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powerful military and police force, without a word of interference from the magistrates. He lived to overcome the prejudice, and to see his invention adopted. He died at the age of sixty, worth a half-million sterling. At one time he was so poor he had to be furnished with a suit of clothes before he could appear to vote at an election as a burgess.
Elias Howe, the inventor of the sewing machine, infinitely multiplied the results of labor; yet the suffering and privations he endured in his early struggles were very great. He was born in Spencer, and died in Brooklyn, N. Y., leaving a property valued at a million and a quarter of dollars.
There are a large number of illustrious names connected with our country's industries. You are all familiar with the history of those who have helped to swell the immensity of our almost innumerable institutions : Whitney, of cottongin fame ; Hoe, of the rotary printing press; Fulton, who created modern commerce with his steamboat; Corliss, who revolutionized the use of steam; Franklin, who was called the electric or lightning tamer; but it was left for Edison, Bell and others to make electricity the servant of the people.
Asia, with her millions of inhabitants, continues to till the soil and work the shuttle and loom as her fathers have done for ages. Modern Europe has felt the influence and received the benefits of the incalculable multiplication of force by inventors' genius since the wars of Napoleon. And yet, only two hundred and seventy-one years after the little band of Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock, our people, numbering about one-fifteenth of the inhabitants of the globe, do one-third of its mining, one-fourth of its manufacturing, one-fifth of its agriculture, and own one-sixth of its wealth. The farmer, the manufacturer and the mechanic can rejoice that they have been co-workers in this great achievement, and believe that their united action has been the means of making this the most favored nation upon the globe. Let the good work go on. With loving hearts and willing hands, we may yet see New England reclaimed, and bearing with honor and dignity the euphonious title of “The Garden of the East.”
We often hear predictions of what we may expect in the
way of future improvements, and we are constantly seeing these predictions verified. What will the next century bring forth in the line of improvements for the benefit of the farmer and manufacturer? I predict that in the large prairie farms of the West the motive power will be electricity; that the wind will generate the electricity; that a gang of ploughs will be made to work automatically, and the fields can be ploughed while the farmer sleeps; that scientific experiments will teach him the habits and weaknesses of the enemies of his crops, and they will have to relegate to the antipodes; the shepherd will hypnotize his flock, and have them at his merciful control; the breeder of domestic cattle will make his cattle domestic; rapid transit will be revolutionized, passengers and mails will be carried by aerial winds, and freight from the great producing centres of the West will be forwarded by pneumatic dispatch to the seaboard, at less than it now costs to haul it between Boston and Springfield. With these gigantic strides within a century, the old saying will need to be transposed to read, “ Man wants but little here below, but wants that little quick.”
THE MASSACHUSETTS BOARD OF AGRICULTURE AND
THE AGRICULTURAL SOCIETIES : CAN THEY BROADEN AND IMPROVE THEIR WORK?
BY WM. H. BOWKER OF BOSTON.
The Board of Agriculture and the agricultural societies of this State are so closely united that a discussion of one subject involves a discussion of the other. I shall not attempt to give the history of this Board or that of the societies, or review the work they have accomplished. That they have performed a great work no one can deny; that they are now doing some good work, all must admit; but that the work can be broadened and improved I believe is possible, and it should be undertaken at the earliest moment.
At the time this Board was established, forty years ago, it was the only organization supported by the State for the promotion of agriculture. Since then great progress has been made in agricultural education and experiment work. Agricultural colleges and experiment stations have been established all over the country, the outgrowth, we may almost say, of the early efforts of this Board. These colleges and stations are now doing much of the work which the Board and the societies were then expected to do. Although the work is now abridged in some directions, I shall try to show that it has been enlarged in other directions, and is still important.
THE ORGANIZATION OF THE BOARD.. The law establishing the Board, while giving it oversight of the societies, does not give it much latitude in their management. It provides for the receiving of bequests made to the Board for promoting agricultural education or the general interests of husbandry. The Board also may regulate the forms of the returns required from the different societies. Section 10 provides that the secretary of the Board can also appoint one or more suitable agents to visit the towns in this State, under the direction of the Board, for the purpose of inquiring into the methods and wants of practical husbandry, ascertaining the adaptation of agricultural products to soil, climate and market, encouraging the establishment of farmers' clubs, agricultural libraries and reading-rooms, and the dissemination of useful information in agriculture by means of lectures and otherwise. Such agents shall annually in October make detailed reports to the secretary of the Board. It is upon this section 10 that I shall base the suggestions of my paper, - a section which it seems to me has been allowed to lapse.
Including the members ex officio, there are now forty-three members on this Board, with two to be admitted, making a total of forty-five. Of these, thirty-eight will be appointed by the agricultural societies. Let us consider for a moment how these thirty-eight members represent the farmers of the State ; and for this purpose I present Table No. 1.
BOARD OF AGRICULTURE,
TABLE 1. - Showing the Present Representation on the Board
from Each County, allowing One Delegate to Each Society, and comparing it with a Representation based on the Number of Farmers in Each County.*
* NOTE. — In round numbers, there are 36,000 farmers in the State, or an average of 1,000 to each of the 36 societies now repr ented on the Board.