By John Stewart Bowman
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But the main reason farmers read them was for their agricultural information. Although farmers worked every day with plants and animals, they did not know much about what actually affected crops and herds. What they considered to be most significant was the phases of the moon. For example, one was supposed to plant certain crops at the dark of the moon and other crops when the moon was almost full. ” One slaughtered hogs when the December moon was waxing. ” services. But here and there, primarily in the North, a different kind of rural community was beginning to emerge.
These fitted the wearers’ bodies closely. After 1800, as textile manufacturing developed in the United States, people gave up homespun and substituted factory-made cloth of cotton and wool. By 1840, ready-made clothing appeared, and the former difference between clothing made at home and that made by “city tailors” began to disappear. Men’s hairstyles changed along with their clothes. Before 1800, members of the upper class either wore elaborate wigs or, at the very least, powdered their hair. Farmers and workingmen usually wore their hair in a long braid, which they tied with eel skins or black ribbons.
After 1800, largely as a result of the example of Thomas Jefferson, wigs and powder were no longer considered fashionable. Instead, men of both the upper and lower class wore their hair cut short. The houses in which Americans lived varied according to region and to their owner’s wealth. The great majority, however, were very small compared to present-day dwellings. In the West, houses were mostly one-room log cabins about eight feet by 12 feet. In the North, the average wood farmhouse measured about 20 feet by 24 feet and contained two or three rooms.