Some people do not care for Spanish moss. According to an anonymous writer in the American Cyclopedia in 1881 “its effect, on account of its sombre color, is not altogether pleasing.“ However, the moss, eyecatching feature of the southern landscape that it is, has usually been regarded as an aesthetic asset, appealing to tourists and to the romantically-minded. Many people today have forgotten, if they ever knew, that it was once a more direct economic asset, serving a number of utilitarian purposes. Along with its value as a cattle feed and as a cheap packing material for crates of fruits and vegetables, went its value as a processed product. As early as 1773 William Bartram observed that “it seems particularly adapted to the purpose of stuffing mattresses, chairs, saddles, collars, &c; and for these purposes, nothing yet known equals it.“
Foshee, Anne Gometz
"Vegetable Hair: The Spanish Moss Industry in Florida,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 66
, Article 4.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol66/iss3/4