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Early 19th C Signed Tow Grainbag
Early 19th C Signed Tow Grainbag
Early 19th C Signed Tow Grainbag
Early 19th C Signed Tow Grainbag
Early 19th C Signed Tow Grainbag
Early 19th C Signed Tow Grainbag
Early 19th C Signed Tow Grainbag

This is a piece of early Pennsylvania farm life that we just don’t come across anymore. To those of you who are unfamiliar, a tow grainbag was used to bring grain home from the local mill. The practice was that the farmer would leave his linen bag with the miller and pick it up at a later time. Bags were either signed with the owners’ names or initials, or stamped with a particular singular icon (horse, eagle, star, etc) that was only associated with the owner of that particular bag. It was both the farmer’s and the miller’s way of knowing what belonged to whom.

In our disposable age it is hard to imagine the preciousness of all hand-woven cloth and the articles made from them. While made from a coarser grade of linen, grainbags were as precious as any article of clothing and were mended and patched repeatedly. I have had some that had so very many patches on them that it was hard to tell what was left of the original bag.

The bag I present to you is made of a fabulous heavy homewoven linen tow that has a nice golden patina to it. Measuring 39 inches long by 20 inches wide, it is all hand-sewn. Condition is very good with some wear attendant with age and use. It is strong and supple with no holes, rips, or tears but it does have several wonderful mends on it, including the ones pictured that were done in a warm brown thread. Its tie is old, but not original to the bag as it is much lighter in color. These often broke after many years of use and had to be replaced. It is stamped “S. Unangst.” Under the signature there is a bit of embellishment, which is reminiscent of the directional on a weather vane.

This bag was found in Northampton County, PA and comes from my collection of these signed pieces. It is being offered here as a rare remnant of a “greener” way of life.

Price: SOLD

The items featured here are a small sampling of our inventory. If you are looking for a particular item, it may be in the shop so don't hesitate to contact me. Also, do check the photos under the "Shop & Shows" feature page, as you may spot an item in one of them that speaks to your collecting sensibility.

Also, don't hesitate to ask for more photos of a piece..Or ask as many questions as you like about it.

Terms and Conditions of Sale:

Personal checks, money orders, cashiers checks. Personal checks require a 7 business day bank clearance period. Unless prior arrangements have been made, payment must be received within 7 days or item will be re-offered for sale.

I guarantee all items to be as described. I try to be as thorough and meticulous in my descriptions as possible, and will gladly send additional photos as well as answer any questions about a piece in order to avoid return of merchandise.

In the event there is a discrepancy with respect to an item's representation, I must be notified within 48 hours of receipt of the piece. Upon notification, and my approval, the item must be returned within 7 days in the condition it was received in order to receive a refund less shipping and insurance.

Pennsylvania residents must pay 6% sales tax unless they possess a valid resale number.

Shipping and Handling:
Purchaser is responsible for all shipping, handling and insurance costs. I ship via the best and lowest priced carrier for the piece. Pickup of items at The Black Angus in Adamstown, Pennsylvania is a possibility depending on circumstances.

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