c. 1972-3
15 in HIGH x 1.5 in WIDE x 3 in DEEP
(38.10 cm HIGH x 3.81 cm WIDE x 7.62 cm DEEP)
Gift of Spreckles Sugar

Knife. Description: Harvesting knife used for sugar-beets. The harvester uses hook at end of knife to dig up beet from ground; and the blade part is used to cut off tops. Description: Such knives were used by Braceros to harvest sugar beets in Sacramento, San Joaquin, Salinas and Imperial Valleys in California. This knife was made by Ontario Knife Company, c. 1972-3. Since the middle of the 1950's best harvesting has been done mechanically for the most part. This was result of end of Bracero program. From the History Information Station: Object: Sugar beet machete, stell blade with brass hook. History: In 1951, an agreement between the governments of Mexico and the United States was signed to permit American farmers to recruit contract labor in Mexico to work on American farms. These men were known as "braceros," or "the strong-armed ones." These migratory workers were the principal source of agri- cultural labor in the state until union protests ended the program in 1964. The braceros used knives like this one to harvest sugar beets; the hook pulled the beet out of the grund and the knife cut off the top.

Used: Bracero | Sugar-beet ~ Sacramento | San Joaquin | Salinas | Imperial Valley

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