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How-To:  Blast Through Boring Farmwork With Dynamite

I think it was in one of the WWI-era Boy Mechanic books that I found a DIY project opening with the direction to “pick up a few sticks of dynamite at the hardware store.” I can think of a lot of projects I would like to undertake—and many more that I would like to write—that would start out in the same way, today.

Sadly, the world has moved on past the age of ubiquitous over-the-counter high explosives. But you can relive some of the magic that once was with this lovely scanned copy of DuPont’s 1910 sales pamphlet Farming With Dynamite, hosted at Autodesk founder John Walker’s site. Highlights from its dozen pages include the use of dynamite for stump clearance, cellar excavation, and plowing. I was disappointed to see, however, that veterinary, educational, and medical applications were apparently left for a subsequent volume. [via Boing Boing]

14 thoughts on “How-To: Blast Through Boring Farmwork With Dynamite

  1. Gosh that would be fun!
    When I was young we had chemistry sets that actually used chemicals- today all that is banned. Our country will never get to the Moon again  :(

  2. Not much to it – you use a ground auger or pickett thumper to get a hole down to about four feet, add a banger to taste, stand sufficiently far back (usually the next county) and let it rip. Net effect is pulverised soil with plenty of nitrogen through it down to about six feet. As learned in infantry school as a rapid way of opening up trenches.
    I dare say those with a chemical education can suggest a few home-brew compounds.

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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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