The Improved Light Harvester

This ad for the Improved Light Harvester shows a farmer riding his colorful binder being pulled by a team of horses.

| December 2015

  • This ad for the Improved Light Harvester shows a farmer on his colorful binder.
    Illustration courtesy David Schnakenberg

This advertising sign for the Improved Light Harvester and Twine Binder manufactured by Johnston Harvester Co., Batavia, New York, dates to the 1890s. The image shows a farmer riding on his binder, which is pulled by a beautiful team of horses on a farmstead near a lake. Note the use of colorful stenciling to enhance the appearance of their machine. 

Samuel Johnston began making reapers as early as 1862, organizing with Bryon E. Huntley in 1868 under the name Johnston, Huntley & Co. in Brockport, New York. The company incorporated in 1870 as Johnston Harvester Co.

In 1882, after an arson fire destroyed the plant, Johnston Harvester relocated to Batavia. In 1917, the company was sold to Massey-Harris & Co. In 1953 Massey-Harris acquired Harry Ferguson Inc. to form Massey-Harris-Ferguson. In 1958 the name was shortened to Massey-Harris. 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; email; 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.


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