Above: The Father of the Modern Plow, Jethro Wood.Patent and portrait from Jethro Wood, Inventor of the Modern Plow, by Frank Gilbert published in 1882 by Rhodes & McClure, Chicago, Ill.
Above: Facsimile of Jethro Wood’s patent drawings for his 1819 plow, showing the replaceable plow share, indicated by the letter “B.” The plow very much resembles walking plows built during the 19th century and into the 1940s. Similar walking plows are still being built by Pioneer Equipment of Dalton, Ohio, for today’s horse farmer.
Left: A colonial plow with a wooden moldboard and a wrought iron point. These plows would barely turn a shallow furrow and wore out quickly.
Above: Charles Newbold’s one-piece wrought iron plow from 1797. The entire bottom had to be replaced when the point wore out, and farmers believed the iron poisoned the soil.Both plows from Land of Plenty, published by the Farm Equipment Institute of Chicago in 1950.
Above: A modern Pioneer walking plow behind a form of draft power common in Jethro Wood’s day. The oxen are Milking Shorthorn cattle named Lewis and Clark and are owned by Tillers International of Scotts, Mich.