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Reaping Grain

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Horses pull a grain reaper at Hilltop Farm, Deerfield, Massachusetts, in the 1920s. Although small gas-powered tractors were widely available by the 1920s, many farmers continued to use their horses. Here, horses pull a grain reaper. The one pictured here follows a design from the 1880s based on ideas first pioneered by Cyrus McCormick. It cuts grains like wheat and bundles it using twine. The bundles are gathered and allowed to dry for a few days. Later, they will be threshed (the grain is separated from the seed), maybe using a mechanical thresher.


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