Creator: Wilson, M. L. (Milburn Lincoln), 1885-1969

Provenance Note: The Agricultural Photographs Collection was transferred to Special Collections from the Montana State University Archives in 1984. In the following years the photographs were partially duplicated and indexed with the assistance of a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Historical Note: Milburn Lincoln Wilson was born in Atlantic, Iowa on 23 October 1885, the son of John Wesley and Mary E. (Magee) Wilson. He received a B.S.A. from Iowa State College, Ames, in 1907 and his M.S. in agricultural economics and rural sociology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1920. He began his career as a farmer in 1907. He served as Assistant State Agronomist at Montana State College, Bozeman, 1910-12; County Agent in Custer County, Montana, 1912-14; Montana State Extension Agent Leader, 1914-22; and an extension agricultural economist at Montana State College, 1922-24. Between 1924 and 1926 he took charge of the U.S.D.A. division of farm management and cost accounting. During his stint as professor and head of the Department of Agricultural Economics at Montana State College, 1926-33, he provided consultation on large-scale wheat farming in the U.S.S.R., 1929. From May 16 to September 1, 1933, Wilson served as the Chief Wheat Production Secretary in the Agricultural Adjustment Administration and then moved on to the directorship of the Division of Subsistence Homesteads in the Department of the Interior until June 30, 1934. In 1934, Wilson was appointed the Assistant Secretary of Agriculture and in 1937 the Undersecretary of Agriculture until 1 February 1940 when he became the Director of Extension Work at U.S.D.A. While Director, he also filled in as the Chief of Nutrition Programs and in the Production and Marketing Administration between 1943 and 1949. He was a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Farm Economic Association (president, 1925), Epsilon Sigma Phi, Phi Kappa Phi, and Alpha Zeta. He was also a Unitarian and belonged to the Cosmos club. His writings include Farm Relief and the Domestic Allotment Plan (1933) and Democracy Has Roots (1939). Married on December 17, 1913 to Ida Morse from Cromwell, Minnesota, Wilson made his home in Washington, D.C. where he died in October 1969 and is buried in Rock Creek Cemetery.

During the agricultural depression that followed WWI, Wilson and many other members of his department studied why some farmers prospered while so many others failed. During the course of their investigations they took thousands of photographs to illustrate their findings. Most of these photographs recorded efficient or innovated practices that helped some farmers survive, and the farming methods frrom more humid regions, inappropriate for conditions in Montana, that caused others to fail. Other photographs simply recorded what life was like on the northern Great Plains during the 1920s.

Content Description Note: The Agriculture Photograph collection includes photographs, nitrate negatives, safety negatives, and glass plate negatives created by or collected by M.L. Wilson. The photographs are sequentially numbered. Most of the negatives in this collection correspond to print images; not all of the negatives were reproduced as print images. Many of the photographs and negatives contain alphabetic or numerical extensions to distinguish separate images. Some images were removed from Accession 12001, the MSU Historical Photographs Collection, section PA3.1, on January 11, 1973, and transferred to a collection identified as PAA (Picture Archive Agriculture) by D.E. Horn. Images were renumbered PAA 5675 to 6998.

Images in this collection pertain to agricultural subjects and projects studied 1901 to 1945 at Montana State College. Notations on the print images are in English as well as shorthand. Image subject include: alfalfa, barley, clover, corn, grain, grass, wheat, sunflowers, thistles, and vegetables. Other subjects include: demonstration and field days, experiment stations, farm machinery, farmsteads, dryland farming, tillage, harvesting, erosion, livestock, rural life in Montana, and pot tests. Of particular interest are numerous images of "big hitch" teams, horse-drawn implements using eight or more teams of draft animals for power. For all the images in this collection the titles were provided by Wilson either in either his index or on the photograph itself. The photographs have been numerically arranged regardless of their content or subject.

Automated access: The photographs and negatives represented in the following inventory are searchable by means of an automated database. Subject and geographic terms were assigned according to the Library of Congress Thesaurus for Graphic Materials, and the documentation made, as well as the image number assigned, by Wilson in its index or on the photograph itself. The online database may be viewed here.

