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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Raphine in Rockbridge County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Cyrus H. McCormick

Inventor of the Reaper

 
 
Cyrus H. McCormick Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 1, 2013
1. Cyrus H. McCormick Marker
Inscription. Cyrus H. McCormick inventor of the reaper was born on this farm, Feb 15, 1809. Here he completed the first practical reaper in 1831
 
Erected 1928 by V.P.I. Student Branch-American Society of Agricultural Engineers.
 
Location. 37° 55.951′ N, 79° 12.815′ W. Marker is in Raphine, Virginia, in Rockbridge County. Marker is on McCormick's Farm Circle. Click for map. This marker is located near the Grist Mill. Marker is at or near this postal address: 128 McCormick's Farm Circle, Raphine VA 24472, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Marl Creek Interpretive Trail (within shouting distance of this marker); Rockbridge County / Augusta County (approx. ¾ mile away); New Providence Church (approx. 0.8 miles away); Virginia Inventors (approx. 0.8 miles away); Old Providence Church (approx. 1.6 miles away); Brownsburg (approx. 5.8 miles away); Cherry Grove Estate (approx. 6.2 miles away); McDowell's Grave (approx. 6.9 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Raphine.
 
Categories. Agriculture
 
Cyrus H. McCormick Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 1, 2013
2. Cyrus H. McCormick Marker
Farm House
Cyrus H. McCormick Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 1, 2013
3. Cyrus H. McCormick Marker
Grist Mill
Cyrus H. McCormick Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 1, 2013
4. Cyrus H. McCormick Marker
Grist Mill
Cyrus H. McCormick Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 1, 2013
5. Cyrus H. McCormick Marker
McCormick Historical Exhibit
Cyrus H. McCormick Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 1, 2013
6. Cyrus H. McCormick Marker
McCormick Reaper-starting the mechanization of farming-The invention of the reaper in 1831 changed forever the work of cutting grain. Two men, a horse or mule, and a McCormick reaper could cut as much grain in one day as five experienced men could using cradle scythes-about ten acres- and do it with less waste of grain and cleaner swaths for the sheave tying. …Bundles were still hand-tied and the grain was carted to the threshing floor to be threshed by hand, but the reaper began the evolution of mechanized harvesting….The reaper in this display can and has cut wheat. However, planting grain by drill versus hand sowing means that present-day grain fields are much more densely planted than even 70 years ago. The 1831 version of the McCormick reaper cannot handle grain as it is planted today…The McCormick reaper sold for $100 in 1840. It was constantly improved and remained in production until it was replaced by the binder in 1876.
Cyrus H. McCormick Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 1, 2013
7. Cyrus H. McCormick Marker
The world’s first reaper-reproduction of the machine invented by Cyrus Hall McCormick built on the McCormick Farm near Steele’s Tavern, Virginia, and tested there in July, 1831. Cyrus Hall McCormick’s reaper combined for the first time and in their true balance and proportion the basic elements or principles which have ever since been found essential in virtually all grain-cutting machines. McCormick’s seven basic principles were as follows: 1. The straight knife with serrated edge and reciprocal or vibrating motion which cuts the grain. 2. Fingers or guards extending from the platform to prevent the grain from slipping sideways while being cut. 3. The revolving reel which holds the grain against the knife and lays the cut stalks on the platform. 4. Platform behind the knife for receiving the cut grain and holding it until raked off. 5. The master wheel carries most of the weight of the machine and, through ground traction, furnishes power to operate the reel and the knife. 6. Forward draft from the right or stubble side by means of shafts attached in front of the master wheel. 7. A divider on the left side to separate the grain to be cut from that to be left standing. In 1851 Mr. McCormick was awarded one of the highest honors granted by the Royal Commissioners of the Great World’s Fair at London, England---The Council Medal. The London Times, commenting editorially, said that the McCormick reaper was worth the whole cost of the Exposition, and: “The reaping machine from the United States is the most valuable contribution from abroad to the stock of our previous knowledge that we have yet discovered. Edward Burke, U.S. Commissioner of Patients, wrote March 4, 1850. “It is one of those great and valuable inventions which commence a new era in the progress of improvement and where beneficial influence is felt in all coming time.”
Cyrus H. McCormick Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 1, 2013
8. Cyrus H. McCormick Marker
Marl Creel Interpretive Trail-Across the road you will see the entrance to a walking trail to the Mill Pond, created to power the mill behind you. Winding for a little more than half a mile along Marl Creek, through oak woods and meadows, this walk is designed to highlight some of the changes in wildlife and agricultural land management since the times of Cyrus McCormick.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 474 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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