The Marsh Harvester

This 1870s chromolithograph advertises the Marsh Harvester manufactured by the Gammon, Deering & Stewart Mfg. Co.

Marsh Harvester

In 1858, brothers Charles W. and William Marsh invented and patented the Marsh harvester that mowed and elevated cut grain by moving belts to a platform where two men hand-tied bundles of grain.

Illustration Courtesy David Schnakenberg

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Dating to a period between 1877 and 1879, this chromolithograph was produced by White & Bradley, Lith., Buffalo and Chicago, for Gammon, Deering & Stewart Mfg. Co., Chicago.

In 1858, brothers Charles W. and William Marsh invented and patented the Marsh harvester that mowed and elevated cut grain by moving belts to a platform where two men hand-tied bundles of grain. They then joined with George Stewart and began manufacturing their machine in Plano, Ill.; in 1873 they sold out the Plano business and moved their harvesting machine company to Sycamore, Ill., organizing a stock company under the name Sycamore Marsh Harvester Mfg. Co.

By 1876, the Marshes changed their company’s name to Marsh Harvester Co. In a separate transaction, Elijah H. Gammon (formerly a Methodist minister) and J.D. Easter founded a partnership in 1869. Operating out of the former Marsh & Stewart factory in Plano, they manufactured and sold Marsh harvesters. In 1873, William Deering became involved in the business; in 1874 they formed a partnership known as Gammon & Deering.

In 1876, E.H. Gammon and William Deering purchased Marsh, Stewart & Co. and operated the company as Gammon, Deering & Stewart, relocating to Chicago between 1877 and 1879. Gammon sold his interest to William Deering in 1879. Deering had acquired the rights to John F. Appleby’s twine-tie apparatus in 1878; the manufacture of twine-tie grain binders revolutionized the grain harvesting industry. In 1883, the company was incorporated as William Deering & Co. The company name was changed to Deering Harvester Co. in 1894 and became part of International Harvester Co. in 1903. FC 

Grateful acknowledgement is given to David Schnakenberg, who contributed this image from his collection of pre-1910 chromolithographs of farm machinery advertising. For more information, contact him at 10108 Tamarack Dr., Vienna, VA 22182; (703) 938-8606; dschnakenberg@verizon.net; view the Schnakenberg Collection.  

To submit a vintage advertisement for publication, send it to: Iron Age Ads, Farm Collector, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609; or submit high-quality digital images by email.