Story: Hops, tobacco and hemp

Sorting hops (2nd of 2)

Sorting hops

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.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Sydney Charles Smith Collection (PA-Group-00242)
Reference: 1/1-24911; G
Photograph by Sydney Charles Smith

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Jim McAloon, 'Hops, tobacco and hemp - Hops', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 15 August 2022)

Story by Jim McAloon, published 24 Nov 2008