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Livestock in the living history laboratory : backbreeding, whole systems, and the living historical farms… Gow, Elspeth 2020

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Livestock in the Living History Laboratory: Backbreeding, Whole Systems, and the Living Historical Farms Movement  by  Elspeth Gow  B.A. (hons.), University of Victoria, 2017  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES (History)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)  April 2020  © Elspeth Gow, 2020 ii   The following individuals certify that they have read, and recommend to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for acceptance, the thesis entitled: Livestock in the Living History Laboratory: Backbreeding, Whole Systems, and the Living Historical Farms Movement  submitted by Elspeth Gow in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in History  Examining Committee: Dr. Jessica Wang, History, UBC Supervisor  Dr. Robert Brain, History, UBC Supervisory Committee Member  Dr. Tina Loo, History, UBC Supervisory Committee Member  iii  Abstract As various social and ecological upheavals of the 1970s laid bare the failed promises of modernity and progress, the living history museum began to take its form as a mode of re-enactment that re-created living processes rather than static, visual tableaus. In particular, living historical farms—reconstructions of farming operations complete with period-appropriate plants, animals, and costumed staff—became central to American historical re-enactment. Guided by the newly formed Association for Living Historical Farms (ALHFAM), the living historical farms movement drew on forms of empirical research to re-create the social and material worlds of the nation’s rural past, which included not only fashioning historically accurate implements, clothing, and buildings, but also period-appropriate plants and livestock. The “backbreeding” program, developed at Old Sturbridge Village in the 1970s, sought to return various types of cattle and sheep to their pre-industrial states in order to complete a three-dimensional historical farming experience and code it as authentic. At once, living historical farm re-enactment resembled the concurrent countercultural “back-to-the-land” communes that had emerged throughout the 1960s and 70s: both offered a return to small-scale systems of production on the land as well as operated within, as scholars have argued, a new mode of historical consciousness that championed immersive and sensory engagements with the past. However, as this these argues, the living historical farm movement and, in particular, the practice of backbreeding, embodied both the counterculturalism of the 1970s and the “empiricist” research culture and state and institutional power of the 1950s and 60s. It was not simply that the elite, state-centered motives that led to the beginning of backbreeding and living farms were completely subverted by a new generation of practitioners iv  focused on subjectivity, embodied experience, and the collapsing of past and present. Rather, these two modes of historical thinking were entangled through the practice of backbreeding and the intensive focus on the biological, which indeed defined living historical farms. This thesis, then, urges a closer look at the intersections of science, technology, and animals with the forms of history-based cultural production that emerged around living history museums in the 1970s.   v  Lay Summary  This thesis queries the encounter between rural past and technological present that informed a project to re-create historically accurate livestock at Old Sturbridge Village (OSV), a Massachusetts living history museum that re-constructed an early nineteenth-century rural New England town. As living history museums and depictions of the American past in general began to emphasize living processes rather than static, visual tableaus in the 1970s, OSV sought to strengthen its historical farming exhibit. Ironically, the strategies used to recover this preindustrial past were very much of the present; the “backbreeding” program could only be understood to re-create authentic pre-modern animal bodies with modern modes of scientific and historical research. As such, living historical farms staged the friction between 1970s nostalgia for the past and 1940s-50s fantasies of the future through accelerated technological progress.   vi  Preface  This dissertation is original, unpublished, independent work by the author, Elspeth Gow.  vii  Table of Contents  Abstract ......................................................................................................................................... iii	Lay Summary .................................................................................................................................v	Preface ........................................................................................................................................... vi	Table of Contents ........................................................................................................................ vii	List of Figures ............................................................................................................................. viii	Acknowledgements ...................................................................................................................... ix	Dedication ..................................................................................................................................... xi	Introduction ....................................................................................................................................1	Chapter 1: The Laboratory .........................................................................................................13	1.1	 Modernity and the Rise of the Living History Museum ............................................... 13	1.2	 OSV 1947-1969 ............................................................................................................ 17	1.3	 Museum/Laboratory/Farm: OSV in the 1970s ............................................................. 24	Chapter 2: The Farm ...................................................................................................................37	2.1	 The Living Historical Farms Movement, 1945-1970 ................................................... 38	Chapter 3: Livestock ....................................................................................................................53	3.1	 “Purebreds” and “Native Breeds”: A Genealogy of the New England Ruby ............... 58	3.2	 Networks of “Native Sheep” ......................................................................................... 67	Chapter 4: Conclusion .................................................................................................................77	Bibliography .................................................................................................................................81	   viii  List of Figures  Figure 1: Clipping from Worrell, "How Do You Test History in a Lab?,". ................................. 28	Figure 2: Cattle and calves at the Pliny Freeman Farm, OSV Massachusetts.. ............................ 65	Figure 3: Costumed farm interpreters receive Wiltshire sheep at Boston Logan Airport, 1972 .. 71	 ix  Acknowledgements As this thesis expanded to fill most parts of my life over the past three years, it has racked up a considerable debt to the various other figures who normally inhabit those spaces. As such, I thank my family for helping me tote oversized luggage full of books rather than clothes on my trips to visit them in Victoria. Joey, for allowing us to have more desks (3) and laptops (5) than couches (1) in the living rooms of the many apartments we’ve lived in over the years, and to the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish, Lekwungen, Songhees, Esquimalt, and WSÁNEĆ people whose territory we moved across. And immense thanks goes to my supervisor, Dr. Jessica Wang, for the rigorous feedback and eagle-eyed attention devoted to each draft as we sat crammed between tables in coffee shops along Main Street and Commercial Drive.  I thank the Social Science and Humanities Research Council as well as the UBC History Department for the indispensable financial support that propelled me to New England in the Summer of 2018. I am grateful for all of the sheep, pigs, cattle, historical interpreters, and museum staff we met at Old Sturbridge Village, but my special thanks extends to the devoted and generous OSV Research Library archivist Amy Hietala, who prepared a large quantity of materials based on my interests and questions prior to my visit to the archive, and traipsed back and forth from the institutional holdings with more boxes and documents based on a hunch or a name I encountered. These efforts, combined with Joey’s organizational and technological skill with an iPhone scanning app, yielded a week’s worth of research out of one day. Nearly two years later, one long meeting and energetic discussion with my second reader, Dr. Robert Brain, brought together my many collections of thoughts on backbreeding and living farms and set me on track to finally submit. Thank you to Dr. Tina Loo, who agreed to act as third reader on short notice.  x  In the grander scope of my academic career, I thank my historian parents for not encouraging academia, even as I ended up in an MA program despite my persistent attempts to break the mold. Thank you Comrade Dr. Andrew Gow for working through ideas, attending my conference presentations, and pointing me out in the audience during your own. And although I know she hates to be thanked, thank you to my mother, Heather McAsh, for the many late-night editing sessions that taught me how to write (which were mostly excuses for long phone calls). Thanks to my fellow “academic brat,” Ezekiel, for all the arguments, early 2000s Sci-Fi discussions, and Fort Edmonton Park gossip, and the whole family for the “most interesting conversations at the dinner table.” Joey has already been thanked multiple times in these acknowledgements and deserves many more as he has been my toughest interlocutor, most ruthless editor, and greatest friend.  I extend thanks also to my excellent cohort for the stimulating and energetic exchange on class blogs, in seminars, and on early stages of drafts in the Research Seminar, but especially through memes and commiseration on WhatsApp. Thank you Michael, Dane, Nicole, and Rosie for abandoning our reading group idea that brought us together at the beginning of our first year in favor of abiding friendship and comradery. I would also be remiss to leave out the staff of the Cove bar who brought mustard and white vinegar to our trivia team—Devon, Shanleigh, Joey, Dane, Michael, Mercedes, and Nicole—every Monday night, before we could even ask. In short, I am grateful for everyone who, as I write these acknowledgements while isolated in our apartment in April 2020, reminds me that the writing of this thesis, though a solitary experience, was certainly not a lonely one.  xi  Dedication  For Jiro and Obi1  Introduction In the spring of 1973, Darwin Kelsey and John Mott of Massachusetts’ Old Sturbridge Village (OSV) took a working vacation across Great Britain, France, and Belgium to browse a wide variety of regional sheep. Besides providing a bucolic holiday for the museum professionals, the tour constituted a crucial research trip for the development of OSV’s expanded 1790–1840 farm re-enactment. Kelsey and Mott were shopping for the genetic ingredients to establish the museum’s new research project: the “regressive breeding” or “backbreeding” program.1 Described later by one commentator as a “slightly comical venture in realism,” backbreeding involved an experimental process of selective breeding over multiple generations to emphasize historical traits—such as dual-purpose milk and meat production, slow maturation, and hardiness—that had, by the 1970s, been bred out of most stock through the processes of modern industrial farming.2 OSV staff, as well as proponents of the larger living historical farms movement that coalesced around OSV’s historical farming project, positioned the time and                                                 1 “How You Going to Keep ‘Em Down on the Farm,” The Grasshopper 111, no. 10 (1973), 2. The tour, organized by the American Sheep Breeders Society, lasted approximately one month and included visits to France, Belgium, Scotland, Wales, and England to view such breeds as the North County Cheviots in Scotland, Welsh Mountain Sheep in Wales, and South Down, Dorset, Hampshire and Oxford flocks in England. 2 Walter Karpp, “Putting Worms Back in Apples,” American Heritage 33 no. 5 (August 1982): np. The timing and trajectory of this process has happened differently for different kinds of animals, with multiple consequences. For the US context, see Margaret Derry, Masterminding Nature: The Breeding of Animals, 1750-2010 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2015), especially pages 72-92 on the corporatization of chicken breeding, and 116-128 on AI technologies and the homogenous selection of Holsteins in the dairy and beefing industry after 1960. See also Sarah Wilmot, “From ‘Public Service’ to Artificial Insemination: Animal Breeding Science and Reproductive Research in Early Twentieth-Century Britain,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 38, no. 2 (June 2007): 411-441. For a brief sketch of Britain and the US, see Susan Kendall, “The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy and the Rare Breeds Survival Trust,” Journal of Agricultural & Food Information 5, no. 2 (2003): 3-10; and Carolyn Christman, D. Phillip Sponenberg and Donald Bixby, A Rare Breeds Album of American Livestock (Pittsboro: American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, 1997). 2  resource-intensive restoration of these sheep, cattle, swine, and fowl as central to the goal of re-creating a complete, fully immersive, three-dimensional historical farming experience. While the rise of living history museums—re-creations of historical scenes and environments peopled with costumed staff—in mid-century North America has been well documented, few have considered seriously the sub-movement for living historical farms that exploded in the 1970s.3 With the establishment of the Association of Living Historical Farms and Agricultural Museums (ALFHAM) in 1970, living historical farms became central to American historical re-enactment. The progenitors of this movement prized rigorous research that often blended scientific and historical methods, and understood historical re-enactment as first and foremost a mode of expert research, rather than only a way to engage audiences. Although most surveys of living history museums in North America, such as Jay Anderson’s Time Machines: The World of Living History (1984), or, more recently, Scott Magelssen’s Living History Museums: Undoing History by Performance (2007) and Alan Gordon’s Time Travel: The Rise of the Mid-Century Living Museum (2017), gloss the development of ALHFAM and living historical farms, they pay little attention to the social and political contexts that stimulated                                                 3 Stephen Eddy Snow’s ethnographical study Performing the Pilgrims: A Study of Ethnohistorical Role Playing at Plimoth Plantation (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1993) and Richard Handler and Eric Gable’s The New History in an Old Museum: Creating the Past at Colonial Williamsburg (Durham: Duke University Press, 1997) focused on what it meant to recreate the past by the interchange of costumed staff and guests at these sites in the 1990s. Scott Magelssen built especially on Handler and Gable’s work by insisting that living museums be read as pieces of historiography that made history through performance; Scott Magelssen, Living History Museums: Undoing History through Performance (Lanham: Scarecrow Press, 2007). Together, such studies have told us much about the palimpsest of changing institutional history and historiographical re-interpretation leading up to the 1990s and 2000s, but have done so from the present backward. 3  such widespread interest in historical farming at the particular juncture of the 1970s as well as the decades leading up to the establishment of ALHFAM.4  American Studies scholar M.J. Rymsza-Pawlowska, however, has begun to call attention to the simultaneous rise of what she calls “new living history” in the US (including an intensified interest in historical farming) with the establishment of thousands of communes and countercultural movements across the country. She argues that, though these living historical farms and museums were not explicitly designed or framed as countercultural projects, they began to take on the “look and feel” of commune life in the 1970s.5 Drawing on anecdotal accounts from the period that described, for example, Plimoth Plantation as a “hippie village” that was staffed with unwashed youth in sloppy historical garb, Rymsza-Pawlowska details the “overlapping ideological concerns and practical approaches” of living history practitioners and those who went “back-to-the-land” on communes to experience smaller scales of production and self-sufficient life.6 As she suggests elsewhere, the living museum as countercultural commune depended on the same collapsing of past and present that permeated all history-making across different forms of popular culture, museum practice, and academic history in the 1970s. In reaction to the failure of Cold War-era futurism and the “project of modernity,” historical consciousness shifted from what she names the “logic of preservation”—empiricist-driven modes of display and engagement with the past—to a “logic of re-enactment”—affective,                                                 4 Jay Anderson, Time Machines: The World of Living History (Nashville: American Association for State and Local History, 1984); Magelssen, Living History Museums; Alan Gordon, Time Travel: The Rise of the Living History Museum in Mid-Century Canada (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2016). 5 Malgorzata J. Rymsza-Pawlowska, “Hippies Living History: Form and Context in Tracing Public History’s Past,” The Public Historian 41 no. 4 (November 2019): 37. 6 Ibid. 4  intimate, and embodied modes of historical consciousness.7 It was precisely at this moment that living history practice shifted from the portrayal of monuments, objects, and other static remnants to an immersive, sensory experience of the past through “first person interpretation”: costumed staff remaining “in-character” as historical people during interactions with guests. In other words, the living history museum began to take its form as a mode of re-enactment that re-created processes (such as farming) rather than mere visual tableaus. Yet, for Rymsza-Pawlowska, the early development of living historical farms from the 1940s to early 1970s by museum professionals, agricultural historians, and government officials was of little consequence for the shapes that living history museum and farm practice began to take in the 1970s. Since the early figuration of the living historical farm positioned the farm re-enactment as a way of conducting research about unrecorded aspects of the nation’s agricultural past, 1970s living historical farms signaled, for Rymsza-Pawlowska, merely a fading “trace of history’s empiricism.”8 For her, these agricultural research programs, which included backbreeding, were more a sign of what came before in the “logic of preservation” than a step toward dynamic and public-facing programming that yoked the “logic of re-enactment” with counterculturalism. Magelssen similarly places the historiographical assumptions that undergirded the specific practice of backbreeding at various living historical farms within an empiricist understanding of history. He argues that in its claim to “undo history” by breeding out                                                 7 Rymsza-Pawlowska, History Comes Alive: Public History and Popular Culture in the 1970s (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2017), 6. As she argues in Chapter 1, for instance, in the thick of Cold War progressivism, TV shows like Star Trek and The Twilight Zone portrayed the past as fixed, remote, and inferior to the present and the future. In the 1970s, programs like Little House on the Prairie, Laverne and Shirley and miniseries like Roots began to render the past as a fully realized and familiar experience with crucial lessons for the present and future. Rymsza-Pawlowska, History Comes Alive, 12-39. 8 Rymsza-Pawlowska, Hippies Living History, 44. 5  traits emphasized by modern farming, backbreeding betrayed an understanding of history as an empirical and linear progression of materially re-traceable events.9 The motivations of the high powered curators, agricultural historians, and state officials who founded ALHFAM and were instrumental in programs like backbreeding were indeed more invested in state power and expert research production than the countercultural rejection of the very same.  However, as I demonstrate in this thesis, the two were not incommensurable. The pervasive appeal of such time and resource intensive programs with only moderate public engagement value, such as the backbreeding project, suggests that the research-oriented birth of living historical farms deserves more consideration in the story of counterculturalism and new living history. This thesis demonstrates how the living historical farm movement and, in particular, the practice of backbreeding embodied both the counterculturalism of the 1970s and “empiricist” research culture and state and institutional power of the 1950s and 60s. It was not simply that the elite, state-centered motives that led to the beginning of backbreeding and living farms were completely subverted by a new generation of practitioners focused on subjectivity, embodied experience, and the collapsing of past and present. As we shall see, these two modes of historical thinking were deeply entangled through the practice of backbreeding and the intensive focus on the biological, which indeed defined living historical farms.  If the 1970s logic of re-enactment was, as Rymsza-Pawlowska writes, about making history “come alive,” then what mode of re-enactment could better fulfil this promise in a                                                 9 Scott Magelssen, “Resuscitating the Extinct: The Backbreeding of Historic Animals at U.S. Living History Museums,” The Drama Review 47, no. 4 (Winter 2003): 98–109. Scott Magelssen approached backbreeding across a handful of sites in the US as a contemporary phenomenon that interacted questionably with animal rights discourse, as well as a practice that presupposed the possibility of being able to “undo history” by breeding out traits for exaggerated wool, meat, and dairy production emphasized by modern farming. This is the only sustained scholarly inquiry into such programs. 