Tonya Thomas: “Things That Work”

2013 August 30
by Tonya Thomas

My photographs of antique tractor engines are part of a series called “Things that work.” This series started by helping my dad, a retired farmer, post an ad on Craigslist. From a young age I was amazed by the appearance of the engines.  Unlike an automobile, a tractor’s engine and gear train are open to view and exposed to the elements of nature.  Valves, pistons, pipes, belts and many other components come together to produce very powerful functional machines that totally transformed farm work and rural life. These machines are icons of the American industrial age and central to the rural experience.






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