|April 9, 2009|
|6:30 pm||to||7:30 pm|
The Pember Library presents “From Muscles to Motors on the Farm: Henry Ford and the Great American Tractor Wars, 1910-1930″
The Pember Library will present a lecture by Dr. Milton Sernett on “From Muscles to Motors on the Farm: Henry Ford and the Great American Tractor Wars, 1910-1930″. Free and open to the general public, the event begins at 6:30 PM on April 9 at the Pember Library in Granville. This event is made possible through Speakers in the Humanities, a program of the New York Council for the Humanities.
Dr. Milton C. Sernett, Professor Emeritus, taught at Syracuse University for over thirty years. He has published eight books and numerous articles and essays, many of them dealing with American abolitionism, the Underground Railroad, and African American history. His current book project is a history of the “the great tractor wars” of the 1920s and the influence of Henry Ford on American farm life.
Henry Ford’s Fordson Tractor, like his Model T, was both a technological marvel and an instrument of social change; this illustrated lecture will invoke memories of life and work on American family farms before the age of agribusiness.
The Fordson tractor, first mass-produced in 1918, gave farmers a reliable but affordable source of power. Henry Ford’s entry into the tractor business sparked a conflict in the farm machinery industry that had long-term consequences for American life on and off the farm.
The transition from horse power to tractor power, from muscles to motors, took place during an era of rapid social change in American life. Farm families were trying to adjust to new marvels everywhere–airplanes, automobiles, electricity on the farm, telephones, radio, consolidated rural schools, indoor plumbing, rural free delivery, better roads, and refrigeration.
The lecture use rare images from the archives of the great tractor manufacturers and depictions of the seasons of agricultural work before the factory farm replaced the family farm. These visual cues will encourage the sharing and preservation of memories of farm life among all members of your community.
Since its launch in 1983, the Council’s Speakers in the Humanities program has linked distinguished scholars with a diverse audience through the presentation of lectures on a broad range of topics. All Speakers events are free and open to the general public. Each year, hundreds of cultural organizations and community groups take advantage of this program, which offers the very best in humanities scholarship to thousands of citizens in every corner of New York State.
The New York Council for the Humanities is a not-for-profit, independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Through statewide collaborations, and programs and services that encourage imaginative thinking and critical inquiry, the Council works to ensure that the humanities are present in the intellectual and cultural life of every New Yorker.
For more information, call (518) 642-2525.