6  material, sensorial, and embodied way than the backbred animal? Backbreeding was indeed an exercise, as Magelssen has written, in “resuscitating the extinct,” or, as one OSV guidebook put it, making “living antiques.”10 At stake in the selective breeding of livestock at OSV was the relationship between past and present that undergirded the changing contours of history-making in the 1970s. And backbred animals manifested this relationship through their fleshy, material beings: they were both “living” and “history.” They were also, however, produced to usher in a particular futurity, one that spoke to both countercultural environmentalist apocalypticism, as well as to laboratory management of knowledge and the preservation of genetic resources to build healthier futures. The two goals of the backbreeding program at OSV, as chief historian of the USDA and ALHFAM member Wayne Rasmussen wrote in 1986, were “authenticity and preservation”: to re-create an authentic experience of the past as well as to save disappearing genetic traits for potential future use as modern farming over-homogenized stock for mass production.11 This thesis closely reads the development of the living historical farm program at OSV from the 1950s-1970s to query the friction between the rural past and technological present against a broader cultural backdrop that was shifting from post-war progressivism to late 1960s and 70s disenchantment with the present. From 1950 onward, an increasingly professionalized staff of academic historians and business-people at OSV attempted to fashion the site as a serious research institution with legitimate scholarly output, and the Pliny Freeman Farm project was one of the direct results of these efforts. The museum’s Research Department focused intensively                                                 10 Magelssen, “Resuscitating the Extinct”; “Guide to Living Antiques at Old Sturbridge Village” (Unpublished Document, Old Sturbridge Village, 1986). 11 Wayne Rasmussen, “OSV Livestock Program” (OSV unpublished document, January 9, 1986), 1. 7  on the expansion of a complete 1840s farm re-enactment at the site not just to entertain the paying public, but also to yield new information about the past by testing hypotheses in a complete, simulated environment. At the fore of these, in their words, “experiments,” was the backbreeding program. In what follows, I take the backbreeding program at OSV as the ultimate manifestation of how living historical farms drew inspiration and legitimization from post-war research logics to organize relationships between the past, present, and future.  The backbreeding program that emerged at the centre of ALHFAM—OSV’s Pliny Freeman Farm—in some ways did rely, as Magelssen has suggested, upon an understanding of the past as retraceable and the present as reversible by the scientific recuperation of the proper sequence of fixed events. But it was more than this, too. Biologically correct animals were key to the material functioning of the historical farm as an organic and interlocking system. Living historical farm proponents, then, imagined re-creation and re-enactment not so much as a task in reversing what Magelssen describes through Agamben as a fixed “continuum of constants” to “undo history,” but rather as a process of attempting to re-create whole systems of historical farming. Indeed, a close look at backbreeding, the living farm’s most “ambitious experiment in re-enactment,” reveals that if living historical farm projects of the 1970s resembled the counterculture, then the subgroups that most closely resembled living farm practitioners were those that drew freely on technology and science—those who, in other words, were simultaneously “modernist and anti-modernist.”12                                                  12 “Living History: Getting Closer to Getting it Right,” Early American Life 21, no. 3 (1990): 18; Andrew Kirk, “Appropriating Technology: The Whole Earth Catalog and Counterculture Environmental Politics,” Environmental History 6, no. 3 (2001): 375. 8  More than just an empirical exercise that belonged more to the 1950s than to its present moment, the simulated research farm echoed some of the ways in which concurrent countercultural figures such as Stewart Brand understood and projected new systems of knowledge that embraced technology and science for alternative future survival. As Fred Turner has argued, the movement of what he calls “New Communalists” that emerged around Brand and the Whole Earth Catalog (WEC) in the late 1960s did not signify a break from the preceding decades. This particular sub-movement was, Turner argues, generated by forms of post-World War II research laboratory culture that figured “institutions as living organisms, social networks of information, and the gathering and interpretation of information as keys to understanding not only the technical but also the natural and social worlds.”13 In other words, Cold War-era research culture looked more like the counterculture than has been popularly imagined, and vice versa. What brought together the “massive military engineering projects of the cold war” with the droves of mostly white, middle-class young people who “dropped out” of society to establish self-sufficient communes, and the figures such as Brand who designed and collated resources for such projects, was an understanding of material reality as an information system.14  As I explore in Chapter 1, one of the main strategies that developers and members of the museum’s new Research Department used to legitimize their efforts was to compare the living museum to a laboratory: an institution that was to process information gathered through various re-enactments as kinds of scientific experiments that could be asserted as new knowledge. To be sure, the relationship between the genealogies of WEC to OSV should not be overstated—the                                                 13 Fred Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press: 2006), 4. 14 Ibid, 5. 9  research and the laboratory ethos born at OSV in the 1950s was not part of, in any real sense, Cold War military-industrial research, but rather, as I outline, relied on similar understandings of knowledge and authority. Chapter 1 thus tracks the production of OSV as a “living history laboratory” throughout the 1940s-70s within the early to mid-century American living history museum’s fraught relationship with “modernity.” Appeals to the authority of the laboratory were not limited to the farm: the entire re-created town site as well as surrounding farm were often referred to as a “living history laboratory” during this time, and laboratory language had permeated multiple projects at the site since the 1950s. But the kinds of experimental research that went into building the farm and its living components, as well as how the farm re-enactment in particular was used to make new knowledge, position the Pliny Freeman Farm as the most instructive example of the particular 1970s manifestation of laboratory ethos at the site. Imagined as an organic system of interaction comprised of authentic plants, animals, buildings, artifacts, implements, and historically costumed staff, the living history laboratory could host a range of experiments to make new knowledge and meaning through re-enactment. Practitioners felt that farming, as a dynamic process that relied upon the cooperation of different species, expertise, and labour, best exemplified the laboratory as this kind of simulated system.  Chapter 2, then, traces the dense network of individuals and groups from different social worlds and disciplines that coalesced through the ALHFAM network in ways that parallel concurrent countercultural interactions like the Whole Earth network. I begin by charting the development of the living historical farms movement from its beginnings as a cluster of aspirational articles by economists and other scholars in the 1940s-60s to its final manifestation as a committee of delegates from the USDA, USDI, and Smithsonian Institute in 1967. The organization that emerged from these efforts, ALHFAM, demonstrated that the living farms 10  movement was not limited to scholars, high-powered curators, and statesmen. Instead, the organization operated as a diffuse network of private and institutional practitioners. I argue that this system—which enfolded museum professionals, agricultural historians and scholars, government officials, and geneticists along with a wide range of untrained enthusiasts, hobbyists, and environmentalists—embodied concurrent countercultural imaginings of the material world as a networked system that were not incongruent with Cold War research culture or objectivism implied by OSV as a research laboratory. By this logic, the re-creation of an authentic and whole material world of historical farming was made possible by weaving together conventionally separate intellectual, natural, and technological worlds. Comprised of a heterogeneous network of interacting social worlds, the living historical farm could, however, mean a variety of different things for its multiple proponents, ranging from socially conservative views about traditional American ways of life and values to countercultural rejection of large and complex bureaucratic systems and environmentalist concern for the effects of modern industrial farming. Understanding the living historical farms network as network thus allows for a view of the apparently contradictory intellectual and political investments in the living historical farm as, in fact, interlocking and co-dependent. Further, it demonstrates how these new forms of research- intensive re-enactment in the 1970s could accommodate both 1950s objectivism and institutional power, and burgeoning forms of systems thought connected to the counterculture as structured by people like Brand and the “New Communalists.”  Chapter 3 demonstrates how all of these intersecting social and intellectual worlds could come together through the production—and overdetermination—of legitimate animal bodies. The backbred animal signified across temporalities and ideologies, and could be put to work in accomplishing multiple, seemingly contradictory goals. These livestock required careful 11  management to signify the past as well as usher in a new, healthier future. They had to perform as museum objects, laboratory specimens, as well as working farm animals to guarantee the success of the living historical farm’s instantiation of whole systems of production. A close look at the reproduction of “native cattle,” New England’s prized red stock descended from Devons brought by English colonists in the 1600s, reveals how some proponents imagined the New England “natives breeds” as proxies for morally and physically healthy early Americans of European descent. The reproduction of these subjects could help purify and strengthen the American people through the resuscitation of “American values” connected to the figure of the “Yankee Yeoman” and his closest companions.15 Others saw the breeding program as an exercise in naturalization, a way to strip the animals of their manipulation by human hands and thus bring humans closer to “nature.”  As I contend, biologically correct animals were key to the material functioning of the historical farming as an organic and interlocking system. If the animals on the farm did not, as one OSV staff member put it, “look right and act right,” the whole system would fall apart. And if historical interpreters could not work alongside a hearty and loyal steer, they could not truly empathize with the pre-industrial farmer. The animals thus required careful material and discursive management as the key to healthy historical farming systems. Since the living historical farm was created by a delicate network of patterned knowledge/practices, the creation of the historical animal within it had to support that larger pattern in microcosm. That is, the backbred animal had to function as a miniature of the whole system of the living historical farm.                                                 15 Laura Abing, “Old Sturbridge Village: An Institutional History of a Cultural Artifact” (PhD diss., Marquette University, 1997), 40. 12  Attempts to manage the wholeness of the historical animal, which mediated its projection of authenticity and various forms of purity—racial, national, ontological, biological—posed a challenge for practitioners. While these multiple ideologies, desires, motivations, and temporalities were not necessarily contradictory, this did not mean that they were as harmonious as the proponents drawn to such systems knowledges might have wanted to believe.   13  Chapter 1: The Laboratory 1.1 Modernity and the Rise of the Living History Museum Connected to a rise in populism and Progressive Era public education, the first “outdoor museums,” as they were initially called, opened in the US in the 1920s.16 Founded by wealthy East Coast men—John D Rockefeller’s Colonial Williamsburg (1926), Henry Ford’s Greenfield Village (1929), and Albert B. Wells’ Old Sturbridge Village (1947)—these sites reflected the spreading of folk museums of “the people” across North America and parts of Europe that displayed the daily lives of those communities considered to be original to the nation. Although this focus on ordinary people broke from the elite display of fine art or scientific specimens that had dominated large museum institutions since the nineteenth century, the particular brand of elitist populism that fueled such enterprises meant that they were often deeply imbricated in narratives of national exceptionalism in which working class experience was reduced to a nostalgic and sentimentalized bourgeois mythology of an authentic, simple, and pure people.17 While Williamsburg also venerated great founding figures of American history by re-creating Williamsburg’s past as capital of the Virginia Colony and pivotal site in the Revolutionary War, Greenfield Village and later Old Sturbridge Village shared an intense commitment to the “Common Man.”18 Speaking of his Greenfield Village project to a writer for The Mentor, Ford said in 1931 that “we ought to know more about the families who founded this nation, and how they lived. One way to do that is to reconstruct as nearly as possible the conditions under which                                                 16 As Jeffrey Trask has shown, a new generation of museum reformers “turned art museums into modern, efficient educational institutions in service to the people” during the Progressive Era. See Jeffrey Trask, Things American: Art Museums and Civic Culture in the Progressive Era (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012).  17 Tony Bennett, The Birth of the Museum: History, Theory, Politics (London: Routledge, 1995), 110. 18 But Greenfield Village still displayed great people like Thomas Edison, while OSV had a fairly strict focus on the ordinary. 14  they lived.”19  The social messaging of OSV developed similarly, driven at first by Albert Wells’ rejection of New Deal government interference in the 1930s. Originally a private collection of pre-industrial, “primitive” tools and implements, Wells’ museum developed in the 1930s into an outdoor museum that stressed historical craftsmanship as a way to inculcate values of self-sufficiency and individualism in the American public. 20 State interest in and public appetite for history museums in general expanded throughout the twentieth century. Tourism, specifically historical tourism, became an important industry to simultaneously help relieve Depression joblessness, offer a respite from modern ills, and craft and distribute a mythology of the timeless American self and “spirit” rooted in the nation’s settler past and fight for democracy.21 Following WWII, visitor numbers at living history museums boomed. The uptick followed a general national interest in history museums: by 1954, over one thousand history museums could be counted across the nation, and that number doubled by the 1970s.22 Yet by the end of the                                                 19 Cited in J.G. de Roulhac Hamilton, “The Ford Museum,” The American Historical Review 36, no. 4 (July 1931): 772. At time of writing, this phrase is also used as a central “hook” for the “Greenfield Village” tab of the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation website, framed by images of a Model-T and a baseball player: see Both Williamsburg and Greenfield Village are still important sites in the living history landscape, though they have more recently focused more attention on adapting to changing historiographical and political landscapes. See Handler and Gable, The New History in an Old Museum, as well as, Ywone Edwards-Ingram, “Before 1979: African American Coachmen, Visibility, and Representation at Colonial Williamsburg,” The Public Historian 36, no. 1 (2014): 9-35.  20 In a speech delivered at the two hundredth anniversary of the town of Sturbridge (June 18, 1939), Wells wondered “whether we as a people are as happy under government management of our time and of our responsibilities as we were even twenty-five years ago when each locality assumed its own responsibility and dug itself out of its own troubles.” He continued to query if “the creation of a Village … in which we could see how people lived 150 years ago were able to have the necessities of life” could help the younger generation become reliant upon their own hard work and frugality. These values were embodied, for Wells, by the post-Revolutionary crafting economies of the nineteenth century. A.B. Wells, Speech delivered at 200th Anniversary of Sturbridge, 18 June, 1938, in “Sturbridge Bicentennial Pageant Program,” p. 7, QVC A1989.16, Series 3, Box 4, Folder 21, cited in Abing, “Old Sturbridge Village,” 40. 21 Abing, “Old Sturbridge Village,” viii. 22 This statistic depends on the definition of “history museum”—for a more expansive understanding of the category, see Warren Leon and Roy Rosenzweig, eds., History Museums in the United States: A Critical Assessment (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1989), xxiii-xiv.  15  1970s, visitor numbers at living museums, though encouraged by the American centennial in 1976, plateaued due to the energy crisis and inflation, with the sites eventually entering a period of decline in the economic recessions of the 1980s.  It may not come as a surprise that scholars have thus understood twentieth-century living history museums as “products of a modern culture.”23 These sites, critics argued, were structured by an understanding of truth, reality, and authenticity rooted in the material world of the nation’s supposedly Edenic origins, and were deeply concerned with preserving pre-industrial social landscapes and providing an escape from modern living. As Richard Handler and David Saxton note in their reading of the living history museum’s production of Heideggerian notions of authenticity: “living historians share with other moderns the notion that an authentic way of life is a storied or emplotted life.”24 More recently, scholars like Scott Magelssen, Vanessa Agnew, Rymsza-Pawlowska, and Alevtina Naumova have attempted to understand how living museums and other forms of re-enactments, as they develop into the twenty-first century, can contribute to what Agnew calls “History’s affective turn” by muddling notions of linear emplotment in favour of embodied and emotional engagements with the past that can bleed into the present in unexpected ways.25 In his analysis of living history museums in mid-century Canada, however, historian Alan Gordon maintains that living museums are artifacts of the time in which they were produced. Progressivist and nationalist movements in post-war Canada, Gordon argues,                                                 23 Gordon, Time Travel, 13. 24 Richard Handler and William Saxton, “Dyssimulation: Reflexivity, Narrative, and the Quest for Authenticity in ‘Living History’,” Cultural Anthropology 3, no. 3 (August 1988): 243. Emphasis removed. 25 Scott Magelssen, Simming: Participatory Performance and the Making of Meaning (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 2014); Vanessa Agnew, “History’s Affective Turn: Historical Reenactment and its Work in the Present,” Rethinking History: The Journal of Theory and Practice 11, no. 3 (2007): 299-312; Alevtina Naumova, “‘Touching’ the Past: Investigating Lived Experiences of Heritage in Living History Museums,” International Journal of the Inclusive Museum 7, no. 3/4 (2015): 1-8. 16  produced the living museum’s re-creation of the past as a “thoroughly modern proposition.”26 Gordon refers to Zygmunt Bauman’s figuration of “liquid modernity” to attend to modernity’s ambivalent relationship to change that at once casts modern progress as “‘monstrous,’ in its dehumanizing of social interaction, and as optimistic, through the increased economic wealth and rationalism that accompanied it.”27 With this in mind, Gordon points out a fundamental irony of mid-century living history museums: their “attempt to preserve the lost past for future generations relied utterly on the technology and systems of modernity to recreate it and on the modern tourist industry to sustain it.”28 That is, in order to relocate buildings and other historical artifacts to the outdoor museum space, living museums like Colonial Williamsburg and OSV had to employ “massive industrial equipment to lift and transport [historic structures]” to the site, and relied on “highly trained specialists” to reassemble and refurbish the structures, working them back to their “original states.”29  Rather than an irreconcilability that ultimately undermined the central fantasy of living museums, this contradiction between the rural past and technological present, I would argue, defined as well as authorized the modern living history museum.30 As nostalgia theorist Svetlana Boym has argued, the fantasy of making a return to a pre-technological past has often been imagined as doable only with the use of modern technologies. She dubs this condition “Jurassic                                                 26 Gordon, Time Travel, 15. 27 Ibid, 14. 28 Ibid, 15. 29 Ibid. 30 Jay Anderson’s titular invocation of H.G. Wells in his seminal survey of “open-air museums,” Time Machines (1984), gestures to this lure of simulated time travel through the technologies of the living museum apparatus. Noticing that these sites all promise tourists the opportunity to “step back in time,” Anderson places living history museums directly within the lineage of science fiction. He notes that Wells’ 1895 novel, The Time Machine, was the first to dream up purposeful time travel made possible and justified through the new possibilities of modern science rather than accidental, magical transportation.  17  Park syndrome”: a trend in twentieth-century pop cultural depictions of time travel in which, in extreme cases, “the most modern science is used for the recovery of the prehistoric world.”31 Like the “grandpa-entrepreneur” patriarch of Jurassic Park who “intended to bring the past back to life, to make a reality that one ‘could see and touch,’” the developers of the backbreeding program were also interested in a more than illusory revivification of a nostalgic past.32 Packaged as a mode of restoration akin to artifact or building refurbishment or re-production, backbreeding, as it was developed at OSV and subsequently spread to other sites, exemplified precisely this tension. But it was not so much that the means used to re-create the animals were in themselves novel. Contemporary to the backbreeding program in the 1970s was the development of bioengineering and genetic manipulation in livestock breeding; yet the traditional artificial selection methods used by staff had been practiced, to some degree, since the beginning of domestication. Instead, as we shall see in what follows, the institutional structures and metaphors through which staff attempted to legitimate the animals as serious research products constituted the processes of a technological present that authorized the animals as authentic signifiers of the rural past. 1.2 OSV 1947-1969 Throughout the 1950s and 60s OSV asserted itself as a professionalized, serious research institution and public educational centre as much as tourist attraction.33 This trajectory followed                                                 31 Svetlana Boym, The Future of Nostalgia, (New York: Basic Books, 2001), 110. 