Farming 1919

Technology including this American-built tractor in 1919 improved the efficiency and productivity of farming.

This State Journal editorial ran on June 4, 1919:

You read that a western ranchman buys an airplane for locating strayed cattle. Another farmer installs a wireless outfit to keep in touch with the Chicago grain market.

The Italian government is operating 1,700 motor plows. They do the work that required 20,000 yoke of oxen a year ago.

Wonderful is the progress of agriculture. Dramatic is the invasion of soil tilling by chemists, bacteriologists and scientists. Even as recently as 100 years ago all plows were made of wood. Grain was cut with a sickle, gathered in the arms, thrashed by flail and winnowed in the wind.

Even Abraham Lincoln probably would have had heart failure at the sight of a tractor hauling five plows.

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The sewing machine was invented some 60 years ago. Previously, sewing had been done by hand since cave men pieced skins into garments with catgut threaded through a bone needle.

Thirty years later came the typewriter. ...

When you consider modern methods on the farm, in the home and in the factory, you realize the human race practically stood still for centuries. Progress was impossible until the coming of steel plows and the application of steam. In the old days, the best brains could be developed and trained only if the owner belonged to a nobility, who had no time except leisure time. Poor men, like Aesop the fable genius, were all slaves — too tired after the day’s work to turn thought into action.

With the coming of steam and steel plows, fewer slaves were need. The machinery displaced them — did their work. Then the vast brain lying dormant in the masses saw the light, pronounced it good, and hastened to produce more labor-saving inventions.

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