Tobacco Bag Stringing
May Brown

BROWN, MISS MAY; aged 30; single; lives with mother and father; father aged 60; resides in Wilkes Co., N.C.

INCOME: Father receives $7.00 per month on his old-age pension.

HOME CONDITIONS: Her mother is in very poor health and has been sick in bed for five months. Doctor's care and medicine is needed but it is impossible for her to receive this attention since the bags have been discontinued. Income from these bags amounted to about $2.00 a month. The house and land they occupy is "rented" from its owner. No money is paid in rent, but the one acre of land yields some corn and potatoes and other crops which is grown and taken care of by Miss Brown. About one-third of this crop goes to the owner of the land. This constitutes the rent. The balance of the crops are used by the family for food. However, over one-half of the food has to be bought. She states that all of pension money is spent on food and she still thinks it insufficient for their needs. The house consists of only one room, very crowded and untidy. Mother and father are both confined to this room and are neither able to do any work. No inside toilet facilities, no running water, no electricity. All clothes are made at home. Since bags have been stopped, they hardly exist. The storekeeper had to give them flour and other necessities in order that they might have food.

It will be impossible for this family to exist if the bags are taken away, because Miss Brown cannot leave her mother and father for work on the outside. Has been stringing bags for about fifteen years and really enjoys doing them.

[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.]