Tools That Helped to Carve the Farming Belt in the Southland
Some Vintage Farming Tools
did not evolve by horse-power. Some farming tools did not come (just) by hours upon hours of design and headaches. The fact that is always overlooked when nostalgic-minded people start looking back to their lives on the farm and they always remark, "what a great steam tractor I had," or, "man, did I love that hayrake."
And both statements are true. Just as true as the east is from the west. But when one sits back and looks over the most-used, most-important rooms of any Southern abode would have to be the kitchen. This fact can only be debated against the front porch being as the most-important.
The Southern wife and mother used her kitchen in most of the hours that she worked in any given day. The father and children, if all were to work in the fields of cotton, corn, or other crops, it was always the unspoken rule that the woman held down and managed her kitchen for this was where all of the meals were cooked, prepared and eaten.
The Kitchen Table
had to be the center of attention given to those who sat on a wooden bench or chairs as they ate, chatted, laughed and even opened up a new, efficient way to farm or how to get the most agricultural products that they could be harvested by making a new plan someone read in a magazine entitled: Progressive Farmer.
As the mom sat at the family dining table at the center of the kitchen, she most times (by choice) sat quietly enjoying her food while she rested her tired body and listened to her husband and children fill her savored time by the memories her family were creating in front of her eyes
Sometimes, as the family and customs in the South progressed forward, the children, including the male children, lended a hand to help their hard-working mother clear the table. But the mom and the daughters always took it to task to wash the dishes, dry them and put them in the mom's kitchen safe which was made from wood.
The Main Things About
a Southern family's kitchen was not the delicious food that was served morning, noon, and night, but the (most-times) aluminum water bucket along with the aluminum dipper that stayed hanging on a nail by this noticeable table and was never moved. Not all water buckets were made from aluminum, but wood. But in the South, when farming really started being one of America's strongest industries, families used the aluminum water bucket and dipper and these two items were never tamperd with or used in a prank. For someone to hide the dipper meant a whipping by the stern dad.
What would have happened if the water bucket and dipper had been taken by some area thief? This would come very close to being open chaos for people cannot really say (in terms) just how important the water bucket and dipper was as they pertained to the daily lives of the family.
In the morning, the dad used this water to heat on the wood stove in order to shave his face with his straight razor. The mom naturally used the water in this aluminum bucket for cooking and later she would again heat up the water for her and her daughters to wash the dishes if the mom and daughters were to work in the fields with the father and boys.
Outside of the kitchen, there sat the now-anqitue coal scuttle. This was a weird-looking apparatus that the boys of the family took turns in order to keep a scuttle of coal always sitting hear the pot bellied heater sitting in the living room to heat the house as they all sat and rested, read the Bible or other books, and just chatted about the day that was now history.
Where did the Water
come from? This would be the operable question. Some farming families depended on the water well for family use and for use on the farm. But as the Southern farmers begin to prosper, many of these eager men had water wells dug nearest their homes and a hand-water pump was ordered from the general merchantile store in the nearest town.
Hand-water pumps (as seen in photo on this hub) took weeks for the pump to be shipped via wagon overland from a town in the east. The farmers who were to use this "new" way of getting water must have been very patient as the water pump was coming slowly to the excited farming family.
These Early American
farming utensils--the aluminum water bucket and dipper, the coal scuttle, and the hand-pump and bucket were just three very important items that farmers and their families used not just to quench the thirsts of the hard-working farming family, but help the Southern farm work as smoothly as possible.
The list of important farming tools is long and cannot be covered in (this) one piece. But these three that are mentioned are certainly to be placed near that or any list written about tools used in America's Southland.
© 2017 Kenneth Avery