History on a Piece of Cloth: Kansas Flour Sacks - Nancy Jo Leachman

Missouri Valley Sundays
Kansas mills once packed their flour in cotton sacks stamped not only with names, locations, and brands but also political views and other distinctive motifs. Nancy Jo Leachman, a Salina librarian and vintage flour sack collector, delivers an illustrated walk-through.
Sunday, April 19, 2015
2:00 pm
RSVP Required

Kansas mills, located literally in the breadbasket of America, produced an enormous quantity of flour in an era when women routinely baked their families’ bread at home. Mill owners used cotton flour sacks as advertising tools to proudly display their names, locations, and unique brands, as well as to catch the consumer’s eye. The empty sack also served as a needed piece of fabric during the Depression.

Avid collector Nancy Jo Leachman, a longtime reference librarian at the Salina Public Library, has accumulated more than 100 vintage flour sacks from the 1920s-1940s, representing more than 30 Kansas counties. Her illustrated lecture of the best and most colorful—nothing “run-of-the-mill” here—reveals how each sack carries a fascinating story, be it advancing nutritional information, expressing political views, or reflecting popular culture.