Learn about life on the farm in the early 20th century with this video from Iowa Public Television. This segment from Iowa Public Television's documentary
In the early twentieth century, life on the farm was challenging but families were very self-sufficient. Farmers were able to grow their own food including fruits, vegetables, eggs and meat. Summer produce was canned in order to feed the family during the winter months. To round out their pantries, farm families purchased items they could not supply like flour, sugar and coffee.
Modern conveniences and technology had not yet come to rural America. In the 1920s and '30s homes in a town might have had electricity but many of their counterparts on the farm would not. Kerosene lamps were used to light the home and out buildings at night. There was no air conditioning or central heat. Homes were heated with wood, or coal if the family could afford the expense. Many rural homes did not yet have indoor plumbing. Regardless of the weather, going to the bathroom meant a trip outside to an outhouse. Families had to hand-carry water to the house for cooking and bathing.
"The People in the Pictures: Stories from the Wettach Farm Photos" features original photography and first-person accounts of farm life in rural America during the Great Depression and early twentieth century.