From butter churns to diesel tractors, the Museum's agricultural artifacts trace the story of Americans who work the land. Agricultural tools and machinery in the collections range from a John Deere plow of the 1830s to 20th-century cultivators and harvesters. The Museum's holdings also include overalls, aprons, and sunbonnets; farm photographs; milk cans and food jars; handmade horse collars; and some 200 oral histories of farm men and women in the South. Prints in the collections show hundreds of scenes of rural life. The politics of agriculture are part of the story, too, told in materials related to farm workers' unions and a group of artifacts donated by the family of the labor leader Cesar Chavez.
"Agriculture - Overview" showing 1 items.
- This 1979 tractor was owned by Gerald McCathern of Hereford, Tex., who used it in his fields for 700 hours before driving it 1,800 miles to Washington, D.C., to participate in the 1979 American Agriculture Movement demonstration. As wagon master, McCathern coordinated tractorcades that, while bringing the desperate situation facing American farmers to the attention of Congress, also substantially slowed rush-hour traffic. In the midst of the protest, a large snowstorm nearly paralyzed the city, and farmers used their tractors to pull cars out of snowbanks, earning the goodwill of many people.
- The American Agriculture Movement bought the tractor and presented it to the Smithsonian in 1986. The IH 1486 is representative of the technology that typifies modern agriculture. It has sixteen forward and eight reverse speeds, power steering and brakes, diesel turbocharged engine, wide adjustable front end, detachable front weights, air-conditioning, AM-FM radio tape deck, hydraulic adjustable seat, and an adjustable steering wheel.
- Date made
- McCathern, Gerald
- International Harvester
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center