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(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Farmers gather hay using a small tractor at Hilltop Farm, Deerfield, Massachusetts, demonstrating the mechanization of agriculture. The use of machines in agriculture was commonplace in America by the 1880s. The steam tractor, although still big and heavy, was small enough for most farming tasks. By 1910 gasoline-powered tractors were widely available. By 1920 they had become small enough for the farms of New England. These tractors were also much less expensive than before. In this photograph, a farmer drives his Cletrac Model 20K, made from 1925 to 1932. Small tractors like these were one major cause in the rise of farm productivity in the 1920s. Behind the tractor, a hay loader pulls hay from the field. Hay loaders are another example of the increasing mechanization of agriculture.
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