32 Ibid. 33 American museum programming had, however, long been defined by similar tensions spurred from American democratic culture, the Enlightenment, and the professionalization of science; in his study of the development of museums in the US from 1740-1870, Joel Orosz calls the “coupling of professional research with public education” a distinctly “American compromise,” a formulation that has “remained the basic model of museums in America down to the present.” Joel Orosz, Curators and Culture: The Museum Movement in America, 1740-1870 (Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press, 2010), ix. 18  trends in the mid-century American museum world at large. Historian Erik Christiansen has demonstrated how in the post-war period, elite figures became the architects of a new top-down public historical consciousness. Museum officials at institutions like the Smithsonian, or the developers of corporate educational television programs (such as DuPont’s Cavalcade of History) took the nation’s idealized past as a kind of political theory that propped up state-driven narratives of American exceptionalism during the Cold War. These figures, Christiansen explains, and their re-constructions of the American past “sought recognition as reliable history, and deliberately created usable ‘citizen’s history,’ tailored to the age.”34 1950s museums began to blend these didactics with a certain amount of entertainment in order to appeal to wide audiences and disseminate their social messaging. At the close of WWII and beginning of the Cold War, the Smithsonian emerged as a shrine to an “intensely patriotic, pro-military, and pro-business history created through the cooperation of corporations and the state.”35 The historical narratives produced through the American Museum of History and Technology by the 1960s served as propaganda to strengthen American identity as, first and foremost, a capitalist and technologically progressive state whose history reveals the inevitability of this development. As OSV was also concerned with perpetuating a narrative of American exceptionalism, progress, and individuality rooted in Well’s anti-New Deal agenda, its developers sought this kind of institutional authority in the 1950s.36                                                  34 Erik Christiansen, Channeling the Past: Politicizing History in Postwar America (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2013), 8. Christiansen is careful to distinguish between history institutions and history-based entertainment, such as Disney World; so too was OSV careful to make the distinction. As Wall proclaimed in 1968, “We are no Disneyland.” Alexander Wall quoted in “OSV’s Wall: ‘We Expand or We Die” Unidentified Newspaper clipping; Folder "Planning"; "Report of Long-Range Planning Committee,’ 7 March 1968, 7-8, cited in Abing, “Old Sturbridge Village,” 216. 35 Christiansen, Channeling the Past, 187. 36 On the professionalization of American museums in the early twentieth century, see Trask, Things American, 152. Neither Wells’ vision nor involvement disappeared from museum operations during this period; indeed, the values 19  In the early 1950s, Columbia-educated historian Earl Newton, newly appointed as Village Director, dreamed of a future OSV that operated, at least in part, as a fully-fledged research institution: a renowned centre for producing knowledge and academic publications in the field of New England history and culture. In 1952, the official Research Department was established; tellingly, museum staff and developers understood this department to serve as the Village’s “conscience.”37 In 1966, curator Henry Harlow described it as “the anchor which holds Old Sturbridge Village from a drift into commercialism or sensationalism.”38 By at least 1957, OSV had earned a reputation for quality educational programming as a “mass educator.”39 The Village offered a collaborative course in New England history with the American Studies department at Springfield College, and surrounding colleges and universities scheduled regular visits to OSV. The site had also begun to amass a large collection of archival material and established a research library on site for use by staff and other qualified researchers. The Village research team, which by then consisted of two scholars with doctorates, a librarian, assistants, and the curatorial staff, worked to produce research publications, which OSV privately printed.40  As this research ethos acquired full force in the 1960s, staff repeatedly made comparisons to the experimental laboratory and invoked its authority to describe and inspire their various investigations into the past. In 1959, Village president Henry Woodbridge became invested in                                                 of self-sufficiency and hard work were simply modified to resonate with post-war social problems. This generation of staff stressed the social value of craftsmanship as a means of humanizing production and improving psychological wellness, as well as potentially helping to solve the dearth of skilled labourers claimed by the war by offering workshops and apprentice programs. Abing, “Old Sturbridge Village,” 68. 37 Henry Harlow cited in Frank D. Emmick, "Research Rekindles History at Old Sturbridge Village," Worcester Daily Telegram, 15 December 1966, cited in Abing, “Old Sturbridge Village,” 103.  38 Ibid.  39 Ibid. 40 Original plans included space for 40,000 volumes and indeed they already had 7,000. Abing “Old Sturbridge Village,” 139. 20  promoting the establishment of a research program called the “Sturbridge Institute,” an effort that had long been lobbied for by research staff.41 In this proposition, the Village would serve as a “lab” for historical researchers “in the same way that a hospital operates as a teaching lab for medical students.”42 Its mandate, noted in the suggested planning documents, would be to “encourage research in all phases of New England history and to publish significant contributions in the field” through university presses.43 Other living history enterprises at this time had embraced experimental archeology as an empirical method to make authoritative claims about the rural past. The inspiration for Woodbridge’s “Sturbridge Institute” came from the Lejre Research Center, an archaeological living history museum near Denmark that reconstructed an Iron Age village from original archaeological research performed on site.44 Like the Lejre Research Center, OSV wanted not only to serve as a channel for pre-prepackaged educational or historical material, but also to produce new knowledge through research and on-site experimentation. The laboratory, as a place of collaborative research, practical testing, and a terrain through which knowledge is made and subsequently inscribed through publication,                                                 41 Abing, “Old Sturbridge Village,” 166. 42 Ibid, 165-166. 43 "Suggested Plan for a Sturbridge Research Institute," Unpublished report, n.d., 1, 1989, Folder "Research Center." Cited in Abing, “Old Sturbridge Village,” 139. 44 See Peter G. Stone and Philippe G. Planel, eds., The Constructed Past: Experimental Archaeology, Education and the Public (London: Routledge, 1999), especially Peter Reynolds, “Butser Ancient Farms: History and Development,” pages 128–29, for reference to the exact experimental methodology used here. See also Peter Reynolds, “The Nature of Experiment in Archeology,” In Parks Proceedings of the International Archaeological Conference, Százhalombatta, 3-7 October 1996, 387–95. For work on Lejre: Cornelius Holtorf, “The Time Travellers’ Tools of the Trade: Some Trends at Lejre,” International Journal of Heritage Studies 20, no. 7–8 (2014): 782–97. For scientific articles produced for research at Lejre, see Rowena Banerjea, Martin Bell, Wendy Matthews, and Alex Brown, “Applications of Micromorphology to Understanding Activity Areas and Site Formation Processes in Experimental Hut Floors,” Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 7 (2015): 89–112; Morten Ryhl-Svendsen, Geo Clausen, Zohir Chowdhury, Kirk R. Smith, “Fine Particles and Carbon Monoxide from Wood Burning in 17th–19th Century Danish Kitchens: Measurements at Two Reconstructed Farm Houses at the Lejre Historical–Archaeological Experimental Center,” Atmospheric Environment 44, no. 6 (2010): 735-744; Marianne Rasmussen, ed., Iron Age Houses in Flames: Testing House Reconstructions at Lejre (Lejre: Lejre Historical and Archeological and Experimental Centre, 2007). 21  became a central metaphor as well as material template for OSV’s institutional vision of itself and its long-term planning and development. Indeed, Village vice-president (and future director) Alexander Wall in 1963 proudly compared the kind of research conducted by Village staff to the “pure research of a scientist.”45  What did it mean to invoke the laboratory at OSV? In the twentieth century, the laboratory became, as historian Catherine Jackson puts it, the “iconic space of modern science” and arbiter of scientific facts.46 The image of the laboratory in the 1950s and 60s signified ever-improving technological progress, apolitical scientific freedom, and American ideals. Less optimistic associations with nuclear holocaust and the uncertainty surrounding the “Atomic age” following the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were perhaps softened by the comforting scale of OSV and its bucolic setting. Historians of Cold War science have explained how “American science” was carefully formed as the antithesis to what state propaganda projected as “Communist science.”47 Indeed, as Audra Wolfe writes, “the politics of freedom fused with anti-Communism to create a vision of science in the United States that highlighted empiricism, objectivity, a commitment to pure research, and internationalism.”48 OSV was certainly not engaged in direct propaganda or anticommunism in this way, but the rhetorical strategies used to authorize nationalist interpretive goals and programs often signalled in this direction. In the post-                                                45 Edward P. Alexander, “Research at Old Sturbridge Village,” Unpublished report, 4 September 1963, 3. Folder “OSV—Planning.” Cited in Abing, “Old Sturbridge Village,” 165. 46 Catherine Jackson, “The Laboratory,” in A Companion to the History of Science, ed. Bernard Lightman (Chichester: John Wiley & Sons Ltd., 2016): 296. 47 Audra Wolfe, Freedom’s Laboratory: The Cold War Struggle for the Soul of Science (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018). See also Jessica Wang, American Science in an Age of Anxiety: Scientists, Anticommunism, and the Cold War (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999) for how these dynamics played out on the ground for scientists caught in the cross-fire of anti-communism and an intensifying need to redefine relationships between the science and the state in the midst of nuclear anxiety. 48 Audra Wolfe, Freedom’s Laboratory, 17–18. 22  war period, the developers of OSV thus absorbed objectivist and consensus history that appeared to assume Cold War-era structures of thought based on scientific credibility.  Conflating the museum and the laboratory allowed OSV staff to make authoritative assertions about American history and instrumentalize that knowledge in the shaping of particular American publics after the war. Like the Smithsonian, OSV was also interested in projecting these narratives internationally. Indeed, supported by the US Department of State, OSV’s “foreign visitor program” in the 1960s provided tours of the Village to “foreign guests,” on which a member of the State Department was often dispatched as an “escort/interpreter.”49 OSV officials believed this program “could dramatically underline the progress made here in the past century and a half and would perhaps encourage and help our visitors in their own future planning.”50 As OSV President Charles Van Ravenswaay emphasized, “we have a responsibility to use the Village to explain to foreign visitors the simple, humble beginnings of American civilization.”51 As Laura Abing notes in her extensive chronicle of the institutional history of OSV, museum staff stressed to the State Department their desire to implement the program “without propaganda or formal lectures.” 52 But certainly the program’s paternalistic assumptions about the progress of civilizations (and “American civilization” at the top of the ladder) was not incongruent with cold war state propaganda. Scientific credibility and the supposed neutrality of the “facts” produced in a laboratory could also assuage accusations of the museum’s political agenda, as much as they could associate the museum with the kind of advancements that                                                 49 “Foreign Visitor Program,” Rural Visitor 3, no. 2 (Spring 1963): 1. 50 Ibid. 51 “Charles Van Ravenswaay Notes on Foreign Visitor Program Ideas,” TD, 15 August 1962, p. 1, cited in Abing “Old Sturbridge Village,” 164. 52 Abing, “Old Sturbridge Village,” 163. 23  propelled the political narrative of technological progress espoused by the museum. At the center of OSV’s assertions of scientific credibility was the Research Department. From 1967 onward, the Research Department was consumed with the expansion of the Pliny Freeman Farm. Whereas Wells understood craftsmanship (blacksmiths, candle-makers, coopers) as a potential salve to what he saw as the self-sufficiency crisis of New Deal government intervention in the 1930s, by the 1960s and 70s agriculture and farming—the management of and cooperation with plants and animals themselves—became the key transporters of New England values and individualism. Instead of the rudimentary display of limited cooking demonstrations in the farmhouse kitchen and some other farmyard activities that had previously animated the back corner of the site, the expanded Freeman Farm would re-create a comprehensive model based upon the regular working rhythms of a year on the farm.53 To do so would involve significant additions of historically accurate crops and working implements to till the fields, as well as more livestock; as of 1964, the farm reportedly was host to “a flock of harassed looking chickens” and a few other tawdry beasts.54 More farm and interpretive staff would be necessary to carry out such functions equivalent to “one man on duty 8 hours a day, seven days a week, April-November,” as well as additional research, administrative, and supervisory roles.55 The subsequent 1966 plan incited a fundraising drive that museum administrator Barnes Riznik later called the most “popular, well subsidized campaign in Sturbridge’s institutional history of                                                 53 Such an undertaking would not include 24-hour costumed staff living on the farm in complete historical garb as Anderson’s proposition had included for his plans at Colonial Pennsylvania. 54 “A Proposal to Expand the Early New England Farm Demonstration at OSV” (Unpublished Document, Old Sturbridge Village,1964), 5. 55 Ibid. 24  independent self-support.”56 Throughout the 1970s, the Pliny Freeman Farm, and later, the Salem Towne Farm, remained important sites for research and continued to require a great deal of resources to keep functioning as complete, working farms. 1.3 Museum/Laboratory/Farm: OSV in the 1970s The 1950s and 60s idea of the “living history laboratory” did not disappear in the 1970s. Indeed, the working farm as experimental laboratory extended the research ethos of previous decades. Even as the museum moved its programming away from the Cold War focus on material progress through static objects and exhibits to a focus on performance and immersive, tactile, and auditory experiences, the laboratory comparison and research ethos continued to inform the site’s identity. Research staff began to conceive of their living history laboratory as an expansive field for multiple simultaneous experiments that made new knowledge by different kinds of interactions between staff, visitors, animals, plants, and objects.   The staff at OSV are not alone in drawing the comparison between museum and laboratory. Scholars since have queried the respective capacities of museums and laboratories to process, assert, and reify information into knowledge. Cultural critic Tony Bennett has recently noted the shared kinship or “family resemblance” between museums and laboratories, both in their overlapping development as nineteenth-century Foucauldian institutions that took on a particular kind of modern authority, and in the epistemic work that happens through their management of the value and meaning of particular objects.57 Bennett compares the active reshaping of society                                                 56 Barnes Riznik, “Changing Perspectives on the Preservation and Interpretation of Agricultural History and Rural Life,” Proceedings of the 1988 ALHFAM Conference and Annual Meeting 11 (1991): 5. 57 In this piece, Bennett responds to critiques of 1990s revisionist museum studies work that coalesced around his seminal work, The Birth of the Museum. More recent scholarly interpretations of “the museum” within this frame have troubled the totalizing and generalized description of the museum’s functions as a singular or stable entity 25  that Bruno Latour diagnosed within the processes of Pasteur’s lab, for instance, to the ways that museum processes constitute “strategies for managing the social.”58As microcosms of various social and natural worlds, museums and laboratories broadly engage in the reorganization of relationships between subjects, objects, and the various environments in which they are embedded and marshalled into action.59   Taking seriously the laboratory comparisons made by OSV staff in the 1960s and 70s allows for a view of the constructed New England town as a system of representation that relied on simulated environments in much the same way that some laboratories simulate their objects of inquiry to perform controlled tests and gather results.60 As a simulation of the full scope of everyday historical life, OSV functioned through a system of representation: reenactors functioned as performance technologies whose “authentic” behaviour corresponded to the                                                 within a fixed linear historical narrative assumed by its rigid associations with “modernity” in the revisionist literature. See, for example, Lianne McTavish, Defining the Modern Museum: A Case Study of the Challenges of Exchange (Toronto: University of Toronto Press), 2013. In “Civic Laboratories: Museums, Cultural Objecthood and the Governance of the Social,” Cultural Studies 19, no. 5 (2005): 521–47, Bennett argues for a reconceptualization of the museum as a “civic laboratory” to better understand the cluster of technologies and practices that form the “modus operandi” of the museum and its structures of governmentality. Bringing work from science and technology studies and actor-network theory to bear on museum studies, Bennett suggests, could help scholars to rethink the practical institutional production of “distinctive entities,” often museum collection pieces. 58 Bennett, “Civic Laboratories,” 525. 59 Drawing from Latour’s concept of “immutable mobiles” in actor-network theory, Bennett traces how museum objects “take on different values and functions when moved from one set of configurations to another” (537). That is, museum objects, like laboratory “natural objects”—microbes, the double helix, polonium, et cetera—can withstand a series of substitutions and displacements in which they are called upon to perform as representatives for a host of associations and functions out there. See Bruno Latour, Science in Action: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers Through Society (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1987), 91-94. See also Bruno Latour and Steve Woolgar, Laboratory Life: The Construction of Scientific Facts (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1979). 60 Karin Knorr-Cetina has drawn similar comparisons with social life and processes outside of the laboratory. She likens social science experiments to the simulated war game as a technology of representation; molecular genetics to the construction and monitoring of the twelfth-century cathedral as a technology of intervention and surveillance; and particle physics to psychoanalytic diagnosis as a technology of signification. Karin Knorr-Cetina, “The Couch, the Cathedral, and the Laboratory: On the Relationship between Experiment and Laboratory in Science” in Science as Practice and Culture, ed., Andrew Pickering (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992). 26  authenticity of the whole assembled reproduction.61 For instance, in 1971, education professional Alberta Sebolt developed an immersive education and teacher training program in which the Village was to serve as a “learning laboratory” in which participants could observe authentic subsistence lifeways—“how ‘man’ provides for himself”—stripped of industrial and modern technological convenience.62 Sebolt described the project as a way for students and teachers to “use the outdoor history museum as a field laboratory … to provide for small in-depth studies of ‘real life’ problems relevant for today’s students.”63 The Village itself was to serve as the “experimental lab” where teacher workshops were hosted, and primary, secondary, and post-secondary students could observe and learn through practice the ways of the pre-industrial craftsman or farmer.   The production of individual historical subjectivity through this laboratory simulation took on new meanings but did not completely depart from the signification of modern American science through the “pure research” of the Sturbridge Institute. The collapsing of museum and laboratory could, however, by the 1970s be read as interdisciplinary collaboration (even if this dynamic was already present in the previous decades), rather than an appeal to state or top-down knowledge production. This was indeed how historical archeologist and member of the OSV                                                 61 As simulacra of total historical environments, living history museums depend on simulation, as Magelssen has extensively detailed. Magelssen aligns the performance of historical events with other simulations such as trying on a dress, a fire drill, or other mock realities. Magelssen, Simming. 