An Unusually Jolly Wheat Shocking Scene

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A picture given to me by a friend in my hometown of Healy, Kansas, captures wheat shocking better than any picture I’ve seen – mostly because of its candid nature. The picture appears to have been contact-printed onto postcard stock. Genealogy friends have dated it, based on the postcard graphics, between 1907 and 1918. I believe the picture was taken at supper break. You can see a stand of wheat and shocks behind them, as well as a farm in the distance.

Questions arise: What was the joke? Where can I get a straw hat like those? Were they custom cutters? Does this relate at all to the cause of the Dust Bowl, when vast stands of native grass were turned to plant wheat?

Bob Foos, 701 Ellis St., Webb City, MO 64870; (417) 673-5835;

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