American MemoryThe National Digital Library Program: Archived Documentation

The Library of Congress / Ameritech National Digital Library Competition (1996-1999)

Image from collection

North Dakota State University

The Northern Great Plains, 1880-1920: Photographs from the Fred Hultstrand and F.A. Pazandak Photograph Collections

Amount of award: $15,628

The more than 900 black and white (and hand-colored) photographs in these collections are images of small town and rural life in the Northern Great Plains during a period (1880-1920) that saw rapid change. Immigrants, particularly Norwegians and Icelanders, were settling in the region, and increasing mechanization was revolutionizing transportation and agriculture. The photographs document the introduction of steam tractors and other large implements that went into soil preparation, seeding, harvesting, and transporting grain to market; they also show images of the maintenance, modification, and repair of farm machinery. They provide information about fashions and dress of the period; the architecture of homes, farms, schools, and rural towns; the development of transportation from horse-drawn to steam and gasoline-powered vehicles; and rural family life.

Online Collection

Image Caption: Oxen pulling a grain drill in pioneer days : a welcome break in a long day, stopping for lunch and a chat with mom and the youngsters.. (North Dakota State University Institute for Regional Studies, Fred Hultstrand History in Pictures Collection.)