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DescriptionPostcard depicting Haymaking along the country roads
Historical ArticleHaymaking is pictured in an era before baling machinery was common. A horse-drawn wagon or hayrack, horses, hayfork and track, pulleys and a ladder were the equipment needed.

Two men at the top of the stack were experienced toppers who forked the hay into a proper cap which shed rains and weather and left the hay dry for winter's use in the field.

Kansas City had the largest haymarket in the world in 1913. A whole floor of the new Live Stock Exchange Building at the stockyards was given over to hay dealers.

A special green cardboard insert in the 1913 city directory lists 44 Kansas City hay dealers and claimed Kansas City shipped 31,000 cars of hay yearly. Shipping was by rail and long lines of loaded cars stood on the railroad sidings with buyers, salesmen and inspectors, who checked every car for grade and weight.

Advertisements read: Clover, prairie, timothy, alfalfa, corn, oats and mill feed. Write us when you want to buy or sell hay. Liberal advance, prompt return on consignments.

Also mentioned in the old directory were five companies selling hay presses, forerunners of the hay baler, in common use today.

Counties adjacent to Kansas City -- Clay, Jackson, Johnson, Wyandotte and Cass -- furnished the local market with crops but alfalfa, timothy and clover from many states in the west, northwest and southwest were shipped here for distribution. Quotations in the market here controlled prices wherever hay was sold.

In the 1890s when receipts in hay averaged from 10 to 15 carloads daily, practically all was consumed locally, the greater part going to the Kansas City Stockyards Company. But in 1911 when receipts averaged 100 carloads a day, hay was shipped as far east as Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania. The value of hay handled in Kansas City that year was about $5.5 million.

Four hundred men, leaders in the hay industry, gathered in the assembly hall of the Coates House in convention of the National Hay Association July 16, 1912. Governor Hadley welcomed the visitors to Kansas City. J. A. Heath of Richmond, Mich., responded in behalf of the hay dealers. James Wilson, secretary of agriculture, was to have addressed the convention, but business matters prevented his attendance.

The old post card was mailed in August 1914. A message from the sender on the reverse side mentions the pleasant news that we have had some good rains and it is cool today.

Kansas City Times
July 28, 1978

AuthorRay, Mrs. Sam (Mildred)
Item TypePostcard
CollectionMrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)
See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981
Local SubjectFarms
Farming Equipment
Farm Equipment
Digital FormatJPEG
RepositoryMissouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri
RightsReproduction (printing, downloading, or copying) of images from Kansas City Public Library requires permission and payment for the following uses, whether digital or print: publication; reproduction of multiple copies; personal, non-educational purposes; and advertising or commercial purposes. Please order prints or digital files and pay use fees through this website. All images must be properly credited to: "Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri." Images and texts may be reproduced without prior permission only for purposes of temporary, private study, scholarship, or research. Those using these images and texts assume all responsibility for questions of copyright and privacy that may arise.
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