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Cyrus Hall McCormick (1809 - 1884) produced this mechanical reaper in 1831 and received the patent for it in 1834. It was the first practical reaper of its kind in the United States. (A similar design was produced by Patrick Bell of Scotland around the same time period.) It slowly came into general use after the great exhibition of London in 1851.
The reaper replaced the sickle. It combined several steps that earlier harvestors had performed separately. It cut wheat stalk and laid it on the ground to be raked and bundled and carried out of the field.
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