Harvesting Wheat at Henry Ford

During the 19th century in the Midwest being a successful farmer meant that you had a successful wheat farm. Every place Charles Ingalls established a farm he was growing wheat.

Wheat
Wheat

In Little House in the Big Woods they describe harvesting wheat with a cradle (a scythe with wooden spokes to catch the wheat as it was cut), but both Pa and Father Wilder were interested in new technology so they go the new equipment as they could afford as it came out. This is harvesting with a reaper.

Man Reaping with a Cradle
Cyrus Hall McCormick: Reaper Man Illinois Periodicals Online – Northern Illinois University448 × 324Search by image This farmer is using a cradle to cut wheat. Until the advent of the reaper, harvesting wheat was done by hand with implements like the one shown here. Linked

Wheat Today and Yesterday

In old photos you often see wheat in shocks. In order to build a good shock you need taller wheat than is commonly grown today. As there is less need for straw the stem is waste and takes extra nutrients and water to grow so wheat has been bred to be shorter.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

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Sarah Uthoff - Trundlebed Tales

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic, and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, look at her photos, and find her on Facebook , Twitter , Google+, LinkedIn , SlideShare, and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

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