Oklahoma Harvest

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Oklahoma Harvest
Oklahoma Harvest

Source: Helen (Kirmse) Hacker shared this photograph October 2003.
Source: Helen (Kirmse) Hacker shared this photograph October 2003.

The original is a faded 5 in by 7 in photograph with the top half being sky. The image shown is the original photograph with most of the sky on top as well as some of the foreground field on the bottom cropped off to give a panoramic look. The black and white enhanced version has a little tighter cropping.[2]

What

There are four elements of the picture – a horse powered reaper, two hay wagons, three hay stacks and a dog in the foreground.

Horse Powered Reaper
Horse Powered Reaper

This zoomed in image shows the mechanical reaper with a team of six horses and driver. Apparently this was a “pusher” reaper with the driver riding the machine and the team of six horses and rigging arranged to push the reaper. There is a conveyor on the side to lift the hay and drop it in a hay wagon being driven along side. This must have been quite a task for the driver to both operate the machine and manage the team of horses.

Mule Drawn Hay Wagon
Mule Drawn Hay Wagon

Moving left to right, the first mule drawn wagon has an interesting construct. Note, as seen from the front, the right side appears to be taller than the left side. The driver probably drove the wagon along side the reaper and the helper spread out the hay as it is being dropped onto the wagon from the reaper.

Wagon + Haystack
Wagon + Haystack

The man on the left is standing on a haystack with a ladder in front. The mule drawn wagon has been brought along side of the stack to be unloaded. Two curious items are: what does the man on the stack have in his left hand and why is there apparently a hat on a pole. Note that none of the men are wearing hats but they are all apparently wearing long sleeve shirts as protection from the sun.

Dog
Dog

Then there is the dog lying on the ground. This element of the image is consistent with this picture being taken on the William Kirmse farm in 1910. I remember that Grandfather Kirmse had a liking for dogs. He would make sure that each of his children had a dog on their farm place. Generally the dog was a large, well mannered animal that was good with children.

Who

Unfortunately, the original photograph does not have enough definition to make out the faces and possibly identify the men. Maybe someone has background information that would help verify where this picture was taken and identify the men.

Does anyone have a better description of these pictures? I am particularly interested in the harvesting operations – they were well before my time. I do remember the tractor drawn and then self-propelled combines that we used for harvesting.

When

Circa 1907 – Just a guess since another harvest picture was labeled as 1907.

Where

Goodwin, Oklahoma – The picture has the words “Okla. Harvest” on the back. Possibly taken near Goodwin, Oklahoma if taken before 1910 but more likely was Alva, Oklahoma if taken after 1910.

Notes

  1. This photograph was labeled “Okla. Harvest”on the back.