62 Alberta Sebolt, who was also Social Studies Chairperson for Sturbridge School Union #61 and President of the Massachusetts Council for Social Studies, called this program the “3-D Project.” The Village was to serve as a microcosm for studying various social studies curriculum concepts related to the present: “How does man provide for his basic needs of food, clothing and shelter thorough the use of natural, human and capital resources? … How are goods and services produced and exchanged? … What are the effects of technological change upon the economy of a Community?” Alberta Sebolt, Model for the Development of Inquiry-Oriented Social Studies Materials Using Community Resources As Learning Laboratories. Curriculum Model #2. Field-Laboratory: Old Sturbridge Village (Washington: Distributed by ERIC Clearinghouse, 1969), 1. 63 Sebolt, Model for the Development, 1. 27  Research Department John Worrell interpreted the living history laboratory in 1972 when he echoed previous decades of institutional rhetoric by arguing that “the extensive experimentation that takes place in its museum programs qualifies Old Sturbridge Village for recognition as a living history laboratory.”64 The promotional article in which Worrell made this claim, entitled “How do you Test History in a Lab?,” also detailed the novelty of bringing together scientific and historical methodologies to better understand the natural and cultural worlds of nineteenth century farming and rural life. Worrell wrote: It is still not easy to fit together the notions of “history” and “laboratory.” We identify laboratories regularly with the physical and natural sciences and with materials that can be altered, measured and tested. But history collects all sorts of intangible concepts on our thinking: ideas, values, social economic processes. And how can those be “laboratory-tested”?  Admittedly, it doesn’t come easily. But in a program of experimentation and testing of any sort, the objective is to refine knowledge out of the unknown. In some circles this will be called moving from hypotheses to facts: in others it will simply involve finding out what doesn’t work.  A recent trend in academic disciplines has seen the social sciences and even humanities joining the “hard” sciences in developing experimental procedures with scientific controls for the kinds of questions that won’t fit into a test tube. A great deal of the history that can be seen in action at Old Sturbridge Village has been learned and authenticated in a similar fashion.65  The living history laboratory for Worrell signified the blending of different intellectual worlds to make empirically-based assertions about a range of historical phenomena. And it was not just the rote material facts of the past that he and his staff were interested in proving—they were also after the “kinds of questions that won’t fit into a test tube.” Included among other provable historical mechanisms—the precise method used to “flail corn”; the correct techniques and materials used to stitch heels on to shoes—were the subjective experiences of being in the past: What does it feel like to work co-dependently with animals?; What was most frustrating and                                                 64 John Worrell, “How do you Test History in a Lab?,” Rural Visitor 10 no. 2, (Summer 1974), 5. 65 Ibid. 28  most gratifying about using the blacksmith forge?; and so on. These questions, both practical and abstract, were answerable only, as Worrell contends, “in the doing—by experimentation.”66   Figure 1: Clipping from Worrell, "How Do You Test History in a Lab?," 5.   This mode of engagement with the past indeed resembles what Rymsza-Pawlowska identifies as a turning point in history-making: in the 1970s, the individual (historical interpreter or guest) was meant to locate themselves within the past and empathize with historical characters. Worrell outlines how living history experimentation indeed worked through the body. As Rymsza-Pawlowska writes of re-enactment as an embodied engagement with history: “the                                                 66 Ibid. Emphasis theirs. 29  body, which comes into the encounter bearing its own history, becomes the site at which the lived experience of the past and present meet.”67 Worrell puts the goals of experimental re-enactment in similar terms: [I]n reproducing the inventory that his prototype would have made, [the interpreter] gains an appreciation for the self-understanding of his historical counterpart. Pride and monotony, satisfaction and fatigue, skill and technique all become a part of the perception of another era that can be learned only from performance in the appropriate manner and context. These are the non-material aspects of history, which are every bit as urgent for authentic interpretation as are the artifacts.68  Surely these kind of “experiments” detailed by Worrell could be understood just as easily as bodily “experiences.” His continued commitment to scientific rhetoric, then, is striking. The production of this “authentic interpretation,” where the individual could properly feel like their historical counterpart, depended still on the authority of the laboratory and the scientific method.  Moreover, “How do you Test History in a Lab” echoed some of the cadences of 1970s counterculturalism that drew explicitly from science and technology to make a return to small-scale living like that offered by the early nineteenth-century American farm. The caption of the article’s main photo (Figure 1) rings of such disenchantment with a technocratic and dehumanizing present: “Plowing with oxen brings interpreters closer to nature and to understanding and cooperation with other creatures.” In her exploration of new living history practice and the counterculture, Rymsza-Pawlowska expresses uncertainty over how and if living history farms practitioners could be understood to be motivated by the “interest in cybernetics, innovation, and whole systems” that characterized certain strains of the counterculture that coalesced around the WEC. She asks:                                                 67 Rymsza-Pawlowska, History Comes Alive, 7. 68 Worrell, “How do you Test History in a Lab?,” 6. 30  If the motivation for investing in living history farming was, at least partly, an appreciation for historical methods, where would these futurists fit in? Was it only the more historically oriented portions of the counterculture—those who would build communities in old saloons as opposed to geodesic domes—that are relevant here?69  For her, the connections between living history and counterculture are more convincingly structured by antimodernist “rejection of postwar life and culture” rather than an appropriation of postwar technologies and structures to do this work.70 A close look at the development of historical farming at OSV, however, reveals that this “appreciation for historical methods” was not incongruent with “these futurists” or their “particular kind of modernism.” Throughout the pages of promotional materials and other museum reports in the 1970s were references to laboratory functions and scientific rigour as well as explanations of the historical farm laboratory as an interdisciplinary system or network with remarkably similar ideological commitments and rhetorical strategies as those implemented by Brand in the WEC.   Worrell explained that the re-production of the feeling of historical farming—the authenticity of the experience—was dependent not only on rigorous research, but on the wholeness of the interacting re-created environment. The living history museum could transcend static displays of collections of objects to simulate “a functioning historical community” if it could, Worrell wrote, “add[…] the active element – call it cultural process.” He extrapolated, “a community is not just a collection; it is a system. And the activities of any part influence other parts and activities.”71 Systems language and wholeness also structured his description of a pottery exhibit on site, which was “developing the entire system of a potter’s activities” where                                                 69 Rymsza-Pawlowska, “Hippies Living History,” 53. 70 Ibid, 54. 71 Worrell, “How do you Test History in a Lab?,” 5. 31  the “interpreters and the public alike will learn about the whole picture in a fashion that would be inaccessible from only its parts.”72   As the concluding note of the article, Worrell stated: History involves both the proper organization of objects in space and the appropriate activities in time. Its demonstration is active, and it is frequently testable. Individual parts can be removed sometimes into more familiar laboratory settings … But the real proof in the pudding comes with the insertion of the finished part or procedure into the organic network of interacting people and processes, artifacts and nature, spaces and seasons … This is one laboratory that transcends all time, and is as big as all outdoors!73   It was as a crucial component of this “organic network of interacting people and processes, artifacts and nature, spaces and seasons” that authentic animal bodies became the jewel of OSV’s research program. While researchers knew that “an agrarian household had cattle and chicken and pigs,” without the entire reconstruction of “the physical and social setting of the time” they would not fully understand “how they interact[ed] with each other and their masters’ routines.”74 Without animals that, as Worrell put it, “look and perform in correspondence with … those that frequented rural New England about 150 years ago,”75 this delicate system could not be reproduced. He echoed Wall’s scientific rhetoric from the previous decade: “the back-breeding program comes pretty close to being ‘pure research’.” He continued, “in getting back to animals … that look right and act right, we are also getting a bonus of historical information about diets, nutrition, inbreeding … and many other factors that made up the agrarian economy.”76  In short, backbreeding exemplified re-enactment as scientific research as well as activated the entire system of living historical farming.                                                  72 Ibid. 73 Ibid, 6. 74 Ibid.  75 Ibid. 76 Ibid. 32   Other sites began to rely on the same metaphors used by Worrell to describe the scope and purpose of the living historical farm. Colonial Pennsylvania planned to take OSV’s farm re-enactment-as-laboratory template a step further to develop a fully functioning, completely to-scale, 24-hour living historical farm complete with live-aboard costumed staff and tools, crops, and animals. As folklorist and Colonial Pennsylvania developer Jay Anderson reported in 1976: After we had visited a number of open-air museums and living historical farms in 1974, our staff concluded that on the whole these sites were lacking in historical authenticity. … We felt this fault could be remedied if trained personnel actually lived on a restoration on a 24-hour basis over a period of time. We also were convinced that to really understand rural folk life in its totality and an historical farm as an economic system, it was necessary to establish a working farm (rather than an agricultural museum) and use this farm as an historical laboratory, a context for experimentation.77  Anderson also likened the ideal operations of the farm at Colonial Pennsylvania to the Lejre Research Center and Butser Ancient Farm. He felt that a similar project in North America had the potential to “conceivably help re-write American rural history.”78 Anderson’s above proposition betrays more than stale empiricism and trust in modern institutions called up by the farm as a “historical laboratory” or a “context for experimentation.” The authenticity of the farm re-enactment was also, for Anderson, mediated by an understanding of farming “in its totality” as an “economic system.”  It is difficult to determine the extent to which Worrell, other members of the research team, or affiliated living historical farm researchers were familiar with the WEC, 1940s and 50s computational cybernetics, or the writings of systems theorists such as Buckminster Fuller, and                                                 77 Jay Anderson, “On the Horns of a Dilemma: Identity, Museum Funding, and Administration at the Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation,” Proceedings of the 1975 ALHFAM Conference and Annual Meeting 3 (1977): 18. (emphasis mine). For a 1989 critique of project at Colonial Pennsylvania particularly targeted at the assumption that the subjective experience of historical farmers can be scientifically rendered through reenactment, see Warren Leon and Margarat Piatt, “Living-History Museums” in Leon and Rosenzweig, History Museums in the United States, 85–86. 78 Anderson, “On the Horns of a Dilemma,” 19. 33  later Frederic Vester or Paul Ehrlich. However, the 1986 edition of The Essential Whole Earth Catalog included a book review of Jay Anderson’s Living History Sourcebook (1985) in the “Whole Systems: History” section. The author, Kevin Kelly, described living history as “a curious blend of grassroots obsessiveness and radical academia,” noting that living history practice constituted in itself “a whole new science.”79  As well, in a piece published in the 1976 ALHFAM conference proceedings, Edward Hawes invoked a systems framework for describing living historical farms as research models developed by the head of Agricultural Research at OSV, Darwin Kelsey. Hawes notes that Kelsey’s 1974 ALHFAM Presidential Address argued that, as research “models,” all living historical farms fit somewhere within a matrix of “iconic, analogic, and symbolic” in their representation of a “real” historical farm.80 While iconic farms feature a to-scale model of a particular historical farm, analogic better describes the farming program at OSV, where, as Kelsey put it, the most important elements were “faithful reproduction of the web or structure of relationships found in the original, as in for example, the directions of energy flow between the subsystems of a farm.”81 Not only does this appraisal suggest a familiarity with the systems theory of Brand and his cohort, but, as Hawes notes, the “systems analysis and operations research” was the “original context of meaning from which the terms were derived.”82    The shared idiom of networks, systems, and mechanistic metaphor in descriptions of living farm practice by OSV research staff and throughout the WEC point to a close ideological and                                                 79 Kevin Kelly, The Essential Whole Earth Catalog (New York: Doubleday, 1986), 19. 80 Edward L. Hawes, “The Living Historical Farm in North America: New Directions in Research and Interpretation,” Proceedings of the 1975 ALHFAM Conference and Annual Meeting 2 (1976): 44. 81 Hawes, “Living Historical Farm,” 41. 82 Ibid, 45. 34  practical kinship. Turner traces the development of the kinds of systems theory that Brand used to structure the WEC to the influential writings of the mathematician Norbert Wiener.83 Throughout multiple publications in the 1940s-50s, Wiener developed the field of cybernetics as “the study of messages as a means of controlling machinery and society.”84 His arguments suggested that, as Turner puts it, “biological, mechanical, and information systems … could be seen as analogues of one another.”85 As he refined his thought in The Human Use of Human Beings: Cybernetics and Society, Wiener argued, in Turner’s words, that “society as a whole, as well as its constituent organizational parts, functioned much like organisms and machines.”86 Indeed, mechanistic language often peppered Worrell’s explanation of the proper functioning of the living historical farm as a machine or organism comprised of interacting parts: for example, the “whole picture” of historical pottery “that would be inaccessible from only its parts,” or how “individual parts” of the living museum “can be removed sometimes,” but only with “the insertion of the finished part or procedure into the organic network of interacting people and processes, artifacts and nature” do we see the “real” historical farm come to life.   So too was the living animal body—a biological system—analogous to the proper functioning of the historical farm, the ALHFAM network, and living historical farmers’ ideas about a physically and morally healthy society. Indeed, as many promotional pieces supporting the expansion of the Pliny Freeman Farm throughout the 1960s and early 70s insinuated, nineteenth-century rural New England represented the lost virtues of agricultural life. The                                                 83 As Turner also notes, cold war military-industrial laboratories functioned not only through “a habit of entrepreneurship and interdisciplinary collaboration, but also the discourse of cybernetics and systems theory and the computational metaphor on which it depended.” Turner, Counterculture to Cyberculture, 28. 84 Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture, 22. 85 Ibid. 86 Ibid. 35  official 1964 “Proposal to Expand the Early New England Farm Demonstration at OSV” argued, for instance, that Despite the hard work and frugality of the families living on [New England farms], the rocky hillsides produced little more than the essentials for physical survival, but from such backgrounds came much of the intellectual, inventive, and moral leadership that distinguished New England during the nineteenth century.87   Similarly, a 1969 Village publication titled “By the Work of the Hands and Sweat of the Brow”88 lamented the vanishing of agricultural lifestyles in modern America: this lifestyle, Abing paraphrases, “exemplified important values, such as frugality, hard work and self-reliance.” These values were often linked up with the animal body. She continues, “Of the eighty thousand students and teachers who visited the Freeman Farm in 1968, many had never previously seen a sheep or an ox. If these animals were unfamiliar, what was the status of the aforementioned values?”89  As chapters 2 and 3 explore in greater depth, these “values” were ideologically flexible. The multiple meanings of historical livestock and the different kinds of labour they were asked to perform to make these meanings reflected the intentional heterogeneity of the ALHFAM network that emerged around OSV in 1970. Through living historical farms, proponents could manifest a wide range of desires, anxieties, and visions of the future. Sometimes these aligned with the 1960s triumphalist narratives of continued American achievement rooted in the “intellectual, inventive, and moral” traditions of the “Yankee Yeoman,” but the living historical                                                 87 “Proposal to Expand the Early New England Farm Demonstration,” np. 88 The quotation is taken from H. Royce Bass’ 1883 The History of Braintree, Vermont, Including a Memorial of Families That Have Resided in Town (Rutland, Vermont). In full, it reads, “In fact all the necessaries and luxuries of life, all the accumulated wealth of nations, comes from mother earth by work of the hands and the sweat of the brow.”  89 Abing, “Old Sturbridge Village,” 212. 36  farm could also respond to the failure of that narrative.90 By offering small-scale technologies and supporting the development of individual consciousness in direct encounter with animals, plants, and the past, the living farm offered a path away from technocratic bureaucracy and its fulfilment in nuclear weapons, the Vietnam war, urban riots, and ecological crisis. As a result, ALHFAM was born out of and attracted a wide range of social and intellectual worlds from across the political spectrum.                                                    90 Abing, “Old Sturbridge Village,” 217. 37  Chapter 2: The Farm Scholars and living history practitioners have often understood the living historical farms movement to have taken its full shape in the 1970s after the establishment of ALHFAM, as hundreds of new living history farms and museums opened across the country. During this period, ALHFAM members and officials compared the allure of the living farm museum to commune life and wondered about how popular “nostalgia culture” of the 70s would influence what they understood as the living farm’s purpose: to demonstrate understudied social and environmental elements of the rural past. A deeper dive into the histories of the living historical farm movement in the 1940s-60s, however, reveals that the mid-century ideologies and motivations that drove academic historians, curators, and government officials in the project of living historical farms were more complex than simply a desire to know more about the past. For these elite figures in the post-war and Cold-War eras, the living historical farm was a potent symbol of American exceptionalism and supremacy as the winners of a race towards social evolution from agriculture onward. This context mattered in the 1970s, as the structures of ALHFAM and its governance throughout the decade continued to influence the new forms of living history that emerged concurrent to 70s counterculturalism. Just as the “forces of capital, technology, [and] the state” could come together with the counterculture through the “intellectual, social, journalistic and technological network” forged by the WEC, so too could post-war nationalistic research ideologies come together with the new wave of living history practice in the 1970s.91                                                  91 Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture, 8; Simon Sadler, “An Architecture of the Whole,” Journal of Architectural Education 61, no. 4 (2008): 108. 38   In this chapter, I trace the history of ALHFAM from the living historical farm movement in the 1940s to the conference at OSV that put into motion what became the largest, most influential network of living history practitioners in North America and one that still serves as a central forum. As this history suggests, the coming together of “consensus” historian curators at the Smithsonian, state officials, and economists on the one hand, and environmentalists, organic farmer conservationists, and New Left aligned historians on the other, was also not contradictory. Indeed, the new forms of living history in the 1970s and the networks through which these forms were practiced were not generated out of thin air. They relied heavily on post-war ideologies and systems of thought, even as they critiqued these forms of knowledge and practice. Through ALHFAM, these “members of the two worlds could come together and legitimate one another’s projects.”92 New living history depended on the authority of the Smithsonian and federal government departments, after which ALHFAM was intentionally designed by its elite founders.  2.1 The Living Historical Farms Movement, 1945-1970 The 1801 Freeman farmhouse had sat on the far end of the Village site, past the village commons, grist and carding mills, and blacksmith shop, since the early 1950s.93 Even the limited demonstrations of cooking and the small number of animals on the farm drew the biggest crowds in the 1960s, as several anecdotal reports noted.94 By 1964, research staff insisted on the                                                 92 Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture, 8. 93 The Massachusetts Department of Transportation donated the structure, as they had spared it from bulldozing during highway development. The house was moved to OSV in 1951 and opened to the public as a static exhibit in 1952. The farmhouse was paired with other structures moved to the site from around New England, which, by 1965, included a cattle barn, corn barn, sheep shed, wagon shed and smokehouse. Riznik, “Changing Perspectives,” 5. 