In the 1870's S.L. Allen & Company began manufacturing lightweight multipurpose tools small scale farmers could push. The most common was the wheel hoe - specifically, the Planet Jr. - which had all kinds of devices geared toward making growing easier.
All of this changed with a move away from small-scale farming. By the early 20th century crop-growers had largely abandoned The Planet Jr. in favor of gasoline powered tractors. The Planet Jr. remained popular with home gardeners up and through WWII, but they, too, eventually tossed them aside for less green tilling machines.
Though the wonders of the wheel hoe seem forgotten, a few companies now make modern versions of the Planet Jr. Mine's from Valley Oak Tool Company in California - a fabulous tool. I couldn't manage garlic growing without it.
With the hiller and furrower attachments, I created eight garlic beds, each 24' x 130'. (Ok, no small feat, but satisfying.) The tine cultivator attachment worked great for incorporating kelp meal pre-planting. With the wide hoe attachment I've been able to keep up with the weeds growing between the beds without the hard work of a hand held stirrup hoe or the waste of firing up a tractor. It's also made my life in the vegetable garden a whole lot easier. What more can I say?
I love my wheel hoe.