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Kingston, Mass., invented and patented a machine, which however, failed to come into much use. About 1830, William Manning of New Jersey, invented a mower, and a few years later, the Ambler patent came out, both of which proved partially successful. About fifteen years ago, Hussey's reaper, and soon after, McCormick's, made their appearance. Within ten years, both mowers and reapers have greatly multiplied; improvements have succeeded one another with great rapidity, until at the present time, we have, beyond any doubt, several machines amply capable of relieving the farmer of a vast amount of the severest and most fatiguing labor connected with the farm, by substituting brute power at an economical rate in place of human muscles; nor are reliefs from exhausting labor and economy in the cost of cutting grass by any means the only advantages which these machines offer the farmer, for they enable him to cut his grass just when in its best condition, and so effect a very material increase of the value of his product over what it would be, if dependent entirely upon the manual labor usually at bis command.
It should not be forgotten also, that the labors of farmers' wives, always sufficient to keep them busily employed, are often at the season of haying, so increased by the employment of a gang of extra hired hands, as to be seriously onerous and too often beyond their ability. Farmers' wives in Maine, have at best, a weary burden of care and labor. True, they do not, as in some other countries, labor in the field, (doubtless more open air exercise would be beneficial, and would be indulged in too, if only they could find time for it;) but including all—the physical labor, care and responsibility which is imposed upon, or assumed by, or some how or other by common consent, devolves upon them, nowhere in the world are women more severely tasked than they; and whatever may lighten their burdens, be it a sewing-machine or a mowing-machine, deserves attention-certainly from every husband and father.
Among the mowing machines which have been successfully used of late in this State, I present herewith, illustrations and descriptions of several, as offered by the proprietors.
Buckeye Mower. Of this mower, the proprietor, John P. Adrianne, 165 Greenwich street, New York, and Worcester, Mass., in his circular, says:
"Its peculiar construction commands universal approval; the frame being supported on the two driving wheels, and the cutter bar attached to the frame by a double hinge joint, the cutters conform to the surface of the land independent of any working of the frame, either end of the bar being free to rise or fall without affecting the other.
The cutters are easily raised to pass obstructions by means of a lever at the right of the driver, and when so raised there is nothing outside of the driving wheel to obstruct the passage of the machine. When not in use, the cutters can be folded over on the front of the frame in such a manner that the machine can be driven any distance
on the road. This feature belongs exclusively to this machine; and, besides its compactness, the convenience of having a machine always ready, or that may be made ready in less than a minute, for driving off one mile or more, is worthy the consideration of every farmer.
It is light draft,—a team weighing nine hundred pounds each, being sufficient to cut and spread an acre an hour, and work ten hours a day. It has no side draft, no weight on the horses' necks, and backs with the ease of a cart; the knives ceasing to vibrate while the machine is backing. It is almost noiseless in its operation ; works well on any ground, side hills or salt meadows, and in any grass, whether lodged or standing. It will cut well, at a slow speed of either horses or oxen, and can be operated by a farmer's boy who can drive a span of horses. Among its numerous points of excellence are the following:
1. It is a two-wheeled machine-the wheels supporting the frame are both driving wheels, and operate together or independently, as required in driving the knives.
2. By the use of two driving wheels, you can make short turns to the right or left, without clogging or stopping the knives, which cannot be done with machines having but one driving wheel.
3. Instead of cogs, each driving wheel has two palls which work into rachets and drive the gearing.
4. The palls are so constructed as to be held in or out of gear by the spring.
5. The knives never work when the machine is backed, and it takes no more power than to back an empty cart; this is an excel
lent feature, and prevents injury to the knives when a small stone or other obstruction gets caught between them and the fingers.
6. The cutter bar is attached to the frame by a double hinge joint, which allows it to follow the surface of the land, without being affected by the working of the frame, and over knolls, ridges and through hollows, the independent action of the cutters is perfect-either end of the bar raising without affecting the other-and at no time has it to sustain the frame and gearing, as is the case with machines where the bar is rigidly attached.
7. The cutters are easily raised to pass obstructions by means of the lever, which is always under the control of the operator.
8. The cutter bar is in front of the driving wheels, and the seat in the rear, thus enabling the driver to see the operation of the cutters without interfering with his driving, and avoiding those dreadful accidents which frequently occur when the seat is directly over, or a little in advance of the cutter.
9. The gearing is all permanently arranged in the centre of the frame, distant from the driving wheels, thus avoiding all tendency of its being clogged up with mud or dirt.
10. The cutter bar being attached to the machine by means of hinges, can be folded up on the top of the machine without removing connecting rod, knife, or track clearer, as will be seen in the engraying.
11. The palls on the driving wheels can readily be thrown out of gear, and, by folding the cutter bar as above stated, the machine becomes as portable as a common cart.
12. There is a wheel on the shoe next the gearing, in front of the cutter bar, thus avoiding all tendency of clogging at the near shoe, in passing over cut grass.
13. The off shoe is only two and a half inches wide, and the last knife cuts no more than any other, therefore leaving no ridge or high stubble at the end of each swath.
14. The cutter bar can be raised or lowered by means of an adjustable steel spring shoe at off end, and adjustable wheel at the inner shoe.”
J. F. Anderson, Esq., of South Windham, writes me of this: "I am just as sure that the Buckeye is the best machine as every other successful operator is that the one he owns is the best. I am sure it is the most convenient to move around, from its having two bearing wheels and the folding bar. Mine has been over the road from one end of this district to the other. I did not get it until half through
the past haying season, yet it earned me $60, reckoning my own at the price paid by the others, viz: (75 cents per hour.) I worked it the first day with oxen, and could stop and then start, cutting at once with so slow a team. The grass dries a third quicker from its being so evenly spread. I believe, too, there may be obtained a greater amount of hay per acre, with less injury to the roots, from its cutting so evenly.”