JH Limbaugh leveling with a Fresno Scraper along with sons, Ross and Ron on their farm close to Hamiliton Corner in 1942. Ross was in my class in school. This is not far from where Valley View School had been located before being moved into New Plymouth. This was the old French and then Whadford farm.
Most farmers had only this means to level land prior to late 40s and advent of tractor farming. It was very hard work and very time consuming. Many had to wait for further leveling much later. Consequently farm profits were very slim. A well leveled farm will vastly outproduce an unleveled one, and be very much more efficient. On some farms it could be a factor of ten difference. Multiply that over years and it makes a huge difference.
We used these fresno scrapers for cleaning out corrals, sheep pens, anywhere something bulky needed to be moved. Invented in 1883 in Fresno California – they became so common that the name became a verb – so one fresnoed out this or that! To “fresno” was to use such a scraper.
In the hands of early New Plymouth folks, these scrapers enabled turning sagebrush flats and gullies into the beginnings of farming. It enabled them to get irrigation water over land for the very first time ever!
You can bet that the men digging the canals used fresno scrapers to smooth up and shape up the canals for the “final” touch.