What is the best Agricultural Inventions?

What is the best Agricultural Inventions?

An agricultural inventions have changed the face of farming around the world
There are ten major inventions in America that play an important role in agriculture

Agricultural Inventions 1700s

A timeline of important agricultural inventions in the first half of the 19th and 20th centuries

It’s been over ten years since the first issue of Farm Collector landed in the mailboxes of the first subscribers, so it seems fitting to celebrate a Ten Most column on the history of farm machinery and then credit one person for some of the advancements in farming technology could, but most were the product of many curious and clever people who gradually improved the work of their predecessors

Cotton Gin:

In colonial times, cotton cloth was more expensive than linen or wool because of the extreme difficulty of separating seed from the clinging fibers

One man could pick the seeds from only about 1 pound of cotton fiber per day

In 1793, Eli Whitney built a machine consisting of a row of close-set wheels with saw-like teeth around their perimeters

The wheels protruded through narrow slits between metal bars into a hopper filled with cotton bolls

As the wheels revolved, the teeth caught the cotton fibers and pulled them through the slits, which were too narrow for the seeds to pass, thus separating the two


Small grains had been harvested by hand for centuries, cut with sickles or scythes, hand-raked and tied into sheaves

Grain harvesting machines first appeared in Great Britain in about 1800, and in the U


a decade or two later, but most failed

Obed Hussey and Cyrus McCormick developed successful reapers during the 1830s

McCormick’s machine became the more popular one; today he is credited with inventing the reaper


When grain was being cut by hand, the method for separating the kernels from the straw was equally slow and labor intensive

Grain was hauled to a barn where it was spread on a threshing floor and either beaten with hand flails or trampled by animals

That knocked the kernels free of the straw, which was then raked away

 What is the best Agricultural Inventions?

Agricultural Inventions 1800s

The remaining mixture was winnowed by tossing it into the air where the wind was relied upon to blow the chaff and lighter debris away from the heavier grain, which fell back onto the threshing floor

Steam Engine:

Until the end of the 18th century, American farmers relied primarily upon their own strong backs and arms and those of family members, hired men or slaves

New farm machines then being developed required more power, so oxen, horses and mules were pressed into service

Stationary steam engines were used early on to run cotton gins and mills

Combined Harvester-Thresher:

By the 1920s the steam traction engine was on its way out, but it paved the way for the gasoline tractors that followed

Although a “traveling thrasher” was patented as early as 1828, the first successful machine was built by Hiram Moore in 1834

Moore’s combine successfully cut and threshed grain, although it had to be winnowed later

After the Civil War, big horse-drawn, ground-driven combines were developed in the wheat-growing regions of the Northwest

In 1871, B


Cook put a steam engine on a combine to drive the mechanism, decreasing the number of horses needed to pull the machine

Auto Truck:

Machinery, critters and crops, among other heavy things, all need to be moved around the farm or to market

Two-wheeled carts sufficed for early farmers

Soon 4-wheeled wagons became the norm and were universally used for a couple of centuries

It’s impossible to pin down the first motor truck, but steam-, electric- and gas-powered commercial vehicles made their appearance at about the turn of the 20th century and by 1910 were common in urban areas

The first real attempt to make a vehicle to replace the ubiquitous farm wagon was by International Harvester with its “Auto Wagon” introduced in 1907

 What is the best Agricultural Inventions?

Agricultural Inventions 1900s

Since that time farm trucks of all sizes have proliferated and today no self-respecting farmer is without his pickup

Gasoline Tractor:

Steam tractors required a lot of water and fuel (coal, wood or straw), and a trained engineer at the wheel

The internal combustion engine, developed in the 1890s, offered an alternative to steam

John Froehlich is generally credited with inventing the first successful tractor in 1892

The first commercially successful tractor was built in Charles City, Iowa, by Charles Hart and Charles Parr

Early tractors were big, heavy, awkward and none too reliable, but by 1920 the better ones had survived and were becoming hugely popular on American farms for heavy tillage and belt work

General Purpose Tractor:

During the 1920s, row-crop work such as planting and cultivating was still largely done by horses as tractors were too heavy and not versatile enough for those lighter jobs

Several lightweight row crop tractors had been tried, but most were not satisfactory

Several manufacturers offered motor cultivators during the ‘teens, but few farmers were willing to buy a machine that was used only a month or two each year

Rubber Tires:

Steel-lugged wheels limited speed, vibrated, shook bolts loose and quickly dug themselves into soft ground if they spun, not to mention what they did to the driver’s innards

The advantage of pneumatic tires over steel wheels in fuel economy and performance, not to mention driver comfort, sold farmers on their advantages and by 1940, 95 percent of tractors were ordered on rubber

Harvey Firestone’s dream of putting the farm on rubber was on its way to being reality

Hydraulic Implement Lift with Draft Control:

Irishman Harry Ferguson can claim credit for the first hydraulic lift with automatic draft control

By 1933, he had perfected a way of attaching an implement to a tractor by three arms

The tension load on the lower arms and the compression load on the upper arm caused the “virtual hitch” point to be near the tractor’s front axle, thus keeping the front end of the tractor on the ground

In addition, the top link compression load operated a hydraulic valve that caused the implement depth to be automatically regulated according to the draft needed to pull it

 What is the best Agricultural Inventions?

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