Grand Forks, Dakota: W. Caswell, Photographer, [c. 1870s].
Photographer's stamp on verso: "W. Caswell, / Photographer, / Grand Forks, Dak.". 1 vols. Boudoir-style, image: 4-1/2 x 7-5/8 in. mounted on card. With split in image colored in Item #234795
Little is known of William Caswell, save in 1877 he formed a partnership with Simon Duffin in Winnipeg, having previously operated out of Duluth, Minnesota and Grand Forks. This photograph, with Caswell's Grand Forks stamp dates from the 1870's, the era of Dakota Territory "bonanza" farms, heavily reliant on steam power: "On the bonanza farms opened up in the Red River Valley of the North in the seventies, portable steam engines for threshing were used from the beginning. To have relied upon horse power for threshing would have crippled the large-scale farming operations" (Wik, "Steam Power on the American Farm, 1830-1880")
An early image from the first days of steam-powered grain harvesting in the Dakota Territory - the steam engine (on the left) is powering the thresher (in rear, behind stacked grain).
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