Best places to visit Hawaii

Although the first tools were imported, there soon emerged local Country tool making carried out by farmers themselves or by blacksmiths. Best places to visit Hawaii Some smiths in centers of population came to specialize in tool making. The best tools were usually those imported from England, but most farmers could not afford them. The growing prosperity of the colonies meant that good tools became more widely distributed in the eighteenth century. Their quality also improved. For example, metal spades nailed to wooden handles replaced the seventeenth-century metal-sheathed wooden spades. The most popular tool for harvesting grain in the areas of English settlement was the sickle, a curved metal blade with a short wooden handle.

It required bending over to grasp the grain plant by hand and then swinging the sickle to cut it. Dutch farmers in New York and New Jersey used a device called a mathook, which in conjunction with the sith, or Flemish scythe, enabled them to harvest more efficiently without bending over. By the end of the colonial period, the cradle scythe, a much more efficient but heavier device, had come into use for grain harvesting in New England. The cradle scythe had a long straight blade at the end of the handle, with four wooden fingers about the same length as the blade and parallel to it.

When wielded by a skilled practitioner, the cradle scythe not only cut grain more quickly than the sickle but also laid it out in a way that made for easy binding into sheaves. The late eighteenth century and the time of the Country Revolution saw much interest on the part of society’s leaders in better agricultural tools as part of the overall movement for improvement. The newly founded Country Philosophical Society heard papers on ideas for upgrading tools. The early colonial iron industry could not support shipbuilding or other heavy manufacturing, but it was valuable in the production of pots and pans, nails and bolts, and basic hand tools. (Brown Brothers, Sterling, Pennsylvania)

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