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Industrialization - Student Activities

Activity 2 - Profiles of Early Ag-Businesses

Why did agriculture spur the development of related industries that manufactured farm machinery and processed farm products?

Beginning around 1850, the invention and widespread use of machines powered by draft horses, changed the way farmers did their work.

Litchfield Co. Manure Spreader, circa 1900's

Later steam, gasoline, and electric engines helped farmers do their work even better.

Froelich Tractor

Because of improved equipment, farmers were able to cultivate larger and larger fields and to complete in a day or two, work that had once taken them weeks.

Ford tractor pulling Litchfield hitch and manure

Such advances in agriculture were possible because of new machinery. Because of the demand for new machinery to make farm work easier and more efficient, more and more factories were built to produce the machines.

Waterloo Boy Card - The gasoline engine transformed farm work in many ways.

Between 1870 and 1920 factories like the Waterloo Gas Engine Company that produced the Waterloo Boy tractor grew rapidly to meet the demand for new farm equipment. At the same time, factories like Rath Packing Company appeared in order to process the agricultural products.

Learn about some of the early businesses that played a key role in the partnership between the city and the farm.


Directions:

  1. Read Quick Facts—Some Early Industries in Waterloo.
  2. Identify how these businesses were alike and how they were different.
  3. Complete the graphic organizer to display your results.
  4. Share your results with your classmates.

 

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