Felling Axe Axes and hatchets for felling timber and working it into useful pieces of wood were indispensable to the first colonists. The felling axe, which has a long narrow blade, was used to chop down trees and cut off limbs.
Broad Axe Axes and hatchets for felling timber and working it into useful pieces of wood were indispensable to the first colonists. The broad axe has a broad flaring blade more appropriate for hewing.
Jefferson Jefferson received most of his support in the election from the South and from the western frontier, undoubtedly because the Virginian portrayed himself as an advocate of the farmer and common man. Indeed, approximately eighty percent of Americans at this time were farmers. Although some farmed cash crops to resell, the vast majority lived on family farms and grew food for their own subsistence. They built their own houses, raised their own animals, grew their own food, and made their own clothes. Jefferson firmly believed that these men and women were the heart of American republicanism and that the future of the nation rested upon their shoulders. He abhorred the squalor and gross inequality he saw in the developing factory cities in Europe and wanted to avoid the same inequality in the United States.
U.S. Rectangular Land Survey The Rectangular Survey System provides for a unit of land approximately 24 miles square, bounded by base lines running east and west, and meridians running north and south. This 24 mile square is divided into areas six miles square called townships. Townships are further divided into 36 sections, each one mile square. Base Line and Principal Meridian. The first step in implementing this survey system in a given area is the establishment of an initial point. This point will be the basis for all government surveys in the area it controls, and its latitude and longitude are fixed by astronomical observations. From this initial point, a Principal Meridian is run north and south on a line that would intersect the poles, and a Base Line is run east and west on a parallel of latitude. The Principal Meridian controls survey lines east and west, and the Base Line is the north and south control.
Sections. Townships are subdivided into 36 parts, each one mile square, called sections. This is accomplished by running each way through the township lines which are parallel to the south and east township boundaries. The 36 sections into which the township is divided are numbered from 1 to 36, beginning with the northeast corner and proceeding west and east alternately through the township. See Example 2 for an illustration of a township divided into one mile square sections. Such a section would contain 640 acres. Further subdivisions are made by the division of the sections into quarters containing 160 acres, and named the northeast quarter, northwest quarter, southeast quarter, and southwest quarter. The quarter sections may be divided into quarter quarter sections of 40 acres and these quarter quarter sections further divided into quarter quarter quarter sections of 10 acres. While sections may be divided into even smaller units of 2.5 acres, 10 acre portions are usually the smallest. See Example 3 below. In some states, a township frequently will be occupied partially by Indian Lands. The United States Government Surveys did not cover these lands, and an intersection with the boundaries of them resulted in fractional townships. Fractional quarters are also created by the meander line of a body of water.
Textile Mills The water flows into the tub, turning the wheel. The wheel turns the shafts and gears connected to it. Leather belts connect the shafts and the machinery to provide the power to run the machine.
Most sawmills consisted of a straight saw blade strung tight in a rectangular wooden frame, called a sash or gate. The saw sash is connected to a water wheel below it through a crank and by a wooden sweep The turning motion of the water wheel is converted to the up and down motion of the saw by the eccentric crank. Some power from the saw sash is used to turn a large gear, called a rag wheel. This in turn moves the carriage which the log rests on, pulling the log through the saw. The saw cuts into the log on its down stroke, and the log moves forward again on the up stroke. After one board is sawed, the log carriage is run back to the other end of the mill, the log moved over, and another board cut. This process is repeated until the whole log has been sawed into lumber.
Grist Mill To operate the mill, the miller places the grain to be ground in the funnel-like hopper above his pair of millstones, after first taking out his toll. Then he opens the sluice gate that lets water into his water wheel. As the weight of falling water turns the water wheel, large gears turning smaller gears make the shaft turn faster. This power is transmitted to a vertical spindle, upon which rests a large, flat disc of stone, often weighing a ton or more. This stone spins just above, but not quite touching, an identical stone set stationary in the floor of the mill. Both stones have a pattern of grooves cut into their faces. As one stone turns above the other, their grooves cross much like scissor blades. Grain falling through the hole, or "eye", in the runner stone is cut apart as it passes between the two stones.
Carding Mill Before wool can be spun into yarn for knitting or weaving into cloth, it first must be brushed, or carded. This tedious task was successfully mechanized in the second half of the 18th century. Since 1773, carding machines have had the same basic design as they do today. They consist of a series of round brushes that align wool fibers as the wool passes from one end of the machine to the other. Each cylinder is covered with bent iron wires, which grab wool in one direction and release it in another. Clean but tangled wool is fed into the machine from a conveyor belt, called a feed apron. Two small cylinders--called licker-ins—transfer the wool from the apron to the tumbler, which deposits it on the large main cylinder. This cylinder carries the wool through the machine. Along the way, it is removed by workers. Strippers then take it from the workers and deposit it back on the main cylinder. Near the end of the machine, a fancy with long bristles fluffs the wool up on the main cylinder so that a doffer can remove it. The wool is rolled up into rolls or silvers for spinning as it passes between a fluted cylinder and a concave shell.
