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A Reeves steam tractor turning virgin sod

A Reeves steam tractor turning virgin sod
Creator: Steele, F. M. (Francis Marion), 1866-1936
Date: Between 1891 and 1912
This is a view of a large Reeves steam tractor plowing prairie land to turn up sod.


Agricultural equipment, Garden City, Finney County, Kansas

Agricultural equipment, Garden City, Finney County, Kansas
Creator: Wolf, Henry L. 1850-1924
Date: Between 1890 and 1900
The photograph shows the first steam powered plow in Garden City, Finney County, Kansas. The photograph also shows a man, who looks to be steering the plow while another man is riding on it. In the background of the photo there are a few buildings.


A group of men pose with a tractor in a field in Thomas County, Kansas

A group of men pose with a tractor in a field in Thomas County, Kansas
Date: Between 1920 and 1929
A group of men, one holding a baby, pose with a tractor in a field in Thomas County, Kansas.


Angell Plow

Angell Plow
Creator: Angell, Charlie J.
Date: 1926
One-way disk plow manufactured by Charles Angell of Plains, Kansas. Angell, a wheat farmer, developed a plow that set all disks at the same angle, or "one-way," to increase tilling efficiency. Farmers liked that it plowed faster and easily broke up hard soil, but its overuse created a fine, dusty layer that quickly blew away in heavy winds. This is a smaller version of the actual plow, which was ten feet wide. Angell made this four-foot model for use in his family's vegetable garden.


Angell disc plow advertising pamphlet

Angell disc plow advertising pamphlet
Creator: Ohio Cultivator Company
Date: Between 1930 and 1935
This is a pamphlet for the Angell disc plow, invented by C. J. Angell (Charles John/Charlie John), a wheat farmer from Plains, Kansas. It was manufactured by the Ohio Cultivator Company in Bellevue, Ohio. It contains testimonials from the following men from Plains, Kansas: J. D. Golliher, D. B. Baty, Clyde Atkinson, and W. W. Coons


Arno Knox farm, McAllaster, Logan County, Kansas

Arno Knox farm, McAllaster, Logan County, Kansas
Date: Between 1915 and 1925
This series of photographs shows different perspectives of men and horses polwing and planting on Arno Knox's farm near McAllaster in Logan County, Kansas.


Auto converted for plowing

Auto converted for plowing
Date: 1916
This sepia colored photograph shows a group of men gathered around an automobile that has been converted for plowing purposes. The vehicle has a 1916 Kansas license plate.


Avery under mount steam engine, Lane County, Kansas

Avery under mount steam engine, Lane County, Kansas
Date: 1905
John Henry sits in the cab of an Avery under mount steam engine being used to plow a field in Lane County, Kansas. The engine was owned by Ford Brown.


Birds-eye view of Richter farm, Finney County, Kansas

Birds-eye view of Richter farm, Finney County, Kansas
Creator: Wolf, Henry L. 1850-1924
Date: Between 1890 and 1900
This photograph shows a birds-eye view of men working on the Richter farm in Finney County, Kansas.


Breaking sod and seeding wheat in a field, Logan County, Kansas

Breaking sod and seeding wheat in a field, Logan County, Kansas
Date: 1909
Photographs showing a steam tractor and plow being used to break sod and seed wheat in a field in Logan County, Kansas.


Breaking sod, western Kansas

Breaking sod, western Kansas
Date: Between 1910 and 1925
This black and white photograph shows a steam tractor breaking sod in western Kansas as a group of men and two children look on. The men standing on the plow are raising and lowering the implement as it turns the soil.


Breaking sod with a tractor, Greeley County, Kansas

Breaking sod with a tractor, Greeley County, Kansas
Date: Between 1920 and 1930
A farm crew uses a coal burning Case tractor to break sod in a field in Greeley County, Kansas.


Chapter IV: Destructive effects of undesirable tendencies, in The future of the Great Plains: Report of the Great Plains Committee

Chapter IV: Destructive effects of undesirable tendencies, in The future of the Great Plains: Report of the Great Plains Committee
Creator: Great Plains Committee
Date: December, 1936
This report was created by the Great Plains Committee, which had been called by President Roosevelt to investigate the effects of drought and wind erosion in the southwestern United States. Chapter IV of the report, titled "Destructive Effects of Undesirable Tendencies," outlines some of the major problems in this region, composed of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. These problems included the decreasing amount of range land, soil erosion, and the depletion of ground water. A large part of the chapter deals with relief efforts and homestead rehabilitation. It also contains illustrations and tables that provide comparative data on the situation in each of these states.


