In the decadesafter the Civil War, from 1865 until theearly 1900s, thousands of thousands of Americans moved right into the area ofthe West dubbed the Great Plains. Beforethe Civil War, many people going to the West passed ideal overthe Great Plains. They taken into consideration the area a huge treelesswasteland also. Their goal was to obtain to the far West - usuallyCalifornia orOregon. After the CivilWar, the perception of the Great Plains adjusted. Therewere many kind of new creations,adaptations, and also technical developments that made itpossible to farm the land also in that area. Some examples arepresented in the photographs below.


You are watching: Why did the inventions of barbed wire and the wind pump help the development of ranching?

*
The Great Plains Inventionsand also adaptations that made it possible to clear up and also farm the Great Plains:

The two pictures below present settlers onthe GreatPlains. Wood for building residences was hard to acquire, because thereare not many trees in that area. So the early on settlers made theirhouses from sod - the height layer of soil and also grass - cutand stacked to make the walls. Even the roof wasregularly made of sod put over lumber beams. If the farm wassuccessful, the owners would later on develop a new house using wood boardsshipped inby railroad.
*
*

As settlers started relocating onto the GreatPlains, theyfound that cast iron plow chisels commonly offered in eastern stateswould often clog up. The soil of the Great Plains is thick andrich, and would often stick to the actors iron blade. Fortunately, a blacksmith called John Deere developed a wayto make plow chisels out of steel. Steel is harder than actors iron,and can be made so smooth that it cuts via soil without clogging up. The photo listed below of a plow made with a steel blade is froma demonstration of old-time farming approaches. The plow cutsthrough the soil without any problem.
*

The drawinglisted below reflects John Deere"s steel plowblade and also the hardwood handles of a "walk behind" plow. As a horsepulls the plow, the farmer provides the handles to store the blade of theplow moving simply at the right depth in the soil. The blade cutsand transforms over the soil, which is then prepared for planting.
*
3.Water-pumping windmills
There is nota lot rainloss on the GreatPlains, specifically in the summer. The development of an inexpensivewater pumping windmillassisted solve that problem. As the wind transforms the blades of the windmill, alengthy rod that runs downthe tower moves the take care of of a water pump up and also dvery own. The pumppulls waterup from a well, and also sends out it into a storage tank or othercontainer.That means tright here is alwayswater available for human being and animals. Windmills prefer this are still provided in manyfarming locations in the West, because theypump water without utilizing electricity.
*

The photolisted below reflects a farm boy adjusting the pump mechanism at the base of awindmill. The pump is on optimal of a steel pipedrilled down to the level of groundwater. That may be anywherefrom about 20 to more than 100 feet deep. If there is no wind,the pump canalso occupational by relocating the long handle up and also dvery own by hand.
*

Barbed wire,developed in1874, resolved the trouble of building fences on the Great Plains.Wood forfences wasn"t quickly available, because tbelow were not many type of trees in thearea. Barbed wire was affordable and also basic to put up.
*
*

Railroads were an importanttechnical advancement thatmade itfeasible toclear up the West. They could bring in offers at an affordableprice. They additionally made itpossibleforfarmers to ship out theircrops and ranchers to ship out their cattle.
*
The double photo below is an old stereoscope card. It reflects atrain on the well known Transcontinental Railroad line that wascompleted to The golden state in 1869. When looked at in a hand-organized viewer like the one on theideal, stereoscope cards provided a 3-D photo of the scene. Thesecards and also viewers were incredibly famous in the late 1800s and also beforehand 1900s.
*

The hefty red lines on the map below show some of therailroads built into the West throughout the 1860s and 1870s. Theline connecting Omaha, Nebraska, to Sacramento, California, is thefirst Transcontinental Railroad. Many type of more lines were developed later.
*

Farmers needed a chop that would certainly grow well in the dry, hotsummers of the Great Plains. Wwarm was the crop that best fit theclimateproblems. The wwarmth grains at the optimal of the plant areground into flour that is used to make bcheck out, cereal, and also many otherfoodstuffs.
*

Wheat was alsoa great enhance for the ranches of the Great Plains bereason the level land also isappropriate for utilizing the mechanical reaper to harvest thecrop. The reaper came right into wide use after about 1850, and also made itpossible to harvest large pmany wwarm quickly. The photo belowmirrors an old-style reaper in activity in a wwarmth field.
*

Farmers savedsome of the wwarm crop for themselves, yet most was bagged and offered towheatbuyers in huge cities. The photo listed below shows a farmer prepared toloadhis chop on a railroad freight car for distribution.
*

Farmers of the Great Plains occurred dry farmingmethods toadapt to the low rainfall and also conserve as a lot moisture in the soil aspossible. Thesemethods included: 1.Choiceof acrop (wheat) that did not call for much rainfall to flourish. 2. Plowing the land also deeply to permit moisture to getdeep into the soileven more conveniently when it did rain. 3. Planting seeds inthe ground deeper than normal, maybe 2 inches downrather of one inch down. That put the seeds in contact through moremoisture than the very peak layer of soil. The illustration below mirrors a old-fashioned seed drill. It is a devicefarmers use toplant seeds in their areas after the land has actually been plowed. Thewheat seeds go in package at the height. As the tool is pulledwith the fields by a horse, the seeds drop a few at a time throughthe tubes and right into soil at a depth set by the farmer.
*



See more: Why Is It Warmer In The Summer Than In The Winter, Sj Kids: What Makes Winter Cold And Summer Hot

Some components of the Great Plains were best for elevating beefcattle. So that alternative, too, was an adaptation tothe conditionsof that location. Texas was the a lot of famed state for livestock ranching.
*
Hand colored imperiods of sod homes arefrom the Fred Hultstrand Historyin Pictures Collection at the Library of Congress. Babsence andwhite photos are from the Library of Congress. The illustration of the John Deeresteel plow courtesy of the Augustana College Special Collections. Colorwheat field photocourtesy of the University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension, provided by permission.The farm museum photo of ahorse-drawn plow is courtesy of theWisconsin Historical Society.Seed drill imageis a public domajor image supplied courtesy of ushistoryimperiods.com.The map and also shade photos of barbed wire are by David Burns.Some images have been edited or resized for this web page.