Tobacco Bag Stringing

STAMPER, MRS. ALICE; married, nine children; aged 49; age of husband 53; resides at Wilkes County, N.C. Children: Arnold, aged 30, at home - unemployed. Early, aged 26, at home - unemployed. Mary, aged 16, at home - unemployed. Charlie, aged 18, at home - unemployed. John, aged 15, at home - unemployed. Lee, aged 12, at home - in school.


HOME CONDITIONS: Husband unemployed for three years. He and the boys help to keep about two of the forty acres which they own plowed and the crops cultivated. The rest of this land is woody and rocky and unfit for raising any vegetables, etc. on. They own one cow and a few chickens which supply them with milk and eggs. About one half of the food has to be bought, but since bags have been discontinued they have had to charge the little they have gotten from the store. If they do not receive bags any more they will not be able to exist. Income from this work averages about $8.00 a month. Taxes have to be paid. There are three rooms to the house, which is kept very clean. Furnishings are very scanty. Makes the girls and her clothes, the men's being bought. She has been doing bags about thirty years and states that she is lost without them. They have no electricity, running water or inside toilet facilities; water is brought from a nearby spring. Nothing has ever been spent on recreation, all being needed for necessities.

[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.]