The Great Plow Debate
(Page 3 of 3)
Not all farmers objected to the plan. In the same issue, J.B. Wells from Nelson County, Va., wrote in defense of the right-hand plow: 'Now all this question about left- and right-hand plows resolves itself into the particular manner in which the team is harnessed and hitched. The left-handed plowman seems to use but one line, which is attached to the furrow horse. From this furrow horse a connection is made with the off or land horse by means of what is called a barring stick attached to the rings of each bridle bit, which keeps the team together. So, after all, this plowing business is altogether a matter of habit and custom. In Maryland and eastern Virginia where I have farmed, I never saw a left-hand plow. Here in the Virginia Piedmont, farmers generally are using left-hand plows. If I must use one here in order to be fashionable, I shall have to learn how.
'The point I wish to make is this: The right-hand plow will do just as good work as the left-hand plow if the team is properly harnessed and hitched and the plowman knows his business. Put a pair of double-harness driving lines (leather or rope) on your team, then pass those lines over your right shoulder and around your back and under your left arm. With a team thus properly harnessed and hitched to a plow a good job of plowing ought to be done, no matter whether it be a left- or right-hand plow.'
Apparently, the uproar from the left-hand plow users was loud enough, and the demand for such plows was strong enough that the agreement was quietly scrapped. Plow manufacturers, including Parlin & Orendorff, continued to offer both right- and left-hand walking and riding plows into the 1940s. Even today, a demand exists for both right- and left-hand plows. The leading manufacturer of modern horse-drawn plows, Pioneer Equipment Inc., of Dalton, Ohio, offers walking and sulky plows in both versions. The president of Pioneer Equipment, Wayne Wengerd, doesn't know why some farmers prefer one to the other, but they do - and he supplies 'em.
- Sam Moore became interested in agricultural machinery while growing up on a farm in western Pennsylvania. Now, he lives in Salem, Ohio, and collects antique tractors and implements and related items.
Page: << Previous 1
| 3 |