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Every Farm a FactoryThe Industrial Ideal in American Agriculture$
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Deborah Fitzgerald

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780300088137

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300088137.001.0001

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Farms as Factories: The Emergence of Large-Scale Farming

Farms as Factories: The Emergence of Large-Scale Farming

(p.106) Chapter 4 Farms as Factories: The Emergence of Large-Scale Farming
Every Farm a Factory

Deborah Fitzgerald

Yale University Press

This chapter considers the emergence of large-scale farms, which were the most visible example of the changes in the first decade of the twentieth century. Not all such farms were industrial in exactly the same way, but all were considered unusual for their grasp of modern techniques and approaches to production. A number of the large-scale farms emerging in the 1920s offered themselves as spectacles to the curious, and seemed amazing to many for their size, for the number of livestock all in one place, or for the machine-like efficiency with which work was done. The chapter shows that during the 1920s, industrial farming concepts found their way onto real farms in America. It also reveals that the principles of efficiency, managerial oversight and planning, reliance on experts, mechanization, and large-scale operations moved from classrooms, lecture halls, and federal agencies to the rural countryside.

Keywords:   large farms, industrial farming, mechanization, farm crisis, engineers

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