Tobacco Bag Stringing
Mrs. Watts

MRS. WATTS, Wilkes County, N.C., widow, five children, but only one lives with her, who is 38 years old.

INCOME: Daughter works in hose mill for $11 a week, but it is rumored that she will be laid off. Daughter has a son who lives with her; he is 20 and has a steady job in a grocery store at between $8 and $10 a week. He helps them out a little with expenses, but spends most of his salary on himself. Income from bags is about $2.50 a week when there are bags to string. Rent is $6.00 a month. Electricity is $2 a month. Water is $1.00 a month. They have to buy about two loads of wood at $1.75 a load, a week, in the winter. They money that is left is used for food and clothes. Income, including money for stringing bags is sufficient for their present needs. Any extra expense or the loss of part of their income would work a hardship on them. They are healthy are rarely have to pay doctor's bills.

HOME CONDITIONS: The house has four bare rooms which are kept very nicely. Everything is clean. There are no inside toilet facilities, and their water comes from a spigot out in the yard. The rooms are heated by fireplaces and wood stoves. The cooking is done on wood stove. She does most of the housework herself, but her daughter helps when she comes home from work. Her husband had been dead for 12 years and she has practically raised her family with money she gets for stringing. She is nervous by nature, but stringing composes her and "puts her mind at ease." She can do 5,000 bags a week completely together with her domestic work. The money she gets for this is used for any expenses that might arise. She couldn't work in a factory because of home duties.

[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.]