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would mow heavy grass. But wise heads that shook ominously at the outset, looked a second time, wondered, and then believed. I adopted the principle that a mowing machine might be light, and at the same time strong; and that to be capable of doing heavy work, it need not itself be heavy.
I have added such improvements to the mower for 1860, as the experience of the past harvest has suggested to me; the most im-' portant of which is a lever arrangement for raising the cutter bar, and strengthening some of its parts. The mower is now complete and perfect in all its details. The usual number of knives furnished with a machine is two; the necessity for keeping the knives sharp, I think, requires that there should be three; this will enable the farmer to work through the forenoon without stopping to sharpen his knives, and after sharpening at noon to finish the day's work without interruption.
The price of the machine, the same as last year, $80, delivered on the cars at IIoosick Falls, including three scythes, four guards, four sections, one wrench and oil can. One horse machine, $70.
WALTER A. Wood. Hoosick Falls, September 1, 1859.
From a report of the judges, at a trial of mowers, instituted by the Duchess County Agricultural Scciety, New York, in June last, the following is quoted :
“Wood's Two-HORSE MOWER.-A new machine, and much the smallest, lightest and cheapest, exhibited points well worthy the attention of all builders of mowing machines. The workmanship is excellent. It has two small driving wheels, has internal gearing, thereby giving additional strength-backs out of gear, is easily turned. The knives vibrate very rapidly, giving them a perfect cut. The fingers are very close together, making the knives less liable to dull. The finger bar is elastic and follows the surface well, whether rough or smooth, but does not fold like the Buckeye. The driver's seat is safe and comfortable, being back of the knives. Its draft is evidently very light.
Wood's one-horse machine is very similar to the above in construction, only lighter, and has a shorter cutter bar. It did its work to the satisfaction of all."
Mr. Hiram Russ of Farmington, writes me under date of August 1st. is This year I bought one of Wood's one horse mowers, and it
does the business up to a charm. I consider it the best machine out to my knowledge. Some years ago Manny's and Ketchum's machines were used for a while, but were abandoned on account of heavy draft and not cutting our fine intervale grass close enough. Wood's mower cuts snugger than any man I can hire.”
Of this machine, no detailed description has been received from the proprietor, R. L. Allen, New York, and I can simply say that it is claimed for it, that it is strong, simple in construction, not liable to get out of order, compact, light, easy of draft, safe for the driver, and may be worked at a slow gait, by either oxen or horses; works well on rough ground, side hills, fresh or salt grass meadows, and will cut lodged grass or clover.
In a reply to my circular of last spring, Mr. E. R. French of Chesterville, writes me :-"Last season I took one of Allen's two horse mowers on trial, and liked it so well that I purchased it. It is simple, strong and durable, not likely to get out of repair, and of as light draft as any machine yet introduced. I examined quite a number, including Wood's, Buckeye, and Manny's, in order to get the best, and am satisfied that taking into account its convenienco and adaptability to all kinds of work, this excels all others, which have yet been introduced among us.
Two horses of one thousand pounds weight, each, are sufficient for the heaviest work. Mine weigh less than nine hundred each. I think it pays me twenty-five per cent yearly, on the cost.”'
Other machines have been introduced into this State to a greater or less extent, as Hallenback's, Manny's, &c. Of the latter, Mr. Joseph Frost of Elliot, writes: “We have used Manny's mowing machine for two years; have worked it with horses and oxen; and with one man and a good span of horses, it will in heavy grass do more work and do it better than four of the best men we can hire can do with scythes in the same time. With Manny's mower, the revolver and drag-rake, we estimate our expenses in harvesting hay at fifty per cent. less than it was before we went into the use of these tools."
Manny's machine is also referred to in the following communication from Samuel F. Perley, Esq., of Naples, late President of the Maine State Agricultural Society, and one of the most intelligent and thoroughly practical farmers in the State. It was written me in reply to a request for a leaf from his experience in the use of mowers, and is commended to the attention of any who are yet sceptical as to the utility and economy of these machines :
“My experience with mowers has been in this wise. June 30th, 1854, I purchased a Ketchum's mower, No. 4042, at a cost of one hundred thirty-four dollars ($134.) This machine performed its work well ; left the stubble even, about the right length, and the grass well spread. But it was an ungainly thing to handle ; wouldn't start without coaxing, wouldn't go without dragging, wouldn't back without lifting, would clog occasionally, especially if the wind blew fresh, and was a sad waster of horse-flesh, making no mention of galled withers. Still, with all its faults I used it three seasons, and found a profit in so doing.
July 28th, 1857, after a trial, I purchased a Manny's mower, No.875, at a cost of one hundred and fifteen dollars. This machine has given almost perfect satisfaction. Two horses, weighing ten hundred pounds each, have run it in the hottest weather, at a speed of one acre per hour, without undue fatigue.
I find by six years experience that, in actual service, one man, two horses and a machine are, in an average of chances, in heavy and light grass, equal to five men with hand scythes, and one spreader, say six men. The work is better performed by the machine than by the most skillful hand mowers; the stubble being left even, none too high, none too low; and the spreading perfect than anybody's boy, or man, even, can do it.
By using the machine the crop can be harvested in less time, thereby enabling me to cut most of my grass when it is in the best condition. It diminishes the necessity for extra labor in the haying season; a season when, from the great demand, labor commands a high price, thus reducing the cost of the hay harvest. It is a relief to the most laborious part of haying, changing the burden from human to brute force, the change being rendered still more effective by the aid of machinery. And last, though not least, it is a great relief to the in-door department of the farm. It costs much less to board and lodge a mower constructed of wood, iron and steel, than its equivalent made up of blood, bones and muscles. The former is always on hand” when wanted, the latter must sometimes be sought for.
I wish to disclaim, expressly, any intention, in the foregoing remarks, of " sounding a trumpet" for any particular machine, or patent. I found Manny's mower of 1857 better than Ketchum's of 1854; and I should expect any machine of 1859 to possess marked improvements over those of 1857. It is not to be supposed that mowing machines are yet perfect. Inventors, and manufacturers have done much, but farmers are expecting still more. A wider swath, without increase of draft is wanted. Also a practical onehorse mower for the farmer of ten to thirty acres of mowing.
A horse mower may be worked on land quite uneven and stony, so also may hand scythes, but it will be at the cost of extra wear of the implements, in either case, and is bad economy. Ground smoothly laid and freed from stones and other obstructions, is very desirable, though not absolutely indispensable, in the use of a mower as in many other tools.
Can mowers be employed upon the uneven, stony hay-fields of Maine? is no longer an unsolved problem. The only question now is, can they be used with a profit? I answer without hesitation, I believe they can. Every farmer in Maine who has thirty, or more, acres, mostly cleared of stumps and rocks, would, in my opinion, act wisely in procuring, at once, a mower. The rattle of fifty machines should greet the ear in many towns in the State, during the hay season of 1860, where only a solitary one was heard in 1859. Undoubtedly manufacturers are realizing large profits from their machines at the present high prices, and those prices must soon be reduced, but farmers cannot afford to wait for this. Purchase mowers now, wear them out, and be prepared then to purchase
other cheaper and better ones, should be the policy of farmers in Maine."
Another machine known as the "Tedder," or haymaker, has been used in England to lighten the labors of haying, and last year two of them were imported by the Massachusetts Society for the Promotion of Agriculture. It is understood that Messrs. Nourse, Mason & Co. of Boston, propose to manufacture them for sale next season. The principal information I have been able to obtain in regard to their working is contained in two letters published in the Transactions of the Massachusetts Society for last year, (1858,) and which are subjoined:
WALTHAM, Sept. 1, 1858. My Dear Sir:-I have the pleasure to report to you about the working of the Tedding Machine imported by the Trustees of the Massachusetts Society for Promoting Agriculture.
The machine has been used with great advantage, and has given satisfaction to the haymakers. No part of it has broken, or yielded to the hard work done by it. It has been applied to the swaths laid by the mowing machine when they were dry enough to be turned and in the direction of the mower. If
grass is cut by the scythe it works best by being driven across the swaths.
The machine has two motions, communicated by gears in the hubs of the wheels-one forward, which lifts the grass and throws it above, over, and behind the machine. The other motion is a reverse one, lifting the grass and throwing it behind. Both motions lift, open and spread the grass, more perfectly than can be done by a man and fork, and the machine does its work as fast as a horse carries it forward. It is heavy, does much work very quickly, and requires one good horse to draw it. I have been away from my farm much of the time of haymaking, but I may safely say that the men who have used it commend it highly as a labor-saving machine, doing its work without any delay.
The machine weighs 1090 pounds. Wheels, axle and framework, are iron. Very respectfully, your obed't serv't,
GEORGE W. LYMAN. TO R. S. Fay, Esq., Secretary of the Trustees of
the Massachusetts Society for Promoting Agriculture.