Bona Allen-Buford Georgia-Now & Then
When Washington Allen, father to Bona Allen, Sr., began tanning leather in Gwinnett County, his methods were simple. He bought his hides from the surrounding farmers by paying them one hide of finished leather for each two raw hides delivered to him. He also traded leather for the bark of trees which grew in the district. He soaked his hides in the water of the river running through his farm, treated them with locally-obtained lime to remove the hair, and then tanned them with ground bark mixed with water in pits. This tanning process could take one year or more to complete. Fats from locally slaughtered cattle were used to make the leather pliable, and iron rust was commonly used as the dye. Bona Allen learned the art of tanning from his father.
FROM: Tribute American Made-
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