During World War II, the lack of young men to do the farm work accelerated the use of tractors and mechanized farm implements. Tractors were still being made during the war because they helped produce our nation’s food and fiber. They required priorities to buy and were in short supply.
Farmers really had tremendous incentive to mechanize. The labor shortage continued after the war because many of the farm folk who had gone off to fight learned new skills and decided not to return to farming.
Those who came home from the war had driven tanks, flown airplanes and guided great war ships. If they still had the desire to farm, they at least wanted it to become mechanized with tractors, bailers, combines and such.
A very interesting perspective on the mechanization of agriculture. I never would have thought of it this way. Here’s a picture of my grandfather, Robert Waford “Bob” Upton, on his trusty Allis-Chalmers tractor on his Viewpoint Farm in Brick Church just east of Pulaski, Tennessee.