Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Two Centuries Of Farming In The US

  1. In 1790, what percent of the US population were farmers?
  2. In 1890, what percent of the US population were farmers?
  3. In 1990, what percent of the US population were farmers?
I'll be back with the answers tomorrow. (Update: Answers in footnote below.)

Click for larger.

I was looking for a photo of a farm from the early 1900's to accompany this post and found this one ... of farmers. I can't stop looking at it. I decided to post it instead. The photo is of the Jack Whinery family, taken in September 1940. Captions under the photos read:
September 1940. The Jack Whinery family in their Pie Town dugout. Homesteader Whinery, a licensed preacher, donates his services to the local church.

September 1940. Jack Whinery, Pie Town, New Mexico, homesteader, with his wife and the youngest of his five children in their dirt-floor dugout home. Whinery homesteaded with no cash less than a year ago and does not have much equipment; consequently he and his family farm the slow, hard way, by hand. Main window of their dugout was made from the windshield of the worn-out car which brought this family to Pie Town from West Texas.
From what I can tell, subsistence farming in the early part of the last century in this country was a hard life for many people.

The photo is from the Shorpy site, a 100-year-old photography blog. You can visit the link for the photos here and here. The comments taught me a lot.
Answer, from USDA: Growing A Nation:
1. 90%
2. 43%
3. 2.6%

No comments: