Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Columns

October 9, 2013

Harpoon fork was at Cull's Ridge sale in 1914

(Continued)

Do you think that anyone living on an Indiana farm now would know what a hillside plow is? Truth is, I had never heard of such a thing, but assumed it was a plow that could plow on a hill. Kentucky is very hilly in many areas. I learned that a hillside plow let the farmer shift the plow sideways. Apparently it had some piece of equipment that would allow him to move the plow according to how steep the hill was. The great thing about being able to move it was that a person could plow to the right, then change the direction and plow to the left on the return. What it didn’t explain was how the horse managed to adjust to the hill.

The “Harpoon fork” sounded like a mighty dangerous piece of equipment. I checked online for this one. Here’s what it told me, “This word doesn’t usually appear in our free dictionary, but the definition from our premium Unabridged Dictionary is offered here on a limited basis: The Harpoon Fork is a kind of hayfork consisting of a bar with hinged barbs at one end and a loop for a rope at the other end, used for lifting hay from the load by horse power.”

The Double A harrow mentioned in the sale bill is “an agricultural implement consisting of many spikes, tines or discs dragged across the soil.” The picture shown didn’t have spikes or tines but did have big round disks that the horse pulled across the earth. A double one had one set of disks that went one way and another set in back of the first one that went the other way. That would surely broke up the earth better than a single harrow.

(I knew that the Battle of the Harrow was the first battle of the Irish Rebellion in the last part of the 18th century. Such knowledge has done me little good over a lifetime. Knowing what a Double A harrow is would have been far more useful.)

I never learned what a road wagon was or how it differed from a plain old wagon. I did learn that a spring wagon was used for moving things, similar to a covered wagon. The Internet tried to confuse me with information about station wagons and hatchbacks. I didn’t fall for it.

I hope Mr. Cull got good prices for his property. I am grateful to June Tumility for sharing the sale bill.

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