Scholla: Broom Making May 2, 1941

There are many lost arts, as technology changes.

Keeper of Berks County's History Mysteries

Scholla 5/2/1941 Broom making

One of the handcrafts that is rapidly disappearing is described in the following letter sent to the column by Frank W. Matz, of Mohnton.

Broom corn is a variety of maize and its cultivation is similar to that of ordinary field corn. However the seeds of broom corn grow on sprays and not on the ears. These seed sprays become top heavy as they reach maturity and stalks must be bent at the stem, causing the seed pods to hang downward almost perpendicularly. This will insure the development of straight straws. Once the straws are mature they are cut and dried. The seeds are removed with a curry comb.

The first process in broom making is to assort the straws into two classes, those with thick heart-stems and those that have thin heart stems. The latter will provide a finer texture of straw materials for broom…

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