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Likely taken by Job V. Harrison near Rock Lake, N.D. 190?

[Detail] Likely taken by Job V. Harrison near Rock Lake, N.D. 190?

Agriculture and Industrialization | Modernizing America | Settlement | Community | Native Americans

The Northern Great Plains, 1880-1920 is comprised of the Hultstrand and Pazandak collections from the Institute for Regional Studies at North Dakota State University. It contains nine hundred photographs of rural and small-town life in North Dakota and the surrounding Great Plains between the years 1880 and 1920. Documenting a period of dramatic change, these photographs offer views of both frontier life and the emergence of modern America that can be easily integrated into K-12 historical studies whenever the themes of frontier settlement, westward expansion, agricultural production, and independent third party politics are taught. The collection has a total of nine Special Presentations, referenced throughout these documents, that help to make the images relevant and meaningful.

1) Agriculture and Industrialization

Straddling two time periods, The Development of the Industrial United States (1876-1915) and The Emergence of Modern America (1890-1930), this collection provides an excellent opportunity to explore the role of agriculture in industrializing and modernizing America.

The industrialization of the late nineteenth century fueled the final surge westward across the Great Plains. Settlers found that farming the arid land of this region required new, large-scale dry-farming methods and this need fueled the swift growth of the farm equipment industry. With this growth, more land came under cultivation between 1870 and 1900 than in the previous 250 years, bringing the American frontier to a close. Students can trace the changes in farming methods and technology in the Special Presentation "Implements Used on the Farm" and in the three Presentations of the Pazandak Collection. They can also compare images of the same subject taken at different times, reflecting change. Suggested subjects include Agricultural laborers, Binding grain, Drill, Hay racks, Harvesting, and Threshing.