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Whole Leaf Tobacco

Old Tobacco video

BigBonner

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#1
I thought this was a interesting video . The worst thing is ,I remember a lot of the old ways of growing tobacco . Hand tying , hand tied sticks of tobacco , Sewing tobacco beds by hand , tobacco auction .
The video shows some really old tractors and equipment that was modern machinery back in those days .
I remember when I was a kid and in the stripping room with the radio on . There would be commercials advertising for farmers to bring their tobacco in to a certain tobacco warehouse . Bring your tobacco in and trade in a truckload of tobacco for a truckload of money .
It is kind of long but I think is worth watching .
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIvvQBDLOjU
 

deluxestogie

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#2
I like the tobacco buyer who takes a puff from his cigarette, just before lifting a leaf to smell.

Overall, an interesting window into the heyday of US tobacco.

Bob
 

deluxestogie

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#4
That film was made in the late 1940s. I was in primary school during the 1950s, and nearly every educational movie that we were shown at school (not all that often) was likely narrated by that same voice. Hell, we might have even been show tobacco movies at school, maybe even that very same movie. These things also showed up as "shorts" that were run just prior to the "feature film" at the movie theaters for the Saturday morning matinee.

Wholesome is a curious assessment. It shows mercantilism, sexism and child labor the way it was for generations. The Waltons.

Bob
 

BigBonner

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#5
Bob is right on spot .
That was normal for those days with child labor . When I was 16 years old I could take time off from school to work in tobacco fields. At the beginning of the school year, tobacco harvest was in full swing every good worker was working harvesting tobacco . The schools would let farm kids take off 2 to 4 weeks of school so that we could stay home and work in tobacco . They knew that is where a lot of the farm kids made money . My first job in tobacco was driving a tractor through the tobacco fields while the older workers loaded the wagons . I was 6 years old at that time .
Now days we have to go to GAP training (Good Agricultural Practices) that instruct farmers that child labor is not allowed ( or limited ) on farms now days .

I worked for a German neighbor one time that he only used horses and mules to farm with . I will never forget loading the wagons and working for this man . He was the best person that I had ever worked for in tobacco .His horse's was well taken care of and would do as he asked them to do with out having hold of the reins . At lunch he would take them outside the barn and turn them loose so they could graze while we ate lunch .After lunch he would go and get them or call to them and they would come right to him . He also fed me and my brothers a big home cooked meal which most farmers did back in those days . I would always feed lunch to my workers up until tobacco production dropped down to nothing .


I liked seeing the shredder and de stemmer . Modern shredding and DE stemming machinery is different now days . You will not find hand tied commercial tobacco anymore that you can lay down and de stem the way shown in the video .
Tobacco is tossed in bales al mingled up together with no order to the stems .
 
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#6
I remember driving back from the Maysville area, only about 20 years ago. A friend had a farm he was going to retire to out that way. It was a land of ridge after ridge, he said it was kind of the "foothills of the mountains". On the top of all the ridges, in the little valleys, anywhere flat, there was young tobacco planted. I saw an old spike steel tired tractor like the one in the video pulling a flat trailer full of tobacco plants with kids riding on the back. Planting 'baccy I suppose, sumpin'. Prolly not a lot else to make a buck there. Before the bases were cut obviously.
 
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#11
I was kidding, and definitely wasn't knocking the idea of kids learning a 'work ethic'.
I was working on a farm myself almost from the time I could stand upright.

Two favourite quotes spring to mind;
'The great advantage of growing up on a farm is that nothing else that you ever have to do seems like hard work' - (or something like that) - John Kenneth Galbraith, and
'My education was only interrupted by having to attend school' - Winston Churchill, (though he may himself have been quoting Mark Twain).
 

Charly

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#12
Great video !

I agree with Bob, it is biased, but it shows a world of agriculture so far from nowadays that it make me feel somehow nostalgic (I mean working by hand, the old fashion way, helped by the children, the whole family working together...)... So far from the life we live today, where everyone is so selfish and everything goes too fast...
 
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#13
I liked the video. I am a child of the early 1950's. Here in Northern WVa the family dairy farm was the same as the family tobacco farm of the south. All hands were on deck. Never ending job year round.

Dan
 

deluxestogie

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#14
Today, farm and ranch families comprise just 2 percent of the U.S. population.

  • 1900: 41 percent of workforce employed in agriculture
  • 1930: 21.5 percent of workforce employed in agriculture Agricultural GDP as a share of total GDP, 7.7 percent
  • 1945: 16 percent of the total labor force employed in agriculture Agricultural GDP as a share of total GDP, 6.8 percent
  • 1970: 4 percent of employed labor force worked in agriculture Agricultural GDP as a share of total GDP, 2.3 percent
  • 2000/02: 1.9 percent of employed labor force worked in agriculture (2000) Agricultural GDP as a share of total GDP (2002), 0.7 percent
https://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/59390/2/eib3.pdf

Yup. Nostalgia.

Bob
 
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#15
I think this is one of those examples of each of us superimposing our own experiences on the video. For me, growing up in a city in the late 20th century, there is a romance to a simple, old fashioned agricultural life. For those of you who lived it, you can personally remember the harsh realities such a life, and are perhaps baffled why anyone could view it favourably.
 
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#16
I grew up as a middle class kid in a medium sized (10,000) Iowa town. I stared doing farm work at the age of 10 or so at my Uncles place in South Dakota. My cousins and I would spend the better part of the summer putting up thousands of square alfalfa bales. It was hard work but it was fun hanging out with my cousins all summer. When I got older (high school in the 80's) I did lots of farm work, it paid ok and we always got fed. Most of the stuff I did would likely kill the average teenager now. I know I couldn't do it now that I am in my late 40's driving a desk all day at work.

Stuff I did:
Bales alfalfa and hay.
Walking beans where we pulled the weeds, we didn't use roundup.
Detasseling corn. We would walk the fields and pull tassels from two rows at once.
And my person favorite, picking rocks. This is a great activity where you walk through a freshly plowed field and pick up any rocks you see and load them on to a hay wagon. Great fun.
Another great thing to do is hold down a 150 lb calf while it gets castrated and branded. I went to bed with a lot of bruises that night.

Pete
 

deluxestogie

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#17
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, kids in rural Illinois would walk freshly plowed fields looking for Indian arrowheads. They usually found a couple each time they went out, and one or two perfect ones per season. Year after year, the artifacts just kept surfacing: game points, bird points, stone ax heads, even an occasional stone kitchen tool.

They would wait until the first rain had dried out in the newly plowed field, which tended to expose the stone nicely.

Bob
 

BigBonner

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#18
I have found a lot of arrowheads in my fields .I have a pretty good collection that I have found over the years and my son and grandson have found some . . A lot of the time if I find a good one , I will keep looking around that area in that field as some spots will have more laying close by . I was topping tobacco one morning by myself and looked down and found a 1810 half dollar .

I used to let people hunt my field but I quit that because they would travel from neighbors field and into my fields . I did not want them carrying Black Shank into my field .
With modern day farming of no till those rocks are not being plowed up to the top where we can find them .

I have found Marbles ,old metal buttons , old pistol barrel , coins and a whole lot of horse shoes .
 
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