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Agricultural Machinery and - United States


AGRICULTURAL MACHINERY AND - UNITED STATES As industry has developed and has built great cities, it has called man-labour from the country. This labour has been replaced by agricultural machinery and implements. The extent to which this has happened in the United States is indicated in fig. I. Al though the total population of the United States in 1927 was a little more than five times as great as in 1850, and although the acreage of improved farm land increased about 41 times during the same period, yet the number of agricultural workers in 1927 was a little less than three times the number in 185o. Seventy-five years ago the proportion of total population to agricultural workers was slightly over six to one. Better adaptation of crops to soils and climate, and increased yields per acre, are probably the main reasons why the acreage of improved farm land has not kept pace with the increase in total population. But had it not been for the introduction of ma chinery which increased the effec tiveness of man-labour on the farm, an increasing number of acres to feed and help clothe a rapidly increasing population must have been accompanied by a much more nearly equal increase in agricultural workers.

Effect on Time, Man-labour and Production.

Since185o, when the application of machinery to farming began in earnest, the average acres of improved land per agricultural worker in the United States increased steadily from 30.4 acres to 47.2 acres in 192o; and the value of agricultural implements and machinery per agricultural worker increased from $40.77 in 185o to over $200 in 1925. The 13th annual report of the United States De partment of Labor shows that the man-labour requirement to produce twenty bushels (one acre) of wheat by the hand methods of 183o was 61 hours and 5 minutes, at a labour cost of $4.00; by the machine methods of 1895, only 3 hours and 19 minutes, at a labour cost of were necessary to produce the same amount. By the hand methods of 1855 an acre of corn required nearly 39 hours of man-labour; in 1894 it required slightly over 15 hours with machinery. Using the estimates of the Department of Labor for nine important crops (barley, corn, cotton, hay, oats, potatoes, rice, rye, wheat) and comparing the machine methods of about 1895 with the hand methods of earlier times, H. W. Quain tance (The Influence of Farm Machinery on Production and La bour) states : "Taking the per cent of labour saved as indicating the average proportion of these crops due to the use of machinery, it appears that the quantity of products is almost five times as great, per unit of labour, as it formerly was." This suggests how machinery has freed labour from agriculture for service in indus try and commerce. After an extensive study and presentation of data on 15 crops (barley, broom corn, corn, cotton, hay, oats, onions, peas, potatoes, rice, rye, sugar cane, sweet potatoes, tobacco, wheat) grown in the United States, the same author says : "Surely it will not be too much to say that during the last half of the 19th century the cost of production' of these crops was re duced by one half." That the influence of machinery on labour has continued since 1895 is evidenced by the fact that now it is not uncommon to hear of farmers in the United States and Canada who, by the most modern machine methods, produce wheat and corn with a man-labour requirement per acre of only two and six hours respectively.

Influence on Quality of Work and of

in ferred previously, increased yields per acre, and improved quality of product, are due to a number of factors ; but the importance of one of these is not to be overlooked here. The improved methods in farming made practicable by machinery have a marked influence on the quality of work done by the farmer, and on the quantity and quality of the product. By the use of better de signed, better adapted and more effective soil working, grain grad ing, seeding and harvesting machinery, sounder seed is more evenly sown in a better seed bed ; a larger yield is promised and a more uniform and cleaner product is marketed. Modern spraying equipment not only saves the fruit crop, but its use also means better quality; then modern sorting and packing machines grade the product to command the best market price. These are but a few of scores of illustrations; yet, that is not all. Up-to-date machinery in agriculture permits better utilization of products; for instance, the feed grinder, silage cutter and shredder have increased the feeding value of roughage, and the manure spreader permits better utilization of animal refuse to help maintain fertility and good tilth.

Other Effects.

Althoughthe average acreage of improved land per farm in the United States has fluctuated somewhat since 185o, economists point out that in the north central states, in which machinery has been more widely applied to general farm ing than in other divisions, the improved land acreage per farm has steadily increased ; likewise, the average number of crop acres per farm in these states has increased during the period for which data are available. In other sections of the country where general farming has been practised and where machinery has not been so widely adapted, not only are the tendencies just mentioned less apparent but, even at times, there is a marked tendency toward smaller farms. In Canada, the average acreage of improved land per farm has increased steadily from 59 acres in 1901 to 99 acres in 1912; during the same period agricultural implements and machinery increased approximately from six to ten per cent of the total value of all farm property. If the total investment in all farm property in the United States is considered, the increase since 185o has been much greater in the agricultural divisions of the country in which machinery is widely used. The greatest item in the value of farm property is the value of the land itself ; and land values are based somewhat upon earning capacity. Of course, the increase in value of all farm property may be due to several factors ; but, the ability of machinery to cut down the cost of production and thereby increase net profit is not to be overlooked as having had and continuing to have an influence on land value.

