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Maryland Steam Historical Society Features


| August/September 1995

  • A horse treadmill

  • Horse sweep hay press

  • A horse treadmill
  • Horse sweep hay press

By Herb Wessel 2200 Fairmount Road Hampstead, Maryland 21074

Most shows feature a brand of tractor and equipment. Maryland Steam decided to try something different: feature the equipment necessary to raise and harvest a certain crop.

Two years ago the feature was grain equipment. The feature was set up on a special section of the Arcadia, Maryland grounds where we hold the show the second week in September each year. The grain exhibit that year included the earliest known method of cutting grain, the scythe and the cradle. A reaper was displayed that was a big improvement over the cradle, but you still had to tie the grain by hand. And of course, a binder that would not only cut the grain, but tie it as well and deposit the bundles in neat piles ready to be shocked by hand.

For threshing the grain, Lawrence Brubaker of Reisterstown, Maryland, demonstrated the flail, a tool used from Biblical times until just about a century ago to remove the grain from the straw.

There was a 'ground hog thresher,' a very early mechanical thresher that could be powered by hand, by a horse treadmill, or a small gas or steam engine.

There was a fanning mill that was used to further clean the grain. Next there was a barn floor hand feed thresher with its own built-in cleaner. From there to several larger threshers, one of wood construction and one all-steel machine.


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