Horse Power | #tbt

In today’s throwback Thursday photograph, a Cortland County farm family uses a horse-powered treadmill to saw wood. For centuries, draft horses have been used on farms to plow fields, haul wagons, and for various other forms of hard labor. During the 19th century, farmers also used horses to provide their machinery with a dependable source of power. The horse treadmill utilized a system of gears and belts to harness the power of horses to thresh hay, saw wood, and even churn butter. The amount of force necessary to operate these treadmills was measured in “horse power,” a familiar term that is still used today.