For centuries wheat was cut by a scythe, then the fallen sheaths gathered by hand as seen in the following sketch of the Hussey reaper and the mowers using scythes (on right) in England. Click images to enlarge.
English harvest 1938 using scythe then 'modern', all the manual labor, ending with a huge pile covered with last year's hay as roof; and A Day in the Hayfields 1904 showing various early horse powered equipment.
Hay in Art. An interesting site with tons of images HERE ‘essays’ such as ‘Roles in the hay (work)’ – women at work with rakes in 60+ paintings.
More information -
Obed Hussey who, of all Inventors, Made Bread Cheap. edited by Follett L. Greeno. Rochester NY: 1912 HERE most images
Stabler, Edward. A Brief Narrative of the Invention of Reaping Machines… also… Operation and Success of Reaping Machines in England… 1851, 1852 and 1853. Baltimore: 1854 in Overlooked Reaper History. Chicago: 1897 HERE
Swift, R.B. Who Invented the Reaper? 1897 HERE
Ellsworth, Henry. Valley of the Upper Wabash, Indiana…Agricultural Advantages…Labor-saving Machines NY: 1838 promoting farmers to 'go west'
The National Encyclopedia, vol. 1, 1868 image of the three reapers
©2016 Patricia Bixler Reber
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