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.’