Grandpa or great grandpa may not have worried about planting date unless it got to May 20. For a while, Extension taught people not to plant until about mid-May to help prevent corn borer problems. That was post World War II logic.
By May 20, though, even grandpa might have got concerned if this was his planter. You couldn't cover too many acres in a day with this two-row planter, whether you pulled it with horses or a tractor.
This 1930's vintage McCormick-Deering planter was considered top of the line farm machinery for its day. It was set up to plant check row corn so that it could be cultivated both directions to make sure that weeds weren't an issue. This is before the invention of herbicides, and certainly before the kind of choices that you have today. This planter was equipped to not only plant corn but also apply fertilizer on the same pass.
It's just one of the antique pieces of farm machinery that are now part of the Pioneer Village display at the Indiana State Fair. A special tent in 2012 was filled with several restored pieces of farm machinery. Some of the restoration work is done by volunteers who also help with activities at Pioneer Village. Other restoration is done by volunteers who consider it a hobby. This corn planter was restored to its current condition by Charles Swanson of Etauw, Alabama.
Note that the planter used seedrunners to drop seed into the ground instead of seed disks. It was obviously meant to plant into smooth ground prepared by plowing and disking. Also note that even though this was a 1930's vintage model, it still had steel wheels.
Farm machinery catalogs from that period typically showcased both steel and rubber-tired models of various implements. They also included the newer technology in the front, but still listed horse-drawn implements for sale in the back.
Looking for new equipment? We have compiled into one spot, more than 200 new products featured at the big 2012 shows just for you.