Hand Threshing with Flails, Bucks County, PA, circa 1900.
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Two men and two boys threshing rye with flails

Credit: Courtesy of Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center, Pennsburg, Pa.

In the early 1900s farmers still used rye straw to tie corn fodder and to stuff mattresses. The beating of the flails was often accompanied by the singing of songs, to keep time, make the work go quicker, and avoid hitting each other's flails.

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