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 is a curved metal knife used by Isaias Sanchez to cut palm fronds and dates from date trees. Isaias Sanchez used this knife in California when he was brought in from Mexico under a Federal temporary guest worker program commonly known as the Bracero Program. More then 2 million guest workers were brought in between 1942 and 1964 under this program. Workers were used mainly in agricultural fields, orchards, and cotton fields. U.S. growers wanted a source of cheap, efficient, and temporary labor. American farm workers and union officials were worried about loss of jobs, lower wages, poor working conditions, and lack of representation. Communities on both sides of the border experienced periods of economic prosperity as workers spent money or sent money home. This program had a direct impact on immigration and labor policy but more importantly on the formation of thriving Mexican American communities here in the U.S.
- date made
- ca 1963
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- accession number
- catalog number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center