Implements at the New York State FairFrom The Cultivator, 1851
Prominent among implements of this character, which are of modern invention or introduction, are REAPING machines It is true, however, that machines designed for reaping grain by horse-power were tried in England fifty years ago, and also at several subsequent periods; but their practical use is of comparatively late origin, the credit, which we are proud to say, belongs to American mechanics. This assertion will not, it is presumed, be denied; but at the same time, it is no more than fair to admit that the previous attempts at the construction of such an implement, although falling short of the object, were doubtless highly useful in the development of principles, and in showing, to some extent, what was, and what was not practicable.
It is now several years since various reaping machines have been used to a large extent in this country. They have been used to more or less advantage in most districts where wheat is largely cultivated, though the most striking and manifest advantage from their use, has been found in the newly-settled western states where, from the scarcity of manual labor, it would have been absolutely impossible to have secured the harvests in the ordinary way of reaping or cradling. The expediency of using these machines, depends, of course, upon the circumstances of the farmer — somewhat on the character of the surface of the land, that which is comparatively smooth and level being desirable —the number of acres of grain grown, and the readiness with which hand-labor may be obtained, and the price it will command. In the older and most populous sections of the country, where various crops are cultivated on the same farm, it is often the case that the farmer has no more wheat or other small grain, than can readily be cut in the proper stage by the hands ordinarily employed on the farm. If he has not more wheat, barley, or oats, than a machine can cut in a day or two, he will naturally conclude that it is inexpedient for him to purchase a machine at the cost of more than a hundred dollars for this purpose. It is still, however, a question whether this objection to the use of machines might not be advantageously overcome by the implement being owned by a man who might make cutting grain, by the acre, a regular business during the proper season.
It is known to our readers that two noted American reaping machines, have been introduced into England during the present season, and that to one of these, Mr. McCormick's, the great medal has been awarded at the Industrial Exhibition of all Nations. This machine, as well as that of Mr. Hussey's has been subjected to various trials in England, with results highly satisfactory as to their operation, results which seem to have inspired a conviction that they can be extensively adopted in that country, notwithstanding the comparative cheapness of labor, with profit to the farmer-or at least with profit to the class of farmers who produce grain on a large scale.
Both Messrs. McCormick's and Hussey's machines were described (with cuts) in our current volume, pp. 41, 42. Both were exhibited at Rochester; Mr. McC's by Hon. Thos. J. Patterson, Rochester, and Mr. H's, R. Hussey & Co., Auburn.
Several other reapers were exhibited which deserve mention. B. Densmore, Brockport, offered one which had a rake attached to it for the purpose of removing the grain from the platform, without the aid of hand labor. The apparatus was so geared that the rake would sweep off the grain at regular intervals. As none of the machines were tried, we cannot tell how well they might perform what was claimed for them. Another self-raking machine was offered by ANSON PALMER, Brockport.
Mr. T. D. Burrall, of Geneva, offered a machine of his own invention, for which several advantages are claimed. It is very compact in its form, occupying but little space, may he readily adjusted to cut the grain at various heights, and discharges the grain in its own track thus obviating the necessity of moving it before the machine takes another swath. It is also stated to operate well as a mowing machine for grass. The cost is from $110 to $125.
Ketchum's mowing machine, mauufactured by Howard & Co., Buffalo, was exhibited. It is a very simple implement, strong, and apparently durable. It is well spoken of by those by whom it has been used.
DRILL MACHINES, OR SEED-PLANTERS—In these implements there was a large display, embracing nearly all the machines of established character, and several of late introduction. We noticed Seymour's, manufactured by P. Seymour, East-Bloomfield, Ontario county (for cut and description, see Cultivator for 1850 p. 273,) which is much used in the western part of the state. The same person also offered his broadcast sowing machine, which has been described in this journal. Mr. SEYMOUR has also combined the broadcast apparatus with the drill, in one frame—the whole being so contrived that the grain is planted in drills, and clover and grass seed sown broadcast at the same operation.