Chapter V: Attitudes of mind, in The future of the Great Plains: Report of the Great Plains Committee

Chapter V: Attitudes of mind, in The future of the Great Plains: Report of the Great Plains Committee
Creator: Great Plains Committee
Date: December 1936
This report was created by the Great Plains Committee, which had been called by the President to investigate the effects of drought and wind erosion in the southwestern United States. For the purposes of the committee, the Great Plains region was composed of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. In Chapter V, the committee argues that farmers' lack of understanding about effective agricultural techniques, combined with severe drought, had created the critical situation that existed during the Dust Bowl. Certain "attitudes of mind," such as the idea that natural resources are inexhaustible, were the root cause of farmers' problems. The chapter outlines some of these attitudes and assumptions that had proved to be unreliable.


Checks on erosion and floods

Checks on erosion and floods
Date: Between 1930 and 1937
This unidentified newspaper clipping illustrates and explains four useful techniques for combating drought and soil erosion: planting vegetation on steep slopes, strip cropping, contour plowing, and check dams.


Composite photograph showing scenes near Garden City, Kansas

Composite photograph showing scenes near Garden City, Kansas
Creator: Wolf, Henry L. 1850-1924
Date: Between 1900 and 1905
A composite photograph showing a steam tractor and plow, three binders at work, a wheat field, irrigation canal gates, a farm, bison, a tree claim, product exhibit at the county fair, and the U. S. Experimental farm near Garden City, Kansas.


Curbing the wind

Curbing the wind
Creator: Aicher, L. C.
Date: 1935
The twenty-ninth biennial report of the Kansas State Board of Agriculture includes this short article by L. C. Aicher, superintendent of the Fort Hays Experiment Station in Hays, Kansas. In the article ("Curbing the Wind" in Twenty-Ninth Biennial Report of the Kansas State Board of Agriculture for the Years 1933 to 1934"), Aicher describes the most effective techniques for preventing wind erosion, stating that "the secret in preventing soil from blowing is to keep the surface in a roughened condition." He also gives directions about the best methods for listing land and caring for fallow fields.


Discing a field, Edwards County

Discing a field, Edwards County
Date: 1909
This photograph represents men, women and children operating a steam traction engine pulling a one-way plow while discing a field in Edwards County, Kansas. The other agricultural equipment shown in the photograph is a water wagon pulled by horses.


Doty's Avenue east of Garden City and a steam plow near Garden City, Kansas

Doty's Avenue east of Garden City and a steam plow near Garden City, Kansas
Creator: Wolf, Henry L. 1850-1924
Date: Between 1900 and 1905
A composite photograph showing Doty's Avenue east of Garden City and a steam powered tractor and plow near Garden City, Kansas. Visible in both photographs are horse drawn carriages.


Dust Bowl soil is now same as Chinese desert

Dust Bowl soil is now same as Chinese desert
Creator: Hubbard, J. R.
Date: August 9, 1936
This article in the Topeka Capital discusses some of the causes of soil erosion and diminished soil moisture, as well as ways to counteract these forces. Both WPA engineers and scientists at the Hays Engineering Station have been measuring soil moisture and developing techniques to counteract the negative effects of the farming trends in use since World War I.


Ed Angell and A. V. Angell plowing a field in Meade County, Kansas

Ed Angell and A. V. Angell plowing a field in Meade County, Kansas
Date: 1904
This photograph shows Ed Angell, left, and A. V. Angell, right, using a Port Huron steam engine to plow a field on their farm in Meade County, Kansas.


Edna Heim to Clarice Snoddy

Edna Heim to Clarice Snoddy
Creator: Heim, Edna
Date: August 31, 1938
Tenant farmers Bill and Edna Heim of Kensington, Kansas, wrote this letter to farm owner Clarice Snoddy of Topeka regarding drought conditions and government soil conservation programs on the farm. The letter demonstrates the use of local and federal government programs to counter the removal of a dangerous amount of topsoil from farms on the southern Plains. Kansas began appealing for emergency federal aid in 1937 to counter sever drought and wind erosion in what is commonly known as the Dust Bowl.


Edwin Boyer's plowing outfit near Grainfield, Kansas

Edwin Boyer's plowing outfit near Grainfield, Kansas
Creator: Reed, W. H.
Date: 1906
This is a photograph of Edwin Boyer's plowing outfit on his farm near Grainfield, Kansas. The outfit consists of a Reeves steam engine, two Campbell packers, Lacrosse plows, and two harrows.


Emigrants' guide to the Kansas Pacific Railway lands

Emigrants' guide to the Kansas Pacific Railway lands
Creator: Kansas Pacific Railway Company
Date: April 1871
A railroad company advertisement to emigrants promising cheap, abundant and good land for agricultural purposes.


Engine with plows in Gove County, Kansas

Engine with plows in Gove County, Kansas
Date: Between 1908 and 1910
This photograph shows a 35 horsepower engine with sixteen 14 inch plows in Gove County, Kansas. Edwin Boyer is sitting on the plow and several other individuals are in the photo. A wooden structure is also in the image.


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