Newspaper Page Text
E. E. Ewing, Proprietor.' VOL. VII. About Harrows. What they Were, What they Are, and What they Should Be. By HENRY STEWART. No farmer who understands his business can doubt that harrowing is the most important of the farm work in preparing the soil for crops. The plow merely turns over the soil; it turns up from below the surface thesoil which has been exhausted in parts of its fertile elements by the rootsofthe previous crops, and turns under the surface whicn has been exposed to the atmosphere and upon which a quant ity of the refuse of a previous crop has fallen or decayed. It cannot do any more than this. If the farmer has manured the land and has cover ed tlie manure by the plow, then, ev en, this work is only partially perfor med ; for the soil and the manure then lie in layers, and need the final mingling together of their particles by the harrow before the ground is in the best condition for the seed and the expected crop. Again it is only a very small proportion of soils that can even be broken up anrt pulver ized by the plow, this is possible on ly with the lightest soils, all heavy soils are turned over in slices, and wholly unfitted for the reception of the seed until these compact furrow slices arc broken up, and pulverized and mellowed by harrowing; so that the seed can find a suitable bed in which to push its roots downward, and its spire upwards to the air and light, Now this fact being understood, it then becomes of the greatest im portance, that this raqst particular work should be done in the best man ner. A noted farmer, well known to me, has’said that he can get ten good plowmen more easily than he can get one man to harrow well. My own experience has be' n the same, and for years past. 1 i W chosen to do the harrowing my self, always, so that I might have it done to s<Jt me, while I could get a fair plowman, or else I could by good and thorough harrow ing make up for any defects of the plowing, During an experience of thirty years in which I have thus been particular about this work, I have tried every kind of harrow that has been made, but it was only until I learned of the Acme Harrow, that I found an implement that could be put into the hands of a workman with the assurance that if he was only moderately conscientious the work would be well done ; because it was scarcely possible for any man but a very careless one to do poor work with such a complete and effect ive implement. The whole history of agriculture has been an example of the import ance of the harrow, and as the barrow has been improved agriculture has ad vanced, In the early ages the har row was very rude and its work ex ceeding unsatisfactory. The very word itself was used to express an instrument of torture, and “harrow ing” is used to-day to express the most painful effects upon the mind of some dreadful calamity or disast-j RISING SUN, CECIL COUNTY, MD.. FRIDAY, AUGUST 14, 1885. er. The old poet Virgil wrote of tor menting the soil with harrows, and we may well believe that the unhap py farmer of that day who worked his fields with a triangular crotch of a tree fastened to the tail of hid horse, was as much tormented in his soul, as his fields were in their soil, when he saw how very unsatisfactory the work of his poor tool was. llow helpless must he have felt as he wrestled with the hard clods and his wretched implement, which merely slid i ver them or rolled them over and as it jumped from furrow to fur row and jerked the unhappy beast, which must have felt equally deg raded with his master. It is surprising when we recall the history of the harrow, how little mechanical ingenuity has been ex pended upon it, until recently. It has grown, in fact, very slowly, and by very small degrees has gradually advanced step by step as if it was forced along by ne<e*sty. Indeed it is only within the life time of a man now living, who has made u study of this implement upon trill}' scientific principles, and has brought great mechanical skiii and inventive genius, to bear upon it. that thy har row has been advanced from the con dition to which it whs brought two thousand years ago by the Romans. And yet, notwithstanding his efforts and the influence of the agricultural press and tlie example of leading farmers in all parts of the country, there are thousands of harrows in use to-day that are no better for practi cal purposes than the old Roman crotches armed with wooden teeth or iron spikes, used twenty centuries ago. If we follow the development of the harrow, or its gradual evolu tion. from the beginning until now. these facts will appear in a most striking and interesting manner. f First