The drill made by Bickford and Huffman, Macedon, N. Y., (described, with cut, in our current volume, p. 209,) was also exhibited. It appears to be simple and effective. W. Rowland, Brighton, N. Y., offered a machine constructed for the purpose of depositing portable manures -as lime, plaster, guano, ashes ground bones, &c., in the drill with the grain. A drill offered by W. NICHOLS, Grimsby, C. W., appeared well. A drill made by NATHAN IDE, Shelby, Orleans county, also made by LEVI WELLS, Rochester, is said to give good satisfaction. The same may he said of Atkins' drill made by J. Ganson, Brockport. Gatling's drill, invented by R. J. GATLING, Indianapolis, Ind., in 1848, is somewhat peculiar in its construction, and is thought to possess some advantages. It combines to some extent the operations of the cultivator and drill. The process for distributing the seed is ingenious and effective. A series of screws, in the form of augurs, are so arranged that by their constant turning they deposit the seed in the drills with the utmost evenness and regularity. This apparatus obviates the liability of the machine being clogged, and insures the planting of the requisite amount of seed.
CULTIVATORS.—Considerable improvements have been made in these implements, especially in their adaptation to field cultivation, and in the preparation of the soil for wheat and other crops. There is still room for considerable improvement in respect to the shape of the teeth, and the position in which they should be set in the frame, in order to clean the soil of foul plants, and to insure the working of the implement with the greatest efficiency. For the eradication of couch, or ''witch" grass (Triticum repens) in particular, but few of the implements used by our farmers are capable of properly accomplishing the object. They should be constructed more to draw out—bring the roots to the surface, so that they may be gathered up and carried off the ground.
The cultivators offered on this occasion by J. Ganson, Brockport, had wrought-iron frames, the shanks of the teeth of wrought-iron, the feet or cutting part, of steel. The teeth could be set in the frame, by means of thumb screws attached to each, to work at any required depth. A one-horse cultivator offered by the same person constructed in a similar manner to the preceding, appeared to be an excellent article.
We noticed several other good field cultivators, as Ide's, made by LEVI WELLS, Rochester. SPENCE & ATKINS', made at Chili, Monroe county, N. Y., D. W. MARTIN's, North Greece, Monroe county, N. Y., (iron frame and steel teeth,) D. Hinkston's Clarkson, Monroe county, (cast-iron,) and T. D. Burrall's Geneva.
CLOD-CRUSHERS — These are designed for breaking humps or clods of hard earth, which it is difficult, and in some cases impossible to reduce by the harrow and common roller — especially on stiff clay soils, which are broken up during drouth. They might be used with excellent advantage. One was exhibited by JOHN WALKER, Chili, Monroe county. They are also made by T. D. BURRALL, Geneva.
Plows — There was a large display of these, embracing collections of various patterns and sizes from the establishments of RUGGLES, NOURSE & MASON, Worcester, Mass., offered by RAPALJE & Co., Rochester, MARTIN & Co., Sutton, Mass., Bosworth, Rich & Co., and STARBUCK & Co., Troy, EDDY & Co., Union Village, Washington county, N.Y., ALLEN & BELDING, Rochester, and T. D. BURRALL, Geneva.
THRESHING MACHINES, HORSE-POWERS &c.—Of these there was the usual variety, but we noticed little as worthy of note that has not been previously presented to the public. Threshing machines were operated by various forms of lever or sweep power, as well as by the rotary or endless chain principle. Of the former, we noticed Pitts' with separator attached, made by JOHN A. PITTS, Rochester, and of the latter the chief competition was between Emery & Co. and Wheeler & Co., Albany. Taplin's was offered by EDDY & Co., Union Village. All these have been previously described in our columns. They probably combine the advantages of the various modes of applying horse power, in as high a degree as has ever been attained. Wheeler's winnower and separator, described in our last number, was in operation, attached to their horse-power and thresher, and appeared to give entire satisfaction.
LIST OF PREMIUMS AWARDED AT THE STATE FAIR AT ROCHESTERFARM IMPLEMENTS.
Best farm wagon, T. S. Eastman, Deerfield, $5.
Steam engine on wheels, for farm use, 1st premium, Hoard and
Bradford, Watertown, Medal and $25. 2d. Chas. Ross, Roch. $20.
These machines are very important to the, farmer, but the judges have been unable to decide fully on the merits of any one machine over any other having its facilities for testing the practicability of the machines.
Mr. B. Densmore has an improvement over many others in an iron
tooth rake passing the grain off at one side, by the power of the machine.
The executive committee decided on examining the report of the judges, that no premium could be awarded to the reapers until a trial was had to enable the judges to decide as to the qualities of the different machines in operation.
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