In the Northern Plains, Alan says, a rule of thumb for farmers was hitching one horse for every acre they wanted to plow in
It is true that modern no-till farming techniques have lessened the need for routine spring and fall plowing, and the field cultivator has replaced the moldboard plow in many cases.
In the middle ages, an acre was first defined as the amount of land that a man and a yoke of oxen could plow in a day.
It will be slow going and take a lot of grease because there are no bearings in the plow wheels." In order to polish the moldboards before he gets to the field, Allen plans to use his plow in
a nearby gravel pit where he hopes the sandy soil will do the job.
Indeed, each plow in
the field sports a gleaming coat of paint and spotless shares.
Harold acquired the oldest plow in his collection - a Carey wooden moldboard plow - from a Missouri collector.
Missouri was the western edge of the frontier up through the mid-1800s, and many of the 350,000 pioneers who left Missouri in wagon trains between 1841 and 1866 carried a plow in their wagons.
"I saw a picture of an Eddy plow in a magazine and wrote to ask if any were available for sale," Harold recalls.
Harold bought the bluegrass plow in his collection at a farm auction in Jefferson City, Mo.
The next major innovation in plow design was the arrival of the sulky plow in
It was the first plow in
which the parts most exposed to wear could be renewed in the field by the substitution of new parts.
This feature allows the action of the tongue to steer the plow in
Even as common an object as the field plow has been romanticized as part of America's westward expansion in the phrase "the plow that broke the plains." Yet the history of the plow in
post-colonial America is a subject hardly touched upon except in diverse and scattered sources.