working (last updated Jan. 3, 2015)


W.B. Andrews, Cotton Production, Marketing and Utilization (State College, Miss.: W.B. Andrews, 1950)

Sharon D. Wright Austin, The Transformation of Plantation Politics: Black Politics, Concentrated Poverty, and Social Capital in the Mississippi Delta (Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 2006)

Floyd Barnhart, Cotton, 4th ed. (Caruthersville, Mo.: Floyd Barnhart, 1951)

John Rust portrait with a bookJohn M. Barry, Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America (New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 1997)

William Bearden, Cotton: From Southern Fields to the Memphis Market (Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia Publishing, 2005)

Harry Bates Brown, Cotton: History, Species, Varieties, Morphology, Breeding, Culture, Diseases, Marketing, and Uses (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company Inc., 1927)

James C. Cobb, The Most Southern Place on Earth: The Mississippi Delta and the Roots of Regional Identity (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992)

Stephen H. Crawford,  J. Tom Cothren; Donna E. Sohan, and James R. Supak, “A History of Cotton Harvest Aids,” Cotton Harvest Management: Use and Influence of Harvest Aids, James R. Supak and Charles E. Snipes, eds. (Memphis, Tenn.: The Cotton Foundation, 2001)

Gene Dattle, Cotton and Race in the Making of America: The Human Costs of Economic Power (Lanham, Md.: Ivan R. Dee, 2009)

Mark Fannin, Labor’s Promised Land: Radical Visions of Gender, Race, and Religion in the South (Knoxville, Tenn.: The University of Tennessee Press, 2003)

E.N. Fergus, Carsie Hammonds, Hayden Rogers, and R.W. Gregory., eds. Southern Field Crops Management (Chicago: J.B. Lippincott Co., 1949)

Laurie B. Green, Battling the Plantation Mentality: Memphis and the Black Freedom Struggle (Chapel Hill, N.C.: The University of North Carolina Press, 2007)

David Halberstam, The Fifties (New York: Villard Books, 1993)

Van Hawkins, Plowing New Ground: The Southern Tenant Farmers Union and Its Place in Delta History (Virginia Beach, Va.: The Donning Company Publishers, 2007)

Gerard Helferich,  High Cotton: Four Seasons in the Mississippi Delta (Berkeley, Calif.: Counterpoint, 2007)

Donald Holley, The Second Great Emancipation: The Mechanical Cotton Picker, Black Migration, and How They Shaped the Modern South (Fayetteville: The University of Arkansas Press, 2000)

Holly Hope, Get Down the Shovel and the Hoe: Cotton and Rice Farm History and Architecture in the Arkansas Delta, 1900-1955 (Little Rock: Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, 2004)

R. Douglas Hurt, “John R. Rust,” American National Biography, Vol. 19. Editors: John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999)

Nicholas Lemann, The Promised Land: The Great Black Migration and How it Changed America (New York: Alfred A. Knopf Inc., 1991)

Gilbert R. Merrill, Alfred R. Macormac, and Herbert R. Mauersberg, American Cotton Handbook: A Practical Text and Reference Book for the Entire Cotton Industry (New York: Textile Book Publishers, 1949)

D.J. Pledger and D.J. Pledger Jr., Cotton Culture on Hardscramble Plantation: Conservation Mechanization (Shelby, Miss.: Hardscramble Plantation, 1951)

N.A. Richardson,  Introduction to Socialism (Girard, Kansas: Press of Appeal to Reason, 1902)

Edna Turpin, Cotton (New York: American Book Company, 1924)

Vance, Rupert B. Human Factors in Cotton Culture: A Study in the Social Geography of the American South. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1929.

L.F. Wegerly, Stukenborg Mechanical Cotton Picking Machine: The Key to Southern Progress. (Chicago: Cotton Picker Co. of America, 1920)

Jeannie Whayne, Delta Empire: Lee Wilson and the Transformation of Agriculture in the New South (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2011)

Clyde Woods, Development Arrested: The Blues and Plantation Power in the Mississippi Delta. (London: Verso, 1998)

Monroe N. Work, Encyclopedia of the Negro, 9th ed. (Tuskegee, Alabama: Tuskegee Institute Press, 1937)

Stephen Yafa, Cotton: The Biography of a Revolutionary Fiber (New York: Penguin, 2005)


“Cotton Picker: Its Effect on Southern Agriculture May Rival That of the Cotton Gin,” Successful Inventions: A Magazine for Inventors and Others Interested in New Ideas (October 1936): 8-9

“Biggest Cotton Plantation,” Fortune, 15, 3 (March 1937): 125-132 and 156-160

“Cotton-Gin Rival: Inventors Fear Mechanical Picker’s Effort on Labor; Propose Relief,” Literary Digest, 5 Sept.1936: 45-46

“Mr. Little Ol’ Rust.” Fortune (December 1952): 150-152 and 198-205

Oliver Carlson, “The Revolution in Cotton.” The American Mercury (February 1935): 129-136

Carl Crow, “Machine Picks Cotton at Last.” Technical World (February 1911): 645-651

Gilbert C. Fite, “Recent Progress in the Mechanization of Cotton Production in the United States.” Agricultural History, 24, 1 (January 1950): 19-28

T.A. Heppenheimer, “The Machine That Killed King Cotton,” American Heritage, 20, 1 (Summer 2004)

J.R. Hildebrand, “Cotton: Foremost Fiber of the World.” National Geographic, 74, 2  (February 1941): 137-185

Donald Holley, “Leaving the Land of Opportunity: Arkansas and the Great Migration,” The Arkansas Historical Quarterly. 64, 3 (Autumn 2005): 1-17

Ralph C. Hon, “The Rust Cotton Picker.” Southern Economic Journal, 3, 4 (April 1937): 381-392

Henry Goddard Leach, “Humanizing Machines: The Rust Cotton Picker,” The Forum and Century, 96, 2 (August 1936): 49-50

E.E. Lewis,  “Black Cotton Farmers and the AAA,” Opportunity: A Journal of Negro Life (March 1935): [from internet]

Lela Pratte, “King Cotton Still Part of Southeast’s Fabric,” EconSouth, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. (Third Quarter 2010): 24-29

Bob Ratliff, “Modern Cotton Production Has Deep Delta Roots,” Mississippi Landmarks (Fall 2007)

Robert Kenneth Straus, “Enter the Cotton Picker: The Story of the Rust Brothers’ Invention.” Harper’s Monthly Magazine (September 1936): 386-395

James H. Street, “Mechanizing the Cotton Harvest.” Agricultural History, 31, 1 (January 1957): 12-22

Brian Wayne Wells, “Cotton Growing on the Mississippi Delta.” Belt Pulley Magazine (November-December 2007)


John Rust, “The Origin and Development of the Cotton Picker.” Rust papers. Special Collections, University of Memphis, 1952.

Turner v. Rust, 309 S.W. 2d 731 (Arkansas Supreme Court, 1958).

“The Rust Cotton Picker: Its Origin And Development.” sales brochure (undated)

Roberta Miller, “An Interview with Dr. Lyne Starling Gamble,” Oral History Project: Greenville and Vicinity, Mississippi Department of Archives and History and the Washington County Library System, Dec. 13, 1977.

E. Marshall Rust papers.

FBI records.

J. Porter Fite correspondence.

Rust patents.

Correspondence and interviews: Mary Turner, Jim Rust, Ben Pearson, R. Douglas Hurt, Donald Holley, Norma Jane Bumgarner, Carol Evans Simmons, Kathryn Vaughn, Norma F. Gerace, Aubrey Vaughn

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