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Cyrus McCormick invents the mechanical reaper!
Transcript of Cyrus McCormick invents the mechanical reaper!
McCormick's timesaving invention allowed families and farmers who were filled with the spirit of Manifest Destiny and determined to find new homes to more than double their crop size and spurred innovations in farm machinery. The impact of his invention was that it allowed people who journeyed across the Great Plains to the West to be able to engage in large scale farming covering hundreds of acres instead of tens of acres. This meant that the families no longer had to work by hand. Prior to the invention of the reaper, farmers were limited by the acreage that could be harvested in a timely manner. Once ripe, the crop would rot quickly if left standing in the field. The development of the reaper was critical to the widespread, commercial production of grain crops such as wheat and other crops.
The Mechanical Reaper
The mechanical reaper is a horse drawn farm implement invented by Cyrus Hall McCormick in 1831 in Virginia to cut small grain crops. The mechanical reaper replaced the manual cutting of the crop with scythes and sickles. It was developed to cut down wheat more quickly and more efficiently.
Cyrus McCormick, the "Father of Modern Agriculture," made one of the most significant contributions to the United States' prosperity, when he invented the horse-drawn reaper in 1831.
Cyrus McCormick was born February 15, 1809 in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. He was the eldest of eight children born to Robert McCormick, Jr. and Mary Ann "Polly" Hall. As the elder McCormick saw the potential of the design for a mechanical reaper, he applied for a patent to claim it as his own invention. He worked for 28 years on a horse-drawn mechanical reaper to harvest grain; however, he was never able to reproduce a reliable version.
Cyrus McCormick invents the mechanical reaper.
More about McCormick
McCormick had a talent for both agriculture and inventing. At the age of 15, he invented a lightweight cradle for carting harvested grain (1824). Meanwhile, McCormick's father, Robert, was working from time to time in the farm's smithy on an invention of his own, a horse-drawn reaping machine. When Robert McCormick finally gave up on producing a working model, in the early fall of 1831, his son took over the challenge. He died on May 13, 1834.