The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

It is quite different how people lived during the present day in comparison how they done and lived in the pioneer days. It was then that the wives and daughters made nearly all the wearing apparel. It was customary to do this and farmers and their families made preparations to meet this work. But now it is different. The making of cloth is nearly gone out of fashion. Mr. W. F. Stone an old time resident of Maries County, Mo., but now of near Pro-tem Taney County, tells how the early residents raised flax in Maries County for the purpose of manufacturing cloth out of it. He said almost every farmer raised a patch of flax for home use. The seed was sown broadcast like wheat or oats. When it was ripe it was pulled up and laid in small piles until it was cured and then it was bound in small bundles and left in the weather until it had rotted sufficiently, then allowed to dry in the sunshine. It was then taken to the flax break which was prepared by putting a frame together so it would work to and fro through a space which would break the straw, then it was passed through another process which separated the straw from the flax proper in this the swinging knife was used. After the straw was all knocked out it had to pass through another process to divide the flax from the tow. The flax was used to make shirting and cloth of other like nature. The tow was used to make coarse stuff such as sacks towels and so on.

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