A plow, tobacco cutter, hay fork and a corn-cutting chair are among the tools that would have been in full use this time of year in early American farming. At DCHS, these artifacts are among many illustrating the way of life for early Delaware County residents. The plow, a farm staple, at first had no wheels, but they were pulled by animals. According to britannica.com, wheeled plows were initially pulled by oxen, then horses and helped the spread of agriculture throughout Europe. By mid-19th century, John Deere noticed the struggle of farmers trying to till the tough prairie ground and he created the moldboard plow with its steel blade on the back to assist in breaking apart the soil. The moldboard plow in Delaware County Historical Society’s collection has a steel blade attached to a thin metal wheel and wooden handles, which the farmer guided. In the United States, farming was influenced by Native American crops such as maize, sweet potatoes, squashes, beans and even tobacco as well as items brought from settlers from clover and alfalfa and slaves who introduced melons, okra, peanuts and more. The tobacco cutters were basically used to slice chest-high tobacco plants to be collected and used in making products. They look like small curved blades attached to two long wooden handles, providing the holder with a long reach. A four-pronged hay fork, or pitchfork as they are commonly called, was more than a garden tool in early American farming. It helped to lift hay, straw and leaves to clear an area or to help feed an animal. Somewhat a mystery to the modern day visitor, the corn-cutting chair is a low-sitting device with a hinged piece of sharpened steel on its right. In theory, the ear of corn would be strategically placed so that it could be sliced as needed. In the winter months, a farmer’s household would shear dry corn. Dry corn could be ground into flour and used in baking. The chair at DCHS was invested as a convenient - and restful - method to complete that chore. The chair, hay fork, tobacco cutter and plow are among the items stored at the home of Delaware County Historical Society at 408 Avenue of the States in Chester. It is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday; and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the second Saturday of the month. It is closed on Tuesdays. Appointments are also available upon request. Parking is free in the lot behind the building or across the street in the city’s municipal lot. For more information, ways to get involved or to contribute items of historic significance, please call 610-359-0832. This chair made tending to the chore of cutting the corn a bit easier back in the day. Early American farm tools are on display at Delaware County Historical Society.