Cyrus McCormick is credited with the invention of the McCormick reaper in 1831. It was a project that his father had started when he was a kid, but never really had much success with it. At the age of 22, McCormick took a new look at the experiments his father had been working on and was able to turn that work into a reaper that was ready to work. He received a patent for the reaper and began producing them from his home, but sales were bad for nearly a decade. Farmers didn’t trust the invention, even though it could perform a harvest 10 times quicker than traditional hand harvesting methods.
His mechanical reaper made him famous, but Cyrus McCormick invented a number of additional items as well. Here is a look at his life’s work.
1. Cattle Guard
We’ve all driven over a cattle guard at some point in our lives if we have been traveling in a country area that allows for livestock roaming. They are generally a system of solid bars that allow for people to travel through the area, but livestock is forced to stay within a certain area because their hooves are not able to cross safely. McCormick invented a cattle guard that used a bladed system, like you’d see on mini-blinds today, to act as an improved cattle guard.
2. Tack Hammers
When you’re tacking an item up today, like shingles on a roof, you load up a magazine of nails or staples and then you simply press a lever or trigger and the item is affixed. Before hydraulics, however, automation had to happen mechanically. McCormick invented a tack hammer that would load the tacks through a magazine. A spring-loaded compression system allowed for the tack to be inserted and then the automated feeding system would bring the next tack to the front. This saved workers a lot of time and created better end results as well.
3. Rock Drills
The mechanism of the automatic tack hammer was based on the designs that McCormick made for his rock drill. By installing a series of pistons that would help to give the drill added strength, it became possible to bore through difficult rock without breaking bits because of the added speed and motion of the drill. This allowed farmers and construction engineers to clear rock faster, use rock in designed more effectively, or clear a field very effectively.
4. Lawn Mowers
Cutting grass has long been part of the tradition of owning a home, but it wasn’t always easy to do before the days of engines. Spinning reels would cut the grass under man or horsepower and this was labor and time intensive. McCormick took the technology that he created with the mechanical reaper and put that into a more effective lawn mowing system that would create more circular action within the blades. This created cleaner cuts and ultimately saved time for every household that invested into this product.
Strong proponent of individual liberty and free speech. My goal is to present information that expands our awareness of crucial issues and exposes the manufactured illusion of freedom that we are sold in America. Question everything because nothing is what it seems.