Cyrus McCormick's reaping machine of 1831 (patented 1834), c1851. Artist: Anon
Cyrus McCormick's reaping machine of 1831 (patented 1834), c1851. This, the first widely adopted reaping machine, was shown at the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London where it was awarded a gold medal. Drawn by horses, the machine cut the corn and left it lying in swathes in the harvest field. The figure in the foreground is gathering the corn and tying it into sheaves which would be stood up in stooks, bottom right, to dry before being carried away and stored in stacks. Later models would include a mechanism to bind the corn in sheaves.
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