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Horse Drawn Equipment Old iron designed for the purpose of hitching up to a horse or a team. This old iron machinery may be used or demonstrated while hooked to an old iron tractor too.

Horse Drawn Equipment

1831 McCormick Reaper


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  #1  
Old 11-22-2012, 03:06:43 AM
TSeaberg TSeaberg is offline
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Default 1831 McCormick Reaper

I have some pictures that I took of a Reaper in a local museum. The sign says "1831" but what I am after is anybody that will have more information on this Reaper. I know the chances of it being a real 1831 are next to impossible so doing some research I found some information on the Wisconsin Historical website about a promotional video McCormick produced in the 1930's about their first reapers. They apparently used replica reaper in the video. Now do you guys think this could be one of the replicas or really an 1800's original? The drive wheel has quite a bit of wear looking like it was actually used and the wood definately looks old but if they made it in the 1930's it would look in tough shape also.

It would be great if a collector out there had more information on this I would be really interested to know more about this piece of history and see if it is original or not.

Also is there any originals out there?




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Old 11-22-2012, 08:16:20 AM
Kent McMakin Kent McMakin is offline
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Default Re: 1831 McCormick Reaper

If you do a Google search on McCormick reapers, there is quite a lot of info out there. There have also been several replicas of McCormicks first reaper that have been constructed also. One at Pioneer Village in Minden, Nebraska and another in a Virginia museum. That one sure does look old though. Pretty neat.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:58:08 AM
FarmerJohn FarmerJohn is offline
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Default Re: 1831 McCormick Reaper

I would think the Wisconsin Historical society to be a reliable source of information. They say that Cyrus McCormick built and demonstrated the reaper in 1831, but didn't get the patent until 1834. I searched Google patents and found it in the link below.

1834 reaper original patent:

http://www.google.com/patents?id=Jog...page&q&f=false

1847 patent improvements:

http://www.google.com/patents?id=lVk...page&q&f=false

Wisconsin Historical society information on Cyrus McCormick:

http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/libr.../ihc/cyrus.asp

If that reaper in the pictures is the original prototype that he made in 1831, it would be a priceless antique and should be in a museum! To get the item verified as "the" original, you would probably need some provenance like documentation from the McCormick family saying that is was the original. Sometimes you can match details in a photo to get provenance on an antique, but Daguerreotypes weren't created until 1837 so no photos of the original demonstrated in 1831 would exist.

Cool pictures! Thanks for sharing!
John
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:31:24 PM
TSeaberg TSeaberg is offline
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Default Re: 1831 McCormick Reaper

Thanks for the info so far. I have done alot of reading and google searching for info on these but have found little really good factual information on the reapers and if there is any confirmed originals of this early style.

Would be really great to find some info on what makes a replica different from originals apart from about 90-100 years. I cant really find a good photo of an original 1830-1850's reaper most likely due to cameras not being available till the late 1830's.


Also it is already in a large museum where anybody can see it during the summer. So it is not going anywhere. I personally think it is probably one of the replica's built in the 1930's but you just never know.

Last edited by TSeaberg; 11-22-2012 at 11:41:39 PM.
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:55:39 AM
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FWurth FWurth is offline
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Default Re: 1831 McCormick Reaper

One thing you need to not overlook is that they probably built them in this configuration probably til the civil war era and it could very possibly be a production unit from that time frame that survived intact. I would think that most all the early company records from that period were lost when the works were destroyed in the great Chicago fire so any real documentation is nonexsitent. One would need to backtrack the past history of this particular unit thru previous owners to try and confirm it's true history if possible, one must also rember that not all museum info cards are necessiarly the whole story. F.J.W.
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:22:40 PM
JoeCB JoeCB is offline
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Default Re: 1831 McCormick Reaper

Is carbon 14 dating descriminating enough to tell the story?
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Old 11-23-2012, 05:57:41 PM
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Default Re: 1831 McCormick Reaper

I have a model of the 1831 Reaper bulit in 1931 by IHC. my number is 122 how many did they make, and how many are still around?
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Old 11-25-2018, 05:55:45 AM
Hofpoort Hofpoort is offline
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Default Re: 1831 McCormick Reaper

Hello,

I believe 250 of these models were made in 1931, the were shipped to
major dealers of IHC all over the world.
I have one myself which I found in France, it is fairly complete but is
missing the text underneath the platform.
Could you help me with the complete orginal text?
I can't read it from the photo.

Thanks for reading.

Louis Beunder
IHC collector
The Netherlands.
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Old 06-22-2019, 10:26:48 PM
EmersonFan EmersonFan is offline
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Default Re: 1831 McCormick Reaper

I saw one of these not long ago at the Clark County Museum in Macquokata Iowa. There is a big poster that is a reproduction of a really neat article that was published in Grit newspaper.
I have a copy of the article - I could post it here - I think it was from the 1970s.
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