Tractors from another time

Driving down a Kansas country road in the fall, you might catch sight of a huge John Deere tractor with an air-conditioned cab. It is a beautiful sight to stop and watch. They move at such a slow even pace and in such straight lines. They are getting the ground ready for the winter wheat seed.

Floyd Moon and Edwin Rice take a tractor out in the snow, ca. 1925. Source: JoCoHistory.org.

Floyd Moon and Edwin Rice take a tractor out in the snow, ca. 1925. Source: JoCoHistory.org.

Today’s tractor has been computerized making it quite the modern convenience! A computer in the cab can do the work without much help from a human. This has not always been the case. An elderly lady who spent her youth farming told me they felt they were “living high off the hog” when her father got a tractor umbrella. Now we have radios, cd players and even TVs. Back then though, they enjoyed the company of their thoughts and occasionally saw wild deer, badgers, raccoons or perhaps an eagle flying overhead. I was also told about a young coyote who followed slightly behind a tractor for quite a time in hopes of a mouse popping up.

Farmall tractor, ca. 1943. Hazel Sharp, Ed Miller and Perry Sharp working in the grain fields. Source: JoCoHistory.org.

Farmall tractor, ca. 1943. Hazel Sharp, Ed Miller and Perry Sharp working in the grain fields. Source: JoCoHistory.org.

Those that grow up in cities may find it exciting to ride along an old country road and see what it is all about, like a carnival ride. So stop and watch while one gets the ground ready to plant the winter seed and imagine what it was like before.

Boys taking apart a tractor. Photo taken from a FFA Scrapbook, ca. 1939-40. Source: JoCoHistory.org.

Boys taking apart a tractor. Photo taken from a FFA Scrapbook, ca. 1939-40. Source: JoCoHistory.org.

-Terri Bostic, Johnson County Library

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