Bringing in cotton.

Orren V. Foust photographed street scenes in turn-of-the-twentieth-century Wilson. The images below, which were reproduced as postcards, depict cotton market scenes.

The first two cards show Barnes Street from two points along the street. (The tea kettle shop sign can be used for perspective. Comparisons to the 1908 Sanborn fire insurance map seem to pinpoint the site as a spot just above Goldsboro Street looking toward Tarboro Street.) In the top image, two African-American men can be seen near the middle of the shot, standing behind a loaded wagon.

In this photograph, taken a little closer to the activity, another African-American man perches atop a bale of cotton, his face turned slightly toward the camera.

This shot, labeled “Sunny South Bringing In Cotton, Wilson N.C.,” shows an African-American drayman (or perhaps a farmer or farmhand) leading a team of oxen hitched to a wagon.

Images courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III’s Historic Wilson in Vintage Postcards (2003).

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