Mystery Photo

what is this?
Please contact me to send your guess as to what the folks in the photo might be doing. (Click for larger photo.) The most common suggestion is "caning" or splitting cane to make furniture or baskets.
We've had several responses including:
. demonstrating new-fangled drinking fountains
. using commercial sewing machines
. squeezing ribbon cane for syrup
. splitting cane for furniture or baskets
or making:
. brooms
. rush for chair backs and bottoms
. rope
. buggy whips
. molasses
. sausage
Please send the following information:
Where you live:
What do you think it is? If you KNOW what these folks are doing, please say so.
Thanks for helping!