Pioneer Museum of Alabama (Post 2 of 2) Old Train, Old Car, and Reusable Bags Made from Jeans


Becky’s Square Photo Challenge this month is all about LINES (here) and to join in again, I have a second post about the Pioneer Museum of Alabama  (here). 

Let’s start with this photo of Engine #14 and the RR crossing sign. 

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Did you know that Charles Dickens almost died in a train accident?

The Staplehurst Railway Accident happened on June 9th, 1865. Dickens’ life was spared and after helping others – he went back on the train and grabbed his manuscript of his book, Our Mutual Friend.  Dickens was nervous to travel by train after that experience and he died five years to the day after the accident; his son said that ‘he had never fully recovered’.

Quote from Dickens’ novel, Our Mutual Friend:

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  1. Bags….

The Pioneer Museum sells reusable bags made from old jeans and remnant materials. 

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We bought two bags (quite a deal at $5.00 each) and was not sure what I was going to do with the bags.  Especially the jean bag– I wondered who would value it – and decided to give them both to Susan, the Yoga Teacher in Florida. We also had some peppers to give her….so one of the bags worked for that. 

Susan really valued the bags and that was great. 🙂 She also said her local recycling program has stopped (China no longer buying our recycled goods) and so she is trying to do more. She then gave us a yoga bag, which we used for baby Thea’s bday goodies. 

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This old tree was in front of one of the cabins at the museum.

Oh the stories it could tell. 

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Time to say goodbye….

So…. would you use a bag made from someone’s old jeans? Do you still use single-use plastic bags? I am trying to get away from them… And what do you think of the car and the train located at the museum? I know it makes me grateful for what we have today (well in some ways….). 

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65 thoughts on “Pioneer Museum of Alabama (Post 2 of 2) Old Train, Old Car, and Reusable Bags Made from Jeans

  1. I have made, and used bags made from old jeans and other pants. You can wash them and they don’t tear, even when filled with cans.
    The below-the-worn-out-knee portion of a worn out pair of pants can make a nice ditty or shoe bag (for isolating muddy soles from you clothes but breathing so the shoes don’t molder). A grocery bag entirely from jeans is pretty heavy, so I will often make the bag of a lighter cloth and reinforce the bottom with the denim.
    These bags last well, I have a grocery bag that is about 20 years old. My husband has been using a below the knee denim bag (the same one) for his travel toiletry kit since before we were married, over 33 years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for sharing. You have been ahead of the curve on this for sure.
    — glad the tips from you are here for ideas. Esp using denim to line the bottom of a bag rather then entire denim.
    The denim one I chose had the cutest red handles and side pockets could hold little items 😉
    Also – Interesting that you hubs has used the same toiletry bag for treat long – so content and just shows you that the item works for him.
    Also – I have recently been using this little drawstring cotton bag for some of my travel goodies – and love it far more than a zippered bag…

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  3. I love the. Charles Dickens quote, Yvette. So true. 👏🏻 How strange that he died exactly five years after the accident. 😢 The reusable bags look like good idea but a bit bulky to carry a few around. We still have recycling here but not sure what they do with it. We’ve noticed that our neighbor puts all sorts of stuff in theirs which isn’t recyclable but they’re really elderly, so probably don’t understand. 🤨

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi S – yes – reusable bags are more practical when they are a bit thinner and lighter – and interesting how the older lady puts all that stuff in the recycle bin – here in Virginia they came up with a good idea – they “sticker” you if you add items that do not belong and the commercials say “don’t get sticker shocked” and they show a worker slapping the neon sticker on the bin
      And I guess if too many stickers are on the bin they will skip that house

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  4. Wonderful Yvette 🙂 So love the concept of jean re-using. I had seat cover for my car when a twenty something made from my old jeans by my Mum. Love the B&W for the Pioneer village, they do look so much better than colour.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks BB- glad to hear that about the black and white – I was almost going to spilt this post up and had a mono post in mind – but needed to combine it –
      And that seat cover is a good memory/ I bet it lasted a while and did not stick like some seat materials used to

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The museum of Alabama was perfect for this challenge, Yvette. Many interesting lines. Fun on the bag exchange. I would definitely use a bag made from clothing, especially jeans. I feel like I am back in the 1970’s as a teenager. Popular at that time:)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am always fascinated by machinery and trains new or old are one of them. I am not sure you know this or not, in the old days (I am not sure it is still true or not), they used sand to create friction between the wheels and the rails. That was so cool.

