Inventions Used to Tackle Problems with Homesteading

  • Created by: Davwi
  • Created on: 20-02-19 19:50

The self-governing windmill (1854)

  • Windmills were used to pump water out of the ground to help farmers irrigate their land and make it more fertile for crops.
  • Halliday's windmill could pump water out of wells up to 30 feet deep, and in 1870 steel blades meant windmills could stand up better to strong prairie winds.
  • However, they weren't powerful enough to pump up water from wells more than 30 feet deep, and needed constant maintenance. Only in the 1880s did they fix these issues.

Barbed Wire (1874)

  • Barbed wire was used to fence off crops from livestock and other animals.
  • It was much cheaper than buying in timber for fences and much more effective at blocking livestock than smooth wire fences.
  • However, it wasn't in common use until the 1880s. Early versions broke and rusted, and in 1874, it was 10x more expensive than in the 1880s.

The Sulky Plow (1875)

  • Strong ploughs were used to plough up the tough weeds and prairie grass on the great plains.
  • It was a very strong, easy to use, ride-on steel plough that made ploughing tough terrain much easier.
  • 50,000 Sulky Plows were sold in the first 6 years of production.
  • However, six times as many walking ploughs were sold in the same period- these were cheaper and farmers understood them better. Early sulkies were…


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