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.
- Jim Nelson of Greenwood, SC, made this cotton planter before the turn of the twentieth century. Like many farmers, Nelson tinkered with available material. There were numerous patents for cotton planters, and factory-made planters were available.
- Nelson's planter is all-wood except for the furrow opener and the furrow closer and a rim that goes around the wheel at the center of the drum. The drum is made of soft wood and measures 20 inches in diameter and 13 inches by width. In operation, the drum was filled with cotton seeds that fell through 13 openings as the drum revolved. The two metal pieces used as a furrow opener are 13 ½ inches high by 3 ½ inches wide, and the furrow coverers measure 8 ½ inches high by 1 ½ inch wide. Both are bolted to the wooden frame and controlled by a cord on the handles.
- Ruben F. Vaughn bought the planter in 1902 and used it until he donated it to the National Museum of American History in 1937.
- Date made
- ca 1900
- Nelson, Jim
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center