Farmers in the U.S., Canada, and other industrialized countries may think they have it tough when machinery breaks down, but let them give thought to this:
'Possibly more than half the world's population survives on grain harvested by hand in a subsistence agriculture.'
And no user of modern equipment would want to go back to hand and foot power.
The quotation is from a new book, 'The Grain Harvesters,' by Dr. Graeme R. Quick and Dr. Wesley Buchele, published by the American Society of Agricultural Engineers. It is filled with information and pictures that should fascinate every reader of GEM.
The book traces harvesting back to earliest known times, up through today, and makes some forecasts about the future.
In addition to the story of days preceding production of equipment to do various jobs, the book contains biographies of many of the greats of farm machinery invention and manufacturing.
Its chapter on John Deere is filled with firstrate reporting on the progress of the company, along with many pictures of the firm's products.
Lots of the same goes for other manufacturers. It has a chart showing the development of AllisChalmers from its earliest days.
Handoperated corn shellers, flopover hay rakes, patent drawings, catalog illustrations, and portraits of men who made special contributions in knowhow and ingenuity are pictured.
There are chapters on Australia, as well as on Russian and European Harvest.
Dr. Quick is a research scientist with the Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization in Australia. Dr. Buchele is a professor at Iowa State University, in the Department of Agricultural Engineering.
They seek to tell 'the story of the tools, machines and systems used throughout history to harvest grain'and they do it.