Powering Inventions Exhibit
"Necessity is the mother of invention," the old proverb said in the 1800s. Using the knowledge and simpler tools of the past, farmers and inventors constantly came up with new and better ways of plowing, planting, and harvesting by trying out new machines and abandoning those that did not work.
The development of agricultural inventions came about because of the need to perform work on the farm more easily and quickly. Above all, farmers' practicality demanded that new inventions be affordable. A farmer would never cast aside his old plow if he could not afford the latest model.
This exhibit traces the development of agricultural inventions, as inventors harnessed the power sources available to them - from the man-powered hay rake and horse-powered thresher to steam powered tractors and the gas engine airplane - farmers found new and better ways to do work on the farm.