Cotton production is a part of the U.S. economy which keeps the economic wheels turning in the right direction. Only China and India rank higher in terms of cotton output. Cotton production is a 25 billion dollar industry in the U.S.A. and 40 billion pounds emerge from its farms.
Unfortunately early cotton farming was heavily dependent on slave labor. Not all Afro Americans involved in the cotton industry were slaves. There were African Americans who owned cotton farms themselves. The business of farming has changed greatly due to technological advances. The spinning jenny, power loom and cotton gin increased the efficiency of crop rotation. I personally like wearing blue jeans and when they first came into fashion the cotton industry boomed. Environmental factors such as the rise of the boll weevil - a pest from Mexico began to spread across the United States right after the end of slavery. Genetic engineering holds great promise for the future of cotton in the U.S.A. and elsewhere.
In the 1920s the U.S. cotton industry had a crisis. Overproduction wiped out the Sea Island cotton crop in 1921. As a result of the devastating harvest of 1922 some 50,000 black cotton workers left South Carolina.
The U.S.A. is the largest exporter of cotton in the world. The country of Honduras is the main recipient - the next largest is Mexico followed by the Dominican Republic. Yet the United States has dropped behind China and India as the largest producers of cotton based on 2018 figures.
I find the institution of slavery repugnant. As a member of the Jewish faith most of you probably know that Jews celebrate the holiday of Passover every year which marks the freeing of the Hebrews from their enslavement. Slavery still exists in this world of ours. The Civil War was in large measure to the existence of barbaric institution. The early economy of the U.S.A was based in large measure on slavery but evolved past it and hopefully will be able to evolve further towards a more just society in the future.
I have collected thee cards based on this industry. Card #1 shows Afro Americans picking cotton in a field. The card was produced by the Albertype Company based in Brooklyn, New York (my early stomping grounds) and is a hand colored card with a nice view of our earlier American brothers and sisters.
Card #2 shows two youngsters hoeing and it seems that most of the land pictured has been hoed. Card #3 offers a rather sweet scene. There is a woman looking down on her two kids. They are looking up at here and smiling. Not much for slaves to smile about, I guess. But people can stay happy even in the most horrendous conditions. I know, readers that one of the things that makes you happy is the finding of an attractive card at a reasonable price. Students of history (as I believe that most of you are) can sharpen their knowledge by researching the images on those pieces of paper we all love. Nowadays there is plenty of controversy about the social question in the U.S., and postcards can help "Light the Way" to a deeper understanding of our great - and often troubled past. As always - happy hunting.