Maryethel Miller of Gloucester gave a presentation on Aug. 9 on feed sack quilts to a meeting of Bay Quilters in Mathews. Her topic was “Feed Sacks—Then and Now.”
Miller said feed sacks were developed as a cheaper and more portable alternative to barrels and tin boxes for carrying large amounts of grain, flour and feed.
With the advent of the commercial sewing machine, it became possible to mass produce these cloth bags, and, just as today, this new product opened up a whole new world of commerce, she said, according to a release from the quilters.
Companies began advertising not just their products but also the container in which those products were sold. Many a salesman was driven to distraction when he had to move dozens of 100 lb. sacks to reach the one with a particular fabric for a discriminating customer, Miller said.
Today we think of quilts when we think of feed and flour sacks, she said, but originally these bags were used for much more than ...
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