Tobacco Bag Stringing
Emma Zimmer

ZIMMER, MRS. EMMA, 50 years of age; married; thirteen children, five are living and eight dead; resides at 3009 Williamsburg Avenue, Richmond, Virginia. Children: George, aged 19, mentally afflicted and unable to work. Ann, aged 13, in school. Catherine, aged 11, in school. Louise, aged 9, in school. Harry, aged 7, in school.

INCOME: Her husband is a painter, on relief at present, making approximately $70.00 a month. Pay varies with job. Only works about 8 months out of the year, with a total income of about $550 or $600 a year.

HOME CONDITIONS: Rents a six-room house at about $10.00 a month. The rooms have very little furniture but are kept very clean and tidy. She spends about $64.00 a month on groceries; $4.00 for electricity; $2.50 for insurance; $1.75 for coal and wood. Nothing is spent on recreation. None of the house is heated during the day with the exception of the kitchen. She makes all of the children's clothes and she and the children wore very ragged ones. In her spare moments she strings tobacco bags, making about $4.00 a month, which she spends on necessities. She has been stringing bags for about thirty-five years. She states that sometimes it gets on her nerves but she doesn't mind it. The bag money is not absolutely necessary but it is very helpful.

[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.]