Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ice Harvest

Back in the Olden Days - no refrigeration!! You bought ice, and kept things cool with and 'ice box'. How did you get the ice? When your grand parents were kids, you had to harvest it from a lake, or buy it from someone that did.

Harvesting Ice - Traditional: (You might want to turn down the sound. They sing 'Winter Wonderland' as background, which has got to be one of the most obnoxious songs ever written.)

The Ice Saw:

Harvesting Ice Modern:

Working with Horses

After looking at some of the PT clips, I was thinking about some of the other things that played a big part in the lives of all of your grandparents. I tried to find some clips showing sugar beet cultivation and harvest by hand, but I think those days are truly gone. I did find some clips that showed early sugar beet tractor harvesting, which I suppose looks crude and primitive compared with today's harvesting equipment. Still, even the most elementary of the tractor powered machines would have been beyond imagination to Grandpa. They did it all by hand and by horse, at least for many years. They started in the spring and plowed, disked, harrowed, planted, blocked, thinned, weeded, irrigated, lifted, topped and loaded the beets into a wagon, all without engines.

I did find a few clips on doing farm work with horses. In our minds, we know that our forefathers powered their farms with horses, and think of the horses working quietly along. There aren't any run-aways in these clips, but as you watch them, you might imagine the excitement that could show up in an instant if the horse spooked, or was stung by a wasp or bee, or even a horse fly. Some of the little buggy seats are actually in front of the machine. I think that in the old days, most of seats were mounted so that they were in back of the load, and the driver could jump off to safety if the horses took off.

It was a whole different world, and a different way of looking at things in those days. If you haven't farmed with tractors, you probably won't be struck by the quiet that remains undisturbed when you farm with horses. It's very tranquil, and probably was lonely at times too. It makes you think of Matthew Cuthbert from Anne (with an 'e') of Green Gables. He was well cast, and you can imagine him working in the silent fields for seasons on end.

A plowing 'match':

Disking with a double team:


Binding Corn:

A Day in the Hayfields (1904): This was pretty good, and showed the mowing, raking, and loading on the wagon, then the transfer to the haystack of the loose hay.

Logging and Moving Wood:

Harnessing and Hitching:

Old Tractor-powered hay baler:

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Few More PT Boat Clips

After reading Jerry's biography of Dave Levy, a PT Captain, this clip shows it's Hollywood/propaganda roots. It is still kind of cool, but Dave Levy said that they just putted quietly about in the dark. The hotshots that ran their boats at speed to either attack or retreat became very visible from the white wake, and the Japanese picked them off at their leisure. This fits in pretty well with what Dad used to say. I remember Dad telling about how they used to land spies in the Mediterranean, off the coast of Italy, and that they would sit quietly for hours. The boat's speed allowed it to get to and from it's base in a reasonable amount of time.

As a boatbuilder, I found these clips to be really interesting. They were really well made - light and strong and had a lot of precision laminations in them.

PT Boats - Giant Killers Part 1

PT Boats - Giant Killers Part 2

PT Boats - Giant Killers Part 3

I guess that is enough for one post. Good night all.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008