Agricultural History Series
Missouri State University
1904 St. Louis Worlds Fair
The Illinois Corn Display
The Illinois exhibit featured corn that was worth $10 an ear, produced from the Otwell plan. A South American farmer offered $10 each, for the best 10 ears of corn. W. B. Otwell sent 500 grains of pedigree seed to 8,000 farm boys in Illinois, and 1700 of them sent 10 ears each to Mr. Otwell to be placed in the exhibit. Corn from every county in the state was sent to be in the exhibit. A $3,500 premium was placed on the corn, and the farm boy with the best corn won $500. At the exhibit the 10 ears that each farm boy sent were in a stack with the his picture was on display in front of it. Mr. Otwell received many letters from farm boys that could not come to the fair with excuses such as, the mules got out and ate the corn or mother picked the wrong corn for roasting. Illinois was the only state that had a contest and exhibit of this kind.
Illinois Corn Pyramid
Individual Displays of Illinois Corn Farmers
St. Louis Journal of Agriculture. June 2, 1904.
The Agriculture Conquest of the Earth. Pp. 192
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