Labor Saving Technology Was Double Edged Sword

Labor saving technology was beginning of the end for farm workers’ jobs

| October 2011

“A labor-saving agricultural machine has been developed which dispenses with harvest hands employed in the field in loading grain to be stacked or to supply a threshing machine. It is called a shock loader and will fill a wagon rack in less than two and a half minutes. It weighs 2,800 lbs., is drawn by four horses and is operated by the driver alone.

“The principal parts of the machine are the ‘pickers’ and three carriers. The pickers, whose position is analogous to that of the cutting knives on a binder, lift the bundles of grain and deposit them on a carrier by which they are transferred to a horizontal carrier at the rear; from this the grain is raised on an inclined elevator and dropped into wagons which move alongside the machine.

“The pickers are 6-in. spikes fastened to a 6-ft. steel bar. They grasp the bundles and the turning of the bar deposits them on the carrier. The pickers also gather up the loose grain about the shocks. A 20-in. drive wheel operates the carriers, pickers, etc.

“The machine will do the work of several men pitching bundles in the field and can load six wagons fast enough to supply a threshing outfit as rapidly as 12 wagons can under the old method. This loader is also used advantageously in loading alfalfa for it does not shake off the dry leaves as is done in hand loading.” FC


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