Threshing Beans, Egypt

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
Farming in Egypt, and in many other Eastern countries, is very backward. In the view the Egyptian is threshing beans just as his ancestors did before him. We know this same method was used in Biblical times. The method is simple. A space in a field is leveled off as a threshing floor. The pods of the beans are picked or the stalks are pulled up and these carted to the leveled spot. Then oxen are hitched to a weighted wooden drag and driven over the pile, again and again. When most of the beans are freed from the pods this part of the work is done. The broken hulls and stalks are thrown against a stiff breeze which blows them away. The beans fall into a pile on the ground. This method of threshing has been common to most early peoples. Wheat was trampled out this very way in some parts of our own country in an early day. But for the most part settlers in America used a flail to beat out the grain. Two sticks were tied together by a leather thong of string. One of the sticks was long enough to give it plenty of play. The threshing was done by hammering the grain with the flail. The grain was taken from the chaff by throwing it against the wind. This is all very different from the way in which threshing is done today in the United States. Take beans, for example. These are threshed by great machines much like wheat threshers. And our annual crop of beans is large. There are about 900,000 acres in the United States that are now set to beans. This acreage produces from 10,000,000 to 15,000,000 bushels of beans annually. Can you imagine the Egyptian in the picture believing these figures? He would say, likely, that such a large crop could never be threshed; and it could not with his machine. Keystone ID: 9759 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
Copyright by the Keystone View Company. The original slides are housed in McConnell Library's Special Collections.