I Want to Be a Farmer

“I Want to be a Farmer” – York, PA (1906)

In 1900, almost 40 per cent of the people in the US lived on farms.

There were about six million farms, a number that rose to seven million, and then began to decline significantly after 1940.

It is not surprising that many boys growing up on farms wanted to continue the family enterprise.

At the turn of the 20th century, a farmer could be remarkably self-sufficient. Milling, butchering, grain storage, and other supporting businesses were often local.

The independence of the small farmer has changed dramatically in the 21st century.

The character of “Little Breeches” was famous in the early 20th century through a sentimental poem by John Hay.

(A series of books, the “Little Birches” stories, recounted the adventures of a New England family that started life anew on a Colorado ranch. These were published late in the 20th century).

This postcard was printed circa 1906 by the Ullman Company, lithographers in New York City.

The postcard was postmarked in York, Pennsylvania on March 1 of 1907.

Addressed to Master Walter Mitzel of York R.D. #3, the postcard does not contain the name of the sender.

It is an attractive print.

The boy, in blue overalls, is raking hay.

He appears to be burying his little dog with the hay.

The straw hat he sports is enormous, and probably effective.

The level fields stretch far away.

I am sure that many children had fond memories of their experience of growing up on a farm.


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