Sunday, June 5, 2011

Plow Boy

    Lately I have been immersed in plow history and dealing with models of plows.   Over the past two years I have refurbished a historic collection of model plows acquired by the first president of Cornell University Andrew D. White in 1868 at the direction of Ezra Cornell.   Along with the refurbishing of the physical models  I have translated from German into English an annotated original model plow directory.   At the invitation of the Cornell Association of Professors Emeriti I presented an illustrated lecture on this collection along with a discussion of a more than 5000 year evolution of the plow at their April meeting.   This lecture was videotaped and now is available on line on YouTube as well as through Cornell.   This has been an interesting interlude in my geezerhood activities.   At this point my colleague J. Robert Cooke assisted by others is finalizing the plow project which will be published on Cornell's eCommons.   Anyone interested in this activity can view this project through the following links.  These are early versions so you may want to go to the eCommons library for the latest version.   The manuscript and supporting materials are reaching their final edit and we look forward to the completion of the project.

 Youtube - <>
CornellCast - <>
eCommons – <

    During this project I was reminded that Jethro Wood of Scipio Center, New York in Cayuga County was the inventor of the interchangeable parts cast iron plow.   This past Monday on a Memorial Day outing I visited the site of Wood's invention and his home.   It was gratifying to see the historical markers erected by the State of New York and also to see his very well preserved home.   Although I left the farm I grew up on nearly 60 years ago and have had a long academic career in engineering, there certainly are strong agrarian roots remaining in my life.   Maybe I am still a plow boy at heart.
Jethro Wood the Storekeeper Inventor

Jethro Wood Home Site Marker

Jethro Wood's Well Preserved House

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