By lessening the time necessary to perform farm work, ma chinery has assisted in shortening the working day. Also, it has changed the character of the work in a way that has important social bearing. In 188o it was easier physically and more pleasant 'Cost of production here is based on cost of labour and does not include differences in machine overhead between hand and machine methods. This discrepancy, if it seems such, is more than offset by the fact that labour by hand methods is figured at the rate of about 185o, while for machine methods it is computed on the basis of the higher wages current about 1895.

mentally to thresh grain with a threshing machine than to use the flail of 182o. Likewise, it is easier to-day to sit upon a com bination harvester-thresher, guide the machine and control the power than it was to pitch bundles and straw in the days of 1880. In this sense, agricultural machinery is truly "labour sav ing" in that it has relieved farm work of much of the old, arduous, physical exertion so often characterized as drudgery, and de manded in its place greater skill and more intelligence on the part of the operator. The modem farmer whose business demands extensive use of agricultural machinery is just as busy, if not busier, than his grandfather, but his work is more mental and less manual. Modern farming is a complex business requiring study, wise planning and careful execution. To be sure, the farmer of to-day works hard physically as well as mentally, but, by lessening the time requirement for various farm operations and by elimi nating much of the old drudgery, farm machinery and household conveniences allow the farmer and his wife and children more time for reading, for thinking, for recreation and for self improvement.


Types kinds and sizes of agricultural ma chinery and implements form a complex subject. Agricultural conditions into which machinery must fit vary widely between the one-mule farms of the cotton-belt and the great wheat ranches of Canada; the operation of a New England farm varies from that of a corn-belt farm, and the latter, in turn, is vastly different from the California fruit ranch. Differences in sizes of farms, in size of fields, in kinds of crops grown, and in the kind and size of power units most economical or practical—all cause variation in type and size of machine or implement. For a small field, one can buy a one-horse implement for a very few dollars, or, for a great plantation one may buy a special harvester which costs several thousand dollars. Because of the wide variation in soil ty-pes, the large manufacturer selling nationally finds it necessary to make over one hundred different shapes and kinds of mould boards for ploughs in addition to the disc type of plough which is demanded in very hard, in very fluffy or in very sticky soils. Land values have some influence. Then, last but not least, the human equation enters; differences in peoples and in regional customs add complication. The farm labourer of low mental calibre and of little mechanical skill requires a smaller, simpler implement than the skilled operator who commands a 6o-horsepower tractor hauling a combination of implements which performs two or three operations in one trip over the ground.

Space does not permit description of all kinds of agricultural machines and implements. Fortunately, however, the subject lends itself to classification according to the purpose of the ma chine. Most of the agricultural machines, implements and tools used by farmers in the United States and Canada may be classi fied according to purpose. The list includes only those items considered part of the business of raising or making agricultural products up to the moment those products are sold. It does not include the strictly household conveniences, devices and utilities which are becoming so vddely adapted to assist the housewife and to enable the farmer and his family to enjoy more the art of living.

Machines and Implements for the Reclamation, Maintenance or Im provement of Land: stump pullers, pilers; brush breakers, cutters, burners; open ditch, tile ditch and mole ditch machines; land drain cleaners; land levellers; terracing scrapers, graders; irrigation pumps, sprinklers, water controls, ditchers; sub-soilers; limestone crushers; lime and fertilizer distributors; manure loaders, spreaders; straw spreaders.

Machines and Implements for Seed-Bed Preparation: mouldboard and disc ploughs; drags; spike-tooth, spring-tooth, disc and special harrows; smoothers and pulverizers; plain, corrugated and bar rollers; surface and subsurface packers; clod crushers; special tillers; sweeps; listers; ridge busters; stalk cutters, shavers; cotton stalk choppers; stubble diggers, pulverizers; markers.

Machines and Implements for Seed Preparation: fanning mills; grain, pea, bean, cotton seed, peanut, flax, onion set, rice, potato and corn cleaners, graders and sorters; seed scarifiers; seed testers; seed stringers; seed driers; butters and tippers; potato cutters.

Machines and Implements for Seeding and Planting: broadcasters; grain, beet, grass and garden seed, bean, pea, corn, onion and rice drills; corn, cotton, beet, potato, pea, bean, onion and peanut planters; transplanters; seeders; markers; lister-planters; fertilizing attachments.

Machines and Implements for Cultivating: corn, beet, cotton, potato, sugar cane, vineyard, orchard and garden cultivators; celery, potato and tobacco hillers; drags; spike-tooth, spring-tooth and disc harrows; weeders; rotary hoes; ridgers; renovators; sweeps; root blockers; cotton scrapers, choppers; thinners.

Machines and Implements for Harvesting: mowers; tedders; "flop over," dump and side delivery rakes; "bull" and sweep rakes; hay, shock, bundle and cane loaders; stackers• bunchers; windrowers; reapers; grain and corn binders; grain and corn headers; header binders; combination harvester-threshers; corn, cotton, potato, peanut and fruit pickers; root and plant lifters; potato and peanut diggers; root toppers; bean, pea, beet, celery, grass seed and onion harvesters; field ensilage harvesters; seed and cotton strippers; sugar cane cutters, harvesters; corn and hemp cutters; grain and corn shockers; shock compressors, movers, sweeps; huskers; milking machines; wool clip pers; tree fellers.

Machines for Preparing Products for Market: grain, pea, bean, peanut and rice threshers and cleaners; alfalfa, clover, almond, bean, pea, grain and rice hullers; grain, pea, bean, cotton seed, peanut, onion set, rice, potato, corn, berry and fruit cleaners, graders and sorters; cotton gins and presses; balers; produce washers; grain polishers; corn, peanut, rice and pop-corn shellers; vegetable bunchers; cream separators; milk emulsifiers, pasteurizers, sterilizers, coolers, aerators; churns; butter workers; bottling machines; cheese and lard presses; sugar, fruit, sorghum and syrup evaporators; honey ex tractors; berry and fruit crushers; cider and juice mills, presses, extractors; bleachers; pitters; parers; sugar cane and sorghum mills; hemp breakers and cleaners; sav,, mills; baggers; weighers.

Machines for Feed Preparation and Feeding: cutting boxes; en silage and fodder cutters; feed mills, grinders, mealers; roughage mealers; feed mixers; shredders; root and vegetable cutters, pulpers; feed cookers; stock feeders; bone cutters; corn and cob crushers; silo packers.

Machines and lmpkments for Combating Crop Enemies: sprayers; dusters; field burners; stubble pulverizers; insect sweeps, catchers, traps; tobacco bed burners; seed treaters; smut cleaners; fumigators.

Machines, Implements and Conveyances for Transportation: auto mobiles; motor trucks; wagons; carriages; horse and hand carts; sleighs; bobs; stone boats; wheelbarrows; farm, wagon, log, lumber, header and sugar-cane gears; racks and barge boxes ; hay carriers, forks, slings; blowers; grain dumps, elevators; car loaders; feed and litter carriers.

Power, Light and Heat Generators: gas, petrol, paraffin, distillate, hot air and steam engines; steam and internal combustion . tractors; boilers ; windmills ; turbines ; water wheels ; hydraulic rams ; tread mills ; power sweeps ; electric motors, dynamos, generators ; lighting plants; tank heaters.

Miscellaneous Machines, Implements and Tools: incubators and brooders ; disc and knife grinders ; pumps and pump jacks ; hay knives and hooks ; hand hoes, rakes, shovels, forks; corn, cane, tobacco and cabbage knives; pruning and grafting hooks, knives, shears and saws ; fence stretchers ; hog rubs ; post hole augers ; lifting jacks; animal pokes and leads; dehorners; horse and cattle clippers; grooming machines; milk and cream testers; utensil washers, steri lizers; scales ; ladders ; hand tools and machines for wood and iron work.

Historical Sketch.

Attemptingto determine whether changes in agriculture were the cause or the result of the introduction and improvement of machinery is like trying to decide which came first—the hen or the egg. Undoubtedly, a change in agriculture at times caused sharp changes in agricultural machinery; at other times, advancement in agricultural machinery permitted, if not actually caused, marked changes in agriculture. The two are so interdependent that a historical sketch should review the status of machinery and implements in each of the five great periods in the history of American agriculture, as well as point out the high spots in the history of machinery itself.

During the colonial period (1607 to 1783), farming was on a self-sufficing basis; that is, the farmer made his own shelter, he and his family made much of what they wore, and, with the excep tion of some wheat, tobacco, rice and indigo, the farmer raised but little more than was required for his own family. The ground was spaded or hoed up, or it was ploughed with a crude, "bull" plough which carried a wooden mouldboard sometimes stripped with iron. Farmers who were fortunate enough to own these home-made ploughs often ploughed for others. If the seedbed was harrowed at all, a "peg tooth" barrow was used; this was a wooden frame with wooden spikes for teeth. Small grain was sown broadcast by hand; sometimes it was harrowed in or was trodden in by animals. The new crop was cut with a hand sickle, scythe or cradle, threshed with hand flail or by driving animals over it on a treading floor; then the grain was winnowed by casting it against a light wind. Corn was dropped, covered, culti vated and harvested entirely by hand. Wooden-wheeled carts were used ; but evidently these were not as popular as one would suppose, because there is evidence that tobacco was placed in huge barrels which were rolled to the market point. Thus, with the exception of a great number of hand tools, crude forms of the plough, harrow and wagon were the only agricultural imple ments of the colonial period.

