The following article we found in the October issue of Agricultural Machinery Journal, an English publication of much worth. The article may bring a smile but it also supports our theory that to be a good crook you have got to be bright.
Illustrating his argument that the best machine of its sort is obviously the simplest, Mr. F. W. McConnel told of this 'very satisfying case of a simple machine which, for its purpose was a tremendous advance on its competitors.
'In Germany shortly after the war, when most commodities were rare and expensive, a gang of four ingenious men were caught by the police after some weeks of successful theft of linseed.
'The assets of this small firm were one canvass sheet, a sickle, some sacks and a bicycle. The leader of the gang rode the bicycle to a chosen field of linseed and was met by the rest of the gang, the sheet was laid on the ground, the bicycle placed upside down in the middle of it. One man cut the linseed, one carried the crop to a man stationed at the bicycle, and one turned the peda's. The linseed was thrashed by holding it against the rear wheel spokes. ..'The right way up, the bicycle was a simple means of transport, the wrong way up, the handle bars and saddle formed a three point stand for the thrashing machine, so that except for the front wheel and fork and tyres, almost all parts were used in both the bicycles functions. The resulting one or two sacks were of course laid on the bicycle for transport.'