94 Many commentators, including John Schlebecker, noted that the Pliny Freeman Farm was the most popular attraction and that it consistently gathered the biggest crowds. 39  expansion of the farm as a guarantor for the authenticity of the re-creation. After all, as they pointed out, agriculture was the most common nineteenth-century rural American lifeway. As Village researcher Barnes Riznik urged museum officials in a memo to the Long-Range Planning Committee in 1967, “no other program we have is as worthy of continuing development as the Village’s study of agriculture in the period from 1790-1840, and our authentic interpretation of that research through special farming demonstrations.”95 Developers were happy to oblige, given the popularity of the farm with the public, and the need to stay competitive as an authentic display of rural life based on rigorous research. As visitor numbers grew exponentially throughout the 1960s, staff looked to expand the Village as well as the parameters of living history practice.96 Overwhelmingly, the Pliny Freeman Farm project preoccupied village staff and became the top priority of all the developments proposed in the 1966 Long-Range Plan.97  When the Freeman farmhouse first opened at OSV in 1951, it contributed to a larger movement for farm museums that gained traction at the end of WWII. One of the first of such sites was the Farmer’s Museum at Cooperstown, New York, which opened in 1945.98 That same year, Herbert Kellar published an article in Agricultural History that expanded the concept of the living history museum to the living agricultural museum. More specifically, Kellar proposed the installation of a national living agricultural museum in Washington D.C. He clearly articulated nationalistic post-war ideas about American civilization rooted in its agricultural past when he                                                 95 Barnes Riznik, “Proposed Revisions in the 1966 Farm Proposal for the Coming Fund-Raising Drive” (memo, Old Sturbridge Village, October 10, 1967). 96 Visitor numbers had doubled from those figures registered in 1960, and these numbers were expected to double again by 1980. More land would be needed to accommodate rising volume, and more ambitious interpretation and research would also be needed to stay competitive in the thriving re-enactment industry. Abing, “Old Sturbridge Village,” 191. 97 Abing, “Old Sturbridge Village,” 193. 98 John T. Schlebecker, The Past in Action: Living Historical Farms (Washington: Living Historical Farms Project, Smithsonian Institute, 1967), 3. 40  proposed as a part of this museum “bas reliefs showing the evolution of agriculture in this country from the primitive Indian culture of the time of the first settlement to the mechanized farming of the present day.”99 These static murals would be accompanied by living farm processes: rotating crops, working livestock, et cetera.    However, what became known as the living historical farms movement in the United States did not pick up momentum for another twenty years, when, in 1965, economist Marion Clawson published another proposal for living farms in Agricultural History.100 Clawson’s piece, “Living Historical Forms: A Proposal For Action,” echoed some of Kellar’s concerns, but with a more ambitious scope: a nationalized network of living historical farms across the country whose coordinates in time and space would tell a complete story of agricultural development. Clawson also went further than Kellar in the actualization of this dream. He approached the Smithsonian Institute, the US Department of the Interior, and the Department of Agriculture to assemble a committee that could investigate the possibility of establishing such a network. The Smithsonian and the federal departments sent delegates to form the committee: John Schlebecker, Curator of Agricultural History at the Smithsonian Institution; Ernst Christensen from the National Park Service; and Wayne Rasmussen, the chief historian at the US Department of Agriculture. The Smithsonian received a grant to conduct a comprehensive study of the feasibility for mobilizing Clawson’s plan. The results of this study were published by Schlebecker in the form of a report entitled “The Past in Action: Living Historical Farms.” Among other things, Schlebecker recommended the establishment of a “national agency to organize and supervise a national                                                 99 Herbert A. Kellar, “Living Agricultural Museums,” Agricultural History 19, no. 3 (July 1945): 188. 100 Marion Clawson, “Living Historical Farms: A Proposal for Action,” Agricultural History 39, no. 2 (April 1965): 110-11. 41  confederation of living historical farms.” The agency was to establish and uphold standards of excellence through an accreditation system.101   Steeped as he must have been in the culture of Smithsonian nationalist research in the post-war period, Schlebecker strengthened the movement’s commitment to the teleologies of American civilization. As a Smithsonian internal report noted in 1953, “Today there is greater need than ever before in our history for reaching all of the people with the story of our country’s heritage and the development of the American way of life. The Smithsonian Institution is especially strategic in disseminating this message.”102 Schlebecker echoed this mandate in “Past in Action.” Living historical farms managed in part by the Smithsonian, Schlebecker thought, could provide an opportunity for “not only Americans but people around the world [to] see how the American farmer came to be the greatest food producer in the world.”103 And so the report recommended the establishment of a “national agency to organize and supervise a national confederation of living historical farms” in order to complete this goal that was, in his eyes, in the national interest.104   The proposed structure of this agency appeared loosely based on the USDA, and was thus to derive its legitimacy from governmental and scientific authority. Schlebecker recommended that the national living farms project should be comprised of an “Extension Service” staffed by various professionals—a “corps of experts”—who could offer help to local projects, and hold                                                 101 Schlebecker, Past in Action, 13. 102 Cited in Christiansen, Channelling the Past, 186. 103 Schlebecker, Past in Action, 2–3. 104 Schlebecker, Past in Action, 13. The agency was to establish and uphold standards of excellence through an accreditation system. Although Clawson’s committee had been assembled under the premise that a federal department would operate the farm network, Schlebecker found that many practitioners with whom he spoke were apprehensive about such heavy government involvement in the farms; he suggested that such farms could draw enough funds as private enterprises to sustain the project (12). 42  knowledge and materials for access by various sites.  He also suggested a central “Experiment Station,” which would serve as the central laboratory and research hub for the development of plants and animals and “experiments in the use of devices.”105 Central to Schlebecker’s vision were the correct types of living plants and animals. His field research at various aspiring living historical farms revealed that the acquisition of such stock was also a concern for various practitioners. The National Colonial Farm, run by the Accokeek foundation in Piscataway, Maryland, had already begun a program of experimentally recreating eighteenth-century corn and tobacco; the possibility of similarly developing period-appropriate animals loomed in Schlebecker’s report. Throughout, Schlebecker stressed the biological processes that defined farming:  Although farmers carry on a complicated business in which they use tools and implements, their attention really centers on land, plants, and animals. Basically, farmers intentionally produce commodities by controlling biological activity as best they can … In regulating and managing biological activity, the farmer uses tools, implements, and machines, of course, but these things of themselves only vaguely hint at the more essential biological processes. In almost every sort of farming, for example, the number of important genetic-biomechanical discoveries far surpass the number of mechanical advances.106  The problem with static displays of farming implements, he wrote, was that “such exhibits seldom show any stream of development in man’s progress from child of nature to manager of living things.”107 Thus, living plants and animals could bring to life the teleology of American progress, which Schlebecker positioned as the most urgent task of living historical farms.                                                  105 Schlebecker, Past in Action, 14. A team of historians could provide research services through fieldwork, interviews, and research in the National Archives, Library of Congress, and National Agricultural Library in Washington D.C., thus eliminating the costs of hiring historians and paying for their travel for many sites. Other experts would include financial, and agricultural as “historical cannot easily be merged with the best current practices in fertility preservation and soil conservation [or] the best methods of plant and animal husbandry” (18). 106 Schlebecker, Past in Action, 1. 107 Ibid. 43   But the living farm could also mean different things for different practitioners, as became clear through the interaction of these various figures through ALHFAM. By the time that Schlebecker had conducted his study, the Freeman Farm at OSV was the most detailed and developed example that could be studied, and thus it became a hotspot of activity for the living historical farms movement in the late 1960s. At a symposium on American agriculture from 1790-1840 organized by OSV Agricultural History director Darwin Kelsey in 1970, and sponsored by the Agricultural History Society, OSV, the Smithsonian, and the USDA, ALHFAM took shape as the organization imagined in “Past in Action.” Kelsey later promoted the diverse and prestigious intellectual and scholarly community that formed through this symposium in a 1971 Rural Visitor article. He noted that of the one hundred and thirty registrants for the program, eighty-eight were affiliated with universities, museums, or the National Park Service. Another forty-two participants “represented a variety of institutions such as the United States Department of Agriculture, state agricultural experiment stations, historical societies and libraries or attended simply as individuals interested in agricultural history.” Kelsey continued to stress the generative interdisciplinarity of the conference, which brought together scholars “from a variety of fields including agricultural, technological, social and economic history, historical geography, material culture, and museum education.”108 These participants agreed on members of a committee to meet later in the year and formalize the association according to Schlebecker’s recommendations. They named themselves the Association for Living Historical Farms and Agricultural Museums (ALFHAM). Darwin Kelsey joined the governing board along with the                                                 108 Darwin Kelsey, “Symposium on American Agriculture 1790-1840,” Rural Visitor, 11 no. 14 (1971): 3. 44  three members of Clawson’s original committee: John Schlebecker, Ernst Christensen and Wayne Rasmussen.  Although ALHFAM did not ultimately consist of the structure outlined in “Past in Action,” the association initially developed according to Schlebecker’s plan. In the early 1970s, members of the Executive Committee strove to assemble an accreditation system to account for and assess the needs of all existing farm museums and living farm museums, and establish an “information bank” as a compendium of resources and expertise. Its objective, as stated in the 1971 constitution, was “to encourage research, publication and training in historic agricultural practices; facilitate the exchange of agricultural plants and animals; seek funds for a national program and accredit living history farms and agricultural museums.”109   Plans for the Experiment Station did indeed go ahead. It was to be located on a tract of land (the Clagett tract110) in Maryland’s Piscataway National Park, which ALHFAM signed an agreement with the National Park Service to acquire. Here would be developed the “genetic pool and reserve for rare and endangered species of plants and animals.”111 In 1971, Ernst Christensen wrote a memorandum explaining ALHFAM’s uses of the Clagett tract to the General Superintendent of the National Park Service. He stated that the tract would offer a home for ALHFAM and would “serve as a gene pool and a preserve for rare and endangered plants and animals, especially those associated with agricultural history.”112 Whether or not the tract was to                                                 109 The Association for Living Historical Farms and Agriculture Museums, “Constitution,” July 14, 1971, Old Sturbridge Village, ALHFAM A1990.1, series 1, box 1, folder 2. 110 It is spelled two ways in different documentation, “Claggert” and “Clagett.” I have chosen “Clagett” for consistency. 111 The Association for Living Historical Farms and Agricultural Museums, “Constitution.” 112 Ernst Christensen to General Superintendent, National Park Service, US Department of the Interior, February 12, 1972, Series 1, ALHFAM, Early Meetings & Organizations, 1970-71, OSV Research Library. 45  operate as a laboratory space for experimental breeding of plants or animals, or just as a repository for particular types of stock, remains unclear in available documentation. But the inclusion in the list of major expenses of a “Geneticist-farmer, $13000.00” indicates that experimental livestock breeding was indeed on the docket.113 Securing the correct types of plants and animals remained of utmost importance to various practitioners. Indeed, the definition of “living historical farm” articulated in Schlebecker and Gale Peterson’s Living Historical Farms Handbook (1972), which became the living farms “bible,” was the golden standard:  On living historical farms men farm as they once did during some specific time in the past. The farms have tools and equipment like those once used, and they raise the same types of livestock and plants used during the specific era.”114    Legitimated by institutional and governmental backing from OSV, the Smithsonian, the USDA and USDI, ALHFAM attracted a broad range of interested individuals and organizations who wrote to members of the executive committee in the first years of ALHFAM’s operation for advice. One of the most common concerns expressed by these museum and farm practitioners was about the accessibility of the correct types of plants and animals for their sites. Missives from the dozens of aspiring farm museums requested information about where the appropriate                                                 113 Ibid. It seems, however, that the plan did not move along with much direction or intensity in the following years. The treasurer’s report of the September 1972 meeting stated that Ernst Christensen urged the association to move the use of Clagett tract along. Darwin Kelsey suggested keeping animals there, while other members thought they could use it as a potato bank. Clearly it had not been developed by the second year of the association’s operations, and no robust plans had been made to develop a fully staffed laboratory for the development of old (new) breeds of animals or plants. In 1973, Christensen, chairman of the Clagett Tract committee, wrote to the members of the committee that the space had so far only been used to produce hay, but that they planned on planting a row of “American Chestnut seedlings” from a mother tree “that is apparently immune to the devastating Chesnut Blight.” He noted also that Schlebecker recommended the “initial use” of the tract could be for raising “antique varieties” of chickens, turkey, and geese, with which the Poultry History Association could assist. He also noted the inevitability of needing continued funding for whatever activity ends up occupying the tract. “Memorandum,” Members of the Claggert Tract Committee to Chairman of said committee, February 21, 1973, Old Sturbridge Village, ALHFAM A1990.1, series 1, box 1, folder 13. 114 John T. Schlebecker and Gale Peterson, Living Historical Farms Handbook (Washington: Smithsonian, 1972), 1. Emphasis mine. 46  kinds of apples, sheep, cows, corn, et cetera could be located. For example, one “Johnny Appleseed” from the Worcester County Horticultural Society wrote, “we are still hunting for a few old varieties [of apples]…, such as Danvers Sweet, Fall Orange, Haskell, Minster, Jacobs Sweet, Murphy, and Moores Sweet.”115 Roger Moore of Philipsburg Manor, Upper Mills, wrote eagerly to Christensen for any “contacts or suggestions” for sources of “flax and corn seed approximating period types” for the working early eighteenth-century barn and grist mill. He inquired after additional information on ALHFAM—its goals and activities.116 Dr. P.W. Oglivie of the Minnesota Zoological Garden wrote to Schlebecker about the “turn-of-the-century Minnesota farm” that the Garden hoped to develop; they too asked for any relevant materials that could point the team in the right direction for acquiring stock.117   Schlebecker, Christiansen, Kelsey, and Rasmussen designed ALHFAM according to their experiences in large institutions and government departments, and the network they wove through ALHFAM included many like-minded parties. But the multiple groups of practitioners linked up by the organization did not always understand their projects in the same way. Multiple goals and ideals were managed within the association so that groups and individuals could work together for the purpose of re-creating America’s agricultural past, whatever that past signified. And indeed, it was not only museum professionals who became bound up in the ALHFAM network. Rasmussen later recalled what he understood as the staggering interdisciplinarity of ALHFAM’s membership, which included “geneticists, farm editors, crop and livestock                                                 115 “Things Needed,” Living Historical Farms Bulletin 1, no. 5 (1971): 3. 116 Roger F. Moore with Ernst Christensen, February 9, 1971, Old Sturbridge Village, ALHFAM Correspondence, 1971–72, series 2, box 4, folder 3. 117 P.W. Oglivie with John T. Schlebecker, March 1, 1971, Old Sturbridge Village, ALHFAM Correspondence,1971–72, series 2, box 4, folder 3. 47  researchers, economists, geographers, historians, folklorists, museum specialists, resource conservationists, and others.”118   What about the idea of living historical farms was so powerful for these different practitioners across the nation at this particular time? An exhaustive analysis of the hundreds of individuals and institutions that reached out to ALHFAM and vice versa would be outside the scope of this thesis, but a retrospective on the matter written by Schlebecker in 1976 provides an interesting point from which to speculate.119 Schlebecker reflected on the multiple reasons for involvement in living farms expressed by those with whom he spoke during his late 1960s research: Some proponents mainly wanted to preserve or restore an old house and only incidentally cared about the farm on which it stood … Many people sought to commemorate ancestors, or groups like the Shakers, but found that farming of the time would help show the lives of those being memorialized. Others sought to save an untamed piece of land, develop nature trails, and provide a reservation for wild creatures. Some thought they could advance these various causes best by also showing how farmers once lived in harmony with nature. … Some proponents wanted to escape hectic modern life by moving to a farm. Others wanted to advance special causes: the good old days, organic farming, pure food, fresh air, no pesticides, or the balance of nature. The nature conservationists did not, however, quite incline to experiencing nature “red in tooth and claw” as Paleolithic hunters saw it. Instead, these historical farmers hankered after a civilized but bucolic life. 120  Based on Schlebecker’s impressions, it is possible to discern some overlapping concerns between those interested in living historical farms in the late 60s and early 70s and those who went “back-to-the-land” in the same period. The invocation particularly of environmentalist                                                 118 Wayne Rasmussen, “History on the Farm,” Proceedings of the 1978–1980 ALHFAM Conferences and Annual Meetings 48 (1981): 2. 119 Indeed, the ALHFAM repository itself, from which this section draws heavily could be its own point of analysis—the network and dialogue between various institutions over the last quarter of the twentieth century and into the 21st is well documented through the ALHFAM proceedings online publications; see 120 John Schlebecker, “Eighteenth Century Living Historical Farms: A Search for Identity,” Proceedings of the 1975 ALHFAM Conference and Annual Meeting 3 (1976): 32. 48  concerns, “organic farming, pure food, fresh air, no pesticides,” or the “impulse to escape hectic modern life by moving to a farm” support the notion of a relationship between the counterculture and living historical farms. Folklorist Virginia Wolf Briscoe later made an explicit connection between living farms and the counterculture in another ALHFAM retrospective in 1976. She wrote that “this kind of activity was an outgrowth of essentially countercultural interests; work in museums of this kind was regarded in the same light as the development of a commune: it was an opportunity for another kind of celebration of unity and simplicity."121   Small-scale systems of production, self-sufficiency, and close communion with the “natural” world held broad appeal in the shifting cultural landscape of the 1970s, in which many felt society had become too large, complicated, and dehumanized. In 1970, Rasmussen described the broad appeal of the figure of the American farmer in the USDA Yearbook of Agriculture, Contours of Change: the farmer speaks for a way of life … Farmers today cherish traditional values … The cardinal points of the agrarian creed—independence, the belief that agriculture is man’s fundamental employment upon which other economic activities depend, and the conviction that farming is a natural life and therefore a good life—are held by many farm people, and, as a 1969 study shows, by many city dwellers as well. 122  These “traditional values” and the coding of farming as “natural” went together throughout various currents of the living farms movement. After all, these were to some extent the kind of arguments forwarded in such publications as Charles Reich’s The Greening of America (1970) and E.F Schumacher’s Small is Beautiful (1973). These authors argued for a more “human” scale                                                 121  Virginia Wolf Briscoe, "Living Historical Farms," Proceedings of the 1975 ALHFAM Conference and Annual Meeting 3 (1976), 25. 122 Wayne Rasmussen, “The Farmer Speaks for a Way of Life,” in Contours of Change, The Yearbook of Agriculture, 91st Congress, second session, house document no. 91-254 (Michigan: United States Department of Agriculture, 1970), 25–26. 