With only one or two notable exceptions the same conditions held and the same old implements were used throughout the sec ond period (1783-1830) of agricultural history. This period was characterized by the beginnings of the public land policy and of expansion west, and by the increasing importance of cotton in the South. Early in the 179o's the Whitney cotton gin appeared; this made the removal of the seed from the cotton mechanically possible and was a great boon to the young cotton industry. The influence of the cotton gin has been so far-reaching economically, commercially and socially that it is considered one of the high lights in the history of agricultural machinery.

About 1797 Newbold demonstrated his cast-iron plough. It was similar to the cast-iron ploughs which had been demonstrated shortly before in England. Records indicate that farmers feared detrimental effects from so much iron in contact with the soil, and evidently this first American cast plough was never repaired after its mouldboard became broken. Hence wooden ploughs, some of which carried wrought-iron cutting edges, continued well throughout the period. Betwee.i 1814 and 1820, however, Wood, evidently continuing the meditations of Thomas Jefferson on the mathematics and mechanics of the mouldboard, began to give the plough bottom scientific shape for better turning, pulverizing and for lighter draft. To secure these shapes Wood had to cast his ploughs, and he introduced the important feature of having parts of the plough renewable.

During the latter part of this period a cutting box to cut up roughage for feed, a cultivator for row crops, a horse rake and the Bailey mower appeared. The mower cut by means of a large circular blade which revolved against the grass evidently to imitate the cutting action of the old scythe blade. The cutting box, cultivator and rake ideas were perpetuated, but this device for mowing was not further developed. It is claimed that a few "chaff piler" or "ground hog" threshers were used as early as 182 5 ; these rubbed the grain from the heads but did not sepa rate it from the chaff or straw. These implements, although their use did not become general until later, are mentioned here to show that, as farming moved westward and larger or new tracts of land became available to the farmer, there began a real attempt to furnish machinery to supplant a growing shortage of labour.

At no time has American agriculture undergone such changes as during its third historical period (1830-186o), and at no time has agricultural machinery been so involved in a transitory period. At the beginning of this period the farmer produced first for himself and family; at the close he was raising crops chiefly to sell. As the new railroads opened up the interior, agricultural products were shipped into the East to be laid down on the seaboard in such quantities as to affect almost the entire world.

The repeal of the Corn Laws in England, the rapid development of manufacturing both in Eng land and America, the potato famine in Ireland and the set tling of western lands by thou sands of immigrants following the German revolution of 1848 all gave stimulus to American agriculture. Not only did break ing and cultivating the black lands of the Middle West present new problems in soil working implements, but also over the en tire country farmers awoke to the pressing need of a cheaper, faster way of doing things. This led to an outstanding period of invention and to the real begin ning of implement factories to supplant the country blacksmiths who for years had been supplying local patrons with crude implements fashioned largely after their own individual ideas.

The obstinate scouring .qualities of the soils in the Mississippi valley led to the use of steel instead of iron strips to face the mouldboards of ploughs. In 1833 John Lane built the first steel mouldboard, using cross-cut saws for the purpose. John Deere starting in 1837, and William Parlin beginning in 1842, were other pioneers in the steel plough business of the Middle West. Much credit is due also to James Oliver who, beginning his experi ments in 1853, greatly advanced the process of chilling cast plough parts, thus securing greater durability and improving the scouring qualities of this type of plough.

Early in the '3os the Manning, the Hussey and McCormick patents brought out the idea of cutting grass and grain by a reciprocating knife passing through fingers or guards. It is this principle upon which modern mowers, binders, headers and com bination harvester-threshers still operate.

Other patents and developments of note during the early part of this period related to corn shellers, fanning mills, grain drills, and to tread-powers and power-sweeps, whereby the power of horses or oxen could be utilized to drive the rotating parts of such stationary machines as threshers. In 1834 Pitts combined a "ground-hog" thresher and a fanning mill and thus started the development of the modern grain separator which threshes, cleans, weighs and bags the grain. Although they did not become popular until years afterward, nevertheless grain strippers and headers were patented during the twenty years prior to 185o.

By 185o several factories had been established for the manu facture and sale of what were then improved and successful ploughs, harrows, grain drills, reapers, mowers, threshers, strip pers and power-sweeps. Of course much work on the farm still had to be done by hand, and much improvement and many new devices were to appear after that date. But by that time the farming public was accepting mechanical devices so rapidly that 185o is recorded by historians as the close of the period of "hand production" and the beginning of the machine era in American agriculture. The advent of machinery and implements placed farming on a commercial or production basis on which the farmer raised products to sell rather than simply to sustain himself and family. It is interesting to note that from 185o to 186o the number of establishments manufacturing agricultural machinery increased from 1,333 to 2,116.

