Thread display cabinets were a standard fixture in general stores and mercantiles after the mid-1800s. The handsome wood cabinets were awash with advertising for the product and its manufacturer.
There are two such cabinets on display at the May-Stringer House. They both are from the J&P Coats Company. The six-drawer, tabletop cabinet advertises the six cord spool cotton, which was an improvement over the common three cord. Coats produced the six cord starting just after the Civil War. It was such an improvement that it was branded O.N.T (Our New Thread). The two drawer cabinet has less of the flamboyant advertising, but is on its own base and may have been something a homeowner would keep next to her sewing machine.
The thread spools themselves were wood and were engraved with a description or had a paper label. Other products, such as mending floss for darning stockings and socks, were also available. The merger between J & P Coats and the Clark Thread Company officially occurred in 1952, thus becoming Coats & Clark, Inc.
The Museum Schedules
The May-Stringer tours on Tuesday – Saturday from 11 am – 3 pm – 352-799-0129
The 1885 Depot tours on Friday – Saturday from noon – 3 pm – 352-799-4766
The Countryman One Room Schoolhouse is open on Saturdays from noon – 3 pm – 352-515-3054