Pitchfork

From Academic Kids

This article is about pitchfork, the tool. There is a separate article on Pitchfork, the online magazine.
A pitchfork next to a  bin
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A pitchfork next to a compost bin

Missing image
Haying.jpg
Pitching hay

A pitchfork is a tool with a long handle and long, thin, widely separated pointed tines (also called prongs) used to lift and throw loose material, such as hay, leaves, grapes, or other agricultural products. Pitchforks typically have from 2 to 6 tines and have different lengths and spacing depending on its purpose.

The pitchfork has also frequently been used as a weapon by those who couldn't afford or didn't have access to more expensive weapons such as swords, or, later, guns.

A spading fork (sometimes called a garden fork) is another tool that is forklike and is sometimes also called a pitchfork; it is used for loosening and lifting soil in a garden or farm and is used similarly to a spade. Its tines are usually shorter than for a pitchfork, are flat and wide rather than thin and round, and are more closely spaced. The handle is shorter than for a pitchfork and usually has a D handle. This fork is also useful for lifting potatoes from the ground.

In Europe, the pitchfork was first used in the early Middle Ages, at about the same time as the harrow. The pitchfork was originally made entirely of wood; today, the tines are usually made of hard metal.

Pitchforks are stereotypically carried by angry mobs or gangs of enraged peasants.

External links

  • Photo and description of 19th-century wooden pitchfork (http://images.library.uiuc.edu:8081/cgi-bin/htmlquery.exe?CISOROOT1=%2Ftdc&CISOMAX=4&CISOFIELD1=title&CISOBOX1=pitchfork&CISOFIELD2=titlea&CISOBOX2=&CISOFIELD3=descri&CISOBOX3=&CISOFIELD4=CISOSEARCHALL&CISOBOX4=#)

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