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A New Century (1900-1920)

Improvised Machinery: An Agateware Corn Planter

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

An improvised corn planter and the painting,
"Necessity is the Mother of Invention," by Cloyne artist Carol Brown

Farming was a precarious occupation, with more potential farmers than there were fertile plots of land. This composite reveals the true nature of farming on the Shield. That improvised piece of machinery is a corn planter, constructed from an old wash pan with holes punched in it, a tire from a bicycle and four pieces of old lumber. But it worked! DISCOVER MOREReadmore Arrow

The painting, which is by local artist Carol Brown and hangs in the Cloyne Pioneer Museum, shows the role which the farmer's mother, wife and children played. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, at the height of timbering, the men spent the late fall, after hunting, in the bush cutting timber. Once the spring thaw had come and they had worked the log booms through the waterways to Ottawa, the men returned to their farms and their families, just in time to plant the summer's crops. The women, meanwhile, had kept the farm animals alive, the fires burning, and hopefully the children in school. Produce from the farm, whether meat or vegetables and fruit, fed the families, but was also used as a way of obtaining cash, as the lumber camps all needed food. Sometimes the farmer's oxen or horse went with him to the camp as well as his saws. The three-legged stool against which the painting rests is another example of homemade artistry and might have been used as a milking stool.

Submitted courtesy of The Pioneer Museum, Cloyne and District Historical Society, Cloyne

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