it was the B top of a tree, (see 0$ Fig. l.with its branches, drawn bg ■ AL. B a horse to which it was by the tail. As this be. bS‘ came worn down flattened by use, nBMpL/L A the mere naked fork ed branches used, f f) un( l *t no doubt oc wPwjvlir' cured to the mind of A the farmer of that * day that it would be an'improvement to to trim ofT the unnecessary branches, instead of slowly wearing them offby use, and so furnish it at once with projecting stubs (See Fig. 2,) This was the first mechanical im provement in the harrow. In time another improvement suggested tself as may be very plainly seen, by the addition to the bare forked branches, of cross bar ; used to make the im plement jump from one obstruction to another, and thus strike the clods and pulverize them (See Fig. 3.) Thus was originated tlie expression a “stroke” of the harrow, which is in use among farmers to this day. [Entered at the Post Office in Rising Sun, Md., as Second-Class Matter.] It is curious to note how this ancient practice prevails even i ow in the common brush harrow ; which is a mere bund le of bushes spread like a fan and weighted by means of a log bound across the brush to give it weight. As the smooth boughs and cross bar were found to be less effetive than the stubs of the small, teeth were used, and these were first made ol wood, but finally of iron. The Ro mans who were an exceedingly ingen ious people and whose agriculture was very highly advanced tn their late history, brought the harrow up to about us useful a condition as we ourselves who read these pages may remember it nearly thirty years ago. They had tlie triangular, and the oblong, or square harrow; all fur nished with teeth, but quite roughly made oi hewed, or the natural timber (See Figs. 4. 5 and 6) an 1 a p ank smoothing harrow about as effective as the same kind of toothed harrow of the present day. When the Roman Empire fell, civ ilization fell with it for many centur ies, of winch wr. have so little history that we cal ltl at period the dark aces’ and when this perio 1 passed awav mankind had reverted almost to the barbarous habits of the pre-Roman time. Then the harrows were mere logs again and in an old book oftliat period a harrow is figured which con sists of a log studded with pins or spikes and nothing inure. The old practice, too, of drawing harrows by the horse’s tail seems to have come again into use. and staid in use for inanv years; for a law was made by the Irish Parliment only a little more than two hundred years ago. to pro hibit the drawing of harrows bv the “tayles” of horses; a practice which was thought to impair the breed of these animals. Rut about this time there seemed to be an advance in tlie mechanical part of agriculture and several improved implements were devised. Still the harrow re mained in the back ground and when in Ireland in 1847 the writer noticed that brush and bush harrows, loir harrows, wooden toothed forked limbs and many of them drawn by women, were far more plentiful than toothed harrows, and in our own Country and in Canada it was only tlie better c’ass of farmers who possessed a good square trained iron toothed har row. Soon after this. Agricultural Journals began to appear, and from i n ventions seems to y g rea tly aw i-JSpPL aliened and tilaEpK/V hm stimulated ' I 1 © andagrlcul-! ]<jSLOPy ) A ture advm -l §® p/f/m ced rapid!}. 5 Vm7 * ii V tt-S Kook lar *“ fW: /C li I il mere, an<l ~wl I s ' / If i reading far-1 1 1 at first some j r what looked 'Jj II down upon ' as “c ran ka” began to ap pear and wherever one of them set tled down, new implements were in troduced. Inventors and manufact. I ( Concluded next wee/e.') The Wonders of Advertising. We happened to cansually mention two weeks ago that any persons want ing a pair of French calf shoes, gai ters or boots, put up in the best man ner, might have the wish gratified by waiting on friend Buckley across the alley. As soon as the mail bad scat tered this bit of information a gentle rivulet of orders began to flow in Ilad we spread out a real advertise ment, buttered bis cake on both sides as it were, in place of only a little bint, doubtless a flood of orders would have been the result, and a jour, would have been necessary to keep the book clear. And the poor overworked man might have suffe ed from a stroke of coup d'oeil , or something, this re cent hot weather. The moral of this little episode is. if you don’t want, to be bothered fil ling out orders and raking in dimes, don’t advertise in the Jouk.nal. MM Information Wanted. It is time the local option men, the high licence men and the saloon men know where the candidates for the leg