"If you're right-handed and everybody pretty well [was] – if they were left-handed they still picked corn by the right hand – so you threw it up against this bang board. That bang board – the wagon box would be like three foot deep, these bang boards would go on up there probably five to six feet above that – a bang board would be another board with cleats on, you just keep putting them on, putting them to get height. Then the side you were working on, why you had a rack with some bang boards, but those sat in there. When your box got so full, rather than the corn falling off, you'd put another bang board. So, some of those pictures show ear corn up there. Well, off the ground it would be eight, ten feet high up there. So, that was what you called a bang board. It was just, you'd bang that ear corn up against that bang board. You're not looking at the wagon, you're just picking and throwing, picking and throwing, looking for the next ear so that – Sometimes the horses, and the horses were on their own. If they needed to move ahead you said, 'Get up,' or something. 'Whoa,' meant whoa. And so if you missed a wagon well you didn't worry about it, I guess. Or, you didn't miss it too often because you had enough practice at it… A good guy picking corn he'd have an ear, an ear, two ears in the air at all times cause they would,they could pick fast enough that they hooked it and, not over two, but they could have that second one in the air before the other one hit. It was just – In fact, they had picking bees, you know, where the professionals would, they were in a contest, you know. I never was in one!"

Clyde Ehlers - What is a "bang board?"


Other Excerpts from Clyde Ehlers' Interview:

What is open pollinated corn?
How crops were rotated in the 1920s
What is a "bang board"?
Threshing day
Raising chickens
Harnessing a horse to a plow
Working on the farm