Women and children pick hops in Nelson around 1908. Pickers pull vines towards themselves and pick off flower cones, dropping them into sack-lined bins. The man on the right, known as a stringer, holds a long-handled reap-hook called a ‘hop cat’, which was used to cut twine and separate vines. Children were an important part of the labour force. Until 1920, in the Moutere area of Nelson, schools gave students time off in late summer and early autumn at hop harvest time, and their Christmas holiday was reduced to two weeks.
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