islature stand on these questions, or rather this one question of vital inter est. Let. them come out and define their position. The people want lo know, before they honor you with their votes whether you propose to work for the amen hnent of the pre-ent law, ele men.ite the eider fraud from it, and attach a penalty for its violation, and otherwise strengthen the law so as to make it effective for the purpose, and to conform to the will of those who voted in fa.or of a local option law. The law is a fraud on the people as it stand-:. Gentlemen, speak out and send your declaration to the Midland for publi cation. The question is not so much whether democrat or republican candi dates snail hi elected to the legislature as it is whether delegates and senator shall be sent to Annapolis who will do the will of the great majority of the voters and people of the county. The day of political chicanery is pretty well placed out, and the candidates who be lieve ‘•honesty is the best policy” and stand on tint plant; will win. Come gentlemen, in the name of the people we call on you to define your i position on this question. Ifitisneces- l sary or believed to be necessary, to refer the question again to the people for de cision, let it be so referred. But let us have fair, square dealing and no cheat ling- The present law is not the law or j i Kind of law the people expected or ( w ished when they voted such a sweep iug majority in favor of a local option ' law, pine and simple. The saloon men 1 want either a licence law or a square prohibition law. They are tired as t every body else is of this hybrid law, ■< Tear Cider! Aroynt thee, witch! Let us have no more of this grim, ghastly , humor at the expense of good morals, health and pockets. One Dollar per Annum in Advance. ■m “ ■ Oxford Items. Press. The barn of Leander 0. Wrightof Little Britain, Lancaster county was struck by lightning on Monday of last week but not burned. Blackberries are scarce and in great demand. Why do m t the farmers cultivate more small berries and fruit md sow 1 ss wheat which does not pay its own expenses. This is a per tinent question why do they not? Can any of them answer. The picnic of the .Sharpless family will take place at Shurpless Hock, near Chester on the 24th of August. The excavation for the cellar of the new M. E. Church in Oxlord was com menced last week- Howard G. Wilson of Lower Oxford has threshed and hauled to S. R. Dickey & Co.’s warehouse 474 bush ls of wheat, taken from 15 acres of ground. This is over 31| bushels per acre. A. M. Spangler, one of the State fish wardens, has written to Lancaster county Commissioners that they have appointed a fish warden whose baili wick shall extend from Sunbury to the State line, along the Susquehanna, and whose duty it shall be to have all fish-baskets in .the" river destroyed. The fish wardens ak the Lancaster commissioners to co operate with the State b>ard and appoint four men to assist the warden in dismantling the baskets on the Lancaster county side of the river. CONOWINGO ITEMS. The population of this vicinity is rapidly increasing—Mr. J. C. Adams’ family numbers the addition of a fine girl. Mr. Charlie Grubb was recently presented with 174 pounds of fine twin boys. Charley’s corn crop is looking well and he has just threshed a fine Crop of wheat and oats. The race last week between Mr. Dus tin’s Conowingo Maid and the Local Freight was won in one heat by the Maid; Time 2.594. Mr. Thad Bostic superintendant of repairs for P. R. R. is putting on more hands and has honored Pilot Town with a call for more of her industrious citizens. The colored people’s camp meeting commences next Sund.ty at Couowin go. Nobody. Your Neighbor Has tried -Aromanna” and considers it an indispeusible article. A specific in sick headache. Ask Dr. L. It. Kirk, Druggist about it- Price 25 and 75 cents. Name Changed. The name of Penn Station, Central Division, P* W. B. R. R. has been changed to Kdton, to take effect August Ist. This is a very sensible change as that is the name of the Post office at that place, and there is another Penn Station on the Penn’a, Railroad causing trouble in freight shipment. The new named station is the second above Oxford. What a Baptist Minister Says. New Freeport, Pa., Aug. 4, 1883. G. Holstein ; —[ have been affleted for a long time with liver complaint and constipation. I have tried many reme dies and several doctors, but they all failed. I have used three bottles of your Aromanna and find it the very thing I needed. I shall recoinend it to all who are suffering in the same way. JOHN WEST. Pastor Baptist Church. Sold by Dr. L. R. Kirk Rising Sun. NO. 44.