What 2 men could lift and one man carry – myth

Old books telling the history of steamboats occasionally refer to rousters being able to carry a 500 pound bale of cotton on their backs.  These references mention that a bale of cotton was what 2 men could lift and one man carry.   I have yet to see a picture of rousters loading a steamboat where one man is carrying a bale of cotton on his back.  Where rousters are pictured moving cotton, there are 3 men rolling the bale up the steamboats ramp or moving cotton along the cobble stone river bank.

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