reaper

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reaper,

early farm machine drawn by draft animals or tractor and used to harvest grain. Its historical predecessors were the sickle and the cradle scythe, which are still used in some parts of the world. The earliest known reaper using animal power was described by Pliny the Elder as used in Gaul. It was pushed by an ox and consisted of a box on two wheels with a comb projecting from the front of the box. The heads of the grain were torn off by the comb and fell into the box. Modern attempts to make reaping machines began in England, where the first patent was issued (1799). The first reaper to win general acceptance was made by American inventor Cyrus McCormickMcCormick, Cyrus Hall,
1809–84, inventor of the reaper, b. Rockbridge co., Va. His father, Robert McCormick (1780–1846), had worked intermittently for over 20 years at his blacksmith shop on a reaping machine, but had given it up before Cyrus, his eldest son, began
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 in 1831. The grain cut by this reaper fell on a platform, from which it was raked by a person walking beside the machine. A number of improved reapers were developed later. The combinecombine
, agricultural machine that performs both harvesting and threshing operations. Although it was not widely used until the 1930s, the combine was in existence as early as 1830.
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, which threshes the grain as it is reaped, has virtually replaced the reaper, although a self-raking type is still in limited use. The mowermower,
farm machine used for cutting grasses and other hay crops. Mowers, drawn by or attached to tractors, or self-propelled, have superseded scythes. The mower is essentially an adaptation of the much earlier reaper. The first commercial mower was patented in 1847.
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, used for cutting hay, was developed from the reaper in the 19th cent.

Bibliography

See C. McCormick, The Century of the Reaper (1931, repr. 1971).

reaper

the grim reaper death

reaper

A prowler that GFRs files. A file removed in this way is said to have been "reaped".
References in classic literature ?
Scared and confounded as I was, I could not forbear going on with these reflections, when one of the reapers, approaching within ten yards of the ridge where I lay, made me apprehend that with the next step I should be squashed to death under his foot, or cut in two with his reaping-hook.
But consider, brother, said the curate once more, "there never was any Felixmarte of Hircania in the world, nor any Cirongilio of Thrace, or any of the other knights of the same sort, that the books of chivalry talk of; the whole thing is the fabrication and invention of idle wits, devised by them for the purpose you describe of beguiling the time, as your reapers do when they read; for I swear to you in all seriousness there never were any such knights in the world, and no such exploits or nonsense ever happened anywhere.
Still, I must own I am sorry to be obliged to give up the cart and the group of reapers -- it would have produced such an effect
A group of the reapers whom we had seen running from the fields were lying all pell-mell, their bodies crossing each other, at the bottom of it.
He said, "I will come myself tomorrow with my laborers, and with as many reapers as I can hire, and will get in the harvest.
And some held reaping hooks and were gathering the vintage, while others were taking from the reapers into baskets white and black clusters from the long rows of vines which were heavy with leaves and tendrils of silver.
Thus for sixteen days I saw from my window a hundred men at work like busy husbandmen, with teams and horses and apparently all the implements of farming, such a picture as we see on the first page of the almanac; and as often as I looked out I was reminded of the fable of the lark and the reapers, or the parable of the sower, and the like; and now they are all gone, and in thirty days more, probably, I shall look from the same window on the pure sea-green Walden water there, reflecting the clouds and the trees, and sending up its evaporations in solitude, and no traces will appear that a man has ever stood there.
Then, leaving him to the discussion of his substantial 'refreshment,' I gladly quitted the house, and went to look after my reapers.
With the creators, the reapers, and the rejoicers will I associate: the rainbow will I show them, and all the stairs to the Superman.
By the reception that the public gave to his telephone, he learned to sympathize with Howe, whose first sewing-machine was smashed by a Boston mob; with McCormick, whose first reaper was called "a cross between an Astley chariot, a wheelbarrow, and a flying- machine"; with Morse, whom ten Congresses regarded as a nuisance; with Cyrus Field, whose Atlantic Cable was denounced as "a mad freak of stubborn ignorance"; and with Westinghouse, who was called a fool for proposing "to stop a railroad train with wind.
He was laying about him lustily with his sheath-knive, lopping the canes right and left, like a reaper, and soon made quite a clearing around us.
Along one side of the field the whole wain went, the arms of the mechanical reaper revolving slowly, till it passed down the hill quite out of sight.