Use of cloth bags dates back to the 1800s when New England mills began producing American-made fabric. At that time, tin cans, barrels and boxes provided storage of necessities such as food, grain, seed, etc.
As Americans continued to push westward to new settlements, tranportation of those goods proved difficult because cans, boxes and barrels were bulky and not easy to carry on horseback.
In the early 1930s, hybrid seed corn proved to be far superior to the open-pollinated varieties that farmers had been planting. Because of the great demand for hybrid corn, many individuals and companies produced and sold it. The seed was sold in one-bushel, cotton cloth sacks with the name of the individual or the seed-corn company printed on the bag. Many of the sacks were brightly colored with printed advertising logos, slogans, and pictures. In the late 1950s, paper sacks replaced the cloth ones, and today nearly all seed corn is sold in paper sacks. Bemis, Fulton, and Chase are three old sack companies that remain in business today, making paper sacks for the hybrid-corn industry. Only Clover Hill Hybrids from Audubon, Iowa, still bags its seed in cloth bags. Cloth seed-corn sack collectors are helping preserve a part of the early history of the hybrid seed-corn industry.