This article examines the relationship between the Argentine government’s agricultural policy and farm machinery use and design between 1861 and 1930, showing how this policy strongly influenced the continuous importation of farm machinery from North Atlantic countries, particularly the United States. Most prior research focuses on Argentine farmers’ use of this foreign machinery without examining how many farmers and blacksmiths improved their local technological competencies—not only by adopting imported farm machinery, but also how, through repairing and tinkering with it, some even began designing their own machinery by the early twentieth century. By employing a use-centered approach based on David Edgerton’s Shock of the Old (2007), this article illustrates the specific farm technologies that Argentine farmers designed to suit their needs after adapting foreign models. Drawing on the archives of family-owned factories, invention patents, government documents, and oral histories of the men and women who used and designed domestic farm machinery, this article shows the importance of Argentine machine makers as innovational tinkerers and designers.

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