Look Closely and See The Cable Winch

| January/February 1994

3801 Purdue Drive Bakersfield, California 93306

I thought this picture of cable plowing might be of interest to IMA readers.

Did you ever wonder why some steam tractors had that big cable winch on the belly of the boiler?

I found the picture below among some stereoscope pictures that shows a steam tractor being used on a cane plantation sometime in the early 1900s in Peru, South America. It shows a strange piece of farm equipment with four wheels. The operator could steer the front wheels, probably to move it over for the next pass. A harrow is attached in between the front and rear wheels, and in front is a steel roller pulverizer with cable on each end being pulled across the field by steam tractors pulling it back and forth. It appears that the soil in that area was very heavy clay type, and using the tractors in the field would probably compact too much or they might get stuck in the loose soil. If you can add information to this, feel free to do so.

On the back of the stereoscope picture it mentions that the soil in Peru is so rich that they get two cane crops a year this is about 175,000 tons of sugar! This is their main crop.