10 July 2010

Thrashing Out Answers

At the NGS conference this year, I attended a class that encouraged us to use our social network to answer genealogical questions. I posted my question about the machinery on my blog and then referred to it a couple of times on my Facebook account. My sister also emailed the photos to a couple of people we thought might know more than we did. Sure enough, we got some answers from some knowledgeable people.

My friend Nancy answered this way: According to Alan who actually remembers using some of them as a youngster...#1 Thrashing machine #2 A stationary thrasher...Alan's dad had one..the grain was cut in the field & put in shocks using a binder; then a tractor & wagon went between 2 rows with a man on each side throwing the shocks onto the wagon using pitchforks; another man rode in the wagon and stacked the shocks; shocks were taken to the thrasher which separated them into grain which you can see in the bags & straw which was blown in large piles. On the right you can see some steam engines which were used to power the thrasher--they had a 40-50 ft. belt back to the thrasher. #3 I was right...a Mormon board or slip scraper (same thing, different names) #4 Another thrasher. It was essentially a horse drawn, ground driven (the turning of the wheels on the thresher provided the mechanical power) combine which both cut the grain and threshed the wheat from the straw. He remembers hearing that these were more often used on the dry farms where the grain wasn't as thick.

The thing that surprised me was that most of the farm machinery was used for the same thing--threshing or thrashing. Nancy provided me with some insight on this question too: I spent some time with the dictionary.....It seems to me that thrashing or threshing are interchangeable, but it referred to the machine as a threshing machine. So a threshing machine threshes or thrashes the grain.

Hey thanks! Social networking provides us with the means to collaborate on our problems even if we don't have the same family lines. Now to get a few more of us old-timers to sign up.

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