From 185o to 186o patents appeared and development work was carried on on each of the following : force-feed devices in grain drills, stalk cutters, baling presses, two row corn planters, disc harrows, feed grinders and "straddle row" cultivators. Improvements continued on all classes of implements, especially on mowers, threshers and reapers. One of the most interesting developments concerned mechanical binding attachments made for and used to some extent on reapers. Most of these attach ments used wire instead of twine; wire was costly and objection able in the straw, and one step—that of elevating the grain and getting it automatically into good binding position—was lacking. At the time that the wire binding attachments were being devel oped, the Marsh brothers, about 1856, conceived the idea that two men, standing on a special platform at one side of the reaper, could bind the grain by hand providing it was elevated from the platform of the reaper and delivered to them on a binding table which they faced. Although the Marsh harvester of 1858 was originally designed to facilitate hand binding, nevertheless it is very important historically because it so materially solved the problem of grain delivery. It supplied the step just referred to as lacking with the early wire binding attachments, and became the foundation for the later binding machines which were simply to substitute automatic binding and tying devices for the two men that stood on the first Marsh harvester.

The fourth period in the history of American agriculture extends from 186o to 1887. It was characterized by remarkable expan sion, a chief cause of which was the passage of the Homestead Acts. The disbanding of the armies of the Civil War sent men and mules back to the land, and, machinery being available, many sought the agricultural opportunities of the far west which was about to be opened up by the completion of the trans-continental railroads. The perfection of the twine binder and the introduc tion of the roller process for flour manufacture also stimulated agricultural expansion.

The drain of the Civil War on farm labour forced farmers to the use of more and more machinery. During the war mowers came into very general use, and early in the period there was much done to perfect horse rakes which, as an accompaniment to the mower, could displace more labour in the haying process. This was to be followed soon, in 1872, by the development of hay forks, slings and carri by which hay could be moved from the wagon to the mow or to the stack by horse power rather than by hand. Thus the production of hay had become mechanical save for one step—that of loading. This gap began to be closed in 1874 when the mechanical hay loader appeared; the implement was considerably improved about 188o and came into use about 1885. Although they had been patented years previously, two wheeled sulky and gang ploughs did not appear in good quantities until about 1870. In 1868 John Lane, Jr., patented soft-centre steel for plough bottoms. About the same time disc harrow manu facture began in earnest.

The first automatic grain binder—that is, the first harvester of the Marsh type to carry an automatic bundle forming, com pressing and tying attachment—appeared in 187o, and was known as the Locke machine. At last the tedious process of binding sheaves by hand was doomed, and the importance of this develop ment in history of agriculture can hardly be overestimated. Attachments using twine as the binding material, and some using wire, followed quickly. About 1878 the famous tying device known as the Appleby knotter appeared. It has become the standard tying mechanism of nearly all modern grain, rice and corn binders. Thus, the grain binder was the result of 4o years of struggle in which some men lost fortunes while others became prosperous. The grain binder is the product of no one man; it is the culmination of many ideas, only the fittest of which could survive.

Although combination harvesters and threshers had been thought of as early as 1826, it was not until about 1875 that the "combine" came into use, and then it appeared in the vast wheat fields of the Pacific coast states. These were large machines, drawn by from 12 to 3o horses, cutting a swath of grain from 16 to 24f t. wide, and threshing, cleaning and sacking the grain in one trip over the field.

In 1875, largely through the activities of the Haworth brothers, automatic check-rowers for planting corn became practical. The dropping mechanism in these machines was operated by regularly spaced buttons on a wire stretched across the field, instead of by an extra man on the planter. Thus one man, and the previous operation of marking off the field, were eliminated from the plant ing process. In 1876 manure spreaders of the wagon type were developed to the practical stage. About the same time ensilage cutters, or silo fillers, and disc ploughs appeared, the latter, how= ever, did not become commercially practicable until about 189o. Although stationary steam engines, and steam engines on trucks which could be hauled from place to place, had been used pre viously, the self-propelled steam traction engine did not appear in agriculture until about 1880. This was the forerunner of the modern tractor. In 1884 three-wheeled sulky and gang ploughs were developed ; these were of high-lift design and the prototype of the modern riding plough used so extensively in both the United States and Canada. About 1885 a combination machine for husking corn and shredding the stalk made its appearance.

The fifth period in American agriculture, 1887 to the present time, began with the practical exhaustion of those public lands in the United States which could be converted easily and cheaply into quick producing farms. Since 1887 agriculture has been settling down to more intensive cultivation accompanied by im provement in farms and the subsequent rise in land values. (The same tendency is in evidence in Canada, though there the cor responding periods are from ten to twenty years later.) Obviously, attempts to intensify and diversify agriculture involved machinery and implements in no small way. Increasing land values must sooner or later force a greater return per acre ; this is possible by increasing the production per acre or by lessening the cost of production, either one of which involves machinery and power.

