More Changes in Agricultural Technology

Man Tying WheatThe reaper held and cut the grain and then dropped it on a platform. It required eight to ten people to operate. One would drive the horse, another would rake the platform, and the rest would bind and shock the crops. A few years later, a new type of reaper was developed which only took three people to operate. It raked the platform and put the grain into piles by itself. In the 1870's a tool called the binder was developed which further decreased the number of people needed to harvest. The binder cut the grain, then wrapped and tied a wire around it.
Man binding wheat.
Photo by Ben Shahn

A Farmer from 1890

Technology Tidbit!: Many farmers were unable to afford new agricultural machinery, so they relied on those who had the technolgy to help them farm! Farmers relied on their neighbors for help!

Steam Engine
Combine and steam engine
Courtesy of Knox County Historical Society
1920 Gas powered farm machinery begins to be used
1933 Start of the chemical revolution in agriculture
1945 Combines replace threshers
1945 Start of the mechanical revolution in agriculture
1993 Satellite technology begins to be used

Technology Tidbit!: Combines harvested and threshed grains such as corn and wheat. They cut the plant, stripped the grain from the ear or stalk, and then put the grain in a storgae bin, all while moving through the fields!

What did these changes do to the way farmers farmed?

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