Jan 6 8.58
Jan 14 9.55
Jan 20 6.15
Jan 21 6.15
Jan 27 6.30
Feb 2 9.81
Feb 17 5.13
Feb 23 11.10
Mar 5 8.80
Mar 18 4.95
Mar 26 5.95
We still find lumps of coal in the barnlots and around the house. I can't imagine what 11 tons of coal would've looked like in the basement! The company (Brown Brothers) that sold the coal is long gone, and it's tough to find sources of heating coal now. But I did run across this article with the following tidbit:
One ton of coal costs about $200 on average, that equals 200 gallons of oil, 310 gallons of Propane, 1.7 tons of wood pellets, 1.4 cords of wood, 27,000 cubic feet of natural gas, or 8,200 kWh's of electricity.
So that 9 and a half tons of coal that was $125 in 1954 would be $1900 in 2009. What a difference 55 years makes, eh? But in the end, it's pretty much the same: $2000 is about what I spent last year on propane to heat the house throughout the season.
Fifty five years later, there are still White Leghorn's in the henhouse, although we'll probably brood a little later this year as we already have a goody supply of eggs. Helen bough her day old chicks for 3¢, the price this year is $1.91 - here's a link to the birds at one of the few remaining interstate hatcheries, McMurray. I'm sure Helen's came from a lot closer than Iowa, but can't pinpoint the exact source.
Barkcloth, in its original form was made from the bark of the Tapa tree in Hawaii. It is beaten, not woven. From that native cloth (if you come across that, it's now called "tapa" and is pretty rare), sprang forth what we NOW call barkcloth.
Technically, barkcloth is a weave. To be exact it's a Momie Weave. From the 8th edition of "TEXTILES" (a textbook): "Momie is a class of weaves that present no wale or other distinct weave effect but give the cloth the appearance of being sprinkled with small spots or seeds. The appearance resembles crepe made from yarns of high twist. Fabrics are made on a loom with a dobby attachment or electronic control.
"Bark cloth is a heavyweight momie weave fabric used primarily in furnishings. The interlacing pattern usually uses spun yarns and creates a fabric with a rough testure somewhat like that of tree bark, hence the fabric's name. The fabric may be printed or solid. The rough texture adds visual interest to the fabric and minimizes the appearance of soiling."
Now, a little bit more of the informal history...
Before, during and following WWII, there were many GI's and sailors stationed in Hawaii. These sailors saw these brightly colored barkcloth curtains and other home furnishings (as well as some shirts) and brought or sent them home...back to the mainland. In the years following -- the late 1940's through the 1960's, bark cloth became a staple fabric in the home interior textiles market. The most collectible of these barkcloths are the atomic "Eames era" prints popular in the 1950's and early 1960's.
I ran across this article yesterday in the Greencastle Banner-Graphic (a local paper) and am reproducing it below in it's entirety (sans photos) because way too much information is ephemeral, even (or especially) on the Internet. And this kind of tale is an important part of our shared history. Considering this blog, I can relate.