1974. I worked as an engineer and foreman at the Tulsa, Oklahoma, plant of Acme Brick Company for 2 years, then as an engineer at Hyalyn, Ltd. In Hickory. I then left to become a stock broker and financial planner in Conover and earned my Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation from the College of Financial Planning in Denver, Colorado.

I decided to go to graduate school at UNC-Charlotte and earned my Master of Arts in History in 1993. My thesis was a comparison of the steel and brick industry primarily seeking to understand why the steel industry automated in the late 19th century while the brick industry did not see any large scale automation until the 1960s since both industries take a raw material and process it both chemically and mechanically to create a product used in construction. I went to Auburn University in 1994 seeking a Ph.D. in History of Technology, and I reached the stage of ABD (all but dissertation). My dissertation would have been a history of NASCAR as a business and technological organization. I have published two articles about NASCAR in the Journal of Automotive Historyand a book review. After starting here at Western Piedmont, I completed 18 graduate semester hours at Appalachian State in geography.

In 1993, I began teaching a class for students dual-enrolled at Newton-Conover High School and Catawba Valley Community College. After leaving Auburn in 1998, I was an adjunct instructor for CVCC teaching Western Civilization and American History. In the fall of 2002, I began as an adjunct here at Western Piedmont and became full-time in January 2004. I teach classes in World Civilization, American History, World Regional Geography, and Technology and Society. I am a member of the Board of Directors for the Historical Society of Burke County and a member of the Historic Burke Foundation.

I am Treasurer of the Archangel Gabriel Orthodox Mission in Hickory and a former member of The Nativity of the Holy Virgin Orthodox Church in Charlotte, where I coordinated our outreach project for the Charlotte Men’s Rescue Mission, purchasing and preparing lunch for the residents once a month for 10 years. I also served on the Church Council for three years. My wife Flora and I live in Glen Alpine with my 93-year-old mother. My major hobby is reading, and I read at least six historical monographs every year.


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