Early Corn Picking

Time Frame: Early to Mid 1900's

Corn was picked by hand during the early 1900s. It was hard work and a day's work didn't yield many bushels.
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(geese flying and singing)

Usually we started picking after the first hard freeze. That would kill the corn plant and cause the ears to dry out; then you could pick it and haul it in and put it in the crib. But earlier than that, it would spoil. We always picked it by hand and throw it up in the wagon and we had high sideboards on one side—we called that a ‘bang board’—and then the corn would drop down into the wagon. There was quite a few people that could pick 100 bushels a day, but my brother and I had to work like the dickens, both of us, to get 100.

That was a rough job. Usually you’d be out there for 4 or 5 weeks—ya know—but then you got plenty tired. Especially if the weather is getting bad—ya know—we’ve even picked corn while walking in the snow. You hunted out the nice ears—ya know—and then you hang them up to dry in the top of your crib and that was our seed corn.


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