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Kansas State Penitentiary twine plant operations

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View at Kansas Memory

Date: 1936

Level of Description: Item

Material Type: Photograph

Call Number: FK2.7 PE.1936 *18-19, *21, *44-45, *49

Unit ID: 208233

Summary: These photographs from the mid-1930s capture different aspects of the twine plant operation at Kansas State Penitentiary in Lansing. The penitentiary (now known as Lansing Correctional Facility) opened the plant in 1900 to produce binder twine made from sisal imported from Mexico, South Africa, and perhaps other countries as well. The plant was established to produce a quality binder twine for sale to Kansas farmers at a reasonable, stable price that was lower than prices charged by private vendors. In addition, the plant provided work opportunities for inmates, thereby reducing inmate idleness.The peak of the plant's operation occurred in fiscal year 1926, when twine sales reached 4.2 million pounds. For fiscal years 1927-32, annual sales averaged three million pounds. Annual sales then declined steadily from 2.8 million pounds in fiscal year 1933 to 1.6 million pounds in fiscal year 1937. The most common reason cited for the reduced demand for binder twine was the increasing use of combines in wheat and other harvests. Another reason cited was the drought conditions that existed in Kansas which negatively impacted grain harvests. According to a 1938 report prepared for the Legislative Council's Committee on State Institutions, twine plant production ceased in April 1937.

Space Required/Quantity: 20.1 x 24.8 cm

Title (Main title): Kansas State Penitentiary twine plant operations

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