By Staff
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The McCormick Wire Tying Binder of 1881. The wire binder was then to the peak of its perfection.

The above title was used by Editor . R. Durgin of the Case Eagle
of some months ago. His editorial reminded us that years ago we had
the wire tying binder and that it faded into oblivion. Now we have
the Baler using wire for tying. What Mr. Durgin said was all true
but we would like to say more on the subject

There was never a Farm Implement that was dropped as quickly as
the Wire Tying Binder. Most machines have a long overlap. For
instance the ‘Flip Flop’ rake was used long after the dump
rake was on the market. Horses were used for farm power long after
the tractor made its debut.

The Wire Tying Binder was discarded as soon as the twine binder
came on the market. The main reason was that bits of wire did get
into the straw, the cattle ate or swallowed the wire and death
always resulted.

Another reason was told us by an ‘Old Timer.’ In those
days most of the sleeping was done on ‘straw ticks’ and
those pieces of wire had a habit of coming up in the night and
gently piercing your most tender spot.

Great care was taken to get the wire out, or rather, to keep it.
from getting into the straw. A wire cutter was used at threshing
time that would hold the wire when cut until released or opened.
This gave the man cutting the wire bands a chance to pick it out.
With all the care it would get by always with disasterous

The Binder used No. 20 wire. The Baler uses much heavier wire,
much longer pieces and is opened differently or at least more
leisurely. It has little tendency to break and too long to be eaten
or swallowed by a cow.

History repeats itself but in this case there is a difference
that makes it more practical.

It may interest you to know that the Wire Tying Binder tied a
sheaf every 12 feet of ground covered whether there was enough
grain for a sheaf or not. There was a Trip that the operator could
press with his foot and hold it until there was enough grain to
make a sheaf.

The Wire Tying Binder lived only ten years. From 1870 to 1880.
Two years after the twine binder came on the market the binder
manufacturers did not manufacture the Wire Binder. It died young
but served its day.

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment