Reverend Bell's Reaper


| September/October 1971



North Street, Granville, Ohio 43023

The picture at the top of page 19, Nov.-Dec. 1970 issue of Iron-Men Album Clydedales and an early reaper has a fascinating story, and since I had a brush with this machine I make bold to hope the story may be of general interest.

Now, at once, I must admit that as a student of reaper history I bow low before Lyle 'Reeves' Hoffmaster, known to many engine men at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, and Eastward.

The reaper pictured was invented by Rev. Patrick Bell in 1826 near Dundee, Scotland, and represents the culmination of British efforts to produce a practical reaper. That it was a successful reaper may be judged from the fact that it was built in large numbers by Crosskill of London, certainly through 1857 a few being exported to America.

In passing, it is interesting and not unusual in Britain, that Rev. Bell tested his early machines in the dead of night. This was done to prevent destruction of his machine at the hands of workmen whose job it threatened.

Rev. Bell's reaper had all the essentials of a practical reaper to wit: