In the decadesafter the civil War, native 1865 until theearly 1900s, hundreds of thousands of americans moved into the area ofthe West referred to as the an excellent Plains. Beforethe civil War, most people going come the West passed right overthe great Plains. They taken into consideration the area a substantial treelesswasteland. Your goal to be to obtain to the far West - usuallyCalifornia orOregon. after the CivilWar, the tardy of the an excellent Plains changed. Therewere many new inventions,adaptations, and technological advances that made itpossible to farm yard the floor in the area. Some examples areshown in the photographs below.


You are watching: How did new machinery make dry farming easier for farmers

*
The good Plains Inventionsand adaptations that made it feasible to settle and farm the an excellent Plains:

The 2 pictures listed below show inhabitants onthe GreatPlains. Wood for structure houses was tough to get, due to the fact that thereare not plenty of trees in the area. Therefore the early on settlers do theirhouses from sod - the top layer of soil and grass - cutand stacked to make the walls. Even the roof wasoften make of sod inserted over timber beams. If the farm yard wassuccessful, the owners would later construct a new house using timber boardsshipped inby railroad.
*
*

as settlers began moving ~ above the GreatPlains, theydiscovered that cast iron plow knives commonly supplied in eastern stateswould regularly clog up. The floor of the great Plains is special andrich, and would regularly stick come the actors iron blade. Fortunately, a blacksmith called John Deere developed a wayto do plow chisels out of steel. Steel is more tough than actors iron,and deserve to be made therefore smooth the it cuts through soil without clogging up. The photo below of a plow made with a steel blade is froma demonstrate of old-time agriculture techniques. The plow cutsthrough the floor without any type of problem.
*

The drawingbelow mirrors John Deere"s steel plowblade and also the hardwood handles that a "walk behind" plow. Together a horsepulls the plow, the farmer provides the handle to keep the tongue of theplow moving simply at the ideal depth in the soil. The tongue cutsand transforms over the soil, i beg your pardon is then ready for planting.
*
3.Water-pumping windmills
over there is notmuch rainfall top top the GreatPlains, particularly in the summer. The development of one inexpensivewater pump windmillhelped fix that problem. together the wind turns the chisels of the windmill, along rod that runs downthe tower move the take care of of a water pump up and also down. The pumppulls waterup indigenous a well, and also sends it into a storage tank or othercontainer.That way there is alwayswater accessible for people and animals. Windmills choose this room still provided in manyfarming areas in the West, because theypump water without using electricity.
*

The photobelow reflects a farm boy adjusting the pump mechanism at the base of awindmill. The pump is on peak of a steel pipedrilled under to the level that groundwater. That might be anywherefrom around 20 to much more than 100 feet deep. If over there is no wind,the pump canalso work by moving the lengthy handle up and also down by hand.
*

Barbed wire,invented in1874, solved the problem of building fences on the good Plains.Wood forfences wasn"t easily available, since there were not many trees in theregion. Barbed wire was affordable and also easy to placed up.
*
*

Railroads were an importanttechnological advance thatmade itpossible tosettle the West. Lock could carry in supplies at one affordableprice. They additionally made itpossibleforfarmers to ship out theircrops and also ranchers to ship the end their cattle.
*
The twin photo below is an old stereoscope card. It reflects atrain ~ above the famous Transcontinental rail line the wascompleted to California in 1869. as soon as looked at in a hand-held viewer choose the one top top theright, stereoscope cards provided a 3-D image of the scene. Thesecards and viewers were an extremely popular in the so late 1800s and also early 1900s.
*

The heavy red currently on the map below show few of therailroads developed into the West throughout the 1860s and 1870s. Theline connecting Omaha, Nebraska, come Sacramento, California, is thefirst Transcontinental Railroad. Many more lines were developed later.
*

Farmers necessary a crop that would prosper well in the dry, hotsummers of the an excellent Plains. Wheat was the chop that ideal fit theclimateconditions. The wheat seed at the peak of the tree areground right into flour the is provided to do bread, cereal, and many otherfoods.
*

Wheat was alsoa an excellent match because that the farms of the great Plains because the flat land isideal for utilizing the mechanical reaper to harvest thecrop. The reaper came into vast use after about 1850, and made itpossible come harvest huge plots that wheat quickly. The photograph belowshows one old-style reaping machine in activity in a wheat field.
*

farmers savedsome of the wheat chop for themselves, yet most was bagged and also sold towheatbuyers in huge cities. The photo below shows a farmer all set toloadhis crop on a railroad freight auto for shipment.
*

farmers of the great Plains developed dry farmingtechniques toadapt come the short rainfall and conserve as much moisture in the soil aspossible. Thesetechniques included: 1.Choiceof acrop (wheat) the did no require much rainfall to grow. 2. Plowing the land deeply to permit moisture come getdeep into the soilmore conveniently when that did rain. 3. Planting seed inthe soil deeper 보다 normal, probably two customs downinstead that one customs down. That put the seed in call with moremoisture 보다 the an extremely top great of soil. The drawing listed below shows a old-fashioned seeds drill. It is a devicefarmers usage toplant seed in their fields after the land has actually been plowed. Thewheat seeds go in package at the top. Together the device is pulledthrough the fields by a horse, the seeds drop a few at a time throughthe tubes and into floor at a depth collection by the farmer.
*



See more: How Much Is A 1995 $2 Bill Worth ? 1995 2 Dollar Bill Value

Some parts of the good Plains were right for elevating beefcattle. So that choice, too, was an adaptation tothe conditionsof that area. Texas was the most famed state for cattle ranching.
*
Hand colored photos of sod residences arefrom the Fred Hultstrand Historyin pictures Collection in ~ the Library of Congress. Black andwhite photos are from the Library the Congress. The drawing of the man Deeresteel plow courtesy the the Augustana College special Collections. Colorwheat field photocourtesy that the university of Nebraska cooperative Extension, supplied by permission.The farm yard museum photo of ahorse-drawn plow is courtesy the theWisconsin historical Society.Seed drill imageis a windy domain image used courtesy that ushistoryimages.com.The map and color photos of barbed wire room by David Burns.Some images have actually been edited or resized for this page.