    That is a good question about using a bag made by someone’s old jeans. I think I would if I like it. I like the pictures of the tree in B&W.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Single-use plastic bags have pretty much disappeared here, but I’ve been making reusables for a few years. I like plain calico for groceries — light, easily folded into my handbag and washable! But I’ve also made some “fancier” bags out of old kimono sashes that I picked up really cheaply. I like the idea of repurposing jeans, but I’m not really a jeans wearer. 😬

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi su – I think you know I think of you often when it comes to the topic of recycling – and reducing – because you mention these topics often and model so much for us.
      The kimono sashes into bags sound ideal for strong and lightweight and washable
      – the plastic bags are five cents each in Ontario Canada – they are still free here in the states but sometimes the plastic tears so easily, which is another reason to not use them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Yvette. We find the same with the few plastic bags that are allowed to be used. I’ve noticed a few supermarkets offering bags that compost, but haven’t fully checked out how well that works. I guess they are better, but long-term reusable seems best— especially made from something that’s already had one life, like the jeans you talked about.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Definitely have limited single use plastic bags! Also, I travel for work so I bring a bamboo set of eating utensils so I don’t have to use the to-go plastic ones. I TRY not to drink bottled water – and bring a Nalgene wherever I go. I can say I’m not always the best about that!! I’m trying – baby steps!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pam! Thanks for this comment- about a year ago I stopped using plastic silverware for snacks I serve to college students – and once I had a young woman exasperated over “no fork” for a piece of cake (I no longer serve cake- ) but I quietly and sarcastically showed her how to use a napkin and pick up a piece of cake with her hands and take a bite. She was cool after that – But this is a new area for me (no plastic utensils) and your bamboo set likely saves a lot of plastic because traveling can add up (gold star for you)

      And my hubs had three Nalgene bottles – I have two stainless steel thermos’ that I use – one for ice water and one for tea – have that duo with me often and no waste –
      And May we all do our best with the plastic bags…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Plastic bags are the devil! I did also buy stainless steal straws, but to be honest, I haven’t used them…I just don’t use straws. Period. Every little thing helps right?! I have a good blogging friend who lives ZERO waste…its unbelievable. I will find her blog post on this and send you a link. she is incredible.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I spend most of my time with my art but I sew as well and one of the things I make is blue jean bags. I love it when people are creative like this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How awesome that you make hour Jean bags too – have you posted about it on your blog?
      Ncxt time we visit that museum I will buy a few more of the bags to use as gifts…

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  10. Great post and pics Yvette. I’ve been to the place where the Dicken’s train crash happened, and have always thought it a very poignant and telling event in his life, that it affected him so deeply. And as his son said, I don’t think he did ever get over it,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi alli – been thinking of you and Stu all weekend…. and will be dropping by soon for some virtual mead maybe??
      Anyhow – how very cool that you were at the place where the accident was – I read that he shared brandy with someone and came back a little
      Later to find them dead. And a few others died in front of him – that would freak me out too.
      And again – how cool to have visiting the site

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Yvette, nice to hear from you. Yes, it was a very harrowing experience for him and I know he carried the burden of it with him for the final five years of his life. I’ve always though how eerie/poignant it was that he died on the anniversary of the crash.
        I’m hoping to post within the next week on our mead quest, but at the moment we’ve had loads on and I’ve just started my next uni module, so time is in very short supply at the moment. The blogging is having to take a bit of a back seat for a while, but still, I’ll get onto it. And the mead is brewing nicely… 🙂

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  11. I do use the plastic bags unless I had meat in them, then they are pitched. I use them for various items. I like the old steam engine and also the inside of the museum with the horse and buggy. I like how you used the black-and-white photos as well. This looks like a fun place to visit Yvette.

