The Invention of the Reaper

Nick Clason

Introduction of the Mechanical Reaper

In 1834 Cyrus McCormick patented his reaper. While the idea originally came from his father, Cyrus was able to build a working model within several weeks of taking over. Although he got his patent in 1834 the reaper did not become a hit until around 1851.

Life before and after the mechanical Reaper

Before the invention of the mechanical reaper, the process for reaping was incredibly difficult and had to be done by hand. The amount of crops that could be harvested was much less than it was after the reaper was introduced.

Evolution of the Reaper

Six weeks after taking over the project of the reaper from his father, McCormick made major improvements to the design of the reaper. Just weeks before his fathers model failed its test and McCormick was able to change it into a working model and proceeded to make the lives of many much easier.

Effects on Society

The invention and implementation of the mechanical reaper greatly benefited the owners of large farms. They could harvest more crops while requiring fewer people and could do this in less time. While this was beneficial to the owners, there were also negative effects. The people who previously worked on the farms and plantations were out of a job due to this new invention doing their work and doing it for less money. Another positive effect that could immediately be seen  was that now since more crops and food could be harvested, more food was readily available across the country and encouraged population growth due to this excess food.

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