How the Burden Cloth Got Its Name…

picking-fruit
Easy pickings…

Sometime late in the 1980s, Carol Jacobs, inventor of the Burden Cloth and founder of Timeless Enterprises, demonstrated her product to Conrad, a friend of the family. Now it happened that Conrad was a domestic blacksmith and a longtime student of pre-industrial technology, and he responded instantly, ”Oh, a burden cloth.” At which, Carol asked him about the term, and he went on to state that that was a medieval name for the tool. And Carol thanked him for the information, and proceeded with putting together Timeless Enterprises, along with its flagship product name, the Burden Cloth™.

Now, Carol needed images for her marketing efforts, and she sought woodcuts or illuminations or other historic artwork which might depict an historical burden cloth. The University of Oregon’s extensive  libraries were accessible to local residents & researchers, and Carol spent many a long afternoon in the stacks and turning the pages of oversized books of art work.  Several months of intermittent but dedicated research later, Carol had images useful for her marketing efforts…but no true matches.

Time passed. Carol abandoned her fruitless search for a reference in text or image to a medieval burden cloth.  Upon another encounter, Carol mentioned to Conrad her failure to find any medieval source image or text describing a burden cloth. And Conrad looked at her thoughtfully, and replied, “Well, I may have been talking through my hat. I do that sometimes.”

And that, folks, is how the Burden Cloth got its name.