Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Iowa Farmer

Today's picture shows an Iowa Farmer with a team of horses plowing his field. The picture was taken in 1940. This was about the time that the farm was quickly becoming mechanized, and plowing with horses became a rare thing.


  1. Small Farmer's Journal, in Oregon still focuses on the farming era you are promoting this week, Mr.PMJ.

  2. I have a photo of my mother atop one of her grandfather's team. Their farm was in central Iowa, and they used the horses in the fields, too.

  3. When I was a child in the 1950s, we used to visit an elderly couple in the Willamete Valley of Western Oregon. He was a dairy farmer, and they had a horse on their farm, broad of back. I'm not sure quite sure what they used the horse for, maybe just for their grandchildren to ride!

  4. Plowing in this fashion was more common in the 40s than we'd suppose, and actually remained relatively routine up into the 1950s. Mechanization was, of course, coming in, and had been since prior to World War One.

    The Great Depression really slowed down the pace of mechanization, and then in the economic boom of World War Two, which was accompanied by material shortages, farming with horses remained quite viable. By the 1950s, that wold be much less the case for crop agriculture.

  5. My dad learned to plow with horses and liked horses. However, when tractors started becoming prevalent, he knew he had to give up his beloved horses to stay competitive. He had a bunch of children to feed.


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