John Deere Tractor Seat, Asheville, NC - 2013
(Click on photo to enlarge.)
All through school, history was always one of my favorite subjects. I still love history today, and I enjoy photographing historical sites and artifacts. I have often wished that time travel was a reality so I could go back and visit different periods of history firsthand. I would love to visit the past, but I don't think I would stay very long. I'm too addicted to modern comforts and conveniences.
Take this tractor seat for example. It made me think of how good we have it in the 21st century. Today, it's a decorative seat at the public chess boards at Pritchard Park in Asheville. Even though chess games can be quite lengthy, you could probably endure this seat for at least one game. In the 1800s, however, this was the latest in John Deere seating comfort for farm equipment. Yes, it's ventilated, but could you imagine bouncing around a plowed field with nothing under your keister but this thing? Today's farmers with their air conditioned cabs, stereo systems, and air-ride seats wouldn't last long on this!
I've had the opportunity to visit some historical sites from America's colonial and Civil War eras. I find the equipment, clothing, and lifestyles of our past fascinating to see and read about. Would I want to fight a war with a muzzleloader, or wear a wool uniform in the heat of a southern summer? Not me! I've even read of photographers who enjoy photographing with 19th century cameras, and develop the plates in dark rooms full of toxic, smelly chemicals. Again, I'll pass. My digital camera and an odorless computer is more to my liking. My pick-up with its comfortable seats and air conditioning also suits me better for the ride home than a horse drawn wagon with wooden seats. Yes, I'd love to visit the past, but only for a visit.