This is a photograph of a flail, which was probably used around the 1700-1800s. Until the invention of the threshing machine in 1840, most grain in PA was threshed with the flail. The flail was used during the 1840s and later, especially on smaller farms. However, the threshing machine was more efficient and more commonly used, although it usually cost more than the small farmer could afford. In the Graham collection (GC26), in a letter James Graham wrote to his father dated Jan. 20, 1864, James suggests that his father should hire someone to help him thrash the grain. Sources: The Historical and Genealogical Society of Indiana County, PA: Graham Collection (GC26); Fletcher, Whitcomb W. Pennsylvania Agriculture and Country Life 1840-1940. Harrisburg: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1955. Print. ; Gates, Paul W. The Impact of the Civil War: Agriculture and the Civil War. Ed. Nevins, Allan. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc, 1965. Print.
Vince's Agriculture Project Vol. I
Agricultural implements, United States, History, 19th century, Pictorial works.
"Flail" (2019). Indiana, Pennsylvania in the Civil War. 293.
he digitized images of letters, photographs, and other items from the Agriculture Collection in the “Indiana, Pennsylvania in the Civil War” exhibit are the property of the Historical and Genealogical Society of Indiana County, Pa. These images may only be used for non-commercial, educational purposes under “Fair Use” guidelines. For additional information contact: HGSIC, 621 Wayne Avenue, Indiana, Pa. 15701; (724) 463-9600. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Historical and Genealogical Society of Indiana County, PA; Agriculture Collection