Inquiry About Grain Cradles

| 9/9/2015 9:25:00 AM

grain cradle

Editor’s note: Dan Sack, Corning, Kansas, wrote us recently to inquire about grain cradles. “I know what a binder is,” he says, “but what is cradling? How do you cradle wheat?” Our resident expert, columnist and blogger Sam Moore, explains:

The scythe, in one form or another, is an ancient mowing tool, with straight-handled versions appearing about the 9th century. The now-familiar curved handle (or snath) with short, projecting handgrips (or nibs) was developed in about the 12th century. In spite of the fact that a man with a scythe could cut more grain than a man with a sickle, the sickle remained the chosen tool for harvesting grain for many centuries.