Walnut Grove Reaper

One of the fun things that exists on Twitter are archives hashtag parties. Someone picks a particular date and time and a theme giving museums/libraries/special collections/archives a chance to dig out or take photos. They then cockily send them back and forth with the hashtag so people following can find a lot of cool things they’d probably never see any other way.

The Reaper

This entry was sent out by the Library of Virginia.

Walnut Grove is the name of Cyrus Hall McCormick‘s family farm in Rockbridge County, Virginia. It was on this farm that McCormick and Jo Anderson developed a reaper. You can visit the place today. The information I found also recommended the book The Century of the Reaper by Cyrus McCormick.

Modern Farm Equipment

In Little House in the Big Woods Laura describes Pa harvesting with a scythe. The late 19th century saw a big step forward in mechanical equipment for farming. One of these was the reaper. A horse-drawn reaper would go through a field of grain (oats, wheat, etc.). The cutting bars on the front have metal teeth (like those for the mowing machine that Laura and Carrie fetch from town and then get lost in the slough) and paddle wheel sweeps the cut grain on to the platform behind that then the person working with the machine could then tie into bundles to create a shock. The entire stem of the individual stalk is cut off.

Separating the grain from the stem, etc. is a separate process. Both the more basic flail (Farmer Boy) and the threshing machine (Little House in the Big Woods) are described in the books. Combines – machines that combine the functions of a reaper and a thresher into one machine – later took over but generally not until the 1930s. It was only in the second half of the 20th century that they became the self-moving vehicle of today.

Walnut Grove Creeper

Although I knew the story of McCormick – my family have always been strong International people – I didn’t realize his farm was called Walnut Grove so it gave me a bit of a shock when I first saw this Tweet. I was so glad to find another – if slight – connection between Laura and agriculture history.

I must admit it made me think of “The Creeper of Walnut Grove,” too.

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 ,   LinkedIn ,    SlideShare,  and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Advertisements

Train at Henry Ford

I love trains. I love The Henry Ford/Greenfield Village. So in short I LOVE this video. I can even tie in a Walt Disney connection because when Walt was first really getting into trains and starting to think about creating Disneyland one of the places he visited was Greenfield Village. If you go there, I think you can see where he got some of his ideas.

This less than 4 minute video is from The Henry Ford‘s video series, Innovation Nation. It looks at the history of Cabooses. Do you know exactly what a Caboose does?

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 ,   LinkedIn ,  SlideShare, and  Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Legacy Libraries

Legacy Library logo from Library Thing

Library Thing

Library Thing is a social media website that lets you create a personal library catalog. It’s so helpful in back that some extremely small libraries use it as THEIR catalog. Basically you get a membership (free and paid have different levels of benefits) that let you copy catalog your books from various sources. You can also find other people’s lists. I must admit, even though I probably should, I really haven’t done anything more than look around Library Thing even though it’s been around since 2005.

Legacy Libraries

Today (July 24, 2019) I tripped over a tweet that directed me to their Legacy Libraries. These are lists of what books famous people had in their libraries. I’m not sure what their sources are. I looked up Harry S. Truman because I know his wonderful National Historic Site had put together a list of what books he owned (why don’t more museums do this?) I had to try two different ways to go into find it. So you may want to just scroll the main list or go in by category instead of date because that’s how I found it. Find a list of Legacy Libraries.

Current Categories

Here are links to the current categories and how they sort them.

They list:

P.S. Since I mentioned the Harry S. Truman historic site above, I want to especially point you to their Facebook page which is one of the best done I’ve ever seen.

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 ,  LinkedIn ,  SlideShare,  and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

On the Way Home Live Tweet Part 2

Four copies of different versions of On the Way Home
On the Way Home Editions

We continue my embedded tweets from my 2018 On the Way Home livetweet. For each tweet click on the body of the tweet to the thread (the connected string of tweets) will open with that day’s tweets. Sadly clicking “See Sarah Uthoff’s Other Tweets” will NOT get you to the right place, it just takes you to my most current tweets. Catch up on Part 1.

Again these are embedded tweets.  I used gifs within the Twitter system and none of them are housed here, they are in the tweets I’ve linked to.

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,  watchher videos,  listen to her podcast,    look at her photos, and find her on    Facebook ,   Twitter ,  LinkedIn ,  SlideShare,  and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

On the Way Home Live Tweet Part 1

Four copies of different versions of On the Way Home
On the Way Home Editions

Last year, inspired by Civil War Fangirl’s Twitter account live streams of Civil War Battles, I read On the Way Home day by day. On the Way is a published version of Laura Ingalls Wilder, her husband Almanzo, and their daughter Rose’s trip from DeSmet, South Dakota to Mansfield, Missouri where they will live the rest of their lives. The published version adds an introduction and an afterward based on an adult Rose’s memories of the trip and the time around it. She also edited some of the text for whatever reason, for example minimizing the role of the Cooley’s in the trip when it was basically their trip and the Wilders just came along.

Embedded Tweets

In the post below and the second part, I went through and copied those daily tweets locations and embedded them in. This might make the page take awhile to load. Please be patient. The tweets were threaded (connected together) by the day and the first tweet of each can look like it’s repeating, but it isn’t. Click on the body of the Tweet to open that day’s thread. Clicking on See More Tweets just takes you to the Trundlebed Tales Twitter homepage. For some reason two of the days wouldn’t thread properly so I added their tweets individually although it did add the first tweet of the day above each and every one. I tried to get all the tweets, but I’m not guaranteeing these are all considering the way Twitter was behaving, backtrack through the #OnTheWayHome hashtag to July 2018 to make sure you’ve seen them all.

