MP-1973.36.34 | Threshing in the Prairies, 1930-40

Threshing in the Prairies, 1930-40
Nelson Newbergher
1930-1940, 20th century
Silver salts on film - Gelatin silver process
8 x 10 cm
Gift of Mr. Nelson Newbergher
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  equipment (19) , field (18) , figure (1849) , group (644) , harvesting (2) , landscape (101) , Occupation (1110) , pair (195) , Photograph (77678) , Prairies (6) , thresher (1) , threshing (2) , work (389) , work (126)
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Keys to History

This was the last kind of threshing machine used on the Prairies. Threshers were replaced by combines (which both cut and threshed the grain) after World War II, but old models can still be seen in corners of farms today. Many people cherish the threshing machines, especially those that were steam-operated. The Threshermen's Reunion, held annually in Austin, Manitoba, attracts thousands of visitors.

  • What

    This threshing machine is powered by a tractor; the energy is transmitted by means of a leather belt.

  • Where

    The picture was taken somewhere on the Prairies. Although they have not been used since about 1950, hundreds of these machines still stand in corners of fields.

  • When

    The picture was taken sometime before 1940, during the last years that these machines were in common use.

  • Who

    One reason that the threshing machines were replaced by combines is that they were labour-intensive. People had to pitch the grain into them, while combines pick it up off the ground automatically.