Corn Belt Harvest September 1939
In the 76 years since these photographs were taken the Corn Belt countryside has undergone an absolute transformation when it comes to matters of mechanization, depopulation, storage, hybridization, the end of diversification, and genetics, among many other profound changes.
The first photo shows E.E. Buck on his farm west of Bloomington shucking corn by hand. Mechanical pickers were already in use (see second photo) but they did not become ubiquitous in the Central Illinois countryside until after World War II. An early picker is seen in the second photo at an unidentified area farm. The third and final photo shows a portable elevator transferring shelled corn to storage bins at an unidentified location. Note the elevator is powered via an Allis-Chalmers tractor take-off.