Antebellum: Ways in Which Western Farmers and Factory Workers Benefitted

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During the era between late 19th century and early 1900s, the population and economy rapidly grew in the United States. Dubbed the “Gilded Age” by Mark Twain, this period was a time for prosperity, improvement and discovery. Of those who benefitted, western farmers and factory laborers excelled through the discoveries and improvement occurring at this time. The post Civil War era demonstrate radically positive effects for western farmers. Numerous advancements occurred in agricultural technology, transportation and developments of better quality planting. An advanced plow with a chilled (process of surface-hardening a metal by instant cooling) steel moldboard was created in 1868 by James Oliver. Sometime later, it became possible for two or more furrows at a time to be turned by the creation of the gangplow. This reaped, threshed, and bagged grain mechanically in a continuous motion. Following the gangplow emerged cream separators (first created by C. G. de Laval of Sweden in 1880), seed planters, corn shellers, and a myriad of other influential farming devices. Horses became increasingly rare after 1900 as they were replaced with the development of steam tractor in 1902. Gasoline and diesel tractors also emerged. Along with new agricultural tools came novel transportation machines. Haulage of produce was drastically expedited when Gottlieb Daimler built the first motor truck in 1896. Farmers obtained a new source of power when electric lines were extended to rustic areas and gave rise to automatic milking machines, electrically driven pumps for drawing water from wells, and refrigerated storage facilities. Through this increased use of machinery it became capable for farmers to produce enough goods to feed the nation’s enlarging population and their trade expanded overseas. Agricultural workers did not benefit from the Rising Age without outside help; scientists aided framers to amplify and excel production. Through federal financial aid, Scientists were able...
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