LET'S TALK RUSTY IRON
(Page 3 of 3)
In his 1870 report, the U.S. commissioner of agriculture wrote, 'Now, with a span of horses and one of our best riding cultivators, 15 acres can be accomplished, and this with almost as much ease and comfort as a day's journey in a buggy.' Ten acres would've been more accurate, but still impressive compared to the hoe.
Even with such 'ease and comfort,' however, the vast cornfields of the Midwest required bigger machines. Soon, two-row cultivators drawn by three or four horses were common. Little evidence exists that larger machines were developed until heavy-pulling tractors were widely used, but farmers undoubtedly experimented with four-row cultivators. Today, at least two manufacturers make four-row cultivators for use with horses, I&J Manufacturing, Gap, Pa., and Miller's Repair Shop, LaGrange, Ind.
Enter the tractor
During the first 25 years after the tractor's introduction, its greatest draw-back was the inability to plant and cultivate corn. Motor cultivators were developed by several manufacturers, but never caught on since they were single-purpose machines, and no farmer in those days was willing to spend the money to buy both a tractor and a motor cultivator. Even progressive farmers who used tractors for tillage and other heavy work had to keep a team or two of horses to help plant and cultivate corn.
Finally, in 1922, International Harvester Co. sent 17 new Farmall tractors to Texas, where they were successfully tested. The development of the Farmall system meant the motorization of every farm job requiring power -including cultivating - and truly revolutionized agriculture.
- Sam Moore grew up on a farm in western Pennsylvania. He now lives in Salem, Ohio, and collects antique tractors, implements and related items. Contact Sam by e-mail at email@example.com
Page: << Previous 1
| 3 |