Brushes and Brooms – the old school way

Here’s a TBT (Throw Back Thursday) of another sort.

VD_Broom strawIt’s not my memories. I wasn’t around yet. It’s a good reminder of how many small things we take for granted today. The broom’s worn out? We just pick up another one on our next shopping trip. If we remember.

Life wasn’t always so easy.

BRUSHES AND BROOMS (Excerpt from Stories and Recipes of the Great Depression of the 1930’s, Volume III, by Rita Van Amber)

During the 1930’s and 40’s when I was growing up on a farm in central Mississippi we made our own brooms. Broom straw, a type of tall grass, grew in large clumps on the hillsides around that part of the country. When it became dry in the fall we collected some by twisting clumps of it off until we had a big handful. The lower part of the clump was bound around with a long strip of old inner tube. (We never had a car, so I don’t know where the inner tube came from.) The tops of the straw had small tendrils of softer fiber, which was the part that swept the wooden boards comprising our floors. We made several of these brooms every fall so we would have enough to last until the next fall.

Memory of Doris Dolph, Schofield, Wisconsin

VD_broom straw plant


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