Let me know if paragraphs get cut off in this email or future ones. My tech gurus think that it may have something to do with WordPerfect and Outlook (our new email system) not playing together nicely. I've now first saved the text as a Word document, at their suggestion, as that's a Microsoft product and should be more compatible with Outlook. Technology's great...when it works right and doesn't make you do extra work. Joj!
All opinions and frustrations my own
The end of the 19th century saw the gradual implementation of semi-iron plows. These did not, for some time, replace wooden ards (which were useful in many ways), but they rapidly replaced wooden plows, which were more demanding on the team and the farmers. Factory-made semi-iron plows were not so readily accepted in mountainous areas, not only because of their high price, but primarily because their structure did not suit local conditions. They were widely used in these areas only after they were made, or modified, by local blacksmiths. This is why there is a range of plow variants with iron rollers and wooden beams in Slovakia. This evolutionary process ended in the 1920s and Slovak agriculture had a standard arable tool in the first half of the 20th century. In Slovakia, this type of plow was widely replaced by a completely-iron, factory-made plow as late as during the period of the collectivization of agriculture [under communism].
The ard and the plow have, for centuries, been part of European agrarian culture. They were used for similar work in the different regions because their principal construction elements are similar throughout large areas where land was cultivated using teams of animals. [I'm not sure I understood this sentence and got it right.] For example, the Spis~ ard without a slide is similar in structure to the Povislie ard without a slide, and also to the ard from southern Moravia and Czech-Moravian areas. Single-bottom plows with various types of beam curves have their counterparts in the Balkans, and reversible plows from Gemer have theirs in Belgium, Germany, Romania, the Tyrol, etc. Slovak contributions to arable tools consist mainly of local and developmental structural variants resulting from modifications to local circumstances.
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