A reliable source of water is an essential part of California farming. In this year of extreme drought, many farmers have sought new sources of water to irrigate their crops. Some farmers have also had to be flexible about which crops to plant, and when and how to irrigate them.
A century ago, California farmers often relied on water pumps and local wells for irrigation water. The Heidrick has two vintage water pumps on display in the East Wing dating to the early 20th century. The 1921 Myers self-oiling “Bulldozer” water pump, powered by a Cushman gas engine, is a high capacity reciprocating pump, delivering water on both the up and down strokes.1 The 1907 Fairbanks Morse water pump and “vertical” T series gas-powered engine was used to bring water to the Henry Morgue Ranch of Durham, California.2
These pumps and motors, and other equipment essential to California agriculture, are on display at the Heidrick Ag History Center, Wed. – Sun. from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
1Gift courtesy of Gary Nielson, Modesto, CA
2Loan courtesy of Shannon Mlcoch and Richard Hunt, Clarksburg, CA