Letter in Hinman Milking Machine Trade Catalog, Thomas Taggert to J.P. Meyers (1917), Hinman Milking Machine Co., Oneida, NY, [1921?], p. 34, Trade cats Ag Imp H593h, 14 x 18 cm., Research Library Special Collections Trade Catalogs: Agricultural Implements, N0650.1999
There were a number of agricultural magazines and journals during the 19th century. The magazines printed advertisements for companies that manufactured and sold agricultural implements. These publications offered farmers a chance to see new technological advances, learn scientific farming techniques, and stay connected to a larger group of like minded people.
The American Agriculturalist for the Farm, Garden and Household, 1870, v. 29,illus. p. 118, Orange Judd & Co., New York. The Farmers’ Museum Library, Cooperstown, New York, 630.5 A512, F51.1954.
Farmers could learn about transportation services, including boat transportation on canals and rivers, from advertisements placed in magazines, journals, or in this case, the city directory.
The taverns that were visited most frequently were those that were near a major intersection on land or on water. Steamboat travel up and down the rivers, including the Hudson River, was important to the waterfront businesses. Barge transportation brought many people through central New York during the mid-nineteenth century.
Winter allowed farmers time to travel and socialize. The first stop of many village sleigh rides was often the tavern. People would fill themselves with mulled cider for warmth and eat a deliciously tasty meal.
This image from Benjamin Butterworth’s The Growth of Industrial Art, depicts reaping grain during the colonial period. Reaping had to be done by hand, using a scythe or hay knife to cut the grain. Notice that the whole family helps with the field work.
By the mid-nineteenth century, farmers no longer had to reap entirely by hand. Machines made the work of harvesting go more quickly. This Self Raker Harvester was patented in 1855, to help farmers bring in their harvest.
Railroad companies competed for business, including shipping freight. Farmers relied on the railroads to carry their agricultural products to customers in other parts of the state, as well as other states in the country.
Farmers transported their goods to markets and customers in a variety of ways. Shipping freight by train became very popular during the nineteenth century.
Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley R.R. Co. Freight Voucher, November 6, 1896. Fenimore Art Museum Library, Cooperstown, New York, Ephemera-transport-RR.
In 1907, when engineers at Ford first began designing a motorized agricultural machine, they referred to it as an “automobile plow.” Tractors would revolutionize farming in the twentieth century. The Ford 871 Select-O-Speed was a state-of-the-art tractor in 1959. Rated at 45 horsepower, it had ten forward speeds that could be shifted on the go. This tractor was originally purchased from R.C. Lacy Ford in Catskill, New York, by farmer Edward Phinney of Jewett, New York.