Farm implements and machinery collections, even without extensive documentation of their farmer-owners, are wealthy sources of information that bring tangible materials to enlighten existing methods of agricultural research. This essay expands upon the application of E. McClung Fleming's model for material culture analysis and offers a methodological case study using extant examples of Deere & Company's No. 999 Two-Row Planter. It suggests the ways that historians can research and incorporate information from farm implements to better understand cultural and farming practices either on the individual farm or in broader analyses of regional agriculture. Their application requires a commitment to the principles of material culture and some time, but the results can provide an array of research findings that likely would not be captured through use of traditional resources.
|State||Published - Oct 2014|