The number of improvements which are daily being made in all kinds of agricultural implements and machinery, demonstrate the fact that inventive genius has taken and is taking the right direction towards leaving its indelible mark on the age in which it flourishes, because each useful addition given, or new aid afforded, towards the tilling of the soil, and making Mother Earth give us her utmost, is a national, as well as a personal benefit. In no one agricultural implement has more progress been manifested than in the harvester ; from being a very rude combination of a pair of shears on a wheel, guided ,J and moved by hand, it has quickly risen to a the perfect machine represented in our illus- tration, which is a perspective view of one at work, and which we will now describe. A is the platform, on which is raised the driver's seat, and to which the horses are attached by a pole. B is a wheel, connected by ratchet teeth to the axle of the wheel, C, as X8 also the other large wheel, both of them supporting the machine, and giving motion when drawn forward, to C. The ratchet teeth are so cut that when the machine is backed, no motion is communicated to C ; and when it is desirable to draw the harvester anywhere, and the cutters are not required to be operated, the ratchets can be thrown out of gear by the lever, N. C gives motion to bevel gear under the platform, which rotates the wheel, D, and consequently gives the necessary vibratory motion to the cutters, F, by means of the shaft, E. The cutters are mounted on a platform, G, on the back of which is the raker's seat, the platform being well and strongly hinged to the casting, H, which is firmly secured to A. G has a tongue, or piece of iron, I, projecting from it, on ?which the screw in the end of the lever, J, can exert pressure, by means of the cord, j, passing over the pulley, K, and worked by the lever, M, so that the platform, G, and cutters, F, can be raised or depressed to overcome any obstacle which they may encounter. On the end of one of the wheels, B, is a small pulley, r, around which passes the endless band, q, that gives motion to the reel, S, the arms of which are of the peculiar and advantageous shape shown in the engraving. This reel revolves around the axle, P, hinged at o to a corresponding stretcher or tyer, 0, to allow of it being elevated or depressed with the cutter platform. There can be little doubt that this is one of the best among the numerous harvesters. It is the invention of Hosea Willard and Robert Ross, of Vergennes, Vt., who will furnish any further information. It was patented November 3, 1857.
This article was originally published with the title "Improved Harvester" in Scientific American 13, 20, 156 (January 1858)