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Self-Rake Reaper

The Walter A. Wood Mowing and Reaping Machine Company had a great deal to boast about in 1868. They were awarded the Imperial Cross of the Legion of Honor at the 1867 Paris Exposition, as well as two Grand Gold Medals, for their agricultural machines.

They reminded readers of their circular that in 1860, when they introduced the self-rake reaper, “the novel method of discharging the grain attracted much attention” but that in eight short years, “the general use of Self-Rake Machines by large farmers in this country, has, to a certain extent, taken the place of the Hand-Rake Machines, as all the makers of this class of implements have been forced to adopt some style or other of Self-Rake.”

Cover of Walter A. Wood Mowing and Reaping Machine Co. Hoosick Falls, NY (9 1/8 x 5 ¾ in). Circular for the Year 1868. Albany: Weed, Parsons and Company, 1868.
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H. Ferguson, Wood’s Self-Raking Reaper, 1868. Wood engraving, (9 1/8 x 5 ¾ in). Published in Walter A. Wood Mowing and Reaping Machine Co. (Hoosick Falls, NY), Circular for the Year 1868 (Albany: Weed, Parsons and Company, 1868), 21.

Wood’s Self-Rake Reaper Combined as a Mower, on the Road, 1868. Wood engraving, (9 1/8 x 5 ¾ in). Published in Walter A. Wood Mowing and Reaping Machine Co. (Hoosick Falls, NY), Circular for the Year 1868 (Albany: Weed, Parsons and Company, 1868), 22.

Detail from Walter A. Wood Mowing and Reaping Machine Co. Hoosick Falls, NY (9 1/8 x 5 ¾ in). Circular for the Year 1868. Albany: Weed, Parsons and Company, 1868, 21.
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Wood’s self-rake reaper cut a swath five and a half feet wide, allowing a single person to reap fifteen to twenty acres of grain in one day. The illustrations in the company’s promotional materials emphasize the ease with which one person could handle the machine.

Although their circular notes that the reaper is “now too well known, in the grain growing districts of this country, to need an elaborate description,” they are careful to delineate the model graphically in their illustrations, so that potential buyers will have a good sense of their product.


 

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