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Now Available: Hay Harvesting in the 1940's Collection

Published: November 05, 2008 by Chris Burns

We are pleased to announce a new collection which documents Hay Harvesting in the 1940's

In the 1940’s, Robert M. Carter, of the University of Vermont Agricultural Expriment Station, conducted a study of hay harvesting techniques and costs in Vermont. This collection documents that work which resulted in several published studies and three films showing different hay harvesting techniques.

The films capture hay harvesting at a time when there was an increasing use of power machinery, and they show a range of techniques including older methods of hand harvesting, as well as newer tractor driven methods. In Carter’s study he writes, “While nearly half of all farmers contacted relied upon horses for handling some field equipment, combinations of horse- and motor-operated equipment were frequent. Forty-one percent of the farmers owned tractors, and 21 percent had trucks.” These films capture hay harvesting right in the middle of the transition from horse to machine driven equipment.

Preservation and digitization of these films was made possible through a generous grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation.

View the collection here.