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The speaker is a 55-year-old White man with a college education from Pembroke, Kentucky; he was recorded in 1970.



County: Christian
State: KY

Commentary:
With a present-day population under 1,000, Pembroke is a small town in southwestern Kentucky. Settlers in the early 1800s found the area???s flat land and clay soil well-suited to farming, and agriculture became the main industry, producing crops including wheat and tobacco. In this segment the speaker talks about his childhood memories of threshing wheat.
Inf: All right I???ll, I???ll tell you about a, uh the old wheat thresher we used to have that was run, that was pulled by a steam power. Uh, in order to get your steam power, the s-, engineer would have to start maybe two hours earlier to build a fire and build, get up enough steam to have power to pull the thresher. And it was my job at that time to be the water boy. Of course we had to haul water maybe a half mile from a pond to the steam engine. And uh, you???d have to pump it by hand, and usually the w-, the water wagon would hold about five barrels of water. And it would take about six wagonloads of water a day to run a wheat thresher, and that was my job. Well, the wheat thresher was really, uh, a sight that was worth remembering. And it was kinda exciting.

My daddy used to do custom work all over the county and he really enjoyed it. Uh, it took a big crew to run it, usually twenty or twenty-five men, about eight to ten wagons, and they were, ???course each wagon had a driver and then there were f-, men that forked the wheat on the wagons out in the field. And then there were men that had to tie the sacks of wheat and grain as it was threshed, and they???d tie the sacks and carry them back. And they???d usually have two trucks hauling it off. Sometimes they would wait and cover it up with straw and they wouldn???t haul it off for a month. And uh, ???course the, as they thresh the wheat, well, it had a big pipe about fifteen inches in diameter from the back end with a big blower that would blow the straw out the back and would make a, a huge, large straw stack. And we used to like to play in the straw whenever we could, ???course they didn???t like for us to ???cause they didn???t want to knock it down, and make, it wouldn???t turn water, it would ruin, but, uh, it was very interesting. It took a lot of labor.

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