A flax break such as this one is used to break the stems of flax plants so that the strands of fiber can be removed for spinning. The top boards are raised so that the plant stems lie in between top and bottom. When the boards are lowered, they fit between the bottom, fixed boards forcing the stems into an S shape and causing some of the plant material to break off. This 1800s-era flax break was made without nails. Wire connects the top boards with the bottom. It was collected by Frances Goodrich and donated by her to the Southern Highland Craft Guild in the 1930s. The creator of this item is unknown.