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  12. I didn’t know that story about Dickens, Yvette. It’s fascinating. Bags made from jeans seem to be quite popular here. I’ve seen a few around. I don’t need any as I already have more than enough reusable bags. I haven’t used single-use plastic bags for a long time. My daughter got me started early. However, I am still dismayed by the amount of plastic packaging on much of what I buy. Even though most of it can be returned to the supermarkets for recycling, I would rather ways more friendly to the environment were used.

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    1. Thanks for mentioning all the other sources of plastic that keep adding up – because plastic bags are only one of many areas we can all reduce and reuse and recycle

      And cheers to you for being so early on not using them – I am trying …. maybe in 2020 I can make a goal to not use any and see how it goes

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We all do what we can, Yvette. It’s the little changes that make the difference over time. I had my daughter taking me along with her and her environmental ways. It’s amazing how much things have changed in my lifetime. When I was a child, our groceries were packed in cardboard boxes that different lines had arrived in at the store, or in brown paper bags. We never went on an errand to the shop without our string bag. Then we had big companies who realised they could make a penny or two by selling ‘necessary’ items we didn’t need, and now look where we’ve ended up.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Yes – look where we have ended up – generating all this trash!! And single-use items are the worse
      I just had some scowls recently when I mentioned that cookout (a local fast food burger place that is cheap food and we no longer eat there – not what we want in our body)
      But they have a meal called a “tray” and you get so many items for under 6$ – and it is served in a styrofoam container (it is the tray) and I used to see so many go right in the trash without being eaten from or even touched – folks would open it – take out the three or four items and toss the whole styrofoam
      So if we can get company’s like this to think smarter – it could make a huge difference –

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It would make a great difference if companies worked harder to reduce their packaging. It is difficult sometimes to find an environmentally friendly choice. Perhaps writing letters to the company would work – or let others know through social media why you are boycotting. Imagine if everyone stopped buying, even for one day. They’d get the message.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Love this post–and the quote from Charles Dickens–so uplifting on a Monday morning! I would definitely use the jeans bags. Our grocery store has switched to just paper bags for 5 cents each. Over the long-run, it’s better economically and for the environment to just use reusable bags. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. That museum looks very cool! I enjoy looking at old trains. A couple years ago I took my daughter on a train adventure at Roaring Camp, in Santa Cruz (CA,) it was the first time I actually rode in a steam engine. We both still talk about the experience.
    I would use a bag made out of someones jeans. I would wash it first..just in case. I actually made some bags out of old jeans in my early 20’s. It was a hip thing to do then.
    Interesting post

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment and yes – wash those jeans first and toss the ones treat are too icky!
      And did not know Santa Cruz had that camp – pretty awesome
      One of my favorite vitamin companies is anchored there –
      Called “Source Naturals”

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow – thanks for sharing and Roll Tide reminds me of a Brett Favre video Snippet –
      It was funny – Brett said “Momms take back five of them
      Flapjacks – I gotta stay hungry for the Crimson Tide”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha! Of course Forrest Gump had a strong impact on us too. When I saw it, I thought: OMG, that’s “Tuscalooser”! Bear Bryant was still coach when we were there. Imagine.

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    1. thanks for sharing Judy – and congrats on making a bag and then using it – I just bought a bunch of cloth bags for ten cents each. But it is so hard to get away from plastic. And we bought only a few items from this store yesterday and said “no” to a plastic bag – and so I carried around this huge bottle of Dr. Bronner’s soap – and it was a little encumbering – but a mild inconvenience and baby steps 🙂

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