MOWERS AND REAPERS. Both mowers and reapers of the side-cut type are now made preferably ; also " front-cut," the driver's seat being, in this form of the machines, attached at a point which is rearward as relates to the cutting line of the machine. The rear cut mowers and reapers formerly used necessarily carried the seat, for purposes of balance, considerably in front of such a location, involving a measure of danger in case of a fall from the seat, as the natural tendency in the event of a collision of the finger bar with any obstruction to its progress, if by chance the driver is thereby unseated, is to throw him over to the cutting side rather than away from it. The mutilation or killing of mower and reaper drivers by the knives, once so frequent, is now, in consequence of the change, virtually unknown. The weight and cost of this important class of machines is also considerably reduced, while strength, effectiveness, and convenience are advanced by recent improvements.
The II caller A. Wood Hotting Machine, Fig. 1, drives the crank shaft from a cross shaft, whose pinion receives the power through a large inter nal gear, which re ceives power from a covered circular ratchet firmly attached to it and also to the axle. Pawls in the left driving wheel engage the ratchet, while pawls in the right driving wheel engage a similar ratchet at that end of the axle—the axle takes the torsional strain of the right wheel only. The frame is light steel tubing, jointed bydeep. telescoping sockets. re ceiving side strain in dependently of bolts. The steel wheel, with malleable iron hub plates gripping the spokes between them, and now generally adopted in some form for field agricultural implements, is used. The main gear and cross-shaft gear wheels rotate in the direction of travel, to avoid winding up grass. Speeding is attained with only two pairs of gears. No part of the draft is by the tongue, as a loose draft rod under the tongue imparts the draft of the team to the frame carrying the cutting apparatus on a line with its front portion, and hinging freely upon the axle at its rear line, where projecting arms sustain the cross. shaft support as a member of this hinged frame. The tongue and driver's seat are bolted to a separate socket, Figs. 2 and 3, which also sustains the fulcrum of the lifter lever, a. The lifter chain, b, hangs slack while the machine is mowing. When the lever is slightly depressed by the operator, it moves the lifter rod, c, upward, past the center on which the lever is pivoted, leav ing the strong spiral spring, d, free to expand and swing upward the quadrant to which the chain, b, is hooked, thus aiding in lifting the weight of hinged frame and cutting ap paratus by supplementing the muscular effort of the operator by the action of the spring, d. The support for the lifter rod. c, is a stout swivel ring. The purpose of the device is to
gain the supplemental spring-lift effect without sacrificing any of the independent floating action of the cutting apparatus, which is thus permitted to rest and ride along the variable surface of the ground while mowing, but is instantly controlled, suspended, and lifted by the chain, b, when it is desired to pass it over an obstruc tion, or move the machine forward when not in work. To prevent the lifter lever suddenly flying back by any jolt moving it so as to raise the front end of the rod, r, above the lever pivot, a cheek latch on the quadrant engages a notch in the bearing for the lever pivot as soon as the lever is pushed forward. Increasing magnitude of hay cul ture in the United States, and the immense areas of level land available, have changed mower construction as regards until a swath 5 ft., 6 ft.. and evon wider, is the rule. This change has involved the intro duction of a long finger bar, and the spring lift is a remedy for the difficulty found by the operator in raising the long bar, with its increased weight and adverse leverage against the gag-iron universally used in some form at the inner end of the bar to facilitate high lift of the outer end. To make this mower available with long or short finger bars by suitable tread gauge in either case, it may be fitted with the axle extension, a, shown in Fig. 4, which is a cast ratchet, like those of the driving wheels, extended into a tube containing a supplemental axle of suitable length, and which is interposed between the axle proper and the left driving wheel, steadying the machine by a wider separation of points of support, and maintaining the centrality of the draft line, as relates to resistance. The connecting rod, or " pitman," which drives the scythe, has tong jaws at each end, cupped to grip the ball shaped scythe head ; also suitable bosses on the bearing for the crank pin on the forward end of the crank-shaft, swiveling the pitman so that it can not be cramped in the various positions assumed by the crank head and cutting apparatus, either while mowing rough land, or from the effect of rocking the finger bar with the tilting apparatus to raise or depress the points of the guard fingers, to suit the degree of closeness of cutting to the character of the crop and the roughness or smoothness of the ground. The zig-zag ribs seen on the driving-wheel face have the threefold effect of increasing traction for driving the cutters, resisting a tendency to side slip on inclined ground, and avoiding the jolt incident to separate transverse traction lugs when driving the mower over a hard surface.