Monday, February 14, 2011

Plowing Cotton


This morning's picture is from 1937, and it shows a sharecropper plowing a field for cotton. The picture is from Greene County Georgia.

It is my impression that most sharecroppers were pretty much gone by the 1940's. With the increase of mechanization on the farm, it became necessary to have a tractor and other such equipment to compete.

12 comments:

  1. Holy smokes, those straps that pull the plow aren't very thick. They are hardly any bigger than the reins.

    So how has the weather been down there lately? We had 44 above here yesterday and it is 34 above right now.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That ground makes it look like they are doing dry land farming; probably one of the toughest ways to make a good crop. There are clouds , however , so maybe he is trying to get the crust broken up so the soil can absorb the most rainwater before it starts running off.

    Notice there are virtually no weeds in that man's field. A mark of a good farmer

    PJM, I too had an opportunity to "pick" some cotton on my uncle's place. I pestered him to let me do it and then begged to be able to stop before I reached the end of my row. This was just another data point in my career matrix that caused me to become an engineer.

    Farming is still a tough job even with the modern equipment and computers to help in records and evaluation. The final decision are still very human and thus stressful.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The tugs on the harness are made of chain. (zoom in) Many plow harnesses used chain.

    ReplyDelete
  4. To Anon, I did zoom in and saw the chains, thanks for that info.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I recently found your site and love the vintage photos and commentary.

    I have been reading a fascinating book called The Warmth of Other Suns about the migration of blacks from the south to the north in the early part of the 20th century. You might want to pick it up--it's a fantastic look at how incredibly difficult life was for African Americans during Jim Crow and segregation.

    I would suspect that this farmer, working yet another year without any income, couldn't afford a tractor.

    Enjoy your site..thanks for putting up some great photos!

    ReplyDelete
  6. PJM, I had an uncle in the late 1940's who still plowed with a mule. Also, I think it was 1946 - 1947 that I picked cotton for one week in west texas, just long enough to get money to buy a Roy Rogers six gun & holster. Man, that was hard work!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is a really interesting Photo. Its funny how technology has changed how we work and how we understand history.

    ReplyDelete
  8. That's some mighty poor cotton!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Very good blog. My they worked hard in those days

    ReplyDelete
  10. Beautiful photograph, but i find it very sad — the horse and the man, the two of them ahead in unison, as numbed by the hardship of their lives.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Beautiful photograph, but i find it very sad — the horse and the man, the two of them ahead in unison, as numbed by the hardship of their lives.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wezz gonna git thet crop in,yez we iz! These pictures are beautiful by the way,they convey a sense of other times and places imagination can only hint at? Thank you,have a good one.

    ReplyDelete