Tobacco Bag Stringing
Ethel Holsbrook

HOLSBROOK, MRS. ETHEL, aged 33; married, North Wilkesboro, N.C. Children: Mozelle, aged 16. Estelle, aged 15. Effie, aged 10. Adia, aged 5.


HOME CONDITIONS: The husband has been out of work for over a year and being in poor health it is not probable that he can hold down a job. They have no personal possessions or property. They rent a four-room house which is kept spotlessly clean. They also rent four acres of land which they tend, giving one-third of its produce to its owner. The husband and one of the children, Mozelle, who has heart trouble, should have medical attention but it cannot be afforded. The girl's tonsils have been giving her trouble for around a year but an operation cannot be afforded. The money made from stringing bags all goes for food, which is still not sufficient for their needs. Since the bags have been discontinued temporarily they have had to go in debt at the grocery store. They are unable to buy clothes for the children. She states that she earns as much as $25 a month on the bags which does not interfere with her housework and finds them very enjoyable as a spare time job. This income is absolutely necessary.

[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.]