Item 20703 - Picking potatoes, Presque Isle, 1939

Item 20703 - Picking potatoes, Presque Isle, 1939
Contributed by Presque Isle Historical Society
Item 20703
Picking potatoes, Presque Isle, 1939
2898px x 5004px - 9.7"w x 16.7"h @ 300dpi  |  Need a larger size?
*Credit line must read: Collections of Presque Isle Historical Society
Image Info

This photograph illustrates how potatoes were harvested in 1939. The harvester is a one-row digger. The digger removes potatoes from the row and lays them on the ground, ready to be picked and put into barrels.

The mechanical parts of this digger were run by horsepower, hence the need for two horses. Because this type of digger was hard to pull, the horses had to be replaced by another team by noon. The cleats on the wheels operate the sifting of dirt as the dirt, rocks, and potatoes go over the digger.

Some diggers at this time had a gasoline engine to run the mechanical parts and could by pulled by one horse.

Dawn Rediker, the woman in the photo is ready to pick the potatoes and put them in the barrels behind her.

The full barrels are loaded into a wagon or truck and sent to a potato warehouse for storage.

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