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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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Twenty-Mule Team: 1941

Twenty-Mule Team: 1941

July 1941. "Twenty-mule-team-drawn combine. Walla Walla County, Washington. This outfit gets to work at 6 in the morning. Knocks off at 11 for rest, food and water for mules and men, goes back to work at 1 and works till 6." Medium format negative by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

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Oh, that's good!!

Thank heavens for internal combustion

Once upon a Shorpy time there was an image of a tractor dealer's store. One of the signs in the window --there were several, if I recall-- read something like "Do your horses work for you or do you work for your horses?"

I didn't realize the truth in the question until seeing the number of animals needed to pull a combine!

Here's how it's done

Whenever I count mules I count ears and then divide by 2.

About 2 mules per horse

4-Leg Drive

What's the ratio of mulepower to horsepower?

Twenty mules it is

Four in each of the front two rows, six in each of the rear rows.

They ain't hauling Borax

Kinda looks like wheat to me.

Horse-Drawn Combine, 1938

Skip to the 0:35 mark for sack filling, sewing and depositing for later pickup


Looks more like a sixteen-mule team (but who's counting?)

[I did, and there are 20. Click to embiggen. - Dave]

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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