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Museum of Extinct Americana (1968)

The January 3, 1968 Arizona Republic (Phoenix, AZ) ran this cartoon depicting the "Museum of Extinct Americana." Rural Americans and private dwellings were thought to be on their way out.

While more Americans of the year 2000 were living in urban areas, American farmers haven't yet gone the way of the quagga. (This is probably a stupid city-boy question, but how common are pitchforks on farms today?)

The recent housing bubble burst put the hurt on a lot of Americans who own their own home, but this cartoon was likely commenting on population growth and the belief that the United States was at capacity; with Americans of the year 2000 living in increasingly cramped conditions.

I wish the cartoonist had included more artifacts in his museum. Do you suppose he could have guessed that the printed newspaper would be struggling as much as it has the past few years?

MARCH OF TECHNOLOGY -- Many miracles are just around the corner as today's basic research becomes tomorrow's gadgets. But many familiar facets of present-day life will vanish as the year 2000 approaches, as this cartoon illustrates.

Previously on Paleo-Future:


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Reader Comments (10)

Pitchforks of that sort are artifacts (if useful at times) on farms these days. I grew up with horses, hay and a barn, and rarely if ever used a pitchfork like that. I'm sure some farmers still use them, but probably not many.

January 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrenton

It should be noted, though, that farmers are a dwindling population–less than 1% of the public.

February 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBen Holland

Huge corps like Conagra own most of the farmland anyway.
Corporate collectivism

February 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWill

Speaking as part of that dwindling 1%, I'd have to agree with Brenton. Pitchforks are durable, simple tools that even now find occasional use, but those uses are undeniably far fewer than even a generation ago.

February 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterwright

Pitchforks are used... but not much.

February 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJim R.

Hey, Will:

"Fascism should actually be called Corporatism. Because that is what it really is."
- Benito Mussolini

Straight from the horses mouth

March 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJimmy

das archäologische Freilichtmuseum Gross Raden hat eine neue Webseite bekommen: - schauen Sie doch einfach mal rein - danke.

March 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGross Raden

Um...maybe those pitchforks don't get used much on a big farm, but we urban "farmers" and other people raising our own food on big and small lots these days turn our compost with them quite often, thank you.

April 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergardensong

I still have my certificate of 'personal and family survival' from 1968, received in my junior year of high school. It verifys that I am capable of surviving a nuclear blast because I did complete this course. It is a very ornate certificate which pictures in the background a mushroom cloud with radioative rays extending from the cloud. Would be interested in knowing if there are any other out there, who are also trained to survive a nuclear blast.

October 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarge Sudduth

I used a pitch fork on the horse ranch in High School that was in the late 90's. Still I doubt that it has much life to go unless there is some pitchfork revival on the way.

January 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHarrison

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