Sunday, September 02, 2018

When the Mule Died and Boys Went to School

A used one of these is $220,000.

In Enlightenment Now, Harvard University professor Steven Pinker recounts how farm technology helped get boys off the farm and into classrooms.

This ad from 1921 reads: "“By investing in a Case Tractor and Ground Detour Plow and Harrow outfit now, your boy can get his schooling without interruption, and the Spring work will not suffer by his absence. Keep the boy in school—and let a Case Kerosene Tractor take his place in the field. You'll never regret either investment.”

What's this have to do with dogs?  More than you might think!  As I noted some time back in a post entitled Man, Mule, Mutt, and Machine:

With an explosion of farm tractors and trucks in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, a glut of old farm horses and mules appeared on the market. The horse and the mule, once an essential means of production, was now a nearly-useless vestige of another area consuming too much pasture, money, and time.

The solution? Canned dog food.

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1 comment:

Donald McCaig said...

Well, er. Literacy is so much better?
The switch from horses to tractors was not an unmixed blessing. A means of production you could feed and replace on the farm was exchanged for a machine made with many layers of profit, imported fuel and parts. The only stable farm communities I know are the Amish (and their horses).