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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • ST. NICHOLAS RESTAURANT, c. 1873

Indian Summer: 1941

Indian Summer: 1941

Fall 1941. Jackson, Michigan. "Soldier granted a furlough to help with harvesting on this farm, watching threshing." Photo by Arthur Siegel. View full size.

 

Threshing

He is standing under the straw pipe of a stationary threshing machine. The straw looks like wheat, but could be barley. In 1941, combines were fairly common, but rigs like this were still in use. A tractor pulled a binder, which cut the grain and tied in into bundles. The bundles were sometimes piled into shocks to dry, or were immediately thrown into a header barge (a wagon lower on one side than the other) and taken to the thresher. That machine normally ran off a tractor pulley by a long flat belt. The bundles were thrown into the thresher, which separated the grain from the chaff/straw. The latter was blown out the rear into a large pile like this one. The whole process was very labor-intensive, as all the transport of the bundles was done by men with pitchforks. The demand for men of WWII ended the practice of harvesting grain this way, as there were not enough men to do it on a massive scale.

[Below, the Goodson thresher. Click to enlarge. - Dave]

 
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