The period opened with many of the most fundamental types of agricultural machinery well established. Minor improvements continued in all classes of implements. Sled corn harvesters, corn binders, and side delivery rakes to facilitate loading hay with hay loaders, came in early in the period. These were great labour savers. Inasmuch as one man with three horses on a two-row cul tivator can cultivate 9o% more acreage per day than one man with a single-row machine, it was only natural that attention should be given the two-row cultivators which began to appear early in the '9os. About 1890 the Babcock device and system was developed for determining the butterfat content of milk and cream. The Babcock test helps the farmer cull the unprofitable cows from his herd. Cream separators appeared about 1890, and a great labour saver—the milking machine—came into use about 1910.

Among the early attempts to adapt the internal combustion engine to farm work no efforts stand out more prominently than those of Hart and Parr, two young men who developed very satis factory, stationary, gasoline (petrol) engines as early as 1896. A little later they conceived the idea of mounting a gasoline engine on a truck, and gearing the two together so that the combined unit would propel itself. In 1902 these men built such a machine and proved that the gasoline engine could be used for haulage purposes. A new industry—the great modern tractor industry— was born. Manufacture began almost immediately by several companies, and within nine years a large number of tractors were ploughing, harrowing, seeding and threshing in those regions of the United States and Canada where the farms and fields were large. These early tractors were large, heavy and somewhat crude. Being able to develop 30, 4o and sometimes 5o horse power at the draw bar, they pulled six, eight, ten and twelve-bottom ploughs, or large combinations of soil preparation and seeding implements. One single ploughing outfit, consisting of three large tractors pulling a 50-bottom plough, once demonstrated its ability to plough an acre of ground in 42 minutes. The advent of the large tractor called for ploughs of size not known before, but manufac turers were quick to respond with the big, multiple-bottom gang ploughs of the independent lift type in which each bottom or each pair of bottoms raised and lowered independently of those adjacent. Larger, heavier disc harrows, and wider grain drills also were developed for the new "brute." The tractor had demonstrated its ability to get work done quickly with a minimum of human labour, and, in farming, getting work done when weather, crop or soil is right is a decided advan tage. The old heavy tractors, however, required considerable out lay in cash, and they were too unwieldy for practical use except in large fields. About 191 o the power farming idea had so thor oughly gripped agriculture that suddenly a demand for small tractors developed from farmers on smaller tracts, and many of the old manufacturers, together with a great number of new tractor concerns, began bringing out smaller tractors. This tend ency to cut the size, power, weight and price continued until the light tractor of 8-16 and 10-20 horse power came onto the market about 1916 and brought with it the light, two-wheeled tractor plough which was quite an innovation in plough design. The light tractor and light plough, selling at prices which made their use economical on small farms, introduced power farming onto thousands of farms in both the United States and Canada which could not have enjoyed its advantages had not smaller, cheaper units been made available, Likewise, small sizes of grain threshers, of ensilage cutters and of feed grinders became popular because the presence of the small tractor on the farm enabled the farmer to perform these respective operations himself instead of having to depend upon the custom outfit which previously had passed from farm to farm doing belt work for hire.

Another major development in the current period of agriculture is the mechanical corn picker. Such a machine was talked of in I 851 ; some were built and successfully operated about 1910, but not until about 1920 did it really start to take its place in the corn belt. Likewise, rotary hoes, for rapid corn cultivation, were in 1928 just beginning to become popular, although they had been on the market for 20 years. A new machine of importance to the sugar cane industry is the mechanical harvester which cuts, strips and bunches the cane in one operation. This is a big, expensive machine, but, when finally perfected, it will be a great labour saver.

Present Position.

Inasmuchas we are now in the midst of tendencies and developments in agricultural machinery which promise far reaching effects, it is well to consider the period since 1925 separately. Thus far the farm tractor has functioned well for ploughing, harrowing, seeding small grains and for belt work. The conventional type of tractor, however, has not been so well adapted to mowing and raking hay, or to planting and cultivating row crops. In such work not so much power is required; quick guiding and short turning are necessary, and the implement ele ments which perform the work must be so placed that the operator can readily see their action and easily manipulate them. What agriculture needed was a light tractor, perhaps of special form, which, in addition to ploughing, harrowing and doing belt work, could serve as a base for the quick attachment and detachment of such implement elements as an eight-foot cutter bar for mowing, a rake, hoppers for planting four rows of seed at once and culti vator rigs for cultivating those rows. Since 1925, general-purpose tractors of this type have proved successful and are becoming very popular. They are bound to have considerable influence in several kinds of farming and probably will cause rather marked changes in implement design. Another tractor development of importance is the power take-off, a device and system by which the tractor can drive directly the working parts of the grain binder, corn picker or combination harvester-thresher.

