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Wheat harvesting in Dakota
Wheat harvesting in Dakota
TitleWheat harvesting in Dakota
Date of Original1887
CreatorZogbaum, Rufus Fairchild, 1849-1925
Creator RoleIllustrator
DescriptionLaborer standing near man on horse in foreground while long line of binders in operation in background and other laborers building grain shocks from the wheat bundles created by the binders.
Ordering InformationConsult:
General SubjectAgriculture
Subject (LCTGM)Agricultural laborers
Harvesting machinery
Subject (LCSH)Bonanza farms
Subject (Local)Binders (Agricultural machinery)
Binding grain
Bundle haulers
Sheaves of grain
LocationRed River Valley (Minn. & N.D.-Man.)
North Dakota
United States
Item NumberFolio 102.AgB66.5
Format of OriginalWood engravings
Dimensions of Original29 x 41 cm.
Publisher of OriginalHarper's Magazine Co.
Place of PublicationNew York (N.Y.)
Transcription"The Wheat Fields of Dakota. First in area comes Texas, then California, and third the Territory of Dakota. Climatically Dakota presents great diversity. In the northeast and southeast the soil is surprisingly rich, the climate moist, not over-severe in winter, and well adapted to the cultivation of cereals. The western portion of the territory falls within the arid region. Rain is scare, and until irrigation can be carried out it will remain unproductive. In the southwest the Black Hills range produces the precious metals, but excepting in its proximity the surface of the Territory is flat, with an average height of 2000 feet above the level of the sea. In many parts of it are wide areas consisting of a dark loamy soil of considerable depth, a land particularly adapted to the growing of cereals. Within the last twenty years great attention has been paid to the cultivation of wheat in Dakota. From a product of only 945 bushels in the whole Territory made in 1860, in 1880 the harvest was 2, 830, 289 bushels. It is probable that in 1890 this product will be much more than doubled in quantity. The Northern Pacific Railroad carries a large proportion of the wheat, and it finds its principal market at Duluth. Wheat farms of enormous size are found within the Territory, there being one of not less than 100, 000 acres. On such a vast domain as this, economy in labor is everything. The flat prairie-land allows of the most approved mechanical appliances, and in harvest time innumerable reaping machines are used. Nothing can be more startling than to see approaching a huge battery, as it were, of these reapers, drawn by their three horses yoked abreast. As far as the eye can see, over a vast frontage, the line advances, and even at a long distance the revolutions of the blades of the mowers can be heard. The golden wheat falls in huge windrows, sometimes to be taken by other machines and made into sheaves, or to be handled by the harvesters. Mounted 'bosses' ride from point to point and superintend the work. In ploughing, harrowing, sowing, the best and most approved labor-saving implements are used. A Dakota wheat farm of size seems to be rather a factory where cereals are to be produced than a tract of land dependent on ordinary agricultural methods. Mr. Zogbaum's sketch presents just such a wheat farm when the big line of reaping machines is on its march. All along the front the machines are advancing. It is hot and heavy work, for the sun is powerful in these regions, and there is no shade. The boss scans the men at their tasks, and in a few minutes, spurring his horse, may be far down the line, directing the labors of other hands. The sight is unique, for in no other part of the world can such a wheat field be seen as in Dakota" - Accompany text, p. 663.
NotesTitle from caption with image.
Repository InstitutionNorth Dakota State University Libraries, Institute for Regional Studies
Repository CollectionDakota Lithographs and Engravings Collection Folio 102
Collection Finding AidConsult:
Credit LineInstitute for Regional Studies, NDSU, Fargo (Folio 102.AgB66.5)
Rights ManagementImage in public domain.
Digital IDrsL00010
Original SourceHarper's Weekly, July 30, 1887. p. 541.
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