49  of production and consumption that could be maneuvered through technological advances that, as Schumacher wrote, stood “halfway between traditional and modern technology.”123 Such things could be experienced equally through back-to-the-land communities, which often invoked frontier imagery as well as borrowed from historical farming methods, or on dedicated re-enactments of pre-industrial American farming.124 As Schlebecker intones in his description of the movement, those “nature conservationists” interested in historical farming were not looking to completely return to an untamed wilderness: “they hankered after a civilized but bucolic life.” Of course, in making this comment, accompanied by the argument that these figures “did not, however, quite incline to experiencing nature ‘red in tooth and claw’ as Paleolithic hunters saw it,” Schlebecker betrayed his own ideological commitments to a civilizational hierarchy, which positioned the American farmer as simultaneously natural and civilized. Schlebecker did not align himself with environmentalism or the counterculture; he positioned himself instead, as we have seen, as an objective researcher of historical facts that contributed to narratives of American exceptionalism and progress. Although this viewpoint may seem antithetical to the way that the counterculture and living farm practice began to align in the 1970s, the history and context of the counterculture itself reveals that it is not.  Historian Andrew Kirk has argued that it is a mistake to ascribe characteristics of nineteenth and early twentieth-century environmentalism to 1960s and 70s environmentalist advocacy.                                                 123  Kirk, “Appropriating Technology,” 380. See also Andrew Kirk, Counterculture Green: The Whole Earth Catalog and American Environmentalism (Lawrence: University of Kansas, 2007). 124 As Rysmza-Pawlowska notes, “the counterculture's interest in the past was pronounced and spanned a number of different referents and aesthetic forms, but it was organized around a sense of the American past as both authentic and instructive” (“Hippies Living History,” 49). In particular, the mythologized American frontier played a central role in the way that the counterculture understood and idealized the past. See Michael Allen, “‘I Just Want to be a Cosmic Cowboy’: Hippies, Cowboy Code, and the Culture of a Counterculture,” Western Historical Quarterly 36, no. 3 (Autumn 2005): 275–99. Turner also tracks the figure of the “Cowboy Nomad” through the pages of the WEC. See Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture, 90-99. 50  Sharp dichotomies between wilderness and human civilization carved by figures such as John Muir, Howard Zahniser, and Henry Thoreau had little bearing for mid- to late twentieth-century environmentalist ideas about nature and culture. Indeed, as Kirk writes, “Counterculture environmental politics embraced the seemingly contradictory notion that the antimodernist desire to return to a simpler time when humans were more closely tied to nature could be achieved through technological progress.”125 This ambivalent relationship between nature and technology—which echoes Alan Gordon’s comments on the central contradiction of mid-century living history museums, namely, that they relied on modern technologies to recreate the pre-modern past—worked itself through various subgroups and individuals of the counterculture movement as a “messy mélange of apparently incongruous philosophies and goals.”126 Nowhere, as Kirk argues, could the contradictions of 1960s and 70s environmentalism be seen more clearly than the WEC, with its jumbled pages of “primitive wood stoves and survivalist supplies for counterculture neo-Luddites” intermixed with “personal computers, geodesic domes, and oscilloscopes.”127 Kirk thus argues against any supposition of “ideological purity” within this movement, but also asserts the distinctive ways that counterculturalists envisioned themselves as ultimately in control of the increasingly complex matrix of nature/technology/society.    The network that emerged through ALHFAM also could not be understood to operate through any “ideological purity.” As Edward Hawes wrote about the living farm movement in 1976: This movement is very much a product of the sixties with its emphasis on understanding social and environmental realities, upon participation and innovative education, just as were the sit-ins, the free schools, the calls for participatory democracy and the community museum. Yet the movement                                                 125 Kirk, "Appropriating Technology,” 375. 126 Ibid. 127 Ibid. 51  is a very natural out-growth of the older and very Establishment historic house and open air museum movements. In this decade the movement might be regarded in part as a manifestation of the nostalgia impulse, and the return to various forms of nonpolitical, but still ideological conservatism.128  With great precision, Hawes thus summed up some of the conflicting ideological and historical underpinnings of the living farms movement, from the radical social activism of the 1960s, to the “ideological conservatism” associated with nostalgic renderings of American history. Rymsza-Pawlowska, who reads an incarnation of this report published a year prior, suggests that Hawes’ sentiments indicate the waning influence of the founding academics and statesmen within the ALFHAM network.129 However, I would suggest that the 1970s environmentalist and counterculture motivations for escaping to the historical farm did not undercut the research-based interests or modernism of Schlebecker, Rasmussen, and other ALHFAM founders, even though the underlying political attitudes to American mainstream culture held by these individuals diverged considerably.   For Schlebecker, these divergent attitudes were easily dismissed as “ulterior, or at least ancillary motives.”130 The real reason, or at least the “good reason,” he thought, to pursue living historical farms expressed by those with whom he spoke was “a deep desire to tell it like it was.”131 For Schlebecker, the living historical farms movement cohered around a commitment to authenticity.132 “In the shape of a farm,” he argued, proponents “could make a true and useful statement about the past.”133 But as we have seen, the contents of this “usefulness” and “truth”                                                 128 Hawes, “The Living Historical Farm in North America,” 41. 129 Rymsza-Pawlowska, “Hippies Living History,” 46. 130 Schlebecker, “Eighteenth Century Living Historical Farms,” 32. 131 Ibid. 132 Specifically, he writes that the “good” reason (historical truth) and the “real reason” (ancillary motive), should “ideally coincide.” He continues, “the farm should not serve as a weapon in anyone’s crusade, the farm should tell it like it was as best it can be told.” Ibid. 133 Ibid. 52  could differ greatly. While for Schlebecker the living farm offered a product that could be used to make authoritative claims about the great American past, others understood its value as a template for the future, or a number of other alternative projects.134 The processes of translation that allowed the farm re-creation to resonate politically, intellectually, and spiritually with different practitioners were certainly more heterogeneous than Schlebecker suggests, but his attempts to make sense of the multiplicity are telling. The idea that multiple practitioners from variant social worlds coalesced through “the shape of a farm,” for instance, suggests a sort of capaciousness or over-determination of the farm as a loaded symbol that could attend to multiple conflicting desires.   Yet the farm was also more than a symbol; it was a material-discursive network whose constitutive parts required careful maintenance. As much as ALHFAM functioned as a network of different professionals and enthusiasts, it also served to produce “whole systems” of living historical farms. In this respect it also mirrored the WEC, which as Turner writes, “was simultaneously a whole system in its own right and a tool for its readers to use in improving the whole systems that were their lives and the world in which they lived.”135 Making a healthy living historical farm involved, in all cases, the right animals and plants. These patterns radiated out and inward from the bodies of livestock, to the living farm, to American society.                                                    134 Current OSV Interpretation Director Tom Kelleher later called Schlebecker a “dead historian” and compared him to Ranke. Tom Kelleher, “President’s Message,” ALHFAM Bulletin 45, no. 4 (Winter 2016): 2. 135 Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture, 82. 53  Chapter 3: Livestock Darwin Kelsey and his agricultural history staff had been conducting vigorous research on New England rural life from 1790-1840 for a number of years already by 1970.136 Much like the social landscape of the 1970s, early nineteenth-century New England was, as they understood it, in the “throes of great change.”137 Their studies revealed that growth in urban and industrial centers in the US stimulated the beginning of a switch to commercial agriculture in the first half of the nineteenth century. While the average farmer still produced meat, grain, dairy, wool, and other commodities for private use, the tide was slowly turning as wealthy farmers began to produce specifically for local economies.138 Kelsey and his staff thought it was important to display such shifts in rural life as large-scale farmers in this period had begun to acquire specialized “improved” livestock with bodies designed to efficiently produce greater quantities of product.139 Eventually, OSV established a “progressive,” more wealthy farmstead, the Salem Towne Farm, on the other side of the site to juxtapose Pliny Freeman’s old world farming (intermixed with the odd “improvement” or new method) against more modern methods that had                                                 136 Kelsey noted a “great diversity” in agricultural practices not only among what have become the six different states of New England, which were in various stages of development from early to later settlement, but also between individual farmers within these communities. OSV represented a well-established rural community “well past the stage of early settlement.” Darwin Kelsey, “Outdoor Museums and Historical Agriculture,” Agricultural History 46, no. 1 (January 1972): 115. 137 Tom Allen, “An Introduction to Agriculture at Old Sturbridge Village Station Training Package” (1988), 1, reprinted in Agriculture Training Notebook, complied by Bruce Craven and Jochen Welsch, 1991, Old Sturbridge Village, 069.09 744 ST9AG v.1 c.1. 138 By the early nineteenth century, the landscape of small, traditional, self-sufficient farmsteads was gradually interrupted by larger farms run by “gentlemen farmers … for whom agriculture was something of an avocation,” Kelsey “Outdoor Museums,” 16. The interpretive goal of the Pliny Freeman Farm was increasingly to articulate how “the farmer of the 1830s belonged to a new world than had his father” due to the “increasingly potent influences of industrialization, urbanization and markets.” Allen, “An Introduction to Agriculture at Old Sturbridge Village,” 1. 139 Livestock and plant development were just as important, if not more so, than technical developments in the early-mid nineteenth century. For a detailed analysis of animal breeding and agricultural science in US in the nineteenth century, see Brendan Matz, “Crossing, Grading, and Keeping Pure: Animal Breeding and Exchange around 1860,” Endeavour 35, no. 1 (February 2011): 7–15. 54  begun to erode traditional New England self-sufficient farming. But on a farm like Pliny Freeman’s, the livestock would have been mostly what were historically referred to as “native” or “common” stock: animals descended from the original cattle, sheep, pigs, and fowl brought by seventeenth-century colonists.   Inspired by the scope and methodology of two studies of British stock (G. E. Fussell’s study of the size of English cattle in the eighteenth century, and Michel L. Ryder’s work on the evolution of sheep breeds in the British Isles), Kelsey imagined an ambitious program of research to determine the exact size, weight, conformation, colouring, and behaviour of colonial and early federal unimproved American livestock.140 Through paintings, tax records, agricultural periodicals, journals, diaries, and archeological analysis, the Research Department determined the presentations of these stock, both “native” and ‘improved.” The next step was to acquire, or make, such beasts. Older breeds in general were rare by the 1970s, and those that did exist had evolved or been “upbred” significantly over the preceding century and a half. OSV staff found themselves with the task of searching for “very unprogressive farmers with very unimproved livestock,” which could either be displayed as-is, or used as the genetic base for tweaking through a selective breeding program to approximate the animals described in historical sources.141 Through these efforts, staff and allied practitioners began to see the project as a form of environmental conservation. Kelsey and others later argued that the safeguarding of genetic                                                 140 Kelsey, “Outdoor Museums,” 119–120. In particular, Kelsey makes reference to G. E. Fussell, “The Size of English Cattle in the Eighteenth Century,” Agricultural History 3, no, 4 (October 1929): 160–81; Michel L. Ryder, “The History of Sheep Breeds in Britain,” The Agricultural History Review 12, no. 1 (1964): 1–12; and Michel L. Ryder, “The Evolution of Scottish Breeds of Sheep,” Scottish Studies: The Journal of the School of Scottish Studies 12, no. 2 (1968): 127–67. 141 Kelsey, “Outdoor Museums,” 119. 55  diversity through the breeding program (which promoted the rare breeds) could provide resources in a future that had, by the 1970s, become uncertain.   If the 1950s-70s was a pivotal moment in the formation of living history practice and American public historical consciousness, then where did the practice of backbreeding fit within this shifting cultural scene? As it became packaged as a project that attended to the potential collapse of industrial agriculture, backbreeding resonated with countercultural reactions to unsustainable, large-scale production. Certainly backbreeding then could also be mapped onto Rymsza-Pawlowska’s diagnosis of the new forms of embodied renderings of the past as an intimate and reachable entity that emerged in the 1970s. Yet, as we have seen, practitioners at OSV understood their project as a laboratory experiment, a shining example of the museum’s institutional authority through “pure research.” This attitude spoke more to 1950s museum practice and research culture. But it was not simply that these two contexts collided in backbreeding; rather, I argue that backbreeding emerged from the entanglement of post-war notions of authority, research, and nationalism with 1970s alternative living and engagement with one another and with the past. The animals at OSV were not only a crucial piece of the living historical farm, but they became metonymic for the machinery of the entire farm apparatus. Living farm practitioners had faith in the interconnectedness of the ALHFAM network and the subnetworks through which individual farms and projects were managed. As such, a number of aspirations for the future and for American society at large could be set into motion by the proper configurations of the animals.  These tensions emerged differently through the varying types of animals created at the museum. This chapter considers the production of both “improved” and “native” breeds in the early 1970s at OSV. I place particular emphasis, however, on the “native breeds,” which were 56  harder to reproduce and whose original appearance and conformation were more challenging for researchers to ascertain. Researchers promoted the re-creation of these pre-industrial types of farm animals as the more original contribution to the historical record, and the more experimental of the breeding projects. The hardy “native breeds” also remained important signifiers of authentic New Englandness and were thus better representatives for the multiple conflicting goals of living historical farms. Although the term “native” was widely used in the nineteenth century to distinguish unimproved local stock from improved, often imported stock, OSV staff only referred to the cattle and sheep as “native” (pre-industrial pigs and fowl were more often referred to as “common” types). In what follows, I use cattle and sheep as a guide to unpack the different ideologies that circulated within the practice of backbreeding at the living history museum. In other words, in this chapter I trace how the practice of backbreeding could satisfy varying, and often conflicting, ideological goals.   On the one hand, debates over the quality of “native” or “improved” stock were often couched in nationalism and in a sense of European-descended settler American identity. The term “New England native” in livestock was practically synonymous with the red Devon-descended cattle preferred by New England farmers. Indeed, in the nineteenth century, New England farmers were reluctant to purchase improved cattle from Europe, as they understood their own identities through the cattle beside whom they were used to labouring. Proponents of backbreeding the “New England native” expressed the benefits of the “breed” in terms that echoed sentiments of American exceptionalism that had informed the museum’s operation since the late 1940s. Described as thrifty, hardy, robust, and intelligent, “native cattle” were the embodiment of the “New England values” that Wells and his successors had understood to be the 57  museum’s mission to perpetuate. And it was through the living farm re-enactment network that these values could become reified and channeled into the present.   However, tracing the story of the “native sheep” at OSV opens a wider lens on the multi-institutional networks that worked to sustain, both ideologically and materially, the breeding program. The “native sheep” were less easy to wrangle into the OSV farm network than the cattle. While researchers could find Devon-descended cattle in small flocks across rural New England that could provide the genetic base for their breeding program, sheep required Kelsey and his team to head across Europe and Australia to find the right types, as the breeds available in the US refused the team their desired phenotypic results. As they travelled, the team collected new ideas about the meanings of the backbreeding program, including a sense of ecological protection gained from breed conservation efforts well underway in Britain around the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST).142 Some of Kelsey’s staff later used the RBST as a model for the American equivalent, the American Minor Breeds Conservancy (AMBC), which has remained a popular and well-funded grassroots organization for the protection of “heritage” livestock breeds.143 The RBST and AMBC were founded in a direct attempt to reject postwar state food production programs that promoted the over-homogenization of livestock for super-production in mass industrial farms.144 Yet this rejection of postwar production through heritage livestock breeding at OSV still relied on the 1950s research and laboratory ethos as Village researchers embraced mainstream forms of scientific authority and technological practice to reproduce these                                                 142 See the RBST website for more info: 143 The AMBC, now known as The Livestock Conservancy, has recently received major endorsements from figures such as Temple Grandin; see 144 Kendall, “The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.” 58  pre-industrial animals. Along with the reproduction of these animals came a host of ideas about American identity and history that resonated with mainstream Cold War-style nationalism.  3.1 “Purebreds” and “Native Breeds”: A Genealogy of the New England Ruby  As they became actors themselves within the living historical farms network, livestock had to do different kinds of work—symbolic, cultural, physical, and otherwise—to ensure the literal and ideological functioning of the farm re-enactment. In doing so, they had to embody the fraught semiotics of the “native breed” to retain meaning as a distinct type that could be reliably re-produced by systematic selective breeding experiments. That is, they had to retain coherence as both “native” and a “breed,” inheriting something of the intense debates over the purity of unimproved stock that had coloured the pages of agricultural presses in the nineteenth century. Whereas “native” had traditionally referred to the varieties of stock descended from different regions in Britain—Norfolk, Sussex, Devonshire—shaped by local environments and farmers’ whims, the term took on a new resonance in the nineteenth century as purebreeding and its emphasis on purity as a metric for quality became de rigueur. The label “native,” with its connotations of autochthony and naturalness, was refashioned by enthusiasts of the older type of livestock to craft a comparable discourse of purity. Accusations of mixedness and breed impurity—“mongrelization”—posed the most significant challenges to the position of the “native breeds.” Enthusiasts had to argue for the status of their favoured stock as authentic, pure, and singular breeds.145                                                  145 Rebecca J. H. Woods, The Herds Shot Round the World: Native Breeds and the British Empire, 1800–1900 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2017), 100. 59   As historian Rebecca Woods has noted, the controversy over “native” Hereford and “improved” Shorthorn cattle was “perhaps the most intense bovine rivalry of the nineteenth century.”146 Originally developed by British agricultural improvers Robert and Charles Collings in the 1790s, Shorthorns became the first types of livestock coded as “purebred” when, in 1800, Thomas Bates of Northumberland blended the inbreeding method of improver Thomas Bakewell with the pedigree discourse of thoroughbred horse breeding. Nineteenth-century purebreeding post-Bates thus linked purity with quality more explicitly than had been done by eighteenth-century Bakewellian breeders.147 Compared with the highly managed and controlled presentation of the purebred Shorthorn, local beefing stock like the Hereford seemed rustic and uncultivated. But the Hereford had many proponents eager to prove the advantages of a beloved traditional food source, companion, worker, and feature of an idyllic landscape. Enthusiasts explained that Hereford temperament (gentle and hardy) had been cultivated through a combination of, on the one hand, farmer selection for individuals who were accommodating as labourers, and, on the other, natural selection, for stock with weather and terrain-resilient constitutions. Compared to the “pampered Shorthorn,” who needed extra feed to produce extra flesh and milk, the Hereford was low maintenance, reliable, and more naturally in-tune with the needs of the farmer.                                                  146Ibid, 80. 