As the power companies figured out how to harness streams and rivers for power generation, they worked in earnest to promote the use of electricity to help amortize the cost of generation and distribution. This "electrified farm" exhibit was probably at the state fair in Salem. This is the egg production display, but there were also displays illustrating electricity aiding milk and grain production, as well as tools of general utility around a farm such as the table saw.
In case you can't read it, the placard promised that "the electric hen ever leaves her nest." I suspect the term "free range" hadn't yet been coined. They promise that lights in the egg laying house will add to production, and that with electricity you can always have hot water available. The modern forced draft incubator could handle 540 eggs at 12 kw hours per day.
No....free range is probably how most chickens lived before electricity.
My parents grew up milking cows by hand.
Going down to the barn and flipping on a light switch, was a lot safer than carrying a lantern.
They would not have wanted to go back to the pre-electric days.
Electricity allowed mass production of our food. In some ways, maybe that wasn't so great.
l.e. on 7th June 2013 @ 8:08am
I thought of one huge benefit.....If you live where it is cold in the winter, you can plug in your tractors and trucks so that they start.
l.e. on 7th June 2013 @ 8:28am
For me, the greatest benefit of electricity in the far north was just having light on long winter nights.. 18-20 hours of dark a day gets old. And light from a fireplace or woodstove isn't that wonderful. You could always drain oil out of rigs and keep it warm overnight, but dark got old.
Buzz on 7th June 2013 @ 9:49am
I so agree Buzz. Been there and done that.
It's not so bad if you have someone to talk to, but boy, when it is dark at 3:00 and doesn't get light until 9:00, you can only read so much by kerosene lamp.
What little bit of daylight you have, you are chopping a hole in the ice so the cattle and horses can drink, (because you don't have any such thing as running water), packing water for yourself, packing firewood and filling the kerosene lamps.
And then the dark arrives and there you sit.
I don't know how more people didn't keep from going crazy back in the pre electric days.
l.e. on 7th June 2013 @ 10:33am
That poor fellow looks bored out of his mind. I'll bet he was sick and tired of answering the same questions, over, and over, because you know people are going to ask, "Is that where the chicks are kept?" or "Can you role that around?" Umpteen million times. Maybe he is tired of the little speech he has to make until his mind freezes up. The stick is to frighten wayward children. He looks like his feet are killing him.
On another thought tho, I'll bet Little Bit Ranch Supply would still love to have a brooder like that. It's compact and would hold chicks perfectly.
If I was a small chicken farmer I'd love to have that equipment. I'd just rewire it, so that it was grounded.
Lesa on 7th June 2013 @ 10:58am