Tag Archives: sheaf

Contraptions on the Farm

Sepia Saturday has asked for a contraption. A contraption is a mechanical device.  That’s a beautiful description of a contraption – mechanical – not a single mention of it being governed by some computerized component.

So here is my contraption, my offer of a rather large mechancial device, which was probably known by the name of a Self-Raking Reaper back in in the 1800s.

OldMachinerySo, what can I tell you.  The photo belongs to a family member and came from someone who was born in 1873 and lived all her life in the Carisbrook area of Central Victoria.  It could have come from her husband’s family, Butler, or her own family, Fricke..

I can date crinolines similar to the one in the photo at least from 1859-1866 in the Carisbrook area.

It’s a horse drawn contraption with the man sitting   behind two horses on what appears to be a sprung seat, holding the reins in his hands.

Man on seatThe workingsThe reaper is behind the driver.  So far the best that I can explain it is that a  cutting edge sticks out low down to the right of the driver positioned so that the material to be cut is pushed against it by the rotating paddles as they  drop down . The cut material  falls onto the platform and the rake pushes regular accumulations to the ground to the left of the driver,  enough at a time to be tied into a sheaf, then several sheaves are stacked together to form a stook.

.Here are some images which bear some resemblance to the above.

Thanks to Flickr we have this John Manny’s Self- Raker and Mower, not exactly the same but viewed from the opposite side we can get a better understanding of how it probably worked. It was available c 1855.

Manny Curved PlatformAnd from  YouTube we can watch a re-enactment of a slightly later Walter Wood reaper


Thanks to Backtracking, her hubby, and their friend Eric for help in deciphering the photo.

And do go to Sepia Saturday for links to more contraptions.