Early Gas Engines on the Farm: Did Women Use Them?

29 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2015

See all articles by Carrie A. Meyer

Carrie A. Meyer

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Date Written: September 19, 2015


Decades ago, automobile history scholars recognized that farmers’ knowledge of portable and stationary internal combustion engines used for farm work contributed to the enormous success of Henry Ford’s Model T in 1908. Yet scholars have given scant attention to the farm gas engine. Reynold Wik and Ronald Kline have done much to illuminate the use of the Model T in rural areas and Kline has given more attention than most to the farm gas engine, but even Kline has been dismissive of it, calling the gas engine “powerful, but rather expensive and difficult to start.” This paper builds on recently published research on the farm gas engine to examine the early use of “small” farm engines and how they affected women’s work.

Keywords: gasoline engines, washing machines, technology diffusion

JEL Classification: N50, O33

Suggested Citation

Meyer, Carrie A., Early Gas Engines on the Farm: Did Women Use Them? (September 19, 2015). GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 15-43, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2662863 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2662863

Carrie A. Meyer (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

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