Agricultural Implements — 1874

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Agricultural Implements

[Note this article appeared in an 1874 issue of Harper's Montly Magazine]

There is no apology needed for beginning our review with farming implements. However disinclinded a citizen my be to blister his hands by chopping fire wood or mauling rails, he freely admits the respectability of the employment and its ancient fame. Admitting then, the precedence of the husbandman, we will first look at the principal agricultural tool—the plow.

This tool has never outgrown its resemblance to the forked limb which was first used as a hoe and then as a plow. With such tools as they could muster, men shaped the tough limbs and crotches of trees into implements. The forked piece (A) was trimed and became the hoe (B), a thong binding the handle and blade portions to prevent their splitting apart. We give pictures (C) of two ancient Egyptian hoes now in the Berlin Musuem. A similiar one may be seen in the Abbott Musuem, New York. Two suitable sticks (D) were notched and lashed together. Two other resources of a people desititute of metal are shown (E, F), one, of the South Sea Islanders, the blade of a scapula, the other made of a walrus tooth on a handle. It is show (G, H, I) how men made plows from similar materials, one limb formed the share, the other the beam; or (as in I) one the beam and the other the handle and sole, with a point which forms the share.

Origins of the Hoe and Plow

Ancient Plows

American Plow - 1776

Plows 1780-1814

Howard Wheel Plow

Fowler's Steam Plow

Plowing in Gaul in the 4th Century

Gladstone's Reaping Machine - 1606

Bell's Reaping Machine 1826

American Self Raking Reaping Machine

Meckle's Threshing Machine 1786

American Threshing Machine

English Threshing Machine

Threshing Wheat early 20th century