Driving Horses to Roll Field

16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Wednesday, August 2, 1911: Took lessons in driving, but even though I would like to learn to drive, I did not like that kind of lesson for the horses were old and slow, and I had to drive them in the field behind choking clouds of dust.

Horse-drawn roller. Photo source: Wikemedia Commons, German Federal Archives. (Rollers in the U.S. may have looked different, but this is the only photo I could find.)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

I read this entry to my father and asked him what Grandma was doing. He says that she probably was using a roller on a plowed field. The roller would level the plowed earth in preparation for planting winter wheat seeds.

The horses would have been hitched to the roller and Grandma would have needed to tighten one rein or the other to make the horses go in a straight line.

I can almost picture the clouds of dust stirred up by the roller swirling around Grandma as she drove the horses.

3 Responses

  1. [...] mentioned that she was learning to drive horses in the August 2 diary entry (see that posting for a photo of a horse-drawn [...]

  2. [...] began driving horses five days ago. As discussed in the August 2 entry, she probably was operating a horse-drawn roller that leveled the plowed ground in [...]

  3. [...] exactly one-year prior to this diary entry on August 2, 1911 Grandma wrote about driving horse through the dust of a plowed field. That post is repeated [...]

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