After a frost in the fall, corn was ripe and dry enough for picking. Farmers picked corn by hand, using a curved husking knife or a peg strapped to the palm of a heavy glove. The person walked down each row, picking corn from stalks on the right and left, twisting each ear from the stalk and tossing it into a wagon pulled by horses. Stalk after stalk, row after row. The picker threw the corn against a board — called a “bang board” — you would “bang” the ears into the board and they would fall into the wagon. It was hard, tiring work.
“You had a peg on your hand, and you’d open the shucks and pull the ear out and throw it in the wagon. The team [of horses] learned to walk slow. And you’d just go down through the field picking corn.” — Kenneth Jackson
Written by Claudia Reinhardt.