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Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing) 2 0 Browse Search
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Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Agricultural implements. (search)
oxen, and turned a furrow two feet wide and one foot deep, may be regarded as the unwieldy precursor of the admirable and efficient sulky ploughs of later times. The value of inventive genius to the farmer, however, is not shown as much in the improvements of the plough as in the mowers and reaping-machines which to-day take the places of sickle, scythe, and cradle, laboriously wielded by our forefathers. The first reaping-machine in America was patented in 1803 by Richard French and John J. Hankins. One wheel of the machine ran in the grain, and the cutting was done by a number of scythes which revolved on a pivot. It did not prove very successful. Two or three other like machines were patented in the following twenty-five years. In 1831 the Manney mower was patented, which was the first successful machine of the kind. In 1833, Mr. Obed Hussey, of Cincinnati. O., patented a reaper, with saw-toothed cutters and guards, which was immediately put into practical operation, and p