Flax and linseed traditionally important crops

Lin, linseed or flax from a French chocolate card
Lin, linseed or flax from a French chocolate card

Due to the importance of the linseed and flax as crops they were popular subjects for 20th century chocolate and cigarette cards throughout Europe. The pictures shown are from French chocolate bars and cigarettes.  It reflects importance of linseed and flax as crops in the first half of the century. The flowers of both crops are the same, both were grown from Linum usitatissium but harvested  at different stages of maturity.

Flax or linseed, Players cigarette card
Flax or linseed, Players cigarette card
Flax. Back of Players cigarette card
Flax. Back of Players cigarette card

Flax for linen fibre

Flax was grown for linen, lace, ropes, webbing and thread. The plants harvested by pulling and left to mature before starting the process to turn them into linen. There was a certain amount of seed from flax, it is called linseed and used for linseed oil. for industrial purposes rather than quality cold-pressed linseed oil.

Linseed for oil

The linseed crop was grown specifically for more prolific production of seed which usually was used for oil that went into paint, linen, wood preservative and lino.  In most parts of Europe linseed oil was seldom cold-pressed except in areas of Germany, Eastern Europe and Russia.