Friday, November 30, 2012

Toy Farm Machines of the Breadbasket of America

Friday, November 30, 2012
         (Sunny, Cold, and Calm)

Toy Farm Machines of
The Breadbasket of America

A Bit of History From a Personal Perspective 
   By the time the American Civil War had ended, the millions of buffalos had been butchered, and the Indian Wars had stopped,  and vast areas of the midwest were ready to expand for both farming and raising cattle. I once read that there were so many buffalo in the early 1800's, that if stood in 1 place, it would take the vast herds 3 days (72 hours straight) for all of the herd to pass you.  But when the Native Indians of the Americas were placed on reservations , and the vast herds of buffalo were long gone, the country looked to use those large areas.

   America searched for immigrants in Europe and Scandinavia to farm the vast areas, and in about 40 years, her wish was granted. By the late 1890's - 1920's America became the "Breadbasket to the World". Unimaginable tonnage of grains and corn were exported around the world. 

   To produce such vast amounts,  the genius of America also spread into agriculture. Machines were invented to plant and harvest the crop. And as gas-powerd machines were invented, developed, and modernized, so the horses and oxen were replaced by huge machines of the time.

   I was fortunate to get permission to use someone's photos for today, but the person wished to remain anonymous. I worked in Photoshop to bring out the detail of today's toys, but I've added the copyright symbol and note for anyone wanting to use the photos. I've added my name just for record, even though the photos belong to someone else. However, I will contact the owner if anyone wishes, to ask for his permission.

   Today's toys are not the oldest, but they are wonderful models of the real farm machinery. As I was doing some research, I realized that  people who are employed in all kinds of professions and industry, like to collect their respective models and toys that they work with. And farmers are no different. There are amazingly many toy companies or model makers who make fantastic machines, with of course license form the major "real" manufacturers. In the near future, if I get permission, I am going to write about  the fantastic toys (models) of transportation and excavation and mining machines. 

My Brief Encounters with Farming

    If you've been  following this blog, you'll know that as a child, my family and I , used to go to Mississquoi Bay in the summertime. My father, Carl, used to go fishing in the 1930's and made friends with Mr. Gordon Roy and his family, Later,my father and family would rent summer cottages from Gordon. Mr. Roy started to change his profession and eventually became an outfitter for fishing. He'd build boats in the wintertime, and in the summer he'd rent them out along with motors. He'd also sell bait (minnows and worms).

    Being young kids in the early 50's (my sister and brother), we'd visit the barn, play in the  barn rafters, and  look at the horses and cows. One time I was daring enough to  try and milk a cow (just 1 squeeze of a teat). At 10 years old,I wasn't so brave, and an 800 pound cow or whatever size it was, was not my idea of being close to. Mr. Roy,of course had horses and a hay cutter, and so we'd see the machinery. However,by late august we'd be back to the city (Montreal) and I can't recall if I ever say the harvest of hay for the cows.

   When I was grown up, and later married, we'd travel to Burlington, Vermont or Plattsburgh, New York for a day and buy some groceries. We'd see the occasional machine harvesting corn, and the odd time, we'd stop and get freshly-picked corn. However, I've never really seen a thresher, combine, or corn cutter (wrong term I'm sure). 

    When I was 13, my parents purchased a house in Ville Saint Laurent, and we moved from the triplex on Dollard Avenue in Outremont. Both of these cities are in Montreal and are now part of the larger city called Montreal,although they have some independence.

   So in the spring of 1964, at 14, I decided to plant carrots in the back of our house, where there was a large empty lot. I didn't know anything about "farming" at the time, not that I know much more now.  I dug a small patch of ground in the back, removed the rocks, and planted the carrots in the shadows ( I didn't know!) of a deserted construction shed. The shack was directly behind my house, so I could watch any of those "carrot  thieves" if they were to take my hard-rasied crop.

   Of course, there never were any carrot thieves, and as for my 10 carrots that actually grew,they were those "special" tiny variety - my way of saying that they never grew!

  So without any more writing, here are today's toys.

The  above machine was custom made

    I hope you didn't mind reading my stories today.  Sometimes I like to include some narrative material to go along with the toy post of the day.

So thanks for dropping by today,
ad have a great morning,
 afternoon, or evening, wherever you may be.


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