The decade of the 1970s saw a considerable acceleration in the spread of farm mechanization in rural Egypt. This acceleration has spurred a debate about the implications and consequences of such technological change. The present paper is a contribution to this debate with reference to a single village of Upper Egypt, based on an anthropological field study. The particular reference point of the paper is the relationship between mechanization and labor, and the consequences of this relationship for migration out of the village. Hence the focal point will be the effect that mechanization has on the organization of work, and in particular on the role of the household as the basic unit for organizing labor.