As a result of the industrial revolution and the subsequent development of “big agriculture,” small-scale farming tools have become almost obsolete. In order to fulfill the demand created by a burgeoning community of small-scale farmers, Stone Barns Center has partnered with Barry Griffin, a design engineer, to develop farming equipment and tools. Called the Slow Tools Project, this partnership brings together leading engineers and farmers to design and build appropriately scaled tools that are lightweight, affordable and open-source. [Read more…]
“For a hundred years, from the early 1800s to the early 1900s, Europe and America had cities of at least a million people that ran on a massive, sophisticated network of carriages and streetcars. By 1880, according to historian John H. White, Jr., US cities had 415 horse-drawn railways running, with 18,000 cars on 3,000 miles of track, carrying 1.2 billion passengers a year. Most of these lines continued decades into the age of electricity and coal, simply because the horses worked better than any other option.” Read: Horse-drawn public tranportation. Thanks, Johan. Previously: Bring back the horses.
Perpignan is one of 60 French towns that have struck upon a cheaper and greener way to collect household waste – ditching the dustbin lorry in favour of a horse and cart. Read. Thanks, Johan.
“An improvement made by Mr. P. K. Dederick, of Albany, N.Y., was a horse-hoisting machine that very materially reduced the labor of the horse in hoisting. Previous to this, the horse walked forward to hoist a full bucket, and was obliged to back to lower the empty bucket into the hold of the vessel. With most horses, this latter was harder work than hoisting the loaded bucket, while the Dederick machine increased the speed of unloading but little, it reduced the labor of the horse about one-half.”
Quoted from: “Coal handling machinery“, C.W.Hunt Company, 1893.
“The horse-powered ferryboat, though patented in 1819, can trace its origin of design back to the time of the Romans. The Roman ox boat was an early war vessel propelled by a team of oxen. During the 1700’s, boats propelled by horses could be found on various rivers and canals of Europe. By the early 1800’s, horse powered boats could be found on Lake Champlain and the Hudson River. By the 1820’s, this mode of transportation had spread to the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, the Great Lakes, and to several other rivers and lakes in the Northeast. This type of vessel was generally utilized for journeys of only a few miles.”