How to Manufacture Salt for Home Use
Take a towel, or any piece of cloth –say, two yards long – sew the two ends together, hang it on a roller, and let one end revolve in a tub or basin of salt water; the sun and air will act on the cloth, and evaporate the water rapidly. It must be revolved several times throughout the day, so that the cloth is well saturated. When the solution is evaporated to near the bottom, dip from the concentrated brine, and pour it in a large flat dish or plate; let it remain in the sun until the salt is formed; taking it in every night, and placing a cover over it. This is accomplished by capillary attraction, and can be manufactured for $1 per sack, on a large scale. Each gallon of salt water will produce two and a half ounces of salt when evaporated. P.S. to make salt required a little patience, as it is of slow formation. John Commins, Charleston Tannery
Source: Charleston Mercury, June 11, 1862 as found in John Hammond Moore, ed., The Confederate Housewife (Columbia, SC: Summerhouse Press, 1997).