Empire Reaper Finds its Way Back Home
Iron Age Ads in the September 2019 issue of Farm Collector caught my eye. My dad, Edgar Miske, had an Empire reaper that he put on display in the Washington County (Wisconsin) Historical Society Museum. The stand of wheat in front of the reaper comprises individual stalks of wheat that were inserted into holes that my dad drilled into a sheet of plywood. He later sold the reaper to the Wayne County Historical Society in Doylestown, Ohio.
And through that transaction, the reaper returned to its roots. The reaper was manufactured by Empire Mower & Reaper Works in Doylestown between 1887 and 1901. Perhaps because of the unit’s lightweight construction, few survived. Empire also struggled, doomed by competitive forces and the lack of efficient transportation of goods in and out of Doylestown.
I really enjoy your magazine and look forward to each issue.
Del Miske via email
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Check out the history behind horse-powered farm implements, how they replaced manpower, and how their way of life started to end.