Contents

Photographs

Box 1
1. #1-17
2. #22-40
3. #41-60
4. #61-80
5. #81-100
6. #101-120
7. #122-140
8. #141-176
9. #182-199
10. #203-220
11. #221-240
12. #242-260
13. #261-296
14. #600-620b
15. #621a-640
16. #641-660b
17. #661a-680
18. #681-700
19. #700Ya-720
20. #721a-740
21. #741-760
22. #761a-780
23. #781-800
24. #801a-820
25. #821a-840
26. #841a-860
27. #861-880
Box 2
1. #881b-900b
2. #902-920
3. #922-940
4. #941-960
5. #961-980
6. #981-1000c
7. #1001a-1020
8. #1021a-1040f
9. #1041-1060
10. #1061-1080
11. #1081-1100
12. #1101-1120
13. #1121-1140
14. #1141-1180b
15. #1181-1199
16. #1204-1220
17. #1221a-1240
18. #1241-1260i
19. #1261-1266e
20. #1300a-1318
21. #1321-1339b
22. #1341-1368
23. #1371-1433
24. #1441-1478b
25. #1483-1535
26. #1541-1597
Box 3
1. #1609-1680
2. #1681-1700
3. #1701-1720
4. #1721-1736
5. #1742a-1760
6. #1761-1781
7. #1782-1799
8. #1801-1820
9. #1821-1837
10. #1864-2047a
11. #2051b-2064b
12. #2095-2120
13. #2122-2146
14. #2150-2167
15. #2182-2211
16. #2212-2280
17. #2288-2406
18. #2518-2703
19. #2710-2720
20. #2721-2749b
21. #2752-2765
22. #2766-2820
23. #2821-2834
24. #2841-2890
25. #2891-2920
26. #2921-2943e
27. #2945-2970c
28. #2971b-2990
29. #2992-3019
30. #3021-3032f
31. #3033c-3050b
32. #3051b-3060a
33. #3061b-3083f
34. #3084c-3097
35. #3101-3113
36. #3114a-3130a
Box 4
1. #3131a-3150
2. #3151a-3170b
3. #311b-3198b
4. #3201-3220
5. #3221-3245
6. #3246-3262b
7. #3263b-3308
8. #3311-3330
9. #3331-3360
10. #3361-3380
11. #4011a-4029
12. #4032-4057b
13. #4062-4153a
14. #4154a-4170
15. #4171-4191a
16. #4203e-4230b
17. #4232-4255f
18. #4256b-4265b
19. #4266-4280b
20. #4281a-4300
21. #4301a-4320b
22. #4321b-4350
23. #4351b-4380
24. #4381-4394
25. #4395-4405
26. #4407-4420b
27. #4421-4520c
Box 5
1. #4521b-4550A
2. #4552a-4599
3. #4601b-4620a
4. #4621-4639D
5. #4641A-4670a
6. #4680B-4730b
7. #4731a-4775
8. #4785a-4825
9. #4826-4840b
10. #4850-4870e
11. #4871-4880a
12. #4881-4905
13. #4906-4927
14. #4961-5010
15. #5011-5030a
16. #5031a-5050
17. #5051-5129
18. #5130-5170a
19. #5172-5199
20. #5202-5229
21. #5230-5259
22. #5264-5300
23. #5301-5329
24. #5330-5359
25. #5415-5440
26. #5441-5455
Box 6
1. #5457-5471
2. #5475-5510
3. #5512-5534
4. #5535-5550
5. #5555-5600
6. #5601-5645
7. #5646-5671
8. #5674-5697
9. #5697-5710
10. #5711-5720
11. #5721-5742
12. #5743-5753
13. #5754-5781
14. #5782-5792
Box 7
1. #5793-5808
2. #5809-5827
3. #5828-5843
4. #5844-5850-49
5. #5851-5865
Box 8
1. #5866-5880
2. #5881-5895
3. #5896-5910
4. #5911-5938
5. #5945-5960
6. #5961-5975
Box 9
1. #5976-5999
2. #6001-6015
3. #6016-6030
4. #6031-6046
5. #6047-6073
6. #6074-6089b
Box 10
1. #6090-6110
2. #6111-6125
3. #6126-6144
4. #6145-6156
5. #6157-6170
Box 11
1. #6171-6185
2. #6186-6221
3. #6222-6251b
4. #6252-6264
5. #6265-6280
6. #6281-6293
Box 12
1. #6294-6322
2. #6323-6360
3. #6361-6375
4. #6376-6396
5. #6402-6412
6. #6413-6442
7. #6443-6457
8. #6459-6483
Box 13
1. #6484-6505
2. #6506-6531
3. #6532-6549
4. #6550-6590
5. #6591-6623
6. #6625-6640
7. #6641-6653
Box 14
1. #6654-6670
2. #6671-6694
3. #6695-6710
4. #6711-6735
5. #6746-6778
6. #6780-6794
7. #6795-6808
Box 15
1. #6810-6825
2. #6826a-6845
3. #6846-6856
4. #6857-6875
5. #6876-6890
6. #6891-6893
7. #6916-6939
8. #6941-6965
9. #6966-6980
10. #6981-7001
11. #7002-7016b
Box 16
1. #7017-1-7018-23
2. #7019-4-7021-9
3. #7022-23-7024-145
4. #7025-2-7026-13
5. #7027-8-7030-8
6. #7032-10-7035-12
7. #7038-12-7050-8
8. #7051-3-7057-41
9. #7059-12-7069-109
10. #7070a-7083
11. #7198

Safety Negatives

Box 17
#1 - 1471b
Box 18
#1471d - 1850
Box 19
#1851 - 2200
Box 20
#2201 - 2917
Box 21
#2918 - 3267
Box 22
#2918 - 3267
Box 23
#4203a - 4589
Box 24
#4552b - 9428m

Nitrate Negatives

Box 25
#14a - 2539
Box 26
#2541 - 4254b
Box 27
#4255a - 4657d
Box 28
#4658a - 4882
Box 29
#4898b - 5441
Box 30
#5442 - 6587
Box 31
#6608 - 9438i

Glass Plate Negatives

Box 32
#252 - 1339b
Box 33
#1340a - 1431
Box 34
#1432 - 2736a
Box 35
#2738b - 7021-6
Box 36
#7021-7 - 7022-93
Box 37
#7022-94 - 7026-10
Box 38
#7026-10 - 7032-26
Box 39
#7032-27 - 7041-02
Box 40
#7041-03 - 7049-02
Box 41
#7049-04 - 7058-47
Box 42
#7058-48 - 7063-39
Box 43
#7063-40 - 7066-32
Box 44
#7066-33 - 7069-25
Box 45
#7069-26 - 7123

Contents | Special Collections

Updated: 2014 February 18