In Chapter 12, Pa hires a machine to come to the farm and thresh their grain.
One frosty morning, a machine came up the road. Four horses were pulling it, and two men were on it. The horses hauled it up into the field where Pa and Uncle Henry and Grandpa and Mr. Peterson had stacked their wheat.
Two more men drove after it another, smaller machine.
Pa called to Ma that the threshers had come; then he hurried out to the field with his team. Laura and Mary asked Ma, and then they ran out to the field after him. They might watch, if they were careful not to get in the way.
Interestingly, Pa is presented as the VISIONARY THINKER who convinced everyone to hire the threshers and embrace the NEW WAYS.
Pa was very tired that night, but he was happy. He said to Ma:
“It would have taken Henry and Peterson and Pa and me a couple of weeks apiece to thresh as much grain with flails as that machine threshed today. We wouldn’t have got as much wheat, either, and it wouldn’t have been as clean.
“That machine’s a great invention!” he said. “Other folks can stick to old-fashioned ways if they want to, but I’m all for progress. It’s a great age we’re living in. As long as I raise wheat, I’m going to have a machine come and thresh it, if there’s one anywhere in the neighborhood.”
He was too tired that night to talk to Laura, but Laura was proud of him. It was Pa who had got the other men to stack their wheat together and send for the threshing machine, and it was a wonderful machine. Everybody was glad it had come.
I don't really know what to say about that. It seems like a good thing, but then there this blog post who says that a lot of Pa's financial ruin (in the books, possibly not in reality?) is tied to ruinous investments in new technology. So there's that. Foreshadowing?