Tobacco Bag Stringing
Eliza Smith

MRS. ELIZA SMITH, age 65 years, 2 children and five grandchildren; reside in Wilkes Co., N.C. CHILDREN: Vernice, 28 years; Ruby Cox, 22 years (Married-husband unemployed and living with them) GRANDCHILDREN: Pauline, 19 yrs. Hazel, 17 yrs. Roy 9 yrs. Jerry 4 yrs. Margurite 15 months, Ruth 13 months.


HOME CONDITIONS: Own a three-room house and 75 acres of land. Only 15 acres of this is fit for cultivation. Riase [sic] corn and potatoes and other vegetables necessary. However, the land is very poor and she states that it will be necessary to buy additional corn and potatoes at the market. Since the bags have stopped they have not been able to buy any clothes. They had to sell all their chickens except about 13 a few weeks ago in order to buy material for clothes. Her husband is too aged to do any work and Ruby's husband is in too poor health to hold down a job. Rheumatism keeps him in bed most of the time. Pauline has had tonsil trouble for about a year but they cannot afford medical attention for either of the two. Vernice and Ruby have tried to locate work but have been unable to do so. They all enjoy stringing the bags and earn about $10 or $12.00 a month at it. The house is scantily furnished but is kept very clean and orderly. They are able to just exist when they have the bags and since they have stopped coming in it has been necessary for them to go in debt in order to have enough to eat.

[Source: "Tobacco Bag Stringing Operations in North Carolina and Virginia." Richmond, Va.: 1939. North Carolina Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.]