JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Harrowed Ground: 1941

Harrowed Ground: 1941

July 1941. "Harrowing summer fallow (wheat land). Nez Perce County, Idaho." Medium format acetate negative by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

My maternal grandfather

A man so loathsome neither my mother nor her sisters ever spoke of him, and whose name doesn't appear in the obits of his widow or four daughters, died doing just what this guy is attempting, navigating a tractor on a steep embankment. In my grandfather's case it was a weedy hillside on his central Pennsylvania property. The tractor overturned and crushed him to death. I never met the guy and the only photo any of us have came from the news article in the Mifflin county paper following his accident. It shows the tractor on it's side with his feet stuck out from under it, a death not unlike that of the Wicked Witch of the East of Oz fame.

My grandmother, who I don't believe I ever met either, and who spoke not a word of English, managed to raise four pretty remarkable women on the money she earned taking in laundry and doing clothes alterations and repairs. God rest all their souls.

I'm hoping the driver of the tractor in Russell Lee's photo never met a similar fate.

Easy now, but later --

The set of harrows offer a low center of gravity. Imagine pulling a combine on those sidehills, especially when it wants to track downhill behind the tractor.

Not a harrow falls

I am trying to figure out where Russell Lee was perched in order to get this fabulous shot. Looks mysterious and oddly compelling ... like a great whale surfacing to have a look around. Not, I'm sure, what the harrower was thinking as he harrowed.

Excellent title!

Driving on that slope might be a harrowing experience!

I don't see a church nearby or a graveyard, and it is impolite to make fun of certain accents ... so what else can I say? Herro? Goombye.

Syndicate content is a vintage photography site featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago. Contact us | Privacy policy | Site © 2023 Shorpy Inc.