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"Sharpening the Scythe"
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Taken in Deerfield, Massachusetts, in the very early years of the 20th century, the Allen Sisters photograph illustrates the care given a piece of farm equipment to allow it to function most efficiently. The scythe, a long blade with handle attached at a right angle, must be razor-sharp so that, when swung in an arc, it will cut the grain or the brush deftly. The bearded man dressed in work clothes is using a whetstone to sharpen the blade of his scythe. He is set to cut the grass in the apple orchard, illustrating the multiple use of a piece of land in this hand-tool era.
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