Local News

August 21, 2013

Nelson Pioneer Farm artifacts

Tell us the differences between the two


This past week's artifact from the Nelson Pioneer Farm was a Lightning Seeder.

A couple people made a correct guess of the artifact. On email, Dorothy Vos wrote: “The artifact in the Wed. Shopper is a grass seeder.  You put the seed in the bag, and hang on to the handle and swing it back and forth.  The seed comes out of the small spout and is spread evenly on the ground.”

On Facebook, Ron Barrett wrote: “Seed planter?”

Nelson Pioneer Farm Curator Kelly Halbert did some research on the artifact: “Original Lightening Seeder

To the people of Golden, Il., H.H. Franzen was known for two things. He became noteworthy when he applied for permission to shoot blackbirds that roost over his house at night. He was granted permission by the Village Board provided he did the shooting himself. The second thing was the invention and manufacture of the Lightning Seed Sower somewhere around 1870.

The manufacturing company was later sold to Wm. M. Gronewold, who continued to manufacture the “hose” sower at the “Original Lightning Seed Sower” until the mid 1920s. Labeling boldly stated that the sower was manufactured by Wm. M. Gronewold, Golden, ILL. Successor of H.H. Franzen.

A knapsack seeder consisted of a canvas bag and shoulder strap. Many varieties of the knapsack were common for the farmer scattering seed across the plowed field. This one add an 18” telescoping metal hose which allowed the farmer to scatter seeds quickly and more precisely than hand scattering. Broadcast seeders were cranked by hand, turning ridged wheels that scattered seed across a broad area. These types of seeders were mostly used for grass seeds.”

The Oskaloosa Herald and the Nelson Pioneer Farm are teaming up to test your knowledge of historical artifacts.

The Nelson Pioneer Farm has about 15,000 artifacts in its collection spanning in age from the 1840s to the present.

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