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Peach Orchard, 1936

Agriculture. Peach Orchard.
New York State Archives, NYSA_A3045-78_B16417
Document Description
Men loading peaches on a tractor-drawn wagon, Youngstown, NY, 1936.
What items in the photograph can be identified as being able to do work?
How are the size and material of the tires related to the work a tractor can do?
What conclusions can be made about the impact of machines on agriculture?
Historical Challenges
Research the history of peaches. In what part of the world did peaches first grow? How did peach trees come to the Americas?
Interdisciplinary Connections
Science: Research the geographic climate where peaches grow.
Science: How are tires made and recycled?
Math/Social Studies: Research the current price of a new tractor. Compare tractor prices. Which are the most expensive? What factors make some tractors more expensive than others? What is the difference in price between the least expensive and most expensive tractors? If you were a farmer, how would you decide which tractor to purchase? How does the price of a tractor affect people who live in cities?
Drake, Jane. Farming. Kids Can Press, Limited, September 2002. ISBN: 1553374215
Haywood, John. Work, Trade, and Farming Through the Ages. Anness Publishing, Ltd., October 2001. ISBN: 0754808173
Kehoe, Stacia Ward. I Live on a Farm (Kids in their Communities). Rosen Publishing Group, Incorporated, August 1999. ISBN: 0823954382

About this Activity


Lesson Topic:


Historical Context
The tractor has continued to be one of the most important machines used in agriculture since the steam tractor was introduced in the 1870s.  The tractor is a versatile machine that has a variety of uses, from hauling crops and materials to pulling farm tools that plant, cultivate, fertilize, and harvest crops.  It can even be used for farmers' personal transportation.  Over time and with improvements, tractors replaced the use of animals to plow fields.  Gasoline-powered tractors were used in the 1930s, but during this decade diesel engines were introduced; these increased tractor power and cost less to use than gasoline engines.  During this time, tractors also began to use rubber tires designed for farm equipment. 
Essential Question
How does technology impact local economies?
Check for Understanding
Describe the scene in the photograph and explain how the technology in the photograph impacted the local economy.