Since I so enjoyed the way Civil War Fangirl used light-hearted gifs in her tweets on a serious subject, I added some to mine. Those Gifs are part of the Twitter system, but show here through the embedding. I’m assuming Twitter has cleared the Gifs for use. They aren’t captured here just redirected.

And now my reactions to reading On the Way Home – July 17th 1894/2018

August 1st has a mislink. I did NOT mean to link to the Isaac Asimov cartoon, but enjoy it anyway!

August 13th seems not to have threaded correctly so I’m adding them individually.

Should be eXciting, sorry.

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,  watchher videos,  listen to her podcast,    look at her photos, and find her on    Facebook ,   Twitter ,  LinkedIn ,  SlideShare,  and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Free Speech and Tinker v Des Moines

I know that Ted Talks are the more popular brand, but I prefer Big Think videos. I think they’re more interesting and don’t use that fake tone of voice which Ted Talks favor. I use them to get books suggestions and to get other people’s takes on what’s going on in the world and the political, scientific, and philosophical thought.

Mary Beth Tinker
Linked Image of Mary Beth Tinker Today

Free Speech

I wanted to share out this particular video for two reasons. The first is that it is on Free Speech, especially in regard to Free Speech on campus which is a hot button issue these days. Free Speech has always been an important part of American history. It was one of the rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. The concept of Freedom of Speech became to be considered vital during the Age of Enlightenment. It is best expressed in this well known statement (although often misattributed quote click on it to find out more). I can’t say that I’ve shown this kind of devotion, but I do say it to myself and try to live by the spirit of it.

I Disapprove of What You Say, But I Will Defend to the Death Your Right to Say It

The second reason I want to share this video is historical. I must say that I don’t agree with some of Jonathan Zimmerman’s historical generalities at the beginning, but I think it’s worth watching the whole thing anyway. However, the main point I want to emphasize is his description of a guest speaker he had come to his class. He invited Mary Beth Tinker one of the plaintiffs in the Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School DistrictFor those of you who don’t know this was an Iowa case who went to the Supreme Court.

To sum up the Des Moines school district attempted to stop students from wearing arm bands to protest the Vietnam War. The ACLU backed them in a lawsuit and won in a ruling since very broadly applied. It is the source for the quote you may have heard about from Justice Fortas that “It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.”

Not Just the Chosen People

While this case is often cited I’m very impressed with the fact that Zimmerman had the inspiration to track down Tinker to get her story on what happened. Also that, according to Tinker, that she still continued to support free speech for all. She rightly points out that you have to be aware that ALL free speech will potentially negatively effect someone. There isn’t one side that is absolutely right and that is the only one who deserves to be heard. Even more so that it’s dangerous to censor speech because it is the only power many people have and once you start doing that, no matter who you think you are protecting, it will eventually hurt those without power. Frankly, I was kind of surprised that she seemed so reasoned about the whole experience, but it sounds like she has taken an almost accidental start into something with deeply held beliefs. I think she just might be someone who really would be willing to “defend to the death your right to say it.”

Iowa History

I also wanted to share this because so much general history stops with the important part, the big important change someone makes, and it never tells you what happened to the people afterward. I’m glad to know Tinker is still out there and still fighting the good fight. This important case is a landmark in Iowa History and Iowa’s role in national history. Here’s his “talk” about it.” My biggest complaint about the video is that it doesn’t actually have Tinker talking instead of just Zimmerman telling about her. But I’m really so glad the story is out there at all that I’ll overlook it.

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 ,  LinkedIn , SlideShare, and  Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Living History Links

Kitchen in Pepin Museum
Kitchen in Pepin Museum

I used to use the link section of my blog quite a bit. Honestly I don’t often anymore and some of my favorites are no longer active. I wanted to shorten my super long left hand column, but not lose the links although, so here are what I previously had linked.

ALHFAM – Association of Living History Farms and Museums is the professional organization for living history historic sites and historians who reenact daily life. Although to get the full benefit of the organization you need to be a member, including access to articles by yours truly, this blog keeps you up to date on living history. Please consider joining and attending a conference.

Ben Franklin’s World – A great history blog on early American and colonial history.

Collectors Weekly – A website with posts about a different collectibles by experts.

Footnoting History – Footnoting History is a bi-weekly podcast series dedicated to overlooked, unknown, and exciting stories plucked from the footnotes of history.

Greenfield History – A Tour of Greenfield Village, part of the Henry Ford in Dearborn, MI. Sadly it was last updated in 2016.

Historical Sewing – A blog and podcast of a historic sewer.

History Myths – Urban legends about history that never was, debunked in posts that take on things people get wrong about history and look for the truth. Currently she’s reposting updated debunks, but they’re still worth reading and sometimes she does new ones. Got a pet peeve history myth? Let her know!

Know Your Own Bone – A resource for creative engagement in museums and cultural centers.

Living History Farms – The living history museum in Des Moines, Iowa features different farms and a town along a timeline. This is their blog. However, the most recent blog post is from 2017. Between 2012 and 2014 they maintained a separate blog specifically about the Flynn Mansion (the restored home of the man who donated all the land that now makes up Living History Farms. In 2015 they combined the two blogs, but left the old Flynn Mansion blog up.

Uncommon Book – A blog for independent historians.

Way of Improvement Leads Home – John Fea’s essays and reviews on the history of American culture.