Who Invented the Fresno Scraper?

I’m an anthropologist/archaeologist and not much inclined to embrace the “great man” approach to history. I suspect that many creative individuals had a hand in developing what became the landmark, horse-drawn Fresno scraper (photo at left). The desire to level San Joaquin Valley land for irrigation and dig ditches was the initial driver. And the mechanical . . . → Read More: Who Invented the Fresno Scraper?

Tomatoes and Machines

I don’t know about you, but I find the appearance of the machine at left somewhat menacing. Give it limbs and tentacles, and I see it fitting nicely into the set of a science fiction movie from the 1930s.

But this is not a robot or space alien. It’s a tomato harvester, one of the . . . → Read More: Tomatoes and Machines

Tule Shoes

What in the world is a tule shoe?

A couple weeks ago, collection manager Julie Blood retreated into the storage areas of the Museum and emerged with the two similar objects, one of which is pictured at left. She placed them on a work table next to her desk and members of the staff gathered around like . . . → Read More: Tule Shoes

Weber’s Garden

I’m willing to wager that Charles M. Weber (1814-1881; left) is San Joaquin County’s most famous pioneer. I also suspect he’s remembered most often as the German immigrant and adventurer who built a fortune founding Stockton. But Weber had another side, too. What often gets overlooked is the passion that he (and possibly his wife, . . . → Read More: Weber’s Garden