Tobacco Bag Stringing
Elizabeth Gambill

GAMBILL, MRS. ELIZABETH, aged 28; married, resides at No. 1004 ½ N. 26th Street, Richmond, Va.; has four children. Children: Dora, aged 10 in school. George aged 7, in school, Mary aged 5, in school. Ann, aged 3 at home.

INCOME: When the husband works he earns about $1.00 per week. Only worked about four months within the past year.

HOME CONDITIONS: The family lives with the wife's sister, occupying two rooms, which are very small and crowded and extremely dirty. They pay $7.00 per week which covers all living expenses. The husband has been employed with wallpaper firm, but his work has been unsteady and they cannot afford to rent a place of their own. She makes all of the children's and her clothes. She and the children were very unkempt and dirty. Income from bag stringing averages only about $4.00 or $5.00 per month, as she cannot obtain a sufficient number of bags to occupy her spare time. Insurance costs them about $1.20 a month. She states that the money derived from bag stringing is absolutely necessary and if they are taken away it will be necessary to have relief from some other source. However, she would rather work, if possible, than go on relief.

[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.]