To-day the farmer of 200 acres can have his 15-3o horsepower, conventional type tractor for the heavy field and belt work ; then he can resort to his general-purpose tractor for the lighter field and row crop jobs. The farmer of a tract too small to support two tractors can use his general purpose tractor for all tractor jobs. Either of these farmers can have a motor truck to haul his produce to market, and both are sure to have an automobile. Thus, except in the poorer agricultural regions and in extremely hilly country, the slower methods by horses have received a severe setback.

The old process of loading manure by hand may give way soon to the mechanical manure loader now being developed. Mechan ical shockers are on the market ; they promise relief in the back breaking task of shocking grain after the grain binder. Another development, however, threatens the grain binder. Since 1925 it has been found that combination harvester-threshers can be used successfully for small grain and soy-beans grown in humid regions, and several of these machines have been sold in the north central states, in western Canada, and even to a few large farms in the eastern states. The appearance of this great labour saver in the smaller wheat fields of the upper Mississippi valley has been somewhat of a sensation. There, of course, smaller machines are used, the ten and twelve foot size now being most popular. The use of the "combine" means a saving of approximately 20 cents a bushel in the cost of raising wheat. The combination har vester-thresher is introducing another machine, the windrow harvester, as an accompaniment to the "combine" in territories where uncertain weather, uneven ripening or the presence of a heavy growth of weeds require that the cut grain lay in the win drow a few days previous to threshing. The windrow-harvester, tractor drawn and tractor driven, cuts a wide swath of grain high, and lays it in a windrow on top of the stubble. After the material has cured, the "combine" is used to pick up and thresh the windrows.

From the standpoint of cost of production, a mechanical means of picking cotton has been needed and sought for many years. Not until quite recently, however, have efforts to produce a practical device been successful enough to promise early relief. One type of cotton picker consists of a number of revolving spin dles which pluck the cotton by wrapping it about them as they turn; the spindles then recede to a cleaning chamber where the cotton is removed ingeniously, and the spindles automatically re turn to come in contact again with the plant. The action is con tinuous as the machine straddles the row. Such pickers, although they are not quite to the manufacturing stage, seem very prom ising for territories where uneven ripening necessitates several pickings. Where killing frosts occur before picking -time, as in north-western Texas, manufacturers are now marketing cotton strippers. These strip the cotton from the plant, and are much simpler and cheaper than the typical, mechanical picker. This method of harvesting has become practical only since improve ments in ginning machinery have made it possible for the ginner to handle the great amount of trash and bolls which the stripper gathers. Since 1925, renewed attention has also been given to the application of electricity to agriculture. For this see ELECTRICAL POWER IN AGRICULTURE. AS tO the farm home, one need only liken the application of electricity there to that in the most modern city dwelling.

From this brief historical sketch we see that through the intro duction of agricultural machinery and implements the muscular exertion of farm work was slowly shifted from man to beasts of burden. These in turn have been displaced by mechanical power units and by more machinery until to-day, comparatively speaking, agriculture seems well mechanized. The same is true in all in dustry ; but the benefits of the transition in farming are espe cially significant because in agriculture there is more primary horsepower involved than in all manufacturing and mining com bined. With the cheap fertile lands of the United States and Canada largely utilized, with fertility being depleted, with the population increasing rapidly, more intensive agriculture that will increase production per acre seems sure to come. But, again, this involves machinery in no small way if increased production is to be had without marked increase in costs. If the farmer is to maintain his standard of living, and at the same time success fully meet competition in the world's markets, he must pay in creasing attention to the many phases of agricultural machinery and implements.

Manufacturing.-Asindicated in the table, taken mostly from United States census reports, the value of machinery and implements on farms has increased rapidly until to-day it aggre gates a large investment. It is to be noted, too, that capital used in the manufacture of agricultural machinery indicates an extensive industry.

Between 19oo and 191o, several large combinations of manu facturers were effected in order to pool interests, to secure "full lines" of merchandise, and to lessen the expense of development and sales work. This introduced a new era in the manufacture and sale of farm equipment. The manufacturer's problem to day is not one of new developments alone. The merchandising of farm machinery and simplification of types are also vexing prob lems, and in these the manufacturer is handicapped by the farmer *War-time, inflated prices. tFrom the "Report on the Agricultural Implement and Machinery Industry," U. S. Federal Trade Commission, June 6, 1938.

