Animal-drawn plows varied from country to country and even from one farm to the next. They had to be coordinated with the type of soil, the moisture content, the kind of planting, the draft animals used, and the farmer's own movement. When animals were replaced by mechanical power, plows were simplified, the differences between them became less, and the variations between plows used in some areas disappeared completely. With mechanical power, it was no longer necessary to design each plow individually. General plows were designed to work almost any kind of soil. The farmer was freed from the constraints of his environment. He no longer had to understand his plow in relation to his soil composition.
christopher and charlotte williams, craftsmen of necessity
Mar 24, 2013
self-imposed limits on technology make it more likely that human ingenuity will develop an elegant response to its environment. the idea is not new, but it is certainly not en vogue.