Covered wagons roll West, through the Cumberland Gap, and on towards Illinois. Syrus McCormick tinkers with a machine, but farmers scoff at his idea that farming will ever change from the way it has been done for decades, or even centuries. Pioneers and settlers get ready for the growing season, breaking fresh ground, and generally doing a man’s work. All it takes to be ruined is to have a disaster at harvest time.
How might that McCormick reaper help? One machine, with a man and a horse, can do the work of 20 men, and a harvest can be brought in before weather turns bad. And it’s affordavle to any farmer who wans one, with easy monthly payments.
Note: The show mentions the manly work of breaking ground, but do you know what the women did while their men were out turning the dirt, and tending to the crops? Oh, nothing much. Only washing laundry, cooking, chopping fire wood, feeding the livestock, watching the kids, and any other little chore the household needed. And there was no electric. Laundry was done by hand scrubbing, and hand rinsing. Then the cooking had to be done by feeding that firewood into a stove where baking was often done in a dutch oven, and the temperature was a chore to keep even.
Women were in charge of getting water that had to be hand carried to be used for drinking, cooking, or bathing in. Farming machinery improved slowly over the next few decades, but it wouldn’t be until the 1930’s when electricity revolutionized house work for the woman.