McCormick Wire Tying Binder

The McCormick Wire Tying Binder of 1881. The wire binder was then to the peak of its perfection.

Content Tools

The above title was used by Editor . R. Durgin of the Case Eagle of some months ago. His editorial reminded us that years ago we had the wire tying binder and that it faded into oblivion. Now we have the Baler using wire for tying. What Mr. Durgin said was all true but we would like to say more on the subject

There was never a Farm Implement that was dropped as quickly as the Wire Tying Binder. Most machines have a long overlap. For instance the 'Flip Flop' rake was used long after the dump rake was on the market. Horses were used for farm power long after the tractor made its debut.

The Wire Tying Binder was discarded as soon as the twine binder came on the market. The main reason was that bits of wire did get into the straw, the cattle ate or swallowed the wire and death always resulted.

Another reason was told us by an 'Old Timer.' In those days most of the sleeping was done on 'straw ticks' and those pieces of wire had a habit of coming up in the night and gently piercing your most tender spot.

Great care was taken to get the wire out, or rather, to keep it. from getting into the straw. A wire cutter was used at threshing time that would hold the wire when cut until released or opened. This gave the man cutting the wire bands a chance to pick it out. With all the care it would get by always with disasterous results.

The Binder used No. 20 wire. The Baler uses much heavier wire, much longer pieces and is opened differently or at least more leisurely. It has little tendency to break and too long to be eaten or swallowed by a cow.

History repeats itself but in this case there is a difference that makes it more practical.

It may interest you to know that the Wire Tying Binder tied a sheaf every 12 feet of ground covered whether there was enough grain for a sheaf or not. There was a Trip that the operator could press with his foot and hold it until there was enough grain to make a sheaf.

The Wire Tying Binder lived only ten years. From 1870 to 1880. Two years after the twine binder came on the market the binder manufacturers did not manufacture the Wire Binder. It died young but served its day.