himself. Developing and introducing a new device calls for pe culiar talent and is often a greater task than simply patenting the idea. In addition to commending the thousands of inventors who contributed to the development of agricultural machinery, much credit is due also to such men as McCormick, Deering, Os borne, Wood, Deere, Parlin, Emerson, Noyes, Brown, Adams, Steward, Oliver and a score of others, the pioneers in manufac ture. (C. O. R.; X.) W. Graf, librarian, U.S. Dept. of Agri culture, Bureau of Agricultural Engineering, Agricultural Engineer ing, a Selected Bibliography, pp. 1-373 (1937) ; R. L. Audrey, Amer ican Agricultural Implements (Chicago, 1894) ; U.S. Federal Trade Commission, "Report on the Agricultural Implement and Machinery Industry," June 6, 1938 ; E. J. Baker, Jr., "A Quarter Century of Tractor Development," Agricultural Engineering, June 1931, No. 6, Vol. 12 ; WPA, National Research Project, Changes in Technology and Labor Requirements in Crop Production (a series), "Sugar Beets" (1937), "Mechanical Cotton Picker" (1937), "Corn ' "Potatoes" (1938) ; U.S. National Resources Committee, Technologi cal Trends and National policy, PP. 97-144, June 1937; Harry G. Davis, Farm Equipment Institute, The Cavalcade of Farm Mechani zation, Jan. 13, 1937, The State of the Industry (annual) ; Cyrus McCormick, The Century of the Reaper (1931); Transactions and Journal of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers (19°6 to date) ; "New Light on Combine History," Farm Implement News, Jan. 2, 1930, No. r, Vol. 51; E. A. Johnston, "The Evolution of the Mechanical Cotton Picker," Agricultural Engineering, Sept. 1938, No. 9, Vol. 19; H. J. Webb, Advanced Agriculture; historical articles ap pearing in Farm Implement News (Chicago, trade magazine) as. fol lows: ploughs, Oct. 1885, Feb. 6, 1913 ; harrows, Nov. 1885; reapers, Jan. 1886, June 1893 ; harvesters, Feb. 1886 ; binders, March 1886, Sept. 21, 19n ; threshers, May, June, and July 1886; steam engines, Sept. 1886 ; corn shellers, July and Aug. 1887 ; corn planters, March 1888; mowers, May and June 1888 ; drills and seeders, Dec. 1887, Jan., Feb., March, and April 1888 ; feed mills, June 1887; hay presses, Oct. 1888; corn pickers, May 1880 ; cultivators, May 1890 ; a historical sketch of ploughs and harrows in Country Gentleman, Dec. II, 1915 ; Charles W. Marsh, Recollections 1837-1910 (Iwo) ; "The New Rubber Tires for Tractors," Farm Implement News, June 23, 1932, No. 22, V01. 53; "Some Tractor Air-Tire History," Farm Implement News, Aug. 29, 1935, No. 18, Vol. 56 ; Archie A. Stone, Farnz Machinery (London, 1928) ; H. E. Murdock, "Tests on Use of Rubber Tires and Steel Wheels on a Farm Tractor," Montana State Bul. 339 (1937) Merritt Finley Miller, The Evolution of Reaping Machines, 11.S. Dept. of Agriculture, 19o2; Manufacture and Sale of Farm Equipment, annual report, U.S. Dept. of Commerce. (X.) For the controversy as to the priority of the Hussey and McCor mick reapers, see the Mechanics' Magazine and Register of Inventions and Improvements, Nov. 1833, P. 260, April 1834, May 1834 ; Shellbank's Farmers' Register; 1834, vol. 1, p. 3oi • R. B. Swift, Who Invented the Reaper? ; R. G. Thwait, Cyrus Hall McCormick and the Reaper (Proceedings of the State Historical Society of Wis consin 19°8, pp. 234-259) ; E. Stabber, Overlooked Pages of Reaper History (1897) ; Leander McCormick, Memorial of Robert McCormick (r9ro) ; H. N. Casson, The Romance of the Reaper (19o8) ; F. L. Greeno, Obed Hussey: A True Record of His Greatest Invention, The Reaper (1912). Official Retrospective of the Development of Harvesting Machinery for the Paris Exposition (Deering Harvester Company, 'goo) • Elbert Hubbard, "Biography of James Oliver," in Journeys to domes of Great Business Men (vol. , 1909) ; "Life and Work of William Parlin," Farm Implement News (vol. 33, No. 41).

See further the Year Books, numerous Circulars, Department Bulle tins and Farmers' Bulletins by the U.S. Department of Agriculture; numerous circulars and bulletins issued by the various state agri cultural colleges and experiment stations; as listed in Appendix II., Department Bulletin 1348, U.S. Department of Agriculture ; Census Reports of U.S. Department of Commerce (1850-1925) , particularly the twelfth Census Report, vol. 5, pp. ; American Farm Labor, Report of U.S. Industrial Commission (Igo', vol. 2, p. III) ; thirteenth Annual Report, U.S. Department of Labor. (C. O. R.)

farm, grain, corn, implements and agriculture