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Plowing Day 2005

            “Plowing the Soil: 1770-2005   A Day of Plows and Plowing” took place on April 30, 2005 at the Hunt/Usher barn and Persoon fields in Interlaken. The event which attracted a couple of hundred visitors and participants on a rainy day began with a lecture in the historic Brook Farm Barn constructed by John T. Wells in 1907. Professor Peter McClelland’s keynote address- “Plowing Technology and America’s First Agricultural Revolution” provided insight into the earliest development of the plow as farmers began to ask: “Is there a better way?”

            Following the lecture, the action moved to a corn stubble field where furrows were turned with a variety of power sources and equipment. Retired Cornell Archivist Gould Colman narrated the plowing demonstrations as only a person who had been there and done that could.

            Exhibits in the barn included early and more recent agricultural publications, early farm equipment, Bill and Bob- young Holstein steers destined to become oxen, and a collection of model plows made at the Royal Agricultural College of Wurtemberg, Germany under the direction of Professor Ludwig von Rau and displayed at the Paris Exhibition of 1867.




Brook Farm Barn at Living Run was the starting point for the 2005 Plowing Day. Built in the early 1900s, and owned by John & Grace Hunt it is a preserved example of a Wells Barn.


Professor Gould Colman provided a running commentary during the plowing demonstartion.



Two eras of plowing are shown, the steam tractor and the sulky plow.



The rain didn't hamper these two horses with the single plow.


Two current plows work the field. Bruce Austic's (blue) Ford-New Holland TJ375 Tractor with 10 bottom International Model 800 plow


Draft horses and sulky plow with owner Dick Boyes.


Tom Curtis with his 50 HP Case Steam Traction Engine.


Gerald Barrett's 1923 Fordson tractor with 2 bottom plow. This Fordson tractor was restored with the help of Bob Doane and painted by Dick Ross.


Mark Powell and Allan Buddle confir as both tractor and horses wait to take the field.


Several of the antique model plows origninally built for the Paris Exposition of 1867. The collection was acquired by Andrew Dickson White, the first president of Cornell University. The models were  on  loan from Cornell University for the day.


The model plows were made at the Royal Agricultural College of Wurtemberg, Germany under the direction of Professor Ludwig von Rau and displayed at the Paris Exposition of 1867.


Marty Schlabach introduces Professor Peter McClelland prior to his keynote address "Plowing Technology and America's First Agricultural Revolution"



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