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"Birds-eye view looking north from court house, Blytheville, Ark"

King Cotton


Ben Shahn, Untitled, Mississippi County, Arkansas), October 1935

A young girl pulls the cotton from the plant. She is careful not to damage the seeds that, if broken, release thick oil that will spoil the cotton. School did not open in this part of Arkansas until January first in order for children to help pick the autumn cotton.

 

A picture of a postcard, date unknown, but probably circa 1937-40.  The man in the hat and dark suit, standing among the pickers at the left center of the picture is my grandfather, Thomas L. Cassidy, Sr., according to my late aunt, Jessie B. Cassidy Bennett.  I remember as a child going to the field to watch the start of the contest, which lasted the day long.  Good pickers could pick 200 pounds a day, but to win the contest, it was necessary to weigh in with 350 to 400 pounds, if I remember correctly.  The contest was a yearly event, coinciding with the county fair.

         submitted by Tom Cassidy

 
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