Memories of Life on the Farm: Through the Lens of Pioneer Photographer J. C. Allen (Founders) (Hardcover)

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John Calvin Allen, professionally known as J. C., worked as a photographer for Purdue University from 1909-1952, and operated his own photography business until his death in 1976. The J. C. Allen photographs represent a historical account of the transition from pioneer practices to scientific methodologies in agriculture and rural communities. During this major transitional period for agriculture, tractors replaced horses, hybrid corn supplanted open-pollinated corn, and soybeans changed from a novelty crop to regular rotation on most farms. During this time, purebred animals with better genetic pedigrees replaced run-of-the-mill livestock, and systematic disease prevention in cattle, swine, and poultry took place.

Allen's photographs also document clothing styles, home furnishings, and the items people thought important as they went about their daily lives. Looking closely at tractors, livestock, wagons, planters, sprayers, harvesting equipment, and crops gives one a sense of the changing and fast-paced world of agriculture at that time.

This volume contains over 900 picturesque images, most never-before-seen, of men, women, and children working on the farm, which remain powerful reminders of life in rural America at the turn of the twentieth century. As old farmhouses and barns fall victim to age, Allen photographs are all that remain. While those people and times no longer exist today, they do remain alive because of the preservation of that history on film. A camera in his hands and an eye for photography allowed Allen to create indelible visual histories that continue to tell the story of agriculture and rural life from long ago.

About the Author

Frederick Whitford is an extension specialist for the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service in the College of Agriculture. He received a BS in wildlife management from Louisiana Tech University, and an MS and PhD in entomology from Iowa State University. He has authored more than 300 research, extension, and regulatory publications, and has delivered 5,000 presentations to a wide array of audiences. Whitford has written five previous books on the history of agriculture for Purdue University and Indiana, all published by Purdue University Press: Scattering the Seeds of Knowledge: The Words and Works of Indiana's Pioneer County Agricultural Agents (2017); Enriching the Hoosier Farm Family: A Photo History of Indiana's Early County Extension Agents (2016); For the Good of the Farmer: A Biography of John Harrison Skinner (2013); The Queen of American Agriculture: A Biography of Virginia Claypool Meredith (2008); and The Grand Old Man of Purdue University and Indiana Agriculture: A Biography of William Carroll Latta (2005. Neal Harmeyer is an archivist at the Purdue University Libraries Virginia Kelly Karnes Archives and Special Collections Research Center in West Lafayette, Indiana. He grew up on a multigenerational family farm in northeastern Fayette County, Indiana, where he helped raise dairy and beef cattle as well as hogs. He earned a bachelor's degree in history from Purdue and a master's degree in library science from Indiana University.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781557538666
ISBN-10: 1557538662
Publisher: Purdue University Press
Publication Date: September 15th, 2019
Pages: 408
Language: English
Series: Founders