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Agricultural Implements and Machines in the Collection of the National Museum of History and Technology Smithsonian Studies in History and Technology, No. 17   By:

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John T. Schlebecker's book on Agricultural Implements and Machines is a comprehensive and enlightening exploration of the collection housed in the National Museum of History and Technology. Spanning numerous historical periods and technological advancements, Schlebecker provides a detailed account of the significant role these agricultural tools played in shaping the American farming landscape.

The book's structure is organized logically, taking readers on a chronological journey through the evolution of agricultural implements. Schlebecker's meticulous research is evident, as he presents a wealth of information about various tools, including plows, reapers, and threshers. Not only does he describe the design and functioning of these implements, but he also sheds light on the innovators behind their creation and the impact of their inventions on farming practices.

One of the standout strengths of Schlebecker's work is his ability to contextualize the technological advancements within the wider historical, social, and economic landscape. He explains how shifting agricultural needs influenced the development of new tools, such as the transition from manual labor to steam-powered machinery during the Industrial Revolution. This historical analysis provides readers with a deeper understanding of how these implements revolutionized farming practices and played a crucial role in the economic growth of the nation.

Furthermore, the book is adorned with vivid and detailed photographs of the agricultural implements from the Smithsonian collection. These visual representations not only enhance the reader's understanding but also act as visual artifacts, showcasing the exquisite craftsmanship and engineering behind each piece. The inclusion of these images adds a compelling visual dimension to Schlebecker's text, making the book a visually captivating experience.

It is important to note that while the book delves into great detail about the various implements, it may not be suited for casual readers seeking a more general overview. The technical descriptions and terminology used throughout the book might be overwhelming for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. However, for enthusiasts, historians, and scholars interested in agricultural history, this book is an invaluable resource, providing an in-depth analysis of the technologies that transformed farming over the centuries.

In conclusion, John T. Schlebecker's Agricultural Implements and Machines is a meticulously researched and well-written book that offers a detailed exploration of the National Museum of History and Technology's collection. Schlebecker's extensive knowledge of the subject matter is evident throughout the book, and his ability to place the agricultural implements within a broader historical context adds depth and insight to the narrative. Whether you are a scholar, historian, or simply curious about the evolution of farming technology, this book is an excellent resource that sheds light on an often-overlooked aspect of American history.

First Page:

Smithsonian Studies in History and Technology Number 17







The emphasis upon publications as a means of diffusing knowledge was expressed by the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. In his formal plan for the Institution, Joseph Henry articulated a program that included the following statement: "It is proposed to publish a series of reports, giving an account of the new discoveries in science, and of the changes made from year to year in all branches of knowledge." This keynote of basic research has been adhered to over the years in the issuance of thousands of titles in serial publications under the Smithsonian imprint, commencing with Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge in 1848 and continuing with the following active series:

Smithsonian Annals of Flight Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology Smithsonian Contributions to Astrophysics Smithsonian Contributions to Botany Smithsonian Contributions to the Earth Sciences Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology Smithsonian Studies in History and Technology

In these series, the Institution publishes original articles and monographs dealing with the research and collections of its several museums and offices and of professional colleagues at other institutions of learning... Continue reading book >>

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