This invention saved farm workers from hours of back breaking labor, increased productivity and revolutionized farming methods. Although the McCormick reaper was invented in 1831 it did not come into general use until 1845 and was a Important invention in the American industrial revolution.
The McCormick reaper for kids: What is a reaper?
The McCormick reaper for kids: Wheat in the North
The McCormick reaper for kids: What crops are reaped?
McCormick Mechanical Reaper for kids: Wheat
Cyrus McCormick solved this problem for the wheat farmers by inventing a horse drawn, mechanical reaper. His design was pulled by horses and cut the grain to one side of the horse team.
McCormick Mechanical Reaper for kids: Facts, Biography and Timeline
The inventor of the mechanical reaper was Cyrus Hall McCormick (1809–1884)
1809: Cyrus McCormick was born on February 15, 1809 in Rockbridge County, Virginia. He was the eldest of 8 children born to Robert McCormick and Mary Ann "Polly" Hall
Cyrus McCormick was raised on the 1200 acre family farm in "Walnut Grove", north of Lexington, Virginia
Cyrus McCormick had a limited education at local schools
His father, Robert McCormick, had a family blacksmith shop and Cyrus worked with his father as he tried various methods to invent a mechanical reaper.
1824: Cyrus McCormick invented a lightweight cradle for carting harvested grain at the age of 15
Robert McCormick was unsuccessful in his efforts to invent an efficient mechanical reaper but Cyrus, realizing the importance of a mechanical reaper, continued the quest using his father's basic design
1831: Cyrus McCormick invents the horse drawn, McCormick mechanical reaper
1833: Obed Hussey of Ohio patented a mechanical reaper called the Hussey Reaper
1834: A Patent was issued for the McCormick reaper on June 21, 1834 but Cyrus concentrated on the family's iron foundry business
Hussey's machine used a saw-like cutter bar which cut stalks far more effectively than McCormick's. It was therefore deemed of better quality than the invention of Cyrus and achieved a greater financial success
1837: The Panic of 1837 left Cyrus in considerable debt - he turned his attention to improving his harvesting machine
1843: Cyrus McCormick had increased his sales to 50 machines a year - but they were local sales.
1846: Cyrus McCormick moved to Chicago, a central hub for wheat growers with good transportation links that was a good location to expand his market
1847: He opens a factory in Chicago - his goal is to sell 500 machines for the 1848 harvest
1850: Cyrus McCormick acquires the rights to Obed Hussey's cutter-bar mechanism and improved the quality of his own machines and his business boomed
1851: The Crystal Palace Exhibition in London. McCormick and Hussey went head to head in a competition between their machines - Cyrus won
1855: The use of the horse reaper was adding £55 million dollars to the wealth of the country every year
1858: Cyrus McCormick married Nancy Maria Fowler, they would have 7 children together
1884: Cyrus McCormick died in Chicago on May 13, 1884
1902: McCormick Harvesting Machine Co. amalgamated with other companies to form International Harvester Company
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