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Settler's Toolbox

Pioneer (1870s-1900)Imagine draining a swamp without modern insect repellent, or working 12 hours in the field without sunscreen! Early settlers rubbed mud on their skin to prevent the mosquitoes from biting, and if they were bitten they would dab the bite with vinegar. As for the sun, rubbing birch bark and then rubbing your skin was a technique derived from the knowledge of First Nations people.

Pioneer (1900-1939)Summers had to be faced without refrigerators and winters without gas heating. Horse and ox, steam and water power got things done. Communal labour marked certain technical processes, such as a barn raising or harvesting, and this established a tradition which led to the growth of communities and the farmer's co-operatives of today. Indeed, early homesteaders readily shared their innovations in the interest of communal benefit, and some believed patents reduced competition and drove up prices.

Pioneer (1960 - present)When confronting any problem homesteaders creatively used the tools and materials at their disposal. They rarely had the option of going to a store or city to get additional technology. If homesteaders didn’t plan well and take an innovative approach to farming and animal husbandry constantly, their lives and livelihood faced great risk.

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