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Interpreting the Evidence

Peach Orchard, 1936

  • Documents in this Activity:
  • Historical Eras:

    The Great Depression and WW II (1929 - 1945)

  • Thinking Skill:

    Historical Comprehension

  • Grade Level:

    Lower Elementary
    Upper Elementary
    Middle School
    High School

  • Topics:


  • Primary Source Types:


  • Creator:

    NYS Archives Partnership Trust Education Team

  1. Load Peach Orchard, 1936 in Main Image Viewer

Suggested Teaching Instructions

Document Description
Men loading peaches on a tractor-drawn wagon, Youngstown, NY, 1936.

Historical Context
The tractor has continued to be one of the most important machines used in agriculture since the steam tractor was introduced in the 1870s.  A tractor is a versatile machine that has a variety of uses, from hauling crops and materials to pulling farm tools that plant, cultivate, fertilize, and harvest crops.  It can even be used for farmers' personal transportation.  Over time and with improvements, tractors replaced the use of animals to plow fields.  Gasoline-powered tractors were used in the 1930s, but during this decade diesel engines were introduced; these increased tractor power and cost less to use than gasoline engines.  During this time, tractors also began to use rubber tires designed for farm equipment. 

Compelling Question
How does technology impact local economies?

Check for Understanding
Describe the scene in the photograph and explain how the technology in the photograph impacted the local economy.

Historical Challenges
Research the history of peaches. In what part of the world did peaches first grow? How did peach trees come to the Americas?

Interdisciplinary Connections
Science: Research the geographic climate where peaches grow.

Science: How are tires made and recycled?

Math/Social Studies: Research the current price of a new tractor. Compare tractor prices. Which are the most expensive? What factors make some tractors more expensive than others? What is the difference in price between the least expensive and most expensive tractors? If you were a farmer, how would you decide which tractor to purchase? How does the price of a tractor affect people who live in cities?