Flax or Hemp Brake


From Henry Whitfield State Museum

Date manufactured/created
circa 1700 – 1850
Description
The outer, woody part of flax and hemp plants needed to be removed in order to use the fine long fibers inside for thread. The brake’s hammer was lifted and a large bundle of the plant was placed across the lower teeth. By dropping the hammer, the upper teeth mesh with the lower, breaking the outer shell or bark. This outer part of the plant would often be used to stuff bed ticks (mattresses).
Dimensions
70 in L
Measurement Types: Item (Overall)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles A. Dudley of Guilford in 1902
Accession/ID number
HW1902.206