A Russian Peasant Plowing

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
Russia is a backward country in its industries. The peasants are not educated, and do their work in the same way and with the same tools that their grandparents did. In this view, the Russian farmer is turning the soil with a plow at which an American farmer would laugh. It is an old-fashioned, home-made, clumsy affair. It does not turn the top soil under properly, as you see. The harness of the horse is in keeping with the plow. In spite of poor farm machinery, Russia is an agricultural country. It buys most of its manufactured goods from other nations. It produces four-fifths of the flax of the world; one-fifth of the wheat and the sugar beets; and one-tenth of the cattle. Rye, barley, oats, hemp, and potatoes are widely grown. The bread of the peasant is made of rye flour. The farmer you see here may own this land; but he does not own it in the way we use the term. Each village and city holds the land for its peasant population. Every year the fields are parceled out to the village dwellers. But the ground is worked in common, and the people usually work together. At harvest times the crops are divided among the people by the village officers. The only part of the land the peasant really controls is a small garden on which his house sits. The government and the wealthy class hold much of the country in large estates. Russia has the greatest natural resources of any country in Europe. It has long stretches of fine farming land. It is rich in minerals of many kinds. Its forests are hundreds of miles in extent. None of these resources have yet been developed. Tell how plowing is done on the farms in your neighborhood. What is a peasant? Of what is your bread made? Keystone ID: 18101 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.