
Mechanization of Farming: Frank Sadorus and Changes in AgricultureTimeline:
19001920  Urban
influences on rural life intensified 1907  Frank Sadorus begins taking
photographs (he is 27) Farmers and the Land:
Technology
and Its Influence: How Does the
Math Work? (for students, if you want them to figure it out) The Sadorus family farm was roughly 180 acres. How many hours
would it take to farm 180 acres in the 1850s? During the 1890s? 16 hours/acre x 180 acres = 2,880 hours During the 1930s? 8 hours/acre x 180 acres = 1,440 hours Alternative
Calculation: There is another way to figure out how many hours
it would take to farm the Sadorus’s land. We start with the same information.
We know that during all of these time periods, 2 1/2 acres
are needed to produce one unit, one hundred bushels of corn. In this math equation we broke down the Sadorus's farm into how many units can be produced. One unit is 100 bushels of corn. We found that the Sadorus's farm can produce 72 units. In the 1850s it took about 80 hours to produce one unit. 80 hours x 72 units = 5,760 hours In the 1890s it took about 40 hours to produce one unit. 40 hours x 72 units = 2,880 hours In the 1930s it took about 20 hours to produce one unit. 20 hours x 72 units = 1,440 hours We’ve already compared how long it would take to farm the Sadorus land during the different time periods. Now we want to find out how many people it would take to get the work done in the same amount of time. Because we want to compare these numbers, we want to manipulate them in the same way. Let’s assume that during all three time periods the people working work for ninety days. The number of days in itself is not important  the fact that we use the same number for ALL of our calculations is. 1850s: 5,760
hours of work ÷ 90 days = 64 hours of work a day Now, we know that you can’t work more than 24 hours a day  most people today don’t work more than 9 (except at planting and harvest times). So, in order to get the work done on time, they would have to divide the work among a group of people. Let’s say that each person works 8 hours a day. 1850s: 64 hours
of work a day ÷ 8 hours work for one person = 8 people working These numbers can do a lot to help students understand how the changes in agricultural technology affected farmers and their families. Even in the mid1800s it was essential that the family worked together and stayed together in order to farm the land. As the times changed and there was more and there was more dependence on machinery, fewer people were needed to produce the same amount of crops  and it was no longer economically feasible for families to stay together on the same land. Do these statements agree with what actually happened with the Sadorus family? Are there other possible reasons for why the family sold their farm? (for example, they couldn’t afford to keep up with the technology) Photography Resources:
Relevant Pictures
from Sadorus Collection:
034  farm machinery (thresher?) 035  bailing hay by hand 046  Phoebe on knees working in the ground 051  machinery 061  picking corn by hand 083  machinery / horses 088  machinery 361  manure spreader 415  very large machine 529  corn picking wagon 555  family in fall harvest 422  bailing hay 431  farm machinery 557  farm machinery and horses Research Assignment: Agriculture Resources:

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