Rebecca Lukens and the Brandywine Iron Works Rebecca was the daughter of Quaker Isaac Pennock who founded the Federal Slitting Mill near Coatesville about 1793. She grew up in the business often accompanying her father in the mill. She went to boarding school in nearby Wilmington, Delaware, where among other subjects, she studied chemistry. The slitting mill processed iron from other mills into barrel hoops and nails. It was called "Federal" in honor of the new constitution. By 1824, when Isaac died, the mill was known as the Brandywine Iron Works and Nail Factory, after Brandywine Creek which provided the water power for the mill. She married Dr. Charles Lukens in 1813. He soon entered the iron business, and together the Lukens leased the mill from her father. Starting in 1816 they lived in "Brandywine Mansion," which is now located within the Lukens Historic District. Charles experimented with new products, such as rolled steel plate, in the early 1820s. The steel plate was used to construct the first metal hulled steamboat in America, the Codorus, and was later used as boilerplate in steam engines and locomotives. Charles died in 1825, leaving Rebecca in charge of a company near bankruptcy. An inheritance dispute and the Panic of 1837 further complicated matters. She ran the company until 1847, making it into the country's premier manufacturer of boilerplate. During her retirement she wrote an autobiography for her grandchildren. In 1848, she built Terracina as a wedding present for her daughter Isabella upon her marriage to Dr. Charles Huston.
Lowell Textile Mills Francis Cabot Lowell invented the first factory system "where people and machines were all under one roof." A series of mills and factories were built along the Merrimack River by the Boston Manufacturing Company, an organization founded in years prior by the man for whom the resulting city was named. Construction began in 1821, and the mills were at their peak roughly twenty years later. For the first time in the United States these mills combined the textile processes of spinning and weaving under one roof, essentially eliminating the "putting- out system" in favor of mass production of high-quality cloth. The workforce at these factories was three-quarters women. The Waltham-Lowell system, as it was called, was greatly impacted both by economic instability and by immigration. A minor depression in 1834 led to a sharp reduction in wages, which in turn produced organization of the female workers and two of the earliest examples of a successful strike. A feature of such organization was the magazines and newsletters put out by the girls, the most famous of which was the Lowell Offering. Then later, when the Panic of 1837 necessitated a true drop in wages, many Lowell girls were replaced by the lower paid Irish “biddies,” or “Bridgets.” By 1850 the majority of workers at Lowell factories were poor immigrants. One result of this large scale laying-off was that now there were many adult, single women in society, who were used to earning their own money. It was only sensible that they seek other positions (teaching, etc.) in which to make money; and by doing so they further contributed to the birth of the working women.
Thresher Separated the grain from the stalks and chaff.
Mason jar for canning The earliest glass jars were called wax sealers, because they used sealing wax, which was poured into a channel around the lip that held on a tin lid. This process was complicated and error-prone, but it was largely the only one available for a long time, and widely used even into the early 1900s. By far, though, the most popular form of seal was the screw-on zinc cap, the precursor to today's screw-on lids. The earliest successful application of this was discovered by Mason and patented on November 30, 1858, a date embossed on thousands of jars. Jars with "Patent Nov 30th 1858" were made in many shapes, sizes, and colors well into the 1900s. Since they were made in such quantity and used for such long periods, many of them have survived to the present day.
Drag Harrow A spring-tooth harrow, sometimes called a drag harrow, is a type of tine harrow, and is a largely outdated piece of farm equipment. It uses many flexible iron teeth mounted in rows to loosen the soil before planting. It is set in the ground and raised manually and cannot be backed up; this is why it has been replaced by more modern equipment such as the chisel plow and field cultivator. A drag harrow more specifically refers to a largely outdated type of soil cultivation implement that is used to smooth the ground as well as loosen it after it has been plowed and packed. It uses many flexible iron teeth usually arranged into three rows. It has no hydraulic functionality and has to be raised/adjusted with one or multiple manual levers. It is a largely outdated piece of farm equipment, having been replaced by more modern disc harrows and deeper, stiff-toothed rippers, however, smaller farmers still use them.
Barbed Wire Barbed wire was the first wire technology capable of restraining cattle. Wire fences were cheaper and easier to erect than their alternatives. (One such alternative was Osage orange, a thorny bush which was time-consuming to transplant and grow. The Osage orange later became a supplier of the wood used in making barb wire fence posts.) When wire fences became widely available in the United States in the late 19th century, they made it affordable to fence much larger areas than before. They made intensive animal husbandry practical on a much larger scale.
Information Technology and Agriculture In-season forecasting of maize yields in two fields in Nebraska, 2003. LEFT: Irrigated maize grown under optimal conditions at Lincoln. RIGHT: Rainfed maize grown under drought stress at Mead