147 By the mid-late eighteenth century, British agricultural improvers became interested in the market potential and Enlightenment empiricist cachet that might be gained through the improvement of farm animals for agricultural production via selective breeding. Foremost among these attempts were the methods and new breeds developed by Robert Bakewell of Dishley. Taking a course of rigorous inbreeding to ensure “fixity” of desired type, and conducting extensive quantitative progeny tests to guarantee the results, Bakewell developed new “breeds” of cattle and sheep. Such efforts contributed to shaping the category of breed itself as a marker of singular reproducible identity. Bates introduced the notion of a “purebred” in livestock with the establishment of the first public herd book in 1822 that served as evidence for the purity of the animals’ genealogy. Brendan Matz, “Crafting Heredity: The Art and Science of Livestock Breeding in the United States and Germany, 1860–1914” (PhD Diss., Yale University, 2011), 63; Derry, Masterminding Nature, 17-32. 60   In a breeding paradigm that prized purity and categorical stability as barometers for quality, one of the more robust strategies for the continued raising and market distribution of Hereford, as well as other unimproved local sheep, pigs, and fowl, was the idiom of autochthony. The label “native” thus, as Woods notes, became re-signified to conjure an ancient genealogy that ran so deep as to be, perhaps, uncapturable in public herd books and pedigree records of the sort that guaranteed the lineage of pure-breds. Claiming that the Herefords were an “aboriginal race of cattle indigenous to the soil” was to naturalize relationships between and intimately link livestock to “a people” and their land.148 The most powerful threats to the singularity of native breeds came from accusations of mixedness, which was also the concern that drove improvers and purebreeders to fix phenotypes in order to prevent any “hodge podges” of colour or conformation variation within a supposedly singular breed.149 Detractors dismissed Hereford cattle as amalgamations of “true” breeds, such as the Devon, and other “bastard” or “illegitimate” wanderers from other regions.150 American stockbreeder G.T. Turner summed up such anxieties when he remarked that to use breeding stock of mixed or unknown parentage was to “produce nothing better than mongrels.”151 As British stock proliferated across an equally                                                 148 Thomas Duckham, “A Lecture on the History, Progress, and Comparative Merits of the Hereford Breed of Cattle,” in Eyton’s Herd Book of Hereford Cattle, Vol 6, 3-32, 1868, cited in Woods, The Herds Shot Round the World, 89. What followed from this discourse was an intense and widespread fascination with what could possibly be the original British breed. Most agreed that it was the “wild white cattle” found on aristocratic estates. Ideas about original cattle permeated elsewhere in Europe, where they were important to national stories about the volk blood and soil. On the continuation of these efforts to find an original European cow by Nazis in the early twentieth-century and environmentalists in the late twentieth-and early twenty-first, see Jamie Lorimer and Clemens Driessen, “Bovine Biopolitics and the Promise of Monsters in the Rewilding of Heck Cattle” Geoforum 48, no. 8 (August 2013): 249–59. For more on the intersections of fascism with animal breeding and agricultural science, see Tiago Saraiva, Fascist Pigs: Technoscientific Organisms and the History of Fascism (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2016). 149Woods, The Herds Shot Round the World, 89. 150 Ibid. 151 Quoted in “Cattle of the Various Breeds as Beef Producers,” Farmers Magazine, 55 (February 1879), cited in Woods, The Herds Shot Round the World, 100. As livestock improver and veterinarian William Youatt wrote, “each county has its own mongrel breed, often difficult to be described and not to be traced” (Youatt, Cattle, 9, cited in 61  expanding nineteenth-century British Empire, the mixing of livestock type became more closely associated with the dilution of Britishness and British blood.152 Unfettered interbreeding in foreign environments, as Woods writes, was a “matter of interest and source of worry precisely because it potentially prefigured the racial degeneration of human colonists.”153 More than other seventeenth and eighteenth century “original” American stock, the red cattle “of Devonshire extraction” so beloved of New England farmers came to operate as proxies for New England farmers and their values. For instance, echoing the exact cadence and volume of the Hereford/Shorthorn controversy, an inveterate battle between Timothy Pickering, a New England “native cattle” enthusiast, and John Hare Powel, a Shorthorn breeder, raged in the pages of “American Farmer” and “New England Farmer” throughout 1825.154 Pickering argued that “a fine breed of cattle, peculiarly adapted to the combined objects of the farmers of Massachusetts, and indeed all of New England,” might be refined of the “native breed” of New England cattle with “no other improvements than can be obtained by a careful selection and judicious attention to the origin and management of her progeny.”155 This could be done, in other words, without “the aid of foreign breeds.”156 This position appeared to greatly provoke Powel, who prickled,                                                 Woods, 89). And each breed that supposedly comprised part of the lineage of the animal in question was attacked elsewhere for being a mix of different breeds, and so on.  152 Livestock served as figurative proxies for the human colonists, just as they materially colonized local indigenous ecosystems. See Woods, The Herds Shot Round the World, 165-177 for a description of the process of making distinctly New Zealand “native sheep”: the results of merino Longwool crosses, which had then been aggressively inbred to fix desired traits adapted for New Zealand environments, but retaining British features and ancestry as well as catering to British taste in mutton and fleece quantity/quality. These sheep were central to rhetorical and physical colonization of New Zealand; they “supported colonists’ claims to foreign lands in the face of existing societies with obvious prior claim” thus operating as “proxies for British people” (15). 153 Ibid, 40. 154 Kristina Bielenberg, “New England Cattle: Red ‘Natives’ of the Devonshire Extraction,” History of American Milking Devon, 155 Timothy Pickering, “On Improving the Native Breed of the New England Cattle II,” American Farmer 7, no. 11 (June 5, 1825): 81. 156 Ibid. 62  “Col. Pickering has given the spur to my hobby,” and continued to engage in a series of increasingly heated arguments with Pickering over the merits of purebred improvement in subsequent publications.157 Pickering’s stance was usually to defend the preferences of “mere farmers” who could not afford the high prices of the imported English breeds for which Powel so vociferously advocated. Pickering referred to the New England cattle of Devonshire extraction (pre-existing the 1817 importation of improved English Devons) as “our native race.”158 He took great offense to what he saw as Powel’s suggestion that the cattle of Massachusetts were not “of the Devon breed,” and were rather mixed with Lancaster, Leicester, and Hereford, among others. Tellingly, Pickering conceded that “some of the other breeds were early introduced by our ancestors; some Herefords unquestionably.”159 If mixing had occurred, in other words, it was done by “ancestors” a long time ago, and only with other ancient British breeds directly descended from the original British breed of legend (Devon, Hereford, and Sussex occupied this special place in British stock mythology). Powel was quick to point out Pickering’s contradiction of his own point, noting that “in the same page” in which he denies the hybridity of the native cattle, “he confirms my assertion that Hereford blood can be traced.”160                                                  157 John Hare Powel, “Reply To Col. Pickering—On Native Cattle,” The American Farmer 7, no. 10 (May 27, 1825): 74. 158 To livestock breeders like Pickering and Powel, “race” meant something rather different from “breed.” This is how the distinction is explained in the first American Devon Herd Book of 1863: “The distinction between a ‘breed’ and ‘race,’ Goodale defines as follows: “By breeds are understood such varieties as were originally produced by a cross or mixture, and subsequently established by selecting for breeding purposes only the best specimens, and rejecting all others. In process of time deviations become less frequent, and greater uniformity is secured, and this is in proportion to the time which elapses and the skill employed in selecting. Races are varieties molded to their peculiar type by natural causes, with no interference of man, and no intermixture of other varieties; that have continued substantially the same, for a period beyond which the memory and knowledge of man does not reach. Such are the North Devon Cattle.” Horace Mills Sessions, American Devon Herd Book, Volume 1 (Hartford: Williams, Wiley, and Waterman, 1863), 2.  159 Pickering, “On Improving the Native Breed of the New England Cattle II,” 81. 160 John Hare Powel, “Reply to Col. Pickering on Native Cattle, &c.—No. 2.” New England Farmer 7, no. 14 (July 3, 1825): 105. Emphasis theirs. Powel also adds that while he does not deny that the native cattle have blood from that first Devonshire bull and heifer, the particular cows of which Pickering asserts “few can be found of superior 63  These debates surrounding “native” cattle, then, not only tell of the problems of miscegenation and coherence that circulated throughout understandings of the “native breed,” but also articulate how these debates of purity could be easily appropriated by mid-twentieth-century museum practitioners. To re-create the New England native cattle at OSV was to make a similar argument about the coherence of the breed, and its metonymic relationship with not just the people of New England, but also for American people in general.161 For instance, a “Guide to Living Antiques” included in OSV’s 1991 Agricultural Training Manual (reprinted from 1986) noted the analogy between American citizen and the “native stock” represented by the animals at the Pliny Freeman Farm display: These natives were not indigenous to North America. But were brought here by the early New England settlers. Just as the American population today is the result of a melting pot of people from throughout the world, so, too, were the livestock of the early nineteenth century the result of importations of livestock breed types from various parts of England and Europe.162  It is important here to heed Woods’ reminder that “the story of native British breeds” can never “be fully divorced from questions governing human identity, ethnicity, and national or imperial belonging.”163 While the author of Training Manual conceded that the American melting pot                                                 character,” are certainly “not of Devon blood.” He continues in subsequent correspondence to denigrate the Devon breed as a poor milker and ultimately inferior type, even those imported from England, in comparison with the Shorthorn. Powel also found the appellation “native” to be suspect: “I apprehended the acceptation of the term, native, required some definition. We have been told of the superiority of the New England cattle, processed from the excellence of the Devon stock traced to the embarkation of our ancestors at Plymouth, England” (ibid).  161 Cattle have always held a privileged position in regard to their relative proximity with farmers. As Virginia Anderson has noted her influential study of settler/indigenous/livestock relations in seventeenth century New England and the Chesapeake, farmers only named their cattle and family dairy cows and did not bother to name “pigs, goats, or sheep, mainly because they were considered lesser creatures and their contact with owners was more intermittent.” English settlers believed in the civilizing qualities of close communion with cows, and upheld the notion that the cow could domesticate its owner. See Virginia DeJohn Anderson, Creatures of Empire: How Domestic Animals Transformed Early America (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), 91. 162 “Guide to Living Antiques at Old Sturbridge Village” (unpublished training document, Old Sturbridge Village, 1986), reprinted in Agriculture Training Notebook, complied by Bruce Craven and Jochen Welsch, 1991, Old Sturbridge Village, 069.09 744 ST9AG v.1 c.1. 163 Woods, Herds Shot Round the World, 15. 64  involved admixtures from “throughout the world,” it is crucial to note that the livestock proxies for American historical subjectivity and identity are transplanted English colonists first and foremost, with some mixing of other European blood. The New England cattle, like ideal American subjects, were hardy, industrious, intelligent, thrifty, and, crucially, of mixed European descent—yet no longer European.   The method of backbreeding cattle at OSV mirrored and ultimately supported this argument. The processes of selection to reproduce the look of native cattle at OSV took the American Devon stock still extant in New England as representative of a pure Devonness that could be used as a “base” into which to mix other breeds. Although some variation was necessary to re-create a fully accurate representation, researchers intended that most of the stock be red in color, in keeping with the preferences of nineteenth-century Massachusetts farmers.164 Crossbreeding attempts anticipated a specific outcome. Andy Baker described how the American Devon stock would help the museum “recreate the mongrel or red cattle of New England,” which he understood through two metrics: 1) function/behavior: “hardy dual-purpose, high butter fat content cattle which were good draft animals as well,” which was acquired through the American Devon, and 2) cattle with “a variety of color combinations which historical research indicates were brindle, lined back, whiteface and occasionally even yellow, white or black,” which was                                                 164 Farm director Andrew Baker described the cattle breeding program in 1989 for training new agricultural staff thus: “The common cattle were a mongrel type, a mixture of bloodlines imported in the 17th and 18th century. Consequently, many different colors and combinations of colors were visible in New England barn yards: red, brown, yellow, white, black, white-faced, line-backed, and brindle. Red cattle predominated in most New England herds, and farmers generally preferred that strain for oxen. At OSV our goal is to recreate the appearance of 19th century cattle. We use the red, middle-horned Devon as a base stock, but mix it up with other breeds. Our oxen, therefore, look like the “native” red cattle that appeared on most New England farms throughout the 18th and 19th Century.” Andrew Baker, “Oxen in 19th century New England,” Research Department, Old Sturbridge Village Unpublished, 1989, reprinted in “Agricultural Training Notebook Volume II,” compiled by Bruce Craven and Jochen Welsch, 1991, Old Sturbridge Village, 069.09 744 ST9AG v.1 c.1. 65  contributed by the careful crossing of other breeds present in the historical record. 165 The physical presentation of the cattle was a studied and controlled haphazardness; limits had to be placed on the variation so that the cattle displayed were mostly of a solid dark burgundy red coat, but had the appropriate kinds of markings produced by historical couplings of animals.166    Figure 2: Cattle and calves at the Pliny Freeman Farm, OSV Massachusetts. These are most likely American Devons. OSV no longer attempts to, in their words, deliberately "mongrelize" their stock.  Photograph by Elspeth Gow, August 2018.   But what kinds of animals were being created at OSV via these systematic crossbreeding efforts? Indeed, the staff who created the animals could not agree on a firm answer. The process of making new breeds, in the loosest sense of the identifier “breed,” involves crossing pre-existing types to reproduce certain features. Inbreeding, the mating of related individuals, is then                                                 165 Andrew Baker, “Minor Breeds on Site: Old Sturbridge Village,” AMBC News 2, no. 2 (1984): 3. 166 To produce the linebacked variety of native cattle, select animals with this marking were chosen from Dave Warden’s stock to mix with the Devons at OSV. 66  used to “fix” the characteristic (eliminate excessive variability) once a suitable cross has been determined. The breeder’s creed, according to Margaret Derry, is indeed “crossbreeding to mold type and inbreeding to fix type.”167 The hogs and chickens at the site were created explicitly as “mongrels”; they were more or less arbitrarily bred to produce random results, and, most importantly, were never referred to (historically or in 1970s OSV documents) as “native breeds.” The New England “red natives of Devonshire extraction” posed a more complicated problem in that they were surrounded, as we have seen, by a thicker discourse of authenticity and American exceptionalism rooted in a shared colonial history. An early document describing the “regressive breeding” program at the Village referred to the re-created cattle as a breed: “presently, we have one heifer calf of the ‘Native’ breed and more will be born this year.”168 Andrew Baker later expressed the purity of native sheep Pliny Freeman: “the freeman flock … creates the look of native sheep. Although it is highly possible that Freeman could have some mixed blood sheep we keep them as pure ‘natives’ for interpretive purposes.”169 This discourse of authenticity—or wholeness—was necessary to maintain the breeding program. Ironically, attempts to manage the purity of the backbred livestock relied upon and further entrenched their hybridity—their biological, ideological, and ontological mixedness.   For practitioners like Schlebecker or others operating still within the Smithsonian’s propaganda programs of the 1950s, “native cattle” could easily tell the story of the triumphalist American nation. And the impressive abilities of cutting-edge historical research informed by                                                 167 Derry, Masterminding Nature, 34. 168 Old Sturbridge Village Department of Historical Agriculture, Regressive Breeding Program (unpublished training manual, Old Sturbridge Village, March 1972). 169 Andrew Baker, “Sheep” (unpublished training document, 1989), in Agricultural Training Manual V II (unpublished training manual, Old Sturbridge Village, 1991). Emphasis mine. 67  scientific methodologies involved in the re-creation of these animals at OSV also contributed to this mythos of national achievement. But not all practitioners understood the program in these terms. Other practitioners were devoted to backbreeding as a means of environmental conservation with local and global benefits. These ordinary, pre-industrial livestock could also resonate with burgeoning historiographical interest in everyday life and working-class people that emerged around New Social History in the 1960s and 70s – a reaction against the consensus history that informed nationalist academic and public history narratives in the 1950s. Backbreeding could accommodate all of these contradictory assumptions and goals precisely because of the way practitioners understood the animals to figure into what they understood as organic networks of knowledge production.  3.2 Networks of “Native Sheep” The multiple meanings and identities of the backbred animals were negotiated and reassigned through the interaction of historical researchers, museum professionals at OSV and other living historical farms, animal breeding scientists, farm staff at OSV and farmers at allied sites, the public, and the animals themselves. The successful signification of the animals’ historical subjectivities (i.e. as reasonable and recognizable referents of the native breeds) depended on the cooperation of these multiple actors and discourses, their successful “enrollment,” to borrow the phrase from Bruno Latour and Michel Callon (among others), into the ALHFAM and OSV networks.170 Like the scallops in Callon’s well-known study of the network of scientists,                                                 170 Michel Callon, “Some Elements of a Sociology of Translation: Domestication of the Scallops and the Fishermen of St Brieuc Bay,” The Sociological Review 32, no. 1 (May 1984): 196-233. See also Latour, Science in Action. 68  fishermen, and scallops at St. Brieuc Bay, the backbred animals became actors as they were enfolded into the project of living historical farm research. Callon’s study traces the efforts of scientists in the 1970s to cultivate scallops in order to produce more seafood. In this network, the formulation of “scientific knowledge” was driven by three main researchers who produced distinct groups of actors: the scallops, the fishermen, and their scientific colleagues.171 The motivations and identities of these actors would need to be identified, and links established between them to secure a common goal. For the scallops to be properly “enrolled,” a process that, as Callon explains “designates the device by which a set of interrelated roles is defined and attributed to actors who accept them,” they needed to be willing to cooperate – to behave in such a way as to yield results.172 So too did the cattle, sheep, and other barnyard animals at OSV need to be willing to “look and act” like older breeds as they were assigned this role within the network by Kelsey and his cohort.  Most often the animals at OSV were willing to cooperate with farm and research staff who required the animals to be farm workers, historical performers, and kinds of laboratory specimens. Most of the selected stock were happy enough to live and breed, so long as the breed was suited for the kind of life offered at Freeman’s, which often involved more labour than life on a modern farm. And, as Jonathan Kuester of Volkening Heritage Farm later noted, breeds of livestock accustomed to an active life who were not engaged in the kind of labour and activity required to maintain a full-scale farming operation “become lackadaisical and ill-tempered due to SLD (sedentary livestock disorder).”173 Kuester urged the ALHFAM community in 1989 to keep                                                 171 Callon, “Some Elements of a Sociology of Translation,” 199. 172 Callon, “Some Elements of a Sociology of Translation,” 211. 173 Jonathan D. Kuester, “Livestock Need Living History, Too,” Midwest Open Air Museums Coordinating Council Magazine 27, no. 2 (2006): 12. 69  livestock as more than set dressings; he stressed that there is “a direct connection between the behaviour of the animal and its programmatic impact.”174 In short, a great amount of time and resources were involved in maintaining stock with temperaments to befit an adjusted and active member of a farm. Livestock were demanding actors in the living farm whose interests were to be carefully managed and attended to for maximum visitor engagement and farm productivity.   Staff went to great lengths to acquire sheep whose bodies and temperaments could maximize the farm’s “programmatic impact.” Prior to 1972, the Village had kept Dorset sheep for their display, but as an article in the Rural Visitor noted: “The Dorset sheep at the Freeman Farm—although they contain some desirable characteristics—are a modern breed which produces too much wool for early nineteenth century standards. The common sheep of the early 1800s would yield less than two pounds of wool.”175 According to Village research, the sheep kept by eighteenth-century Massachusetts farmers “were called ‘natives’ and appeared to have been of two different types. In the eastern part of the state they were whitefaced, probably descended from the old English Wiltshire and Romney sheep.”176 Historical documents suggested that these sheep were “slow maturing, weighing from 12 to 15 pounds per quarter with a fleece weight of from two to four pounds of medium-length coarse wool.”177 Researchers determined a solution with the “nearly fleeceless Wiltshire.”178 Kelsey at his team first encountered the Wiltshire on their great sheep tour across the UK and parts of Europe in 1972. Kelsey found, however, that                                                 174 Ibid, 10. Donald Bixby points out that by the mid 1900s, “oxen were an anachronism except in logging with Cracker Cattle in Southwest Florida, and Devons and Durhams in New England.” He also notes that their popularity, as of 1989, had grown as “the energy crunch and environmental concerns have made them more attractive” Donald Bixby, “Livestock Breeds in Recent History: 1940s to the Present,” Proceedings of the 1989 ALHFAM Conference and Annual Meeting 12 (1991): 201. 175 “Village ‘Unimproves’ Its Animals,” Rural Visitor 15, no. 3 (1973): 10. 176 Baker, “Agricultural Notebook VII,” 40. 177 Ibid. 178 Ibid, 41. 70  rigid disease control programs mandated by the US stipulated that imported Wiltshires from the UK would be subject to a quarantine period lasting to the third generation of the offspring, which would not do for the breeding program. Horned Wiltshires were instead located at a private farm in Lilydale, Australia.179 From this stock, OSV purchased a ram and two ewes who were flown to Boston. They were greeted by a welcoming party at Boston Logan airport, including two farm staff members who, rather inexplicably, dressed in period costume to greet the creatures, as if initiating the “enrollment” of the sheep as actors within the historical farm re-enactment.                                                   179 It is not clear in available documentation how, exactly, researchers came to be aware of this small herd in Australia. 71   Figure 3: Costumed farm interpreters receive Wiltshire sheep at Boston Logan Airport, 1972. Source: “The Odyssey of Three Sheep: From Australia to OSV," Rural Visitor 15 no. 4 (Fall 1972), 3.    The sheep were then transported to the “Charlton farm,” a private, off-site, modern farm. Only their progeny were to be displayed at the Village; the sheep greeted by Englund and Wheeler were for back-of-house breeding and research purposes only.180 Dorsets and Wiltshires were to be crossbred experimentally at the Charlton farm in the hopes that some of the progeny                                                 180 Breeding was not the only research methodology used to re-create the sheep. Zooarcheologist Joanne Bowen, who was at the time interning at OSV, compared skeletal remains with the reproduced animals at OSV to determine the accuracy of the backbreeding attempts and Tina Bielenburg analyzed wool samples from the sheep to compare with historical textiles. Hawes, “The Living Historical Farm in North America,” 41. Bowen later established a laboratory at Colonial Williamsburg where she conducted research on animal remains. See Joanne Bowen, “To Market, to Market: Animal Husbandry in New England,” Historical Archaeology 32, no. 3 (1998): 137-152; and “Probate Inventories: An Evaluation from the Perspective of Zooarcheology and Agricultural History at Mott Farm,” Historical Archeology 9 (1975): 11-25. 72  of the cross would “provide the regressive breeding program with two important characteristics—little fleece and perpetual horns.”181 To “fix” these particular characteristics would almost certainly require inbreeding. The backbreeding process thus completed the crossbreeding-inbreeding cycle, which, as we have seen with the history of “purebreeding” creates new breeds that can potentially no longer be considered “mongrels.” All they would lack is the official pedigree book to transform them discursively into breeds. Like the cattle at OSV, sheep walked the genetic line between breed and not-breed more closely than the mixed chickens and pigs on site. The basic methods of creating a new breed used since Bakewell (crossbreeding then inbreeding) were known to staff at OSV, as evidenced in documents held at the OSV Research Library, which provide a list of contemporary animal science and breeding articles and monographs, most of them to do with sheep breeding.182  The correspondence between John Mott and animal breeding scientist and sheep specialist Anthony Borton of the College of Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, further evidences OSV’s interest in controlling the results of the breeding program through contemporary scientific standards. Borton wrote to Mott in 1972: I am most impressed with the research that you are putting into the development of the historic farm at Old Sturbridge Village. I would be happy to help you in any way possible to set up a regressive breeding program. This is somewhat unique to us as we are trying to go the other way, but I think that we would be able to apply some of our principles in reverse and help you. In fact, it seems that inbreeding might be one way to fix some of the characters that you are seeking.183 The two organized a time for later that spring for Borton to visit the Village, and Borton noted that he would be “visiting with a number of animal scientists across the country” and would                                                 181 “Village ‘Unimproves’ Its Animals,” 10. 182 The “Regressive Breeding” folder in the Old Sturbridge Village Research Library contains a number of small, handwritten notes that contain a variety of citations to various scientific and agricultural journals. Regressive Breeding folder, John Mott box, Old Sturbridge Village. 183 Anthony Borton to John Mott, April 25, 1972, in “Regressive Breeding” folder, John Mott box, Old Sturbridge Village 73  possibly “be able to get a line on some additional sheep stocks to help in the breeding program.” Here we see breeding scientists, like the Australian sheep, “enrolled” into the network instigated by Mott, Kelsey, and Warden, whose ultimate goal was to determine/confirm the appearance and behavior of the New England natives by experimental breeding. Before reaching out to members of the scientific community, Kelsey had been anxious about whether animal breeding or agricultural scientists would find the backbreeding project of sufficient scientific interest to be successfully “enrolled” in the program. Kelsey expressed this concern in an ALHFAM bulletin:  In general, proper livestock for historical museum farms have been viewed as important details in a much larger historical story. But the major interest we should note has been historical; no particular enthusiasm seems to have surfaced among the economic and scientific portions of the agricultural community in the United States.184  Interest in rare breeds in the United States, Kelsey wrote, had so far only captivated the attention of “those associated with outdoor history museums or the new living historical farm movement.”185 Kelsey was inspired by rare breed conservation efforts he had encountered in Britain, where, he thought, “the major impetus for preservation has come instead from within the scientific community.”186 He continued, “in the judgement of many agricultural researchers in Britain, the essential reasons for saving relatively unimproved livestock are economic and scientific.”187 Kelsey referred here primarily to the efforts of those involved in Britain’s RBST. Founded in 1973 by various agricultural enthusiasts, farmers, and hobbyists, the RBST aimed to conserve “heritage” breeds of livestock endangered by extinction. Postwar “productivist”                                                 184 Darwin Kelsey, “Why Preserve Declining Breeds of Livestock?,” Living Historical Farms Bulletin 1, no. 3 (May 1971): 3. 185 Ibid. 186 Ibid. 187 Ibid. Kelsey refers here to the efforts of those involved in the RBST; to support this point about economic and scientific interest in Britain, Kelsey, in various publications, cites Michel L. Ryder, “Why Preserve Declining Breeds of Livestock?,” Animal Breeding Research Organization Report (January 1970): 1–26. 74  programs ushered in by the 1947 Agricultural Act meant that certain breeds were favoured over others by state mandate. As social geographers Nicholas Evans and Richard Yarwood have noted, these policies effectively meant the replacement of “systems founded on ‘local’ knowledge” with “a universal and highly transmissible ‘scientific’ knowledge.”188 It was this state-mandated “scientific knowledge” based on “political impetus” that the founders of the RBST rallied against.  It is striking, then, that Kelsey still characterized British interest in rare breeds as “economic and scientific” and hoped to frame his own backbreeding and rare breeds projects within such terms. To the extent that the RBST or OSV’s backbreeding program were environmentalist reactions against postwar governmentality and culture, they both understood their conservation efforts through technological and scientific means. The RBST, even as it sought to replace state mandated scientific livestock breeding for maximum production with small-scale local knowledge and breeds, relied on genetic science and frozen gene pool reserves to conserve these animals and lifeways. Kelsey saw it as the task of the backbreeders at OSV to couch their program within similar terms to attract the attention of such experts who could assist in the program. He wrote that many of these breeds “carry gene characters which some day may be an economic boon.”189 The higher purpose of keeping and reproducing rare breeds at living history farms would serve the interests of agricultural and animal breeding scientists looking to preserve genetic resources as “objects of study to provide basic knowledge on topics such as physiology, nutrition, and adaptation.”190 The backbred animals remained “objects of study”: kinds of                                                 188 Nicholas Evans and Richard Yarwood, “The Politicization of Livestock: Rare Breeds and Countryside Conservation,” Sociologia Ruralis 40, no. 2 (2000): 230. 189 Kelsey, “Why Preserve Declining Breeds of Livestock?,” 3. 190 Ibid. 75  experimental specimens for careful observation and study in the living history laboratory. Kelsey noted that, in Britain, the Animal Breeding Research Organization maintained a large gene bank for such experiments, and the Royal Agricultural Society of England at the National Agricultural Centre had similarly maintained a growing collection of “rare breeds.” Kelsey posited that preserving such breeds at living museums could contribute to similar scientific projects in the US. Practitioners on living farms would likely “keep their own identity and capabilities in perspective” and “probably view their primary interest in old breeds of livestock as historical,” but by preserving stock even in a small scale, they could “serve […] the future scientific and economic interests of agriculture.”191 The relationship would then be reciprocal. He concluded: “many institutions carrying out basic research on agricultural livestock have already given valuable assistance to historical farm museums. Their support could no doubt be increased if the scientific and economic value of preserving ‘improved’ breeds were more clearly recognized.”192 Promoting this knowledge would be how Kelsey, Mott, and Warden could then enroll scientists like Borton to their cause.   One strategy for doing so was to establish a national rare breeds preservation agency of the sort that existed in Britain, which was later done in 1977 with the establishment of The American Minor Breed Conservancy (AMBC), explicitly modelled after the RBST.193 The Conservancy was begun as a way to protect the American Milking Devon that OSV staff had located across                                                 191 Ibid, 4. 192  Ibid. 193 See Evans and Yarwood, “The Politicization of Livestock,” for an example of an actor-network-theory analysis of the RBST that unpacks the similarly multidisciplinary and multi-institutional association. See also Woods, Herds Shot Round the World, chapter 5 for an analysis of the xenophobic discourses baked into the RBST, the members of which took offence to stock from the colonies travelling back to Britain and infecting their pure British stock. 76  England, and the American Merino, which they had found traces of in Vermont.194 Ridgeway Shinn spearheaded the project, which brought together “farmers and agricultural scientists” concerned about the “loss of genetic variation and flexibility” that accompanied the declining status of old breeds.195 As the AMBC’s North American Livestock Census of 1985 noted, farmers across the nation who kept traditional breeds were being encouraged by USDA extension agents “primarily concerned with the improvement of food production on a national scale” to upgrade their stock with modern breeds.196 Since livestock preservation was not in the national interest, the AMBC lobbied for grassroots organizing to stay one step ahead of environmental and social disaster linked to or exacerbated by the unsustainable over-homogenization of livestock. Shinn thus expanded the network so that it could assimilate those with connections to part utopian, part apocalyptic 1960s and 70s environmental movements who felt that complex environmental problems could be overcome through modern technologies like gene banks and cryogenics. In doing so, the backbreeding and rare breeds subnetwork that emerged around OSV could also support those who felt they could live a better life by returning “back-to-the-land” with older breeds of animals that were more suited to the task.                                                   194 North American Livestock Census, compiled by Elizabeth Henson (published manuscript, Old Sturbridge Village, 1985). 195 Ibid, 1. 196 Ibid.  77  Chapter 4: Conclusion In 2006, historian and ALHFAM president Debra Reid re-evaluated the standards of “credibility” established by Schlebecker and other founders for the correct types of livestock on living historical farms.197 She asked whether the “public engagement” and educational value of livestock in living history continued to be worth the monumental cost of labour and the resources required to support robust livestock programs, especially as living museum attendance and funding continued to decline. As reports of livestock’s public appeal remained anecdotal, Reid remained unconvinced that living animals were as essential as ALHFAM’s founders believed.198 She attributed this early commitment to maintaining historically accurate livestock to the academic interests of the organization’s founders, who, she posited, were more concerned with pursuing “personal interests and goals” than responding to the needs of their audiences.199 While Reid acknowledged that “much can be learned from animal-centered … research and experimental archeology,” these ideals became less tenable as state involvement in public history waned after the 1976 bicentennial and funding and interest in living farms ebbed in the recessions of the 1980s.200   However, as this thesis has demonstrated, there seems to be more to the story of 1970s living history farm research centers and their decline than is afforded by a purely financial explanation. It is true that many of these 1970s programs were implemented by elite academics who                                                 197 Debra Reid, “Livestock and Living History: A Discussion on Professional Standards,” Midwest Open Air Museum Coordinating Council Magazine 27, no.1–2 (2011): 34–40. 198 To be clear, Reid calls for more research on public reception of animals and their educational value to better justify their presence at living farms. She does not suggest that animals have no place whatsoever in the farm re-enactment. 199 Reid. “Livestock and Living History,” 4. 200 Ibid. 78  advocated for top-down postwar-style public education programs. As Reid wrote of living historical farms progenitor Herbert Kellar, “his advocacy represented museum goals, not public goals, however, and he believed that if the government built such an institution, the public would come to learn about [American] progress and democracy.”201 But it is also true that living historical farms held broad appeal for many practitioners and audiences who situated themselves as valued individual components of larger patterns of existence and thus in harmony with divergent natural and social worlds through the living farm apparatus. While the appeal of the living historical farm as a countercultural refuge may seem at odds with the Cold War-inflected development of these projects, this thesis has demonstrated how counterculturalism and scientific authority legitimated one another in the practice of historical farm reenactment and research.   While financial considerations surely factored into the decline of livestock display and animal breeding programs at living historical farms in the late twentieth century, the history of living farms and counterculturalism outlined in this thesis suggests that backbred livestock became less interesting objects of analysis and interpretation over time precisely because their significance was so closely tied to the shifting cultural scene of mid-century America. That is, they were “totems,” to borrow the term from Levi-Strauss, of the friction between cultural, political, and intellectual movements of, on the one hand, the 1950s and 60s America and, on the other, the 1960s and 70s. Outside of this context, historical livestock were no longer able to serve as components in a networked understanding of reality and social life that ironically depended on the rigours of modern science and technology in order to appeal to the tastes of romantic agrarians and anti-modernists of the 1970s.                                                 201 Ibid. 79   1970s “new living history,” as Rymsza-Pawlowska calls it, indeed coincided with a radical shift in public history. The living historical farm movement exemplifies how living history practitioners began to re-create sensory and three-dimensional historical processes, rather than static visual displays during this period. Indeed, a working farm teeming with animal and plant life and populated with a complete set of actors tilling the fields, cooking dinner, and harvesting the garden certainly placed the subject in an intimate and emotionally engaged relationship with the past. And while this mode of embodied historical experience marked a stark contrast from the more detached modes of historical thinking that dominated both museums as well as public and academic history through the 1940s-60s, the new embodied history of the 1970s, as I have argued in this thesis, had deep intellectual roots in the postwar and Cold War period.  These new forms of history-based cultural production in the 1970s, as Rysmsza-Pawlowska aptly points out, profoundly shaped the way that the public has come to expect to experience the past. As she writes, “today, we are used to thinking about history in these terms. We expect personalized and absorbing historical experiences not only in museums, but also in video games, and on the internet.”202 Her invocation of video games and the internet suggests a continued parallel between the lineage of living history farms and the story of Stewart Brand and the WEC, which has remained, however, outside the scope of this thesis. But it also highlights the importance of studying this period and this form of history-making in relation to contemporary public history practice and ways of understanding ourselves in relation to the past. As the syntax of Turner’s book title “from Counterculture to Cyberculture” suggests, the “cyberculture” here refers both to the cold war military industrial research labs of the cold war and the systems                                                 202 Rysmsza-Pawlowska, History Comes Alive, 4. 80  theory that emerged therein, and also to the dotcom boom and computer tech industry of the late 1990s that followed counterculturalism, The title could be reversed to “Cyberculture to Counterculture” just as easily. In Turner’s words, “communitarian ideals of the counterculture … [became] melded to computers and computer networks in such a way that thirty years later, the Internet [appeared] to so many as an emblem of a youthful revolution reborn.”203  This thesis, then, not only demonstrates how the two seemingly contradictory positions of counterculturalism and Cold War scientific progressivism were consonant in the practice of backbreeding, but it also seeks to pinpoint a particular moment of historical thinking that resonates with contemporary practices of public history. In other words, this thesis gestures towards an alternative genealogy of embodied and experiential encounter with the past. 204 If living historical farms were the dominant mode of innovative living history practice at the critical moment of the 1970s epochal shift in living history and public history practice, the ideological underpinnings and histories of living farms deserve more sustained attention in this story. I have argued that the living historical farm movement was propelled by a systems understanding of material reality that shaped the historical farm experience as three-dimensional and immersive. Only as a whole system of the “totality” of farm life—animals, plants, soil, people, buildings—working in concert could history “come alive.”                                                  203 Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture, 41. 204 Doing so could open up new analytical frameworks for the “affective turn” in public history, as Agnew calls it, which has, in the past 10-15 years sought to understand the panoply of recent embodied and tactile experiences of history. In particular, the history of the living farm network and its relationship to systems theory helps to establish the connections between historical thinking with modes of thought that have emerged from systems theory, including affect theory and posthumanism. See, for instance, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick and Adam Frank, “Shame in the Cybernetic Fold: Reading Silvan Tompkins,” in Shame and its Sisters (Durham: Duke University Press, 1995), 1–28 and Cary Wolfe, What is Posthumanism? (Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press, 2009).    81  Bibliography  Archival Sources “Guide to Living Antiques at Old Sturbridge Village.” Unpublished training document, OSV Research Library, 1986. Reprinted in Agriculture Training Notebook. Complied by Bruce Craven and Jochen Welsch. OSV Research Library, 1991. 069.09 744 ST9AG v.1 c.1. “Memorandum,” Members of the Claggert Tract Committee to Chairman of said committee. OSV Research Library, February 21 1973. ALHFAM A1990.1, series 1, box 1, folder 13. Allen, Tom. “An Introduction to Agriculture at Old Sturbridge Village Station Training Package.” 1988. Reprinted in Agriculture Training Notebook. Complied by Bruce Craven and Jochen Welsch. OSV Research Library, 1991. 069.09 744 ST9AG v.1 c.1. 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