1 Lecture 32 Lecture 32 Agricultural Scienti c Revolution: Mechanical Power and Mechanization An enormous number of mechanical advances are inherent in the development of agriculture. These include plowing and cultivation using animal traction and irrigation technology involving the lifting, mov-ing, and storing of water. These “machines” underwent continual improvements but remained essentially the same for thousands of years. In the early 19th century, mechanical advances such as the McCormick’s reaper and the cotton gin, invented by Eli Whitney, were to profoundly affected agriculture and enabled the industrialization of agriculture. In the 19th century (the age of steam), steam-powered tractors and thresh-ers were attempted but the engines were costly to operate, required tenders for water and coal, and were dangerous, as well as f re hazards to f elds and farmsteads. The gasoline engine was to transform agriculture in the 20th century. In 1892, John Froelich built the f rst successfully operating gasoline tractor, concurrent with the gasoline-powered automobile. The iron beast took over and there were soon scores of companies
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