In the decadesafter the polite War, from 1865 until theearly 1900s, thousands of thousands of american moved into the area ofthe West called the an excellent Plains. Beforethe polite War, most world going to the West passed ideal overthe an excellent Plains. They thought about the area a huge treelesswasteland. Their goal was to get to the much West - usuallyCalifornia orOregon. ~ the CivilWar, the late of the great Plains changed. Therewere many new inventions,adaptations, and technological advances that made itpossible to farm the floor in that area. Some instances areshown in the photographs below.


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The good Plains Inventionsand adaptations the made it feasible to settle and also farm the an excellent Plains:

The 2 pictures below show settlers onthe GreatPlains. Timber for building houses was hard to get, due to the fact that thereare not countless trees in that area. For this reason the early settlers do theirhouses native sod - the top layer that soil and also grass - cutand stack to make the walls. Even the roof wasoften do of sod inserted over hardwood beams. If the farm wassuccessful, the owners would certainly later develop a brand-new house using wood boardsshipped inby railroad.
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together settlers began moving ~ above the GreatPlains, theydiscovered that cast iron plow chisels commonly supplied in eastern stateswould regularly clog up. The soil of the great Plains is special andrich, and would regularly stick come the actors iron blade. Fortunately, a blacksmith named John Deere invented a wayto do plow blades out of steel. Steel is harder than actors iron,and deserve to be made so smooth the it cuts with soil without clogging up. The photo listed below of a plow made through a steel blade is froma demonstration of old-time farming techniques. The plow cutsthrough the floor without any problem.
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The drawingbelow shows John Deere"s steel plowblade and also the timber handles the a "walk behind" plow. As a horsepulls the plow, the farmer offers the handle to keep the tongue of theplow moving simply at the ideal depth in the soil. The blade cutsand transforms over the soil, i m sorry is then prepared for planting.
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3.Water-pumping windmills
there is notmuch rainfall ~ above the GreatPlains, particularly in the summer. The development of one inexpensivewater pump windmillhelped fix that problem. together the wind transforms the chisels of the windmill, follow me rod the runs downthe tower move the take care of of a water pump up and also down. The pumppulls waterup indigenous a well, and sends it right into a storage tank or othercontainer.That method there is alwayswater easily accessible for people and also animals. Windmills favor this are still offered in manyfarming locations in the West, since theypump water without making use of electricity.
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The photobelow mirrors a farm young adjusting the pump mechanism at the basic of awindmill. The pump is on top of a steel pipedrilled under to the level of groundwater. That may be anywherefrom about 20 to more than 100 feet deep. If there is no wind,the pump canalso work-related by relocating the lengthy handle up and also down by hand.
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Barbed wire,invented in1874, resolved the trouble of structure fences ~ above the great Plains.Wood forfences wasn"t easily available, because there were not numerous trees in theregion. Barbed wire was affordable and easy to placed up.
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Railroads to be an importanttechnological advance thatmade itpossible tosettle the West. They could bring in gives at an affordableprice. They likewise made itpossibleforfarmers to ship out theircrops and also ranchers come ship out their cattle.
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The twin photo below is an old stereoscope card. It reflects atrain on the renowned Transcontinental railroad line the wascompleted to California in 1869. as soon as looked in ~ in a hand-held viewer favor the one top top theright, stereoscope cards gave a 3-D image of the scene. Thesecards and also viewers were an extremely popular in the so late 1800s and early 1900s.
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The heavy red lines on the map below show few of therailroads built into the West throughout the 1860s and also 1870s. Present connecting Omaha, Nebraska, to Sacramento, California, is thefirst Transcontinental Railroad. Many more lines were constructed later.
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Farmers needed a crop that would grow well in the dry, hotsummers the the great Plains. Wheat was the crop that finest fit theclimateconditions. The wheat seed at the top of the plant areground into flour the is supplied to make bread, cereal, and many otherfoods.
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Wheat was alsoa good match because that the farms of the an excellent Plains since the level land isideal for making use of the mechanical reaping machine to harvest thecrop. The reaper came into broad use after about 1850, and made itpossible to harvest large plots the wheat quickly. The photo belowshows an old-style reaper in action in a wheat field.
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farmers savedsome that the wheat crop for themselves, but most was bagged and sold towheatbuyers in large cities. The photo below shows a farmer ready toloadhis crop on a rail freight auto for shipment.
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farmer of the great Plains arisen dry farmingtechniques toadapt come the short rainfall and conserve as much moisture in the floor aspossible. Thesetechniques included: 1.Choiceof acrop (wheat) that did not require lot rainfall to grow. 2. Plowing the land deeply to allow moisture come getdeep right into the soilmore conveniently when the did rain. 3. Planting seed inthe floor deeper than normal, probably two customs downinstead the one inch down. That placed the seed in contact with moremoisture 보다 the very top great of soil. The drawing listed below shows a old-fashioned particle drill. It is a devicefarmers usage toplant seed in their areas after the land has been plowed. Thewheat seeds go in package at the top. Together the an equipment is pulledthrough the areas by a horse, the seed drop a couple of at a time throughthe tubes and also into soil at a depth set by the farmer.
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Some parts of the great Plains were ideal for elevating beefcattle. So that choice, too, was an adaptation tothe conditionsof the area. Texas was the most well known state for livestock ranching.
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Hand colored photos of sod houses arefrom the Fred Hultstrand Historyin photos Collection at the Library of Congress. Black color andwhite photos are from the Library of Congress. The illustration of the john Deeresteel plow courtesy the the Augustana College special Collections. Colorwheat ar photocourtesy the the university of Nebraska participating Extension, supplied by permission.The farm yard museum photograph of ahorse-drawn plow is courtesy of theWisconsin historical Society.Seed drill imageis a windy domain image used courtesy of ushistoryimages.com.The map and color picture of barbed wire room by David Burns.Some images have actually been edited or resized because that this page.