Winnowing is the action of separating the grain from the chaff- the inedible covering found on the grain. After flailing the grain the farmer puts the wheat in the winnowing basket. During a breezy day the threshing barn doors are opened. The farmer uses the winnowing basket to toss the grain into the air where the wind sweeps away the chaff.
Plates similar to this one were popular in the 1820’s and 1830’s. The drawings on them are typically from an artist named James Eights, who accompanied the Erie Canal engineers in 1825, and documented the completed structures by making little watercolor drawings. The drawings were then used later as imagery for some of the plates, including this one.
On October 26th, 1825, the Erie Canal was officially completed. With much pomp and fanfare, Governor Dewitt Clinton made the 10 day journey down the canal, from Buffalo to New York Harbor. At the harbor, Clinton ceremoniously poured Lake Erie water into New York Harbor, officially “Wedding the Waters.”
This agricultural tool was used to gently lift, move, and mix the hops as they lay on the drying floor. This ensured even drying of the whole bale.
This tool is a wrought iron, six-pronged, swiveled hop sampler. It operates like a pair of scissors. Growers and dealers used hop samplers to extract a sample from a bale of hops. They judged the quality of the crop and the harvesting process from the sample, and this determined a price for the product.
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.
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.
After the hops pickers harvested the hops into hop boxes, the farmer paid them with tickets. Each ticket represented the number of boxes the worker picked. These tickets are from the Wedderspoon farm near Cooperstown, NY.