What Tools Did Farmers Use In The 1800s?


6 Answers

Ray Hueston Profile
Ray Hueston answered
During the early 1800s, farmers still used a variety of wooden tools. One of them was the grain shovel. These shovels were used to move grain, as farmers believed metal shovels would bruise seeds.

Seeds were planted using wooden corn planters, consisting of a canister attached to a contraption which would release one seed at a time when a large handle was pulled up.

Various mechanical planters started appearing around 1850. These were rejected by most farmers, as they believed the time actually saved by using them did not justify the cost.

Another reason for rejection was the fact that seeds were often tarred before planting to stop birds eating them. This made it impossible to put them into the mechanical planters, as they gummed them up.

By the end of the century, enough improvements were made for farmers to accept the mechanical planters.

The harrow, a wooden frame with protruding iron spikes was used to smooth out the rough and clumpy soil in preparation for planting, similar to a plow.

Square harrows were used on fields free of obstacles, tree stumps etc, as they were able to cover more ground. Fields containing obstacles were prepared using a triangular, or bifurcate, harrow, as this was more maneuverable.

By the end of the century, disk harrows, which are still used today, had replaced iron spike harrows.

To pick up straw and hay for moving or stacking, wooden pitchforks were used. Other wooden implements in use were  plows, covered in iron strips to reduce wear; grain cradles, scythes with four wooden fingers to gather grain while it was being cut and cheese presses.

While mechanical reapers were available from around 1830, they were not used much until 1855. By 1880, farming was mostly mechanised, developing into large scale machine farming by 1890.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Horse drawn tilling machines, scythes, rakes, pulleys, hand operated threshing machines. Farming was very labour intensive.
nettie Profile
nettie answered
My grandfather used what is called a plow hooked to a horse or a mule, most of the time it was the mule that pulled the plow with my grandfather walking behind holding on to the plow, this was before tractors were introduced...the best to you

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