There have been some cotton pickers devised bef ore the one which is the subject of our illustration, but none of them were self-acting, all requiring to be turned by a crank, or some other equally cumbersome method. T4ie chief requisites in an apparatus f or this purpose are, lightness, accuracy of working, and portability, or in other words, it must be compact in the arrangement of its parts, and very simple in its operation. These conditions are fulfilled in the cotton picker we are about to describe, which is shown in operation by Fig. 1, and in section by Fig. 2 ; Fig. 3 being a view of the pickers. A is a case of tin plate, or other convenient material, from one end of which a bag, M, is suspended, to contain the cotton as picked, and the case and bag are attached to the operator in the following manner :—At each side of the case. A, there is a strip of metal, kj and through these pass axles ; from one of these, and also carrying a sectional cog wheel, L, on each side, there is on each side a piece, K, which meet at and a hook, w, passing through it, hooks into a strap passing around the operator's body and over his shoulder. Inside the case there is an endless chain of pickers, B, the construijtion of which is explained by Fig. 3, a a being the bent portion, and h h the picking points. This chain passes over a small pulley, E, outside the case, that can, by means of its shaft, a, be placed fur- ther out, or the reverse, to keep the proper tension on the chain, which passes also over a drum, D, and around a wheel, C. The drum, D, has two rims, c, and it is hollow; at a point, e, in its inside, is secured one nd of a spring, F, the other being attached at to a hollow wheel, G. Inside this wheel there is a ratchet wheel, H, and pawl, all moving the apparatus to the next, while holding it as shown in Fig. 1 ; by means of the bar, K, sectional wheel, L, and suitable gearing, the spring, F, is wound up, and the moment the pickers are in contact with the cotton, the spring operating the drum, D, rotates it, and causes the endless chain of pickers to clear the pod. The ratchet wheel prevents the pickers moving the wrong way. Then when the apparatus is depressed to another pod, the same operation takes place. The spring being woundup by each movement of the apparatus. on one arbor, E. The wheel, C, moves on an arbor, I, and it is provided with clearing arms, d, which serve to detach the cotton from the pickers, and throw it into the bag, M, suspended from the part, n, of A. The operation of the apparatus is very simple. Suppose that the operator has picked the cotton from one pod, in the act of raising and the endless chain of pickers working the moment it is at rest, so that it is perfectly self-acting, and it can be worked by anybody. It is a remarkably ingenious invention, and will, no doubt, be fully appreciated in the South. M. Hosford and J. C. Avery, of Macon, Miss., are the inventors; and a patent has been obtained this week, the claim of which will be found by referring to another page. Any further particulars can be obtained by addressing the inventors as above.
This article was originally published with the title "Improved Cotton Picker" in